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Heroes Die
Entered on: July 17, 2007 1:03 PM by Ross

So I started a new book, something called Heroes Die, based on the recommendation of Daniel Keys Moran, who wrote my favorite sci fi novel, The Long Run.  The guy who wrote Heroes Die is named Matt Stover, and apparently he lives in the Chicago area.  Anyway, he's also a martial artist and it really shows in his writing.  His main character is a bloodthirsty mofo named Caine who loves to kill people. 

I bring this up because of two things besides the fact the book is sweet:  first, as I was reading this, I found it hilarious that Caine's arch-nemesis is a guy named Berne.  Second, I read this passage last night and found myself giggling with glee over the sheer brutality of it all, I thought perhaps Bone (Berne) or Johnnybells (if he ever does still read this site) might find it as amusing as I did.  It's Caine's first encounter with Berne in the novel, though there's much bad blood between them according to the backstory:

The edges of the steps crashing against his spine had to hurt like a bitch, and his muscles loosen into stunned slackness.  I lock up his legs with mine and get a forearm under his chin to force his head back and cut off his wind.  His eyes go from glaze to focus almost instantly, and he mouths: You, and the half buried flicker of fear that passes over his face calls to something elemental inside me, a volcanic surge up from the base of my spine that thunders in my ears and shades my vision scarlet.

"You bet your fucking ass it's me."

I create additional emphasis with a hammer-hand that crushes and spreads his perfect nose wide across his cheekbones.  Blood sprays; it's on my fist, all over his face, it's on my lips, I can smell it and taste it and I no longer care if I die in the next breath so long as I go to my grave with my teeth in his throat.

So I hit him again.

He struggles beneath me, but I've got him now and there's no way I'm gonna let him go.  I slam his head into the curving step, and again, and again and again; the purple-veined marble is now artistically spattered with the crimson of Berne's blood. 

It basically reads like a comic book but much meaner and harsher.  It's technically a fantasy novel, which I'm not normally into, but I still give it a big thumbs up for anyone looking for a decent read.


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