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Temple Unknown Binding – January 1, 1999

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding: 616 pages
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006E89E4
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (203 customer reviews)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

William Race, a mild-mannered professor, is impressed into the U.S. army on a bizarre mission: to retrieve a centuries-old Incan idol revered by a Peruvian Indian tribe. The idol, carved out of a meteorite, is the missing ingredient in a so-called "planet-killer," a weapon long sought not only by the U.S. government, but also by a neo-Nazi group whose scientists, linguists, and anthropologists seem to be one step ahead of the Americans. Only Race can translate the legendary manuscript that holds the key to the idol's location high in the Andes in a temple guarded by huge, man-eating panthers, on a moat seething with equally carnivorous crocodiles.

It's a preposterous setup of the Crichton/Cook variety, but Matt Reilly, author of Ice Station, takes it to the max, with plenty of improbable feats of physical strength, an arsenal of weapons that would give Tom Clancy pause, and a breathtaking conclusion. There's also a sneaky little internecine war going on among various branches of the American military just to keep the tension ratcheted up. It's not too long on character development, but it's a fast-paced read, with plenty of cliffhangers (literal as well as metaphorical), lots of firepower, and enough villains for a whole other adventure. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

As aggressive as an avalancheAand often with the same graceAReilly's second pulp-fiction adventure hurtles into the Peruvian jungle, where competing factions search for a precious Incan idol, the "Spirit of the People." The U.S. Army leads the pack. Like the others, the army wants the relic because it is made out of thyrium-261, a rare material, found only in meteorites, that can be used to create a fearsome weapon of mass destruction. The idolAa carved snarling jaguar headAis hidden in a stone temple and guarded by a pack of fearsome rapas, huge cats that can tear the best-trained warrior limb from limb. If the rapas aren't enough, 22-foot crocodiles also lurk nearby. The army group is led by unlikely hero William Race, a linguist brought along on the journey to translate the 400-year-old manuscript revealing the location of the idol. Race and the soldiers manage to fight off the rapas and retrieve the precious statuette, only to have a latterday Nazi paramilitary group, the Stormtroopers, crash the scene and take it away. However, the Stormtroopers can't hold the idol for long. U.S. Navy Seals swoop in to grab it, then lose it to a terrorist outfit from Texas. The mad chaseAfought on land, water and in the airAhurtles through ancient ruins, abandoned gold mines and tribal villages. The action, punctuated by regular bursts of superhuman feats and other absurdities, careens along at a breakneck pace. Australian Reilly (Ice Station) has a gift for sustaining momentum that never lets up. His writing may be crude at points, his characters cartoonish and his humor inelegant, but his story delivers all the excitement it promises. (Jan. 19)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Matthew Reilly is the international bestselling author of eight novels: The 6 Sacred Stones, 7 Deadly Wonders, Ice Station, Temple, Contest, Area 7, Scarecrow, and the children's book Hover Car Racer, and one novella, Hell Island. His books are published in more than eighteen languages in twenty countries, and he has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide.

Customer Reviews

Overuse of exclamation points was a little annoying.
An enjoyable read with the non-stop fast paced action and adventure that Matthew Reilly is known for.
Pint-sized Bookworm
After not being able to put that book down, I had to go and read Temple.
Patrick Clevenger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Rennie Petersen on March 21, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must admit that reviewing Temple isn't easy for me.

My usual reviewing style is to pan a book for minor inconsistencies in the plot or for unrealistic characters or for a lack of accuracy in information presented as being historically correct. By these standards Temple deserves one star (at most).

But here I am giving Temple four stars despite it being the most blatantly unrealistic and totally improbable book I've ever read!

The operative words here are BLATANTLY unrealistic. And FUN.

Reading a book by Matthew Reilly is like going to a liars convention, where the person who tells the most outlandish, unbelievable, crazy, entertaining story is the winner.

