This is the unveiling of a new feature: the Low-Res Scan.
As should be obvious, these are not reviews, not even notes, just brief commentary
X’s for Eyes will be the eighth Laird Barron work I’ve read, and I’m still not in the Laird Barron fan club.
This short novel is published by Bizarro Pulp Press. Truth in advertising. This is bizarre, but not in a memorable way. I reviewed its first half which appeared as “We Smoke the Northern Lights” in The Gods of H. P. Lovecraft.
It’s been over two months since I read it, and the second half has faded from memory. I remember Spetsnaz mercs, a butler who was a Nazi commando, some transdismensional travel, and not much else. Fun while I read it, even brought a smile to my face, but memorable only in incident like a lot of pulp.
One annoying bit: a character pulls a Glock pistol out. Only in an alternate 1956 does that get to happen.
One character, killed off early, can be driven to rage by telling him “You’re no Doc Savage!” More evidence of the pulp inspirations for this tale.
And, speaking of Doc Savage, I came across this interesting bit at the end of The Golden Man, published in the April 1941 issue of Doc Savage Magazine:
The golden man lay still, breathing deeply. “My name,” he said, “is Paul Hest. I am chief of intelligence for” — he looked up slyly — let’s call it an unnamed nation, not the United States. We learned that an American liner, the Virginia Dare, bringing refugees from Europe, was to be torpedoed. The torpedoing was to be done by the U-boat of another nation, disguised as a submarine belonging to my country. The idea was to build up ill feeling in the United States against my country.”
A false flag operation conducted by Britain and an American liner provocatively named for the first English child born in the New World. Clearly, Lester Dent, the usual author behind the house name Kenneth Robeson, was sticking to non-intervention even in 1941.