Friday, December 11, 2009

Indiana Jones - the Christmas Book

I had to clip Amazon's jacket photo since this is too new for my library.It is listed as young adult fiction at the library so that's interesting. I guess since there is no sex,or swearing only violence?
“Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils”
Indiana Jones is the best action hero ever. He’s a brilliant archaeologist, a dashingly handsome international adventurer and he knows how to use a whip. He reminds me of my son Chris. Well, ok Chris works with archaeologists at their sites as a botanist but he is also brilliant and a dashingly handsome international adventurer. I’m not sure how great his whip skills are but he is amazing with a GPS and a machete in the jungles of Guatemala. Mark and I enjoyed a trip to the ruins of Tikal with Chris a few years ago and it is a remarkable place. He has traveled back to the site several times to complete his Masters degree so when I saw that this Indian Jones book began in Tikal; it had to be Chris’ Christmas book.

Though it’s not a brilliant piece of literary prose, the Seven Veils is a fun read. Author Rob MacGregor has carefully included the important ingredients of Indydom. The book begins with the typical crisis involving booby-trapped entrances to lost grave sites. “Tikal, Guatemala-March 7, 1926. The torchlight flickered in the close quarters. The tunnel was tight, the air choked with dust and the dank smell of earth. After two days of slowing removing one stone after another….a hole the size of his arm now opened into a dark chamber inside the pyramid.” See what I mean? You’re hooked right away just like the movies.

MacGregor continues to combine the true mysteries of history with a liberal sprinkling of fantasy. There is a prologue containing an excerpt from the diary of real-life British explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett who disappeared searching for the legendary lost city of Z. His mystery forms the basis of the Seven Veils book and makes you want to read more about what could have happened to Fawcett in the Brazilian jungle. The fantasy part of the book is pretty fantastic. While searching for the colonel and the city of Z, Indy is captured by a mystical tribe who can control his mind. These blue-eyed tribesmen seem descended from the druids and live in a world where reality is blurred by dreams. Of course the exciting escape involves poisonous blow darts, jumping into river rapids, and cannibals.

I know Chris already has a GPS and a machete, but I may need to get him a whip and a hat to go with this book for Christmas. The next time he goes down to Tikal I am sure he will want to pack the book, wear the hat and use the whip.

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