Monday, July 16, 2007

58 Minutes and Other Thrillers

My reading flavor-of-the-month is thrillers. I have the Die Hard movies to thank. I re-watched Die Hard 2: Die Harder and Die Hard With a Vengeance around the time I went to see Live Free or Die Hard, which I thought was a pretty good action movie.

All of that reminded me I'd picked up but never read 58 Minutes, the novel by Walter Wager that provided the plot for Die Hard 2.

Several of Wager's books became action films in the '70s including the Charles Bronson vehicle, Telefon, but 58 Minutes got a John McClane injection for the big screen.

In the novel the hero is a New York counter-terrorism cop whose daughter is on an incoming flight when terrorists jam radar and cause other havoc in order to demand the release of five political prisoners.

It reads somehow like a thriller of another era, though its from the late eighties. It's an interesting book.

It's fun to play - how'd they deal with this on the big screen while reading it, too. McClane is an outsider in the film, while Frank Malone, the novel's hero, works to marshal available resources to deal with the problem at hand.

It's still white-knuckle territory with loads of physical action and a wrap-up that makes you say: Cool!.

I cracked open Ignition by Kevin Anderson and Doug Beeson over the weekend, a thriller that might have been a McClane movie. I believe it was actually optioned before the plot for was Live Free discovered in Wired, via another screenplay.

It focuses on terrorists who take the space shuttle hostage while it's on the launch pad. A tough but downed-astronaut has to fight them and save the crew, which includes some Russians as well.

We'll see where this trend takes me after that.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I can always be persuaded to read a good thriller, although I haven't consumed very many lately. I've been reading older stuff and pulp stuff. I may want to try 58 minutes.

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