Art Taylor reviewing Banquo’s Ghost in the Washington Post:
So which is more successful? Hard-hitting action or discreet diplomacy? Readers looking for sheer suspense will be better served by picking up “Banquo’s Ghosts.” But for others, myself included, a novel’s merit might well be judged less by the swiftness of its plot than by the breadth and generosity of its perspective. While “Banquo’s Ghosts” subordinates character to thesis and frequently demonizes those Iranian baddies, “The Increment” seeks to paint a full portrait of its young scientist — charting his hopes and fears, plumbing the motivations behind his shifting allegiances and dangerous betrayals. Where “Banquo’s Ghosts” races toward panic in the streets, a more richly emotional climax takes place in “The Increment.” It may lack fireworks, but it bears the hard weight of both political and personal history and recognizes the seriousness of what might come next.
Now it strikes me that the above is perilously close to preferring a book for its political perspective. Sure, Taylor seems to be saying, Banquo’s Ghost is more exciting but its politics are dangerous so I couldn’t really enjoy it.
Or I am over-reacting and this is just an instance of a reviewer preferring a more literary style to their thrillers? What do you think? As background, here is my review of Banquo’s Ghost.
And here is a question to discuss does politics get in the way of your enjoying a good thriller?