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Dark City: Repairman Jack: The Early Years Hardcover – October 15, 2013
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Series: Repairman Jack: Early Years Trilogy (Book 17) Hardcover: 368 pages Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (October 15, 2013) Language: English ISBN-10: 0765330156 ISBN-13: 978-0765330154 Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
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DARK CITY doesn't bother with foreplay. It right away ramps up the thrills as Jack suddenly finds himself in a frantic chase - sucks because he's the chasee! - on a moving subway train. To newbie readers, DARK CITY isn't much a welcoming jumping-on point. You need to have read Cold City (Repairman Jack: Early Years Trilogy) first to get all the frequent references from that book. It's 1991 and, once again, the now 22-year-old Jack is neck-deep in foiling sex s1ave operations, extortionist mafiosa, and a vengeful Dominican machete gang. As well, he runs into a band of Jihadists who suspect him of spying on them. As well, he's toiling hard on a righteous fix-it to ensure that his buddy, Julio, keeps his seedy little bar (which happens to be Jack's favorite watering hole). So, yeah, Jack's to-do list keeps him pretty occupied and the narrative packed with frenetic pace and crackling action.
A quote from an F. Paul Wilson interview at Hellnotes(dot)com: "He's also a different character at this point. He hasn't the weight of experience, he's unschooled, he makes mistakes -- terrible, tragic ones. But you see him learn from those mistakes, and that's why he does what he does later on." I'm not much into prequels. I'd rather the narrative sticks to the present-day, where (when) it's more relevant. But there's a tremendous draw to learning of Jack's early days in the Big Apple, to be privy to those experiences and life lessons that would eventually shape him into that off-the-grid urban mercenary with a knack for meting out ironic justice. DARK CITY treats us to a few more crumbs.
Even at this early stage, Jack already exhibits - to quote a shady associate - "an outlook that mixed outlaw mentality with a moral code." But have you ever wondered why Jack prefers to work alone? Or how he solidified his friendship with Julio? Or who was he with before he met Gia? Seasoned readers of Repairman Jack will be rewarded. So what's not to like? If you're even a wee bit curious about what Jack was like before he became burdened with a supernatural destiny... if, near the end of the present-day series, you fretted because Jack was doing less and less of those street-level fix-its... if you're simply jonesing for one more Repairman Jack story... well, F. Paul Wilson just did you a solid.
By Marc D. Goldfinger
[...] F. Paul Wilson is the creator of Repairman Jack published by Tor Books, New York, NY 10010 and Isher Books, distributed by the Gauntlet Press, among others.
Repairman Jack is one of the most exciting characters ever to come out of the mind of F. Paul Wilson, who in his spare time, when he is not writing, is a practicing physician in Wall, New Jersey. It would take a Jersey Boy to create someone as interesting and unique as Repairman Jack.
Some of the writers, beside myself, who are fans of Repairman Jack are Lee Childs, Stephen King, Charlaine Harris, Dean Koontz, Joe R. Lansdale, and Andrew Vacchss. That’s just a handful; there are more. Once I read my first Repairman Jack book, Harbingers, I was hooked.
I don’t recommend beginning there because that’s kind of the middle of a long story. Actually, I think wrong; I began with Infernal, which introduced me to Jack’s brother Tom, who is a practicing judge in Philadelphia.
It might appear that Jack is the black sheep in the family, but families have many secrets and sometimes our brothers and sisters might be in competition for that title. We don’t always know them as well as we think we do. In the book Infernal, Jack’s brother Tom cons Jack into going on a treasure hunt looking for a wreck off the coast of Bermuda.
As is often the case with Jack’s adventures, things go astray. I’m not going to ruin the book for you by giving you the storyline. I will tell you that Jack hangs out in a bar called The Spot, which is run by Julio, who becomes a close friend, and the search for treasure turns into a dark tale of mystery and power.
Repairman Jack doesn’t exist. Well, he is real, but a tragic event in his life causes him to have reason to stay hidden from society. He has no Social Security card, pays no taxes and because of his desire to protect the people he loves, Jack becomes a ghost in the machine of civilization. He is a repairman because he implements solutions to problems that can’t be fixed by legitimate means. They are problems that can only be solved by someone who can’t be traced or identified.
You will love Repairman Jack. What’s nice about that is the fact that there are over 16 books of his adventures, and they all tell tales that are continuous and yet, they also stand alone. You’ll know when you are books tend to end with cliffhangers.
Perhaps you would enjoy starting with the book named Dark City, which is one of the early histories of Jack. It’s not the earliest history of Jack; the beginning of his story is told in a series of three books written for Young Adults.
We all have to begin somewhere, don’t we? The first Young Adult book is called Jack: Secret Histories and it begins with Jack growing up in the pine barrens of New Jersey, when he is in high school. I suggest you start reading about Jack here. Isn’t everyone really a young adult, a child who happened to get wrinkled and grey?
I remember flying up the stairs when I was young. Now I trudge up the stairway to the wonderful apartment where I live. However, I fly through the books I read and then I write about them. I even write about myself from time to time. I’ve heard many people say, “my life is so interesting I could write a book about it,” but they never do.
I found out through holding writing workshops that many people enjoy talking about writing but when it comes to picking up the pen and putting it to the empty page, that is another story.
F. Paul Wilson dares to put the pen to the page, and he has created a character whose adventures tear through a minimum of at least 16 books. Repairman Jack is not the only character Dr. Wilson created—he wrote a story called SIMS, divided into five novellas that deal with genetic engineering.
In the third book of the young adult series a tragic event takes place that changes Jack’s life forever. No, I won’t tell you what it is—but every boy, from a good home, loves his mother. Once you finish Secret Histories, Secret Circles, and Secret Vengeance, you are ready to enter the next trilogy, which takes Repairman Jack to the Dark City.
In the Dark City you will meet Abe, who is a mensch who runs the Isher Sports Shop. Abe becomes one of Jack’s closest friends. Does anyone reading this remember the Weapon Shop of Isher? Google it, my friend, and be enlightened. The writer A. E. Van Vogt would want you to do this.
Then there is Jacks adversary, Rasalom, who is first introduced in F. Paul Wilson’s book called The Keep. This story takes place during the hell of Nazi Germany, in the way back of 1941. The Keep is in the Dinu Pass, in Romania and it was created to contain—well, needless to say, one of the most frightening enemies of Repairman Jack series arises from The Keep. I cannot say more.
People clamor for F. Paul Wilson to write more Repairman Jack books, however, it appears that he may be done. Yet, one can always hope. Some might say—isn’t 16 + books enough? I say thee, nay, there can never be enough Repairman Jack. Now all we need is some movies. Really.