Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly

05 Aug

  ‘The trooper’s head exploded like a can of tomato soup’

I love a good action film, better yet if it is put in the medium of book.  The best way to describe Scarecrow therefore would be to imagine the action set pieces of the Lethal Weapon films, the explosions of a Die Hard film, the car chases of Jame Bond and the body count of Total Recall. Combine all those together and you get the idea about the relentless and raucous show in store.

The plot, if you hadn’t already suspected is ludicrous in the extreme and pretty hilarious as well. Shane Schofield AKA Scarecrow is one of the worlds 15 best warriors and they have been targeted by bounty hunters, with a price tag of $20 million dollars on each of their heads. So it’s upto Schofield and his team to first of all survive and then find out why they have been targeted and by whom.

Happily the plot doesn’t get in the way of the action, it largely takes place of one or two pages at a time as the characters fly to a whole plethora of  international locations that are just waiting to be shot and blown up. The whackiness of the plot fits right in with the over the top action, if you are looking for something with realistic aspects then you’ll be disappointed. Happily for the rest of we are in for a jaunt that makes The Expendables look pedestrian.

Segueing nicely into the world of cinema, If I reviewing a film for a cheap tabloid newspaper then I would use all the usual empty platitudes such as breathless, relentless , ridiculous fun, edge of the seat stuff, best action film of the year etc etc. In this case though they are all exactly spot on for this book. A non step adrenaline thrill ride indeed.

Scarecrow works because it doesn’t take itself to seriously, Reilly has also written it in a way that fits stylistically with the nature of the book. Charles Dickens he ain’t, but that adds to the over all feeling of cheesiness. It’s something to be devoured within hours rather than days but can be savoured for months afterwards. I always bring this book up in conversation at least once a month because it’s just brilliant and I love it for its sublime B-movie awfulness.


Posted by on 05/08/2012 in Fiction


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8 responses to “Scarecrow – Matthew Reilly

  1. boomiebol

    05/08/2012 at 12:09

    Must be a good book. I don’t think I have ever read an action book…might be an interesting book to try this month. We shall see 🙂


    • StetotheJ

      05/08/2012 at 14:02

      It’s good fun, but nothing to cerebral. Make sure you have plenty of popcorn, because it’s one of those books.


  2. letizia

    05/08/2012 at 18:40

    “Happily the plot doesn’t get in the way of the action”… hahaha, brilliant! 🙂 Sounds like a good holiday read.


    • StetotheJ

      06/08/2012 at 05:16

      Definately, in between all the literary fiction and history etc, it’s great to grab a book that requires no thinking, except when to turn the page.


  3. pennycoho

    06/08/2012 at 20:48

    Don’t know if you’ll get this but I have privately named catagories for different authors and their styles of writing that I read for varying reasons like yourself. This book ‘for the same reasons you indicated’ would fall into my category of “a potato-chip” reading. Fun, in the ‘bet you can’t each just one’ sort of way! Did that make sense to you? I read him for all of the above (your reasons) and because it’s a “potato chip category” Nothing to learn, just go with the flow!”


    • StetotheJ

      08/08/2012 at 15:14

      That’s a delightfully wonderful way to categorize your genres. I wish I had proper awesome names for them like you. It makes perfect sense though. I think you need to post in detail on your way of category ways.


  4. philosophermouseofthehedge

    24/08/2012 at 23:02

    You have a delightful way of stating things: ” The whackiness of the plot fits right in with the over the top action, if you are looking for something with realistic aspects then you’ll be disappointed. ”
    Funny, but informative. Nicely done.
    (Oh, and the “potato-chip” categorization is on target)


    • StetotheJ

      26/08/2012 at 15:08

      Thankyou for saying so, really I just type whatever comes into my head. I was once told reading my sentences gave someone a headache. In a slightly strange way this made me proud, but not in an evil way.



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