Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book of Lies the Review

Oh the pressure.

The last time I had to write something even remotely close to a book review was when I was in 11th grade, in Mrs. Bray's English Class, and I had to do a 500 word essay on Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises. It started something like this: "The Sun Also Rises, a book by Ernest Hemingway, is very,very,very, very, very, interesting. I really, really, really,really, liked his use symbolism."

Brad Meltzer, through his publisher and marketing people, made sure I received an advanced copy of his latest novel The Book of Lies. The book is not out in stores until Spetember 2nd. I received my copy on August 9th. I had visions that if I read the book that weekend and sent in my review that,maybe, on the back cover of the store copy dust jacket it would say something like: William from Poop and Boogies. com says "An action packed thriller. A true page turner." But a couple of things prevented a quick read. One, I am a very slow reader. And two, I just started reading a book about the Battle of Gettysburg which, is no big deal because I often read more that one book at a time. Oh, and three, I also have two kids to raise, a wife to spend time with, work to do, Project Runway to watch and Guilder to Frame for it. I'm swamped.

I also wanted the excitement of getting a preview copy to wear off so I could give it a fair review. It took me a few days to even attempt to start it. Then something else happened. General Longstreet did not agree with General Lee's plan for Pickett's charge. I had to finish those chapters in "The Killer Angels" first.

The premise of The Book of Lies is that the weapon that Cain used to murder Abel is never mentioned in the Bible and is lost to history. In 1932 Jerry Siegel's father is killed, a murder that is never solved, as a result Jerry goes on to create Superman, one of the worlds most recognized icons. What could these two crimes have in common?

I know it sounds a little strange and somewhat nerdy. I finally found some pieces of time to actually read the book. I kept a little notebook on me so I could make some notes for my review. Guess what? I did not write down one note. I was immediatley caught up in pacing of the book. The Book of Lies has short chapters, so from a pratical level, for someone who is busy like me, it is very easy to read on breaks, during lunch, or in between innings of the Phillies' games

The main character is Cal Harper, a former federal agent, who now works for a homeless shelter, patrolling the streets helping the needy. One night he finds his father, who he has not seen in 18 years, one the side of the road with a bullet wound in his side. Cal's father quickly garners Cal's help in the chase for world's first murder weapon. Not strange or nerdy at all. It reads like The DaVinci Code but instead of the Holy Grail, the characters seek Cain's murder weapon. And instead of clues being left in DaVinci's paintings, the characters are seeking leads from the works of another creative genius, Jerry Siegel. The Book of Lies is very good.

There is a reason why Brad Meltzer is one of my favorite authors and with this book he proved it again. Meltzer does not tell the story. He lets his characters tell the story. Cal, and Lloyd and Serena and Ellis tell this story.

Go to Brad's website and read more about The Book of Lies, you can even read the first chapter. Then go and get the book and read it and then comeback and tell me what you thought.

Oh and Brad, if you happen to read this review, leave a comment just so I can prove my friend Nilbo wrong.

20 comments:

eclectic said...

My favorite part of your review is: "Meltzer does not tell the story. He lets his characters tell the story. Cal, and Lloyd and Serena and Ellis tell this story."

Kim said...

Sounds really interesting. I'm currently reading the Book of Fate, so I'll be sure to get the new one!

Anonymous said...

Brad obviously believes in the philosophy:
Keep your friends close, enemies closer and give the stalkers a pre-copy of your book.

joanna said...

I lost you at "Superman," but it sounds like an interesting book anyway. I'm always looking for something to read (besides blogs, that is) but of course I have many things to do, as you mentioned also. Maybe your blog will count as my "Last Book Read" in a job interview.

Anonymous said...

Take it from someone who knows Gettysburg... The Killer Angels is a kick a** book and Pickett and his men must have had balls the size of boulders

raisingtheboys said...

Not to mount evidence agqainst you or anything, Bill, because of COURSE I believe you. But when I as younfer and worked at bookstore, we always got advanced copies of books with that stamp on it. So your best friend's cousin stepmother's neighbor COULD have a friend who works in a bookstore.

Just sayin.'

Good review.

JP said...

Short chapters, Superman and Cain connection. I destroyed all of Dan Brown's books, so I am thinking this will be a good read.

AirmanMom said...

Gotta leave your blog and sign on to *amazon.com*
Nice review!


~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

Brad said...

Remind me to thank my publisher for giving pre-copies of my books to someone who is, "a slow reader", "didn't take notes", is "obviously not a writer"...and don't get me started on the "Bra Melt".

Writer Dad said...

The Book of Lies sounds really cool, not nerdy at all. Well, I guess I'm a little nerdy, so it probably is. I guess what I mean to say is, thanks, I'll check it out.

Ben and Bennie said...

Your review is excellent. So much so that Brad's book just went to the top of my list to buy.

And if that was indeed Brad, that comment was hilarious.

Ra-Ra-Ra-Rachel said...

Hm! Not only do I think that *I* will have to read this ... but I think that I'll have to get my husband to read it too!

Thanks for the wonderful review!

Ra-Ra-Ra-Rachel said...

Is the Cal and Ellis reference to Superman's real name ... Cal-El??

sari said...

Good thing you liked it, eh?? :-)

Autumn said...

This sounds interesting, I will have to purchase it.

Anonymous said...

When did your blog turn into Oprah's book of the month club? Next month it will be your favorite "Brotherhood of my wife wears the pants"

Nilbo said...

Don't feel bad. I believe you know Eclectic. And to me, that's every bit as impressive as Bra Melt.

And hey, you know Susie. She once had Rosie O'Frickin' Donnell comment on HER blog. So that's like, only one degree of separation from someone famous.

Nilbo said...

OH, and CK actually fondled Tracey Adams. So, you can bathe in their reflected glory.

James Austin said...

Sounds great, can you send me your copy when you are done? Just kidding Brad. I will go out and buy my own, or alternatively I will do a review on my site as well if you send me a copy. I am a very fast reader!!

Great review William.

Brad said...

I loved your review. I SO wish we had it in time to put poopandboogies on the back of the book. How cool!  Also, enjoy this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svvoh66s2F0