ForeWord Reviews

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Eat, Drink And Be Merry

Clarion Review (2 Stars)

This thriller mashes and smashes three plot lines into a bloody mixture that will rivet your attention— if you buy the book’s basic premise. Set in the near future, the story is based on the assumption that the Russians are out to get us and to control the world’s oil. They are joined in this nefarious objective by the Chinese and militant Arabs. Mortal enemies of the United States, they are prepared to unleash nuclear weapons to cow the US into submission. Their secret plans are hurtling to fruition as a hapless American president worries less about the external menace and more about his political survival. In particular, he ignores secret intelligence provided by the Israelis.

A potential threat to the president’s leadership has arisen in the form of a newly elected senator from Oregon who is also former FBI agent—as is Charles Engar, the author of the book. The senator’s growing popularity attracts several other congressmen and senators who are uniting to form a third party. Preoccupied with these developments, the president pays no heed to the warnings of his CIA director and instead focuses on dealing drastically with his political rivals. Horrendous and deadly developments follow with dire consequences.

The narrative is breathlessly presented, keeping readers on edge as they turn the pages to learn what happens next. Some of the episodes seem plausible while others strain credulity. Engar makes full use of his experience and his imagination. What he failed to use was a copy editor who might have caught the many typos and stylistic errors that mar the book. Hyphens, commas, and apostrophes are included or omitted almost as though by whim. Misspellings are rampant: “Saudian” for Saudi, “waived” for waved, “sooth” for soothe, and “Milta” for Mitla. Moreover, Engar is inconsistent in presenting the names of his characters: “Litniov” and Litinov, “Dimitri” and Dimitry. In addition, he refers to “President Litinov” instead of President Lebedov. His arithmetic is also unreliable. He writes that ten senators constitute 20% of the United States Senate. Words are misused: “exorable” for inexorable, “enjoined” for joined, “renown” for renowned, and “China Town” for Chinatown.

Readers who can bring themselves to ignore these mistakes may enjoy the exciting action and the explicit warning that we live in a dangerous world.

Morton Teicher