Day 8: Artists and Charlatans

As a lover of art, it’s difficult to put an opinion like this in writing and even attempt to make it creative. I’ll rather gush and lambast in a gathering, over beer, with pieces of suya flying out my mouth and waving a chicken leg above my head to buttress my point. Because in one breath, I exalt a writer, his piece of work, efforts and talent, and in another I condemn one, completely and entirely.

Skipping Day 7, because no tattoos.

Yet.

See link to previous posts here

I’ve loved a number of books over time. Fantasy books like the Raven’s Shadow series by Anthony Ryan, Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson. Mafioso books by Puzo. Spy thrillers by Ludlum, and then late-1990s Cussler. I’ve disliked a few books too; that lord awful Blood and Bone thing by Tomi Adeyemi, that barely lets me past the first chapter, and then all of the rip-offs that are Nnedi Okoroafor’s bestsellers.

The Parsifal Mosaic by Ludlum is one of my favourite books of all time. To start with, it’s the story of a black operations engineer, (read: spy/assassin) who worked for the US State Department and retires after supervising a mission in which his fiancĂ©e is shown to be a traitor and is killed before his eyes.
Drama. Passion. Pain. Violence.

His psyche is torn apart in typical Ludlum fashion, and he embarks on a road to rediscovery before he takes on a position in a university as professor of history. While touring his old haunts, cities he had never seen in the daylight, cities in which he had masterminded assasinations, blackmailed bureaucrats, but this time as a tourist, he happens on his supposed dead girlfriend at a busy train station in Rome. A trapdoor to a whirlwind of turmoil is opened and he is tossed back into the world he had left, as he chases after her, chases after those who set them up, upending a chess game initiated by a mad genius strategist codenamed Parsifal, hell-bent on showing the world the hubris behind giving too much power to one person.

The action in Parsifal is explosive, every chapter has stakes higher than the last. You are driven to experience the protagonist; Mikhail Havlicek’s, turmoil, to feel the stress that erupts from his childhood trauma carrying suicide packs on the streets of Prague in the old Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia. To feel that stress repeat itself as he races against time to piece together the mosaic and save his sanity, the life of his fiancĂ©e and the mind of his priyatel and mentor.

Everything written by Nnedi Okoroafor is plagiarism, as far as I can recall. Finely crafted sentences, able to fool plagiarism checkers, but basic rewordings of any of a hundred different fantasy novels.

Disclaimer

  • I have nothing against Nnedi. I think she’s a brilliant content developer.