Saturday, February 25, 2023

#5: The Sorcerer of Pyongyang by Marcel Theroux

A North Korean teen stumbles upon a Dungeons and Dragons book left behind by a visiting delegation; playing the game becomes both dangerous and liberating in Marcel Theroux's The Sorcerer of Pyongyang.

The novel follows the teenager on into college and then adulthood, with the book he calls "The House of Possibility" factoring heavily into his adventures along the way.

I am a longtime D&D player so was definitely predisposed to liking this novel, but it is a solid literary read for anyone and a deep dive into North Korean culture. Recommended.

I checked this out from the New Castle-Henry County Memorial Library in New Castle, Indiana.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

#4: One More for the Road by Larry Kent

New York P.I. Larry Kent swings into action knocking out a slavery ring in this entry in the long-running series by Australian author Desmond Dunn, One More for the Road.

This series came out as a response to the Carter Brown series, another Australian writing rat-a-tat style detective novels with hot .45s and cold dames, and spawned several hundred entries.

Dunn delivers about what you would expect, with hard-boiled beats and a lack of finely-shaded observations on gender, race, and the leading social issues of the day.  Most surprisingly, Kent is a Viet Nam vet, although the story reads with more of a 40s-50s vibe.

Fun for those who like this kind of pulp.  

I read this one quickly from my beloved Kindle.