KAMIKAZE

A place for Sladists to share their thoughts on Michael Slade and his work...

Postby PohlSE » Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:56 pm

Very nice! Is there a link to that review? I'd like to link to it from my blog (the latest entry is about Kamikaze).
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Postby Slade » Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:20 pm

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Postby PohlSE » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:59 am

Thanks! I've posted it right at the top. :)
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Postby Wil » Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:40 pm

Slade, et al,

Here's an interesting tidbit.

In the December issue of Harper's, one of the "Readings" is an excerpt from a series of articles by George Weller, a foreign correspondent of the Chicago Daily News in 1945. Weller entered Nagasaki on Sept. 6th in defiance of a press blackout. His reports were censored by MacArthur and believed lost until copies were discovered in 2003.

In the article, Weller describes the horrible aftermath on the survivors of Nagasaki and the lingering and (at the time) mysterious effects of radiation poisoning. A Dutch medical officer called this "Disease X"

-Wil
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Postby BartX » Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:29 am

I have just finished reading Kamikaze - and am thoroughly satisfied with it. These days I don't really have too much free time to sit down and read, so each book usually takes me about two weeks to get from start to finish, no matter how good it is... but guess what? Oh yeah - Kamikaze was an exception, as I was stealing the precious sleeping hours to turn page after page after page. Great characters, very interesting historical background, the usual twists and turns - and a finale that just can't be predicted.

I agree with everyone saying that Swastika and Kamikaze are most impressive when put together - some inspiring similarities and differences between these two. Now I can only wish I could see these two translated into Polish.
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Postby slyragz » Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:23 pm

Kamikaze didn't live up to my expectations. I don't know what changed, but it seems like it had a different formula or feel to it. I enjoyed it, but I suppose that when I compare it to Headhunter, Ghoul, Burnt Bones. . . .it just felt unfinished and hurried.

I've also become comfortable with Slade-the historian who educates me and I don't think I was ready for Slade-the editorialist. I felt like I was being preached at and that's just not something I was ready for.

I liked the storyline, but something I can't quite put my finger on was missing.

Slade, I truly hope you (or anyone else) aren't upset with me for giving you my take. I glimpsed the old Slade in there - the Hardy Boys stuff was perfect.

I've even went back and reread a few of the earlier Special X's just to make sure I feel the way I do and, I do.
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Postby Slade » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:05 pm

Slyragz,

Upset? Of course not. This is an open forum.

December 9 marks the 50th anniversary of the Mount Slesse crash, the worst aviation disaster in Western Canada. Not only did the tragedy take my father's life and that of 61 others, but it also gave "birth" to Michael Slade and inspired HEADHUNTER.

The Slade connection - the pilot's son - brings what is largely a historical memory into modern day, so I'm the eye of the hurricane with a number of media interviews.

When I get a break, I'll respond to your post with a comment or two.

Slade
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Postby MarylandManson » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:20 am

slyragz wrote:Slade, I truly hope you (or anyone else) aren't upset with me for giving you my take.


Hey, slyragz, it's always good to see you post. I'd have been surprised if no one here commented that KAMIKAZE didn't live up to expectations. I agree, something new has been added. Or something old has been taken away. Who knows what future Slade novels will be like--old? new? a mix? I like that unpredictability.

Interesting that you mentioned BURNT BONES as a Slade novel that is not unfinished and hurried. I'd point to BB as the leanest, fastest Slade read. As for "preached at," I can see that, too, although I'd use the positive side of the notion and say "didactic." But however you look at it, the same finger of accusation points squarely at the Truman administration from the pages of SWASTIKA and KAMIKAZE. It's too bad, we'll likely never learn whether Truman was aware of the Paperclip whitewash or whether he just had plausible deniability...or if he cared one way or the other!

Just the other side of your couple of coins...

Cheers! MM

Edited to add:

Once again, I'm compelled to dip into the scribblings of Neil Peart, another Canadian who picked up on an important idea illuminated in SWASTIKAMIKAZE. From Peart's "Manhattan Project":

"Imagine a time when it all began
In the dying days of a war
A weapon that would settle the score
Whoever found it first
Would be sure to do their worst
They always had before

Imagine a man where it all began
A scientist pacing the floor
In each nation, always eager to explore
To build the best big stick
To turn the winning trick
But this was something more"

Between Peart and Slade the central idea is the same, even if the format is different. I think the sheer magnitude of the Truman administration's actions at the end of the Second World War cannot be overestimated. It wasn't the Big Bang, it was The Biggest Bang, and we're still reeling from the shockwave today. It's almost like the Second World War gets all the attention, but what really mattered was the Cold War, which at its heart was All About Nukes.

And beyond the facts and details of historical happenings, there's a commentary about human nature in there that both Peart and Slade picked up on: to turn the winning trick...to do their worst. How often do you hear that idea tossed around the coffee table in the States? I, for one, am comforted that at least there are a couple of Canadians willing to put it out there. After all, The Bomb exploded on EVERYONE in the world. And, in the sense that it's humankind's aggressive nature that pushed the button, EVERYONE in the world exploded it, too.

And we all know how adept Slade is at exposing humankind's dark underbelly...
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Postby e_taylor » Tue Dec 05, 2006 12:17 pm

slyragz wrote:Kamikaze didn't live up to my expectations. I don't know what changed, but it seems like it had a different formula or feel to it. I enjoyed it, but I suppose that when I compare it to Headhunter, Ghoul, Burnt Bones. . . .it just felt unfinished and hurried.

I've also become comfortable with Slade-the historian who educates me and I don't think I was ready for Slade-the editorialist. I felt like I was being preached at and that's just not something I was ready for.

I liked the storyline, but something I can't quite put my finger on was missing.

