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X's For Eyes Kindle Edition
|Length: 94 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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Top Customer Reviews
As said by others, this is a meeting of Venture Brothers and HBO. Its all very tongue in cheek with many homages to Hardy Boys, Johnny Quest, and the other absurd teen duo series. There's also a Mythos tie-in as well (I would not call it cosmic horror).
It is campy and revels in its campiness.
I did not like it.
The antagonists are so young that their bad boy sexual exploits, boozing, and drugs are comedic. The dialog so bloated that it doesn't read like conversation but lists of slang from media of bygone ages. I know the intention was pulpy nostalgia, but it was not for me.
I knew what I was getting into based on previous reviews, and intended to support a writer I enjoy.
“Set in the 1950s, X’s for Eyes follows the pulp-cosmic horror misadventures of Macbeth (14) and Drederick Tooms (12), scions of a Machiavellian corporate family."
The narrative itself is beautifully written and the entire story only suffers, if at all, from an avalanche of cheekiness. You'll hardly believe the two brothers, Mac and Dred, are as young as described, considering their proclivities. Or when they're emotionally distraught. When the reader needed to grasp the emotional hook for dramatic tension, it was sometimes hard to tell when the protagonists cared most or felt real loss. Perhaps it's been their lifelong training to inherit the villainous family empire that keeps them cool or the ruthless detachment of their family, in general. As protagonists, their primary attachment seems to be to each other and no one else because no one else can be trusted. Regardless, the entire read is a wild adventure lanced through with bizarre super-science and ruthless operators. I strongly recommend reading this novella in one sitting—something I'll have to do in the future—in order to get a comfortable grasp on the various opposing families and their alliances.
I liked it. I think it ended right in time. I am not sure it would have worked if he made it 200 pages, 80 was just enough. If you appreciate Barron for the way he puts his words together and enjoy his characters then you will like this book.
Mac and Dredd Tooms are 12 and 14 and they belong to the secretive, elitist, mysterious Tooms family which runs one of the wealthiest corporations in the world. The boys are back for a summer vacation at a Tibetan monastery where they are being trained in martial arts and assassinations and they get involved in a secret rocket ship launch to Pluto, which is odd because the story is set in the mid-1950s. The technology available to the boys also includes artificial intelligence crystals. The boys are precocious beyond their years, consorting with hookers and being oblivious to the body count that piles up among their friends. Their adventure takes them into the Cthulhu mythos and a very disturbing discovery about their family.
The story is actually the first part of a longer project.
I enjoyed the story. I thought it moved at a nice clip. I thought it might make a decent YA for boys if the part about the hookers was left out. It certainly is an odd one in terms of genre, and if adolescents who might end up as human sacrifices is not inside your comfort zone, give it a miss.
The main characters are youngling, but they exude masculinity in a way that is really annoying and unbeliviable. The plot confuses at times, but feels too pulpy. I feel like its attached to his other work, and that to fully appreciate this, i'd have to read it once he released all the work attached to the Tooms family, (a lineage that appears in other work) and be able to comprehend as it appeals to the whole.
Otherwise, i was just dissapointing. It lacks the character development and appreciation of his best short stories. Sorry Baird.
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