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The Plain Man (The Max August Magikal Thrillers) Hardcover – June 21, 2011

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for The Long Man:

“For an almost superhuman span of time Steve Englehart has been blowing the minds of readers around the world—including my own. The Long Man adds another dazzling burst of storytelling power to the ongoing display of his brilliance.”
—Michael Chabon, New York Times bestselling author

“Steve Englehart was one of the first authors I ever read. With The Long Man, he proves that even thirty years later, he still has the touch. I'm young again.”
—Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author

“Englehart, one of the best writers in comics, brings all his imagination and flair to this exciting tale of mystery, magic and suspense.”
—Max Allan Collins, bestselling author of Road To Perdition

“Steve Englehart has finally continued the story of the Point Man, and it's about damned time.  A crackling mystical thriller.”
—Peter David, bestselling author of the Dark Tower comics

Praise for The Point Man:

The writing is solid and compelling, evidencing all the skill of a craftsman who has spent the last decade learning how to build an episodic story in the “To Be Continued” environs of comic books, yet never giving in to cartoony excess. In The Point Man, Englehart never lets the absence of pictures slow his story. It’s a shame he hasn’t written more prose since.”

“I haven't read a novel like this since The Exorcist.”
—Robert Anton Wilson, co-author of the Illuminatus! trilogy

“Full of reach and astonishment....Few working writers alive have [Steve Englehart's] sense of sound and of scene.”
—Theodore Sturgeon, author of More Than Human

“Englehart comes up out of nowhere, or the Bay area or some place, to explode on us with a first novel that places itself way up there with some of the finest in the genre. The Point Man is as exciting a slam-banger as you’ll find this year. But it’s much more than that. The magic is most magical, and enormous to boot, and the mystery and the tension will not release you.”
Twilight Zone Magazine

About the Author

STEVE ENGLEHART is best known for writing for such comics series as Spider-Man, Captain America, Superman, The Fantastic Four, and Batman for DC and Marvel Comics, and for his novels The Point Man and The Long Man. He has been named Favorite Writer at the Eagle Awards, and has also won an Inkpot Award for his comics work. He lives in the San Francisco Bay area, where he is currently working on a new Max August novel. 

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Product Details

  • Series: The Max August Magikal Thrillers (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765324997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765324993
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #532,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Steve Englehart

Born in Indianapolis, he went to Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. He studied Psychology because people fascinated him, but in getting his B.A. he learned that psychology didn't describe real people, so he became a writer.

Living the Young Creator's life in New York, he got to be drinking buddies with an editorial assistant at Marvel Comics. One night the e.a. called to say he was going on vacation for six weeks; would Steve like to fill in for him on staff? Steve would, and once in the door at what was then a very small operation, he got a shot at writing a comic. It was a failing series called Captain America -- but six months later it had become Marvel's leading seller, and Steve had all the work he could handle. He became Marvel's lead writer, adding The Hulk, The Avengers, Thor, Dr. Strange, and half a dozen other series. Then he was hired away by DC Comics to be their lead writer and revamp their core characters (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Lantern). He did, but also wrote a solo Batman series that readers dubbed the "definitive" version and broke the long-standing barrier between comics readers and the mass market. All comics films since Batman in 1989 stem from that.

After Batman he traveled around Europe for a year and wrote his first novel, The Point Man. Since then he's designed video games for Atari, Activision, Electronic Arts, and others. He's written animation for Street Fighter and G.I. Joe. He's written mid-grade books for Avon, including the DNAgers series, and Countdown to Flight, a biography of the Wright brothers selected by NASA as the basis for their school programs on the invention of the aeroplane. And he's written more comics, like Fantastic Four and Silver Surfer, which led to the San Diego Comic-Con calling him "comics' most successful writer, having had more hits with more characters at more companies than anyone else in comics history." He created The Night Man, which became a live-action television series.

Most recently, The Point Man has engendered a series of novels from Tor, beginning with The Long Man.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Many people thought Cheney ran the country during the Bush 43 presidency. However, that would be far from the truth. Instead the FRC cabal was in charge as Bush and Cheney were their puppets. With the election of Obama, the FRC had a few months to keep their power in place by strategically planting operatives in key federal positions. Seemingly as of June 2009 the right wing cabal succeeded.

Their only opposition comes from alchemists like timeless mortal Max August and Pam Blackwell. Max obtains reliable information from his computer hacking guru Dave that two of the nine heads of FRC (Michael Sainan and Diana Herring) are attending the Wickr festival in Arizona for a forbidden tryst. His plan is for him and Blackwell to use honey to get one of the leaders to betray the others. However, the FRC has a different scheme to force obedience as they understand domestic terrorism being behind much of it. They plan to blow up a nearby nuclear waste facility as a warning to those in the new Administration and concealed alchemists to obey; if millions will die so be it.

The latest August political science fiction thriller with fantasy elements (see The Point Man and The Long Man) is an entertaining thriller that will remind readers of Steve Englehart's comic book work on Doc Savage. The story line is faster than a speeding Superman as time is running out on mortal Max and his sidekick. Although the villains seem interchangeable, fans will enjoy the battles in Arizona and on a mystical plain, and the references to the Matrix of modern America.

Harriet Klausner
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By J. Ellis on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read The Point Man in 1981 and was happily surprised to see that Englehart had continued its storyline. I really enjoyed the "reboot" of the series in The Long Man....and the action picks up even more in The Plain Man. There is the potential for a great roller coaster of a series bridging the fantasy and detective genres with several plot lines of interest being developed. I am eagerly awaiting a sequal.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You don't need me to recapitulate the plot; you can see that written in fine, summary detail elsewhere at this site. What you need to know is that Steve Englehart was in the top pantheon of great comic book writers from the 70s through the beginning of the 21st century. He left the world of comic book writing behind to focus on novels, specifically this series of Max August stories, the most recent of which is "The Plain Man". As a comic book writer, he excelled at writing captivating, believable characters in bizarre, cosmic, philosophical situations and that has carried on over into his novels. But, as we all know, novels are much more complicated, multi-layered and rewarding because of their complexity, and Englehart delivers in spades! The qualities that made his comic book writing so great are still there in his novels, only to the "N"th degree! Comparing his previous work to his recent novels is like comparing plain old chess to three dimensional chess! I never know what's going to happen in an Englehart story, but I am always pleased with the ride and the ultimate destination is always rewarding. His ideas and characters are bold and audacious and I find myself laughing out loud while reading the adventures of Max August because I am truly in the hands of a master storyteller. Let yourself go in Englehart's world of magick, espionage, sex, diabolic real-world international politics and realistic heroism. I myself am not a firm believer in most of Englehart's world of mysticism, but while I am reading, he makes a believer of me. If you're not familiar with Englehart's glorious past track record as a writer, don't worry: after you read this latest, as well as the other Max August books ("The Point Man" and "The Long Man"), you'll be an acolyte of the 21st century Englehart novelist.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruin Fan on January 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It reads like things are happening fast but, nothing really happens. The characters are kind of interesting but they don't do anything interesting.
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