Friday, September 3, 2021

EBOOK: "Altered State" by Don Pendleton (Phil Elmore)

 EBOOK: Altered State by Don Pendleton (Phil Elmore), 2009, downloaded from Wisconsin Digital Library.

It looks like Elmore has written quite a few of these Mack Bolan novels. I last read a Bolan novel 20+ years ago. There were a favorite of mine during a brief time in middle school. I still have a decent amount of pride in starting and completing an entire Bolan novel during a day of seventh grade.

Anthony Neil Smith sometimes posts recent book pictures on the internets and listed a another series done by Pendleton. Pendleton's widow - I know, maybe a daughter - replied that many Bolan titles are online as both ebook and eaudio. I put this on my phone before leaving for a hike in Northern MI.

The Michigan hike was four days and three nights in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness with Boy #1. Well.... the Porkies are not that wild. There are a fair amount of trails and people so whether the park is a "wilderness" depends on the individual. Still, a good place to go backpacking. We were there three yers ago with a group of older Scouts and did some different trails for three days and two nights. This year's trip was limited to available campsites. Because I did not try and reserve any campsites until July I was left finding three sites that can be completed in a loop and a couple days had very short hikes of 3 miles or less.

I had been looking at Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior. Isle Royale is advertised as wild and it is certainly remote, a ferry is required to get there although sailing your own boat is an option. But, the island is about 73 miles from the port in Houghton, MI and that's not a quick pleasure cruise. Isle Royale is well beyond the horizon. When looking further into a trip there I was surprised that there is an actual hotel on the island. 

I'm hoping to go to Isle Royale next summer if Boy #1 has a clear schedule. But, I'll need to book the reservations before the end of Spring.

Anyhoo... Mack Bolan is sent to Afghanistan to murder heroin traffickers. A Blackwater-style security outfit is teaming with both the Taliban and corrupt government officials. I chose this novel by chance. But, picking up a book about an American traveling to Afghanistan and working through opponents like a lawnmower through grass during the Taliban's blitzkrieg takeover of the country was a bit odd.

The novel reads a lot like any modern shoot-em-up thriller. Characters are not that deep. International relationships are not complicated. All problems can be resolved with death. The bigger action scenes start up later on and are plenty absurd. Mack Bolan and a couple others ambush a convoy and kill everyone without much trouble. Bolan and Co. assault a fortified mansion and kill everyone. So on. So forth.