"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Friday, July 14, 2017
WORK DONE for HIRE by Joe Haldeman
Published in 2014 by Ace
Jack Daley is a former sniper turned down and out author in this near future sci-fi tale. But, he gets an odd offer to write the book adaptation of a movie before the movie script has even been written. Basically, the offer is to write the book and they'll adapt it a little or a lot to make the movie. And, he doesn't have to turn it in now, he can turn it in as first draft chapters as he goes along.
One of the more interesting features of the first part of the book is that it goes back and forth between Jack's story and the story he is writing - mostly in alternating chapters.
He also gets a second offer - from an unknown person that obviously knows his schedule and can track his movements. He has to kill someone with a sniper rifle (Daley was a sniper in a war, but not the Iraq War or the Afghanistan War) or his girlfriend will die.
So, he goes on the run with his girlfriend. He uses a laptop to write his book and e-mail in chapters as they try to drop off of the grid. But, soon enough, they realize that no matter how far they go to get off the grid, it will never be far enough...
This was an interesting premise for a book but the final result is disappointing. The story he is writing comes to an unsatisfying ending because Jack Daley is in a hurry to finish it. I wonder if Joe Haldeman was trying to tell his readers the same thing about the main plot line because the ending was definitely an