William Race, the hero of Temple, spends approximately 750 pages in constant action, fighting for his life, running for his life, dodging bullets and surviving one disaster after another, always at the very last "nanosecond" (one of Mr. Reilly's favorite words). William Race does things that are not just improbable but totally impossible. He cheats death every 10th page and spends the next nine pages getting into a situation that has only one possible outcome: certain death!

Several other reviewers have characterized Matthew Reilly's books as "comic books in words". Exactly! They can also be compared to the old Batman TV shows, where the screen explodes with a "POW" when one of the characters punches another character.

Here's an example of Matthew Reilly's prose (page 434 in the paperback edition I read):

"Race hit him again, and again, and again - yelling with each punch as the Nazi staggered backwards.
'Get -'
'- off -'
'- my -'
'- boat!
Read more ›
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By John S. Ryan on March 9, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How can I convey the flavor of this action-thriller without giving away any plot details?

Imagine all three Indiana Jones movies rolled into one film, and imagine that film was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by John Woo. Throw in the action sequences from _Commando_, _True Lies_, and _Eraser_, and the world-domination plots of your five favorite James Bond films. Then give it six cups of coffee and a steroid injection.

This book has all the stuff you want in a great adventure: a precious Incan idol, a four-hundred-year-old manuscript (with its own adventure tale), caimans, giant black cats, Nazis on jet skis, and a secret weapon that could destroy the earth. There are reluctant heroes, countdowns to doom, cliffhangers, fistfights on conveyor belts, daring rescues, hairbreadth escapes, lots of corpses (including some with exploded heads), many levels of treachery and double-dealing, and a sentence that begins, 'Somehow, they had managed to get past the urine-soaked skulls'.

It's wildly, delightfully, exuberantly implausible. And it's _great_ adventure.

All I can tell you without spoiling anything is this: Will Race is a linguist, and some military types want to enlist his help on a secret project. Of course he agrees, at which point the adventure begins and never lets up until the very last page.

If you start this book, be prepared not to do anything else for a while. And make sure you read it someplace where you won't be embarrassed to have people overhear you saying 'Nawwww!', 'Whoa!', 'No way!', and 'Yee-haw!'

Way cool and lots of fun. Oh, and if you're one of those girlyboys who whines about 'character development' and $@#%! like that, you are most definitely looking at the wrong book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By coachtim on December 25, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It would be sooooo easy to "diss" "Temple", the second novel by Aussie, Matthew Reilly. As a matter of fact, as you scan through some of the other reviews of this book, you find a lot of that. But, there are those,(like myself) who try and rise above that type of criticism and just take this book at the "face value" in which it was written. It's not intended to be anything more than a terrific action yarn. And, while it's not "great" literature, it will certainly give you your $5.99's worth!
"Temple" is aptly described as "Indiana Jones meets Michael Crichton". There's plenty of military hardware and scientific technology for even the most avid "techo-geek". For those that enjoy graphic descriptions of battle scenes and "shoot-em-ups" there's plenty of that as well!
The story begins with the search for an ancient idol that holds the key to a doomday weapon that a variety of military groups are seeking - all the way from members of the US Armed Forces to Neo-Nazis. When linguist, William Race, is recruited to translate an ancient manuscript that holds the secret to the location of the idol, all hell breaks loose! Who will get the idol first, those intending to use it to destroy the world or those trying to save it?
Reilly takes the reader on a action joyride over the next 500 pages to the book's somewhat expected ending. Suspend your powers of logic, deduction and disbelief during that time and just enjoy the ride! There are some simply unbelievable situations that Race and his band encounter along the way, but there's little time to catch your breath as you're reading - so don't spend a lot of time "dissecting" the book.
Though, in this reviewer's humble opinion, "Temple" is not as strong an offering as Reilly's first novel, "Ice Station", it WILL keep you reading and fill a few days with an entertaining story loading with copious amounts of escapism. And, after all, isn't that what we're looking for when we're trying to kill a few hours?
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