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It's Swagger, so, you have to read it but..
on 5 February 2009
It has most of what Swagger addicts need, and the "so THATS why all this crazy stuff is happening" explanatory storyline is actually interesting. But the rest stretches even the most forgiving Swagger reader into uncomfortable shapes, as we struggle to ignore the unlikely, the improbable, and the "aww c'mon Stephen! That's just impossible!".
The originals of the Swagger saga are held very dear to those of us who happily discovered Bob and Earl, and not in any small part due to the essence of the hero being a flawed everyman, with talents and guts enough to raise him to being extraordinary when needs demanded.
When that essence is over exploited, as is the case in The 47th Samurai, it takes something away from the saga as a whole.
Swagger readers are going to buy it and read it, just as I have, and are more than likely going to feel a little let down. If there is a literary equivalent of "jumping the shark", then I'm afraid I've just read it.