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Skull & Bones Paperback – April 18, 2014
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As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the plot, the characters, etc. - I'll leave others to review those aspects of Skull & Bones. Instead, what I'd like to focus on is a singular aspect of Mr. Francis' writing that shouldn't be overlooked in the overall discussion/comparison of Fleming's novels.
What I found most impressive was the feeling of nostalgia I experienced while reading Skull & Bones. It was as if I had stumbled across some long-lost pulp novel from a bygone era. You know when you watch a movie or TV show that is set in the past (i.e. Mad Men) you can just tell something is a bit "off" because of the fact that it is a modern-day 'interpretation' of the past with the taint of contemporary sensibilities seeping through? Well, the same cannot be said for Mr. Francis' writing style! There's nothing to indicate that this is a "modern" take on the 1950s. Quite the contrary - Mr. Francis perfectly captures the style, the sensibilities, and the mood of the early 1950s. When reading Skull & Bones, I promise you'll find yourself flipping to the front of the book to check the copyright date!
This is a perfect read for anyone who longs for those halcyon days of pulp fiction. Here's hoping that this is just the first in an ongoing series of books about the adventures of John Sterling!