Sunday, July 10, 2011

Codename Prague

Codename PragueCodename Prague by D. Harlan Wilson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After killing the Nowhere Man on his last mission, Vincent Prague was promoted to Anvil-in-Chief of the Ministry of Applied Pressure. Now, he's tasked with going to Prague in the former Czech Republic, going to the Hotel Prague on Prague street where he will meet Henri Prague, who will introduce him to his sister Madchen "The Prague" Prague, who will take him to the Delova Prague. Prague, Prague, Prague, Prague, Prague. There's also a monster that's a clone of John Keats and Hitler that looks like Jean Claude Van Damme with a mustache.

Codename Prague is an absurdist cyberpunk spy thriller, emphasis on the absurd. I'm kind of at a loss to describe what actually happened and I'm not sure whether I liked it or not. There were parts where the wordplay made me snicker like a psychopath and I loved all the obscure pulp culture references. The idea of people crossing the Atlantic via catapult was nicely done. The technology was so over the top that it was awesome.

So what wasn't I crazy about? Most of the characters were incredibly flat. I think Dr. Teufeldrockh was the only one I had any attachment to. About halfway through the book, the wordplay became so thick that the whole book threatened to go off the rails at any moment. There were a few times that I wondered if I'd gone insane and the book was completely normal.

To sum up, Codename Prague had its moments and I loved parts of it but it was no Dr. Identity and not my cup of tea.

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