Slade, I truly hope you (or anyone else) aren't upset with me for giving you my take. I glimpsed the old Slade in there - the Hardy Boys stuff was perfect.

I've even went back and reread a few of the earlier Special X's just to make sure I feel the way I do and, I do.


I still enjoyed the book, but I also noticed the "preaching". But the way I see it is, when every tool on the news, or with a blog, or who has someone to listen to them wants to spout their biased and uninformed opinions about Bush and the War on Terror, its relieving to see someone who I admire and respect do it the right way, with real facts and good argument.

I remember when I was in high school I wrote an article for the school newspaper (I can't quite remember what year it was, but it was right around the time it became fashionable to Bush bash). Anyways, I polled every student at the school (about 3000) with three questions: do you like George Bush? Why don't you like George Bush? (to which the overwhelming response was either "hes an asshole" or "the war on terror", and (not dignifying the first response) why are you opposed to the war on terror? I'm looking for the article right now, but ballpark figuring it, the results were about 97% disliked bush, of those 80% said "hes an asshole" and 20% cited "the war on terror", and of those only a handful actually knew what the hell was going on in the world around them and could form some resemblence to an academic argument.

In short, if Slade was going to preach at us, at least he did it hte right way. Then its just a questions of whether it takes from the books or not..... and I'd say no. If it becomes a recurring theme in Jay's writing than I can see it deterring from the effect, but for one book, he put the ideas on Hett well enough that it can be pulled off.
We shall see that at which dogs howl in the dark, and that at which cats prick up their ears after midnight. - HP Lovecraft in From Beyond
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Postby PohlSE » Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:53 pm

slyragz wrote:Kamikaze didn't live up to my expectations. I don't know what changed, but it seems like it had a different formula or feel to it. I enjoyed it, but I suppose that when I compare it to Headhunter, Ghoul, Burnt Bones. . . .it just felt unfinished and hurried.

I've also become comfortable with Slade-the historian who educates me and I don't think I was ready for Slade-the editorialist. I felt like I was being preached at and that's just not something I was ready for.

I liked the storyline, but something I can't quite put my finger on was missing.

Slade, I truly hope you (or anyone else) aren't upset with me for giving you my take. I glimpsed the old Slade in there - the Hardy Boys stuff was perfect.

I've even went back and reread a few of the earlier Special X's just to make sure I feel the way I do and, I do.


One thousand lashes with a wet noodle!! :)
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Postby EZ Rhino » Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:26 pm

I just finished Kamikaze and it didn't take me long to read it. Bought it on Saturday and finished it around 7 this a.m. I believe I got my $24 worth! 8-)
I wish the media would report more on public service and charity news instead of gossip. It is of much greater value. - Jackie Chan
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Postby Starra » Fri Dec 08, 2006 5:32 am

I finished it!

It took me more than a month to get through the first third, and 5 hours to finish the rest!

I enjoyed the last 2/3 of the book. It moved fast, kept me guessing, and had the requisite Slade bloody crime scenes.

And as a Vancouverite, I appreciated the traffic snarls on the LGB. I can only imagine the collective cursing that would've caused.

And the Canada Place crash was brill.

Thanks for a great story, once the story got going.
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Postby Brooster » Sun Dec 10, 2006 11:51 pm

Swastica didnt really grab me, the way I expected or wanted it too. I've
been adrift for awhile. Starra's and EZ's posts have helped. The last
couple of books have taken forever to finish. Went back to Evil Eye for
something to experience again. Will be looking for Kamikaze soonest.
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Postby LivingDeadGirl » Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:34 am

I would like to preface this post by saying as always with the Slade books I picked it up, put down the book I had been reading and read "Kamikaze" cover to cover in a couple of days.

I enjoyed the history lesson, which I love about Slade, you get an education while you are being entertained.

However, "Kamikaze" and "Swastika" both left me wanting more. They were adequate but were missing the very dark, gritty feel of the earlier Slade books and villains. I will always love the early Slade material, but I feel like they gave us the best first, gave us characters we could sink our teeth into and have nightmares about and then fed us kiddy meals with some kind of nasty people but nothing exceptional. These characters, which Slade is so loved for have been very sorely missed in the last 2 books.

Please bring back the horribly, nasty villains that do things so vile we are forced to read the passages over and over to believe what we have read.
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Postby steelclaw32 » Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:10 am

:) Interesting replies. Damned interesting.

I knew that these two Special: X stories were going to different; well enough was said at the off,...Right.?

Taken of sorts, in context, with the Special:X of "old", these two "Swastika" & "Kamikaze" were very different to what we were 'used to' sometimes a good kick in the arse is as good as bucket of cold water.

In ways, Slade spoilt us rotten, that collectively we got used to Slade and in a way, felt like chid does with a "comforter". THEN..."Swastika" & "Kamikaze hit some of us like nothing he's hit us with before.

Sure some noses were knocked out of joint, others felt 'let down' ie. it's not like Special :X were used to.!











IT WASN'T MEANT TO BE .





















My take on "Swastika" and "Kamikaze" is...


Whether Jay admits it are not, both books in a sense were used as a cathartic way of coming to final understanding and exceptance of the loss of his Dad at such hell of young age, also trying to put in to words the spinechilling account of his father's actions in THAT war, which Jay literally stumbled upon. (He WAS 1 of the Hardy Boys and :oops: Nancy Drew!!).

Jay was utterly floored, in more ways than we can begin to comprehend, he knew little of sorts of his old man's doings, most men after the war said very little or exaggerated how they deported themselfs; Jay's father was very circumspect.


If you read both books, one after the other as I did, sorry I had other books to read before getting around to them at the time.! :oops: (sorry Jay :oops: :oops:) You'll see it clearly that these Special: X books were MEANT to be different, THEY
H A D T O BE .
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