Monday, September 7, 2020

Book cover & great link:
"War of Nerves"

I'll provide the usual vital statistics for this silly book. But if you just want to skip ahead to the good stuff, check out Jure's incredibly entertaining 2017 review on the Alpha-60 Books blog.

  • Title: War of Nerves
  • Series: Attar the Merman #2
  • Cover text: "A superhuman avenger battles evil forces bent on the destruction of the sea!"
  • But not that kind of Avenger: Correct.
  • Author: Robert Graham (a pen name for Joe Haldeman)
  • Cover illustrator: David Plourde
  • Back cover blurb: "The villain Rasputin was blackmailing the U.S. Government, threatening to detonate 40 drums of deadly nerve gas in the Caribbean. If he succeeded, it would mean the total destruction of every living thing in the area."
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Cover price: 95 cents
  • Year: 1975
  • Pages: 158
  • Format: Paperback
  • Strange credit: "The voodoo prayer in Chapter 11 was taken from the excellent book Haiti: Black Peasants and Their Religion, by Alfred Métraux. Copyright, ©, 1960, by Editions de la Baconnière."
  • Another strange credit: The copyright and "produced by" credit for the book belong not to the author, but to Lyle Kenyon Engel (1915-1986), who was described as a "fiction factory" in the obituary written by the Los Angeles Times. So we can reckon that Attar the Merman was his idea. He had much more lucrative ideas during his career.
  • First sentence: One moonless night not too long ago, a formation of American PT boats slipped unnoticed past the southeastern corner of Cuba through the Windward Passage and sped west.
  • Last sentence: Attar asked Hamilton for a nice quiet assignment next time.
  • Random sentence from the middle: The president owned real estate in Florida.
  • Best review: As mentioned, please go read Jure's review of this book. Here's just one excerpt: "What does make our hero memorable are his sidekicks which are introduced in the third chapter. This is definitely the highlight of the novel and it requires multiple readings!"
  • Also a great review: Joe Kenney discussed the book in 2010 on his blog, Glorious Trash.
  • Spoiler alert: One of Attar's sidekicks is named Grampus.

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