2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel, but not as good as it's prequel
With the same wit and jarring insight that colors all his work, Marshall sets out to tell a story about paranoids, psychopaths and quasi-law enforcement officials... and we start to discover they aren't all as neatly separated as we want to think. John Zandt, Nina Baynam and Ward Hopkins are the only ones who know about the Straw Men and unfortuneately the acquisition...
Published on 2 May 2004
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Back to sci-fi please Mickey
I'm a big fan of MMS. Sometimes I'm quite keen on having his babies. But this book was something of a dissapointment for me. It just doesn't have the tension of The Straw Men, as there's no sense of a race against time. The characters from the first book are back, but they've all become manic-depressive versions of themselves, which is a very hard thing to do and still...
Published on 17 May 2005 by D. Millhouse
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4.0 out of 5 stars Getting off the Rollercoaster - The Back Story Of the Straw Men,
I think MMS, like his characters, also took a much needed breather (Stamina exercises, Michael, stamina exercises!) here too. I got the feeling that this novel was a little pushed and his heart didn't seem to be in this novel as much as the previous one. Of-course, he (MMS), could just be using this as a device to get you to feel as Oppressed, exhausted and psychologically drained as Ward, Nina, and John felt after their ordeal, and I certainly felt oppressed (and depressed at times!) here. Maybe he was aiming for an atmosphere of futility in the face of the characters failures and insurmountable obstacles from before? Who knows? MMS is a good thriller writer who definitely pushes the psychological buttons (the topical deeper meanings in his books also get you thinking about civilisation and those that seek to destroy and corrupt it, what it truly means to be human, what is humanity and how does it separate us from other animals - but this is done in a subtle and subliminal way, like a cerebral undercurrent).
Anyway, back to the book! This story tells us the historical back-story of the mysterious 'Straw Men' and how they began, developed over time and infiltrated themselves in corrupting every worldwide organisation in their fight against civilisation. The Upright Man story also develops here.
Although I enjoyed this book as an atmospheric crime novel (Michael Connolly fans will like this one), It is slower paced and I didn't find it as enthralling as I did 'The Straw Men' which was crime thrilling on acid (well written, multi-layered plots, multi-layered characters and multi-layered-devices! You sometimes have to remember to breathe!). Still, it's a good book for all of that, and I would encourage you to read it, but it's not worthy of the 5-star I gave to to 'The Straw Men'. This one is more of a build-up novel to set the scene and back-drop for the climax and cumulation of events that one would assume will be an explosive end to the trilogy in the third book 'The Blood of Angels'.
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this supposed to be a sequel?,
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the best book I have read yet,
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars WHy does he talk so much rubbish,
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Difficult second album syndrome,
This review is from: The Lonely Dead (Hardcover)As a long-time fan of Michael Marshall [Smith], I'd been looking forward to The Lonely Dead with earnest, particularly since The Straw Men - the prequel to this, Marshall's second, more mainstream novel - had me gripped from cover to cover.
Naturally, The Lonely Dead had much to deliver. Unfortunately, it didn't, not in the same way that The Straw Men did, but nor could one expect it to; The Straw Men was a masterpiece, and would be nigh-on impossible to top straight off the bat.
Essentially, the problem is that the book is the typical “difficult second album”. Though it boasts more of the same characters doing what they do best, more clever conceits and theories sewn into the plot, a nice whodunnit angle, and some exposition that sheds new light on the origins of the Straw Men, it lacks many features of a typical MMS's novel, ostensibly, the way the main character chooses to deconstruct and compartmentalise his feelings, snappy, dry humour, and the overwhelming feeling that maybe the book *won't* be able to conclude itself.
Expectations aside, the book is a gripping read, though for slightly different reasons than its predecessor. Once again, MMS paints a glorious living, breathing picture of every location, he basks self-indulgently in modern technology and how it works, his characters are nicely three-dimensional when they need to be, and his ability to chill you to the spine whenever he wants to is unsurpassed.
If you’re a MMS fan, you’ll enjoy it. If you like the Straw Men, you’ll enjoy it. If you’re expecting it to build on its predecessor, you’ll probably be left wanting.
4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing sequel,
This review is from: The Lonely Dead (Hardcover)This *was* in fact a good read, excellent characterisation and prose style. It was disappointing as a sequel - as one reviewer pointed out, there is little actual suspense, because the reader is already aware of what's going on. Mitchell's "reader manipulation" in Straw Men was stunning, and it is lacking here.
I couldn't help thinking he had an axe to grind about the perils of smoking, too. That whole "smoking's bad for you" thing just kept popping up.
I can't remember if it was the third or fourth treck through the wilderness when the oft-repeated location became tedious. I hope there isn't a "to be continued" for this plot, and I think it's time he channelled his extraordinary writing talents into something new.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment,
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Dead Explores Parts Others Dont Reach,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Lonely Dead (Hardcover)Excellent. Read it in one go during a 20 hour intercontinental flight. Have not read Straw Men so cannot compare. But the point about this book is not the plot per se - which is itself pacy and adrenalin-filled - but rather what it has to say about life/death and lots of other topics eg. adoption; death of one's father, violence and killing; 'human nature'; memory. It is a very "existentialist" text in my view - and I am not trying to intellectualise the book or its author because another aspect of the story is its rawness; cynicism is over-ridden by bone-cutting perceptiveness.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars confused?,
It seemed the author forgot he was writting a book and would just drift off into pointless and meaningless pages of something that was completly irrelevant.
I was just left lost and completly confused, can ANYONE tell me what the hell that bit in the woods was all about with bigfoot or whatever it was.
Appologise for my bad spelling.
What a waste of money, gutted to be honest.
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The Lonely Dead by Michael Marshall (Hardcover - 4 May 2004)
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