Charles Stross, "Overtime"


Monday, January 18, 2016

THE PASSENGER by F. R. Tallis_Review

Review:   THE PASSENGER by F. R. Tallis

I expected a great new novel from the author of VOICES, and THE PASSENGER is exactly that! A riveting, non-stop, historical thrill ride, the framework is the perils and progress of an early World War II German U-boat, against British shipping, both military and mercantile. (This period is prior to American entry against the Axis Powers.) On multiple levels, THE PASSENGER is stunning. The horrors of war, the loss of life (demonstrated both individually and multiply), the cost to the populace at home (in this case, both the German people, and the citizens of Occupied France), are all so vividly expressed that this novel could be taken as anti-war.

Then there are so many characters so excellently delineated (quite understandable as the author is a clinical psychologist), and this includes many who are of secondary and tertiary importance.

The protagonist (human) is Commander Siegfried Lorenz, commanding the unlucky U-330. He is truly exceptional: a military man who rules with a light hand, and quotes poetry in his war diary (commander's log). German Nationalism and the Reich are protagonists also, in a broader sense, as is the Nazi occultism, which by cause and effect directly bears on the imminent supernatural and paranormal events impacting and plaguing the feckless U-boat.

I seldom think of  a book in a movie context, but this novel would be a superb and powerfully impacting film (emotionally, psychologically, and visually). Definitely a Best of 2016.

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