Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Distant Thunder (Review)

September 22nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Covington:

Happy autumn, and this letter should have been written months ago.

I finished reading A Distant Thunder. This is a fine narrative about fighting a revolution. Despite all that you say about the series being a polemic, I feel it was secondary in ADT to the novel's literary value. It is strong and compelling writing, as I have found all your works to be.

I also found Shane and Rooney to be believable lovers and revolutionaries. Their comradeship took precedence over romance, and you also help Shane's character in showing how it is formed during his childhood. It is a leitmotif that you refer back to: good plotting.

The book itself reminded me of a movie I once saw, The Battle of Algiers, where the Arabs fought against the French. You chronicled a revolution in much the same manner. Did you do this intentionally? ADT has a lot of ideology and not "bang bang," but it was always compelling, especially in its discussions of IRA actions as applicable to the White revolution in this country.

Did you see the movie Shake Hands With The Devil? One of Cagney's last films, and it reminded me of ADT. Also, a lot of passages explaining the revolution have been seen before in your despatches, but even Beethoven borrowed from himself.

I also admire the way you worked the Christian movement in with the revolution. Really, as literature and polemic, I think you're much better than Pierce and The Turner Diaries. Still like Serpent's Walk and Hear the Cradle Song, but you're up there. You really understand how a revolution and a movement is led, fought, and organized, and I admire that. I couldn't help but think of Callenbach's Ectopia, and his sequel Ectopia Emerging. Another NW fiction, but with a different, touchy-feely emphasis, although you note Callenbach, for all his feminism and equality, has the blacks live in "Soul Cities" away from the Whites. Maybe he was onto them.

I wish I could say more, but I'm rushed for time right now. But I just had to tell you how much I liked the book. I've ordered A Mighty Fortress and look forward to reading it.

Steven Clark

For more information on the Northwest Independence novel trilogy e-mail


1 comment:

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