Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"THE TOMB" by F. Paul Wilson

Having just finished reading the first book in F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series, The Tomb, I'm finding myself reflecting a bit over a few different interviews I've listened to with Paul as of late. In both interviews, he was asked why Jack is so damn popular. As an answer, Wilson talked about how Jack, as a sort of blue-collar do-it-yourself-er, is very accessible. He's an everyman, as opposed to a super duper secret agent. I'd certainly agree with that, but I believe there's another reason why Jack is so attractive...

The setup for Repairman Jack is such that Jack has to live "outside" society. He doesn't pay taxes. He doesn't have a valid ID. He has no credit cards, (at least in his name), etc. I think why it's so much fun to read about Jack is because Wilson does such a fantastic job of covering all the angles. He sees the loopholes a mile ahead of the reader, and makes damn sure that they're not only covered, but explored in detail. Yes, that' s just essentially good writing in terms of speculative fiction, but Wilson really, really hammers it home, and it's a ton of fun to read about.

The Tomb, as I said, is the first in the Repairman Jack series. This is the second one I've read, (I reviewed Harbinger a while back, and decided I should begin at the beginning). The cover shown above is not the cover of the paperback I happened upon, but for the life of me I couldn't find a jpeg of the Berkley Books pb version. According to, Paul has now renamed this first novel Rakoshi, (which makes sense since the Rakoshi are much more prevalent in the book than the tomb is...).

The book introduces the reader to some of the major players in Jack's world, and serves up a masterful tale of terror, intrigue, and intense suspense through the jungles of the Big Apple, and the wilds of India. I believe I heard that this one has been optioned as a film and is in development. As I was reading it, I could certainly see it as a fantastic movie, if it stays true to the novel in most respects.

Major fun for any fan of speculative fiction, and as the first of the series, the perfect intro to Repairman Jack.

Find out more about Jack and F. Paul Wilson at

Rated 5 out of 5

(Originally reviewed in "The Daily Cave" on December 3rd, 2007)

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