L.B.: Over at the Frankenstein place

L.B.: Over at the Frankenstein place November 1, 2015

(Originally posted June 2, 2006. This got lost in the migration from TypePad to WordPress, recovered and reposted for the archives here thanks to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.)

Left Behind, pg. 217

Rayford Steele is saved, which can only mean that it’s time to return to our other protagonist, Buck Williams, who has not been on the phone for 16 pages:

Buck arrived at JFK and immediately called Steve Plank. …


Buck, you’ll recall, faked his own death by tossing his wallet into the burning aftermath of a car bomb outside a London pub. That’s all part of a complicated subplot which, thankfully, we don’t really need to sort out since the authors never really bother following through on it. There’s a shadowy international conspiracy of powerful financial interests working behind the scenes to … Hey look! It’s the Antichrist!

Plank reassures Buck not to worry about the attempt on his life because their new friend Nicolae Carpathia is coming to the rescue, along with Chaim “Miracle Gro” Rosenzweig, and they’ll sort everything out. Sure, he says, things look bad: two of your friends have just been murdered by members of an international conspiracy that includes (at least) Scotland Yard and the British government, but not to worry, because the new president of Romania will protect you. Buck finds this so reassuring that he does a giddy little imitation of Nathan Lane in The Birdcage:

Buck hung up and clapped. This is too good to be true, he thought. If there’s one guy who’s above these international terrorists and bullies and even the dirt at the London Exchange and Scotland Yard, it will be this Carpathia. If Rosenzweig likes him, he’s got to be all right. [italics original]

So poor Buck is out of the frying pan and into the Antichrist.

The effect here is like watching the beginning of a bad horror movie, where the honeymooners whose car has broken down are happy and relieved to spot a light up ahead in what they don’t seem to notice is an incredibly creepy looking mansion. The filmmakers seem to intend such scenes to be suspenseful, but the audience instead is usually thinking that the young couple are idiots for seeking assistance from such an obviously malevolent source. Instead of thinking “Oh no! They’re heading into danger unawares!” the audience is thinking “That does it, these morons deserve whatever happens to them in there.”

But at least those horror movies aren’t also asking you to swallow the idea that slow-on-the-uptake Brad and Janet are also the Greatest Investigative Reporters of All Time.


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