Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Repairman Jack

I'm in the midst of re-reading the Repairman Jack series of novels by F Paul Wilson.

For those of you who do know the story of Repairman Jack, he's a man who fixes things--and I'm not talking about appliances. If you want to get even with someone, and have a taste for poetic justice, then Jack is your man.

The novels feature the classic anti-hero in the mold of Hornung's Raffles, or Leslie Charteris' Simon Templer: an honourable man living outside the law and dispensing justice with panache. Jack originally appeared in a novel called The Tomb, which was intended to be a one-off thing. He made a couple of guest appearance before Wilson brought him back in a full-blown series, starting with Legacies.

The problem was that over a decade had passed between the two books being written, so for Wilson to maintain the series without making it a 1980's period piece he had to go back and rework The Tomb to a post 9/11 timeframe. This version of the book is called the "Author's Definitive Version" and I finally picked up a copy last week.

Despite being a big fan of Repairman Jack, I'd never read the "definitive" version of The Tomb before now. Unlike Stephen's King's two versions of The Stand, don't expect major changes between the two versions of the Tomb--just enough tweaking to make it fit in with the later books.

I've read the books several times so I don't feel the need to reread them in order. I just finished The The Haunted Air(one of the best), and am currently on All The Rage(somewhere in the middle). It's possible that Hosts (my least favourite) might not even get read this time around. The goal is to get all of them finished in time for the upcoming paperback release of Infernal.

If you are new to the series, this is an excellent time to check them out, since the publisher has recently released a special discounted version of The Tomb to promote the upcoming hardcover release of Harbingers on Sept. 19th.

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