I Give Up Book Review: “China Maze” by Lawrence Gardella (1981)

The blurbs that pepper this 1981 book’s cover and front pages scream “Fact or Fiction?” as if the story that this novel portrays had any possibility of being real. While those blurbs initially drew me to the book (not to mention its subject matter being a secret mission to the heart of 1952 Chinese Communism), I gave up on the story after a mere 70 pages (100 minus my age, as Tony Reinke teaches). The plot was ridiculous and the pace was frustrating: while I love a good spy yarn that involves perpetual action, I do not appreciate what seems to be the authorial attention-span of a high schooler which fails to develop either setting or character, and which describes away a nauseating number of impossible “close scrapes” with novice conclusions like, “I couldn’t believe it!” Too many other issues with this book have left me terribly annoyed, which is why I am happy to begin my next season of book reviews with this simple, albeit potentially depressing, post. I hate to say it, but as appealing as this book cover might be, don’t get suckered.

©2013 E.T.

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Gallery | This entry was posted in Action, American History, Book Review, Chinese History, Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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