Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Menace Of Fu Antos

I had never read any Piers Anthony, but I knew that he was a popular science fiction writer, so I assumed he must also be a good one. Judging from AMAZON SLAUGHTER, the fifth in a series about "Jason Striker, Master of Martial Arts," a 1976 novel co-written by Anthony's judo instructor, Roberto Fuentes, I can tell you that he is not.

A good drinking game would be to chug whenever you read an unmotivated exclamation point. The dunderheaded plot finds Striker in Brazil, where he uncomfortably allies with the sinister ninja Fu Antos against the sadistic Fernando Mirabel, who seeks vengeance against Jason for a bout they had in the U.S. that left Mirabel with a sore knee. I'm not certain what all the plot was supposed to be about, as it jumps from one lurid episode to the next. I don't think the authors knew either, because the book just stops before it's complete. Striker and Fu Antos never share a scene, and by the time Striker is wandering around Rio de Janeiro competing in sumo tournaments for quick cash, you'll have already tired out your head from shaking it. What seems to be building to a major kung fu battle between Striker and Fu Antos just fizzles out as the climax occurs between sentences! Anthony and Fuentes dwell on torture scenes, including the graphic flaying of a ninja that opens the book.

AMAZON SLAUGHTER is pretty rotten, and I don't think I'll be investigating the rest of the Jason Striker series.


Rich D said...

I've not read any of this series, but I have to wonder, having read many installments in Anthony's long-running, pun-filled Xanth series, if he wasn't doing some sort of subtle parody of the action genre, similar to the Remo Williams books.

Doug Bassett said...

I have one of these books and no, it's not very good.

It is rather rare though -- you might want to see what your edition is selling for.