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Matthew Reilly? (1 Viewer)

Malaika

Member
Anyone heard of Matthew Reilly? I think he's a brilliant author. The way he writes his books is so RAW, but they shoot along at an incredible pace, and you just don't want to put them down.

Reilly's CONTEST was the first non-fantasy book I ever read, and it was what got me into the airport-fiction genre. It took me 8 hours to read, cover to cover, all in the one sitting. I love all of his books, but most people tend to agree that Ice Station was his best.

His latest book, Hovercar Racer, I thought was quite good, but I wouldn't recommend you read it before some of his others.

Anybody else like Reilly? I know he isn't the most philosophical author on the planet, and he has nothing really meaningful to SAY, but that doesn't always make a good book. Sometimes you just have to lie back with a rollercoaster ride like CONTEST, TEMPLE, or ICE STATION, and be blown away!
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
Reilly is the best writer of action sequences I have ever encountered, there is absolutely no doubt about that.

Unfortunately he spends too little time on his characters, and they tend to come out as cliche's and stereotypes. That would be my only criticism of him.

But like you said, sometimes you read something, it's just about the ride, and for action and pace there is no one to match him, anywhere.
 

Malaika

Member
I agree. He just doesn't have the pace for character development, and cliches are a definite problem.

so what is your favourite of his books? I think I would have to say Temple. Its just amazing how many twists you can write into one book. It was challenging just keeping up with who was on which side :p
 

Talia_Brie

Senior Member
Temple and Ice Station were both excellent, but I think Ice Station just stands out on top for me. I liked the way Temple twisted the stories together, but I think Ice Station was better at what it was, which was pure action.

Contest next, then Area 7. I haven't read Scarecrow or Hover Car (which I probably won't read as it's basically a 'young adult' book). I'll wait until Scarecrow comes out in Paperback before picking it up.

I've love to see Ice Station as a film, I think it's ideally suited, but I understand the rights have just reverted back to Matthew (or that could be Contest).
 

Malaika

Member
Well, I didn't think I'd read Hover Car either. But I'm glad I did. Its amazing what such a brilliant action author can do when they write a book that is, for all intents and purposes, a recreation of the race scene in Star Wars.

I didn't know Contest had passed back to Matthew. That sucks! I was really looking forward to the movie. I agree Ice Station was excellent, but I don't think it would make such a good movie as Contest (okay, I admit it, I loved AVP okay? I don't want to talk about my problems ;) )
 

Stewart

Senior Member
I think Matthew Reilly is one of the worst authors I have ever read. He strikes me, also, as being completely deluded as to his literary ability.

Consider this, from May 2001 (taken from Reilly's site) and pay attention to the bit I've highlighted in red:

WHEN LOSERS CLAIM TO BE WINNERS: THE TERM 'POPULAR FICTION'

Finally, a short word on a term that I really dislike: 'POPULAR FICTION.' In fact, it is one of the few things in the publishing industry that really makes me angry.

The term 'popular fiction' (which is often used in relation to my novels) must have been coined by some really bitter author who wrote some serious book which just didn't sell. The only way to justify this failure was to say that the book was too good, that the masses were just too stupid to appreciate it. And so the term 'popular fiction' was used to describe, in a negative sense, those books that do succeed-to degrade books that have mass appeal, and thus justify the failures of those who write material that, frankly, the greater public doesn't want to read. It is the mediocre asserting some kind of superiority over the successful (by insulting the intelligence of the general public!).

As someone who reads ALL kinds of books (from Grisham to Ondaatje to the noted biographer A. Scott Berg), I find it a terrible shame that this distinction exists. We have a broadsheet newspaper here in Sydney that has pretensions of literary credibility, and every year it puts out a 'Best Young Australian Novelists' list, and every year they dismiss the so-called 'popular fiction' authors and decry the state of publishing generally. Ultimately, it seems, this newspaper's judges are impressed by authors who use similes ('I am like the raven...') and personification ('the cliffs reach for the sky, yearning, outstretched...'), as if that is the only form of writing worthy of praise. It is okay to have an opinion on what is good-that is everyone's right-it is another thing entirely to say that your opinion is the only correct one.

There is no shame in reading for enjoyment. After all, that's what 90% of the population do.

This is what I mean by deluded. In 2001 Reilly would have been eligible for the 'Best Young Australian Novelists' award but, as you would hopefully expect, he didn't make the longlist because he writes tripe. That article seems to be a very bitter riposte (but who was listening? Seriously, who?) against those who don't treat him with respect. Afterall, he's an author!

It also shows his complete ignorance to writing as a craft. His actual writing, as a case in point, also demonstrates his complete nescience when it comes to the art of prose.

Of course, with fiction such as the following, it's very hard to see why he didn't win awards such as the 'Best Young Australian Novelists' award. :roll:

This is the opening for The Mine, a short story by Matthew Reilly, and it demonstrates his complete ineptitude with words, punctuation, and grammar. Incidentally, his lack of attention means that this seventeen page story actually contains forty separate chapters.

PART 1
THE BITE OF THE MINE
They carried him out of the mine entrance screaming, 'Oh Christ! My legs! Look at my goddam legs!'
The four soldiers set him down on the waiting stretcher, then stood aside so the medical team could take him away.
The four-star general in charge of the project-- a man named Washington Haynes-- just watched as the injured man was wheeled out of the entry cave. He eyed the soldier's legs coldly, impassively.
The man's lower legs-- everything from the knee down, including his feet-- looked like a pair of foul pancakes: blood everywhere, every bone broken, the skin swollen black-and-blue.
The man's legs and feet had been completely and totally flattened.
General Haynes turned to the aging man by his side. 'I think we need some more expert help. Call your girl.'

  • Say the line that the guy is screaming at the opening. "Oh Christ! My legs! Look at my goddam legs!" - Reilly has italicised the wrong part of the sentence. goddam shouldn't be italicised; it should be legs. It's the legs that the guy is trying to get across to the others so it makes sense he should stress that.
  • Reilly has seen some very strange pancakes, making that a very poor simile.
  • "The man's legs and feet had been completely and totally flattened." - I think completely and totally speaks for itself.

Amazingly, there are people who seem to defend Reilly, saying that they know it's not world-changing fiction and you shouldn't read it as such. I'm curious, however, why it's read at all, and anyone who says he's a great writer - as I've witnessed above - is someone severely lacking in literary fibre, and I don't think I could ever respect their opinions or recommendations.
 

Stewart

Senior Member
Saponification said:
True. And Max Barry. But Max had to go overseas to get published. Granted the market for his particular brand of satire is pretty small.

I read Jennifer Government and, while I found the premise to be interesting and the comedy nice, I found the actual story to be lacking. I've read, however, nothing by Maxx Barry. :wink:
 

Saponification

Senior Member
Connor Wolf said:
Saponification said:
True. And Max Barry. But Max had to go overseas to get published. Granted the market for his particular brand of satire is pretty small.

I read Jennifer Government and, while I found the premise to be interesting and the comedy nice, I found the actual story to be lacking. I've read, however, nothing by Maxx Barry. :wink:

Yeah. Jenn sort of spiralled downwards, but Syrup was nice. Company looks pretty sexy as well.
 

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