Posted by: Rob | June 10, 2009

Book Review – Rage by Simon Conway

I found a copy of Simon Conway’s RAGE on the bookmobile one evening while looking for something new in fiction.  I’d never heard of Conway and the cover art depicts a soldier decked out in a modern military uniform with modern equipment.

I did a little research on Conway on the internet and came up with very little.  RAGE is his second published work.  He is a former soldier himself.

The book was well written.  An excellent (and brief) synopsis is on his literary agent’s website:

His second novel, RAGE, is a blistering thriller set before and during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. It tells the story of Jonah Said, a stateless anti-hero caught in the middle of a desperate search by some very frightening people for the priceless cargo of an abandoned container, which leads deep into the most dangerous war zone on earth.

The descriptions of the settings and events were gritty, graphic and seemed very real.  The perspectives were also interesting, especially on the main characters in the story.  Granted, many were portrayed in a “larger than life” fashion, but this did not hinder the story too much.

The main protaganist – Jonah – is developed rather slowly.  Conway employs a common author’s trick of withholding many of the background details about Jonah and the reader is left guessing about what is really happening.  I suppose it’s meant to add to the suspense, but it can tend to be a bit annoying at times.  Details are allowed to slowly emerge through the book, though, and the reader is informed of the entire story by the time the book ends.

The story seemed plausible enough for the first two thirds of the book or so.  After that point I found it increasingly difficult to suspend my disbelief as Jonah suffered more and more physical stress, trauma and indignity.  To my mind, the physical challenges became more than you could expect a human being to sustain and still keep going.  It was moving the Jonah character into the “superhero” realm.

All in all, though, the story was a good one.  It is tied to real people, events and places, but that’s not enough to make me believe the entire story, as written, is something that could actually happen.

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Responses

  1. in non-science fiction, i tend to run into the “plausibility pop” when i can no longer suspend my disbelief… and it kinda blows it for me…

    • Yeah, and the more you know (for real), the easier it is to achieve “plausibility pop”, eh?

  2. I don’t know, I guess I’m good at suspending disbelief in the cause of enjoying fiction. Whatever.

    • I’ve just become a little more sensitive to having my time wasted, I guess. Plus I tend to be a little judgmental…

  3. Überlord eh, sounds sinister!

    • BB, this is the second time you’ve left a comment recently that seems mis-matched to the post. Is it me? Or is it you? 🙂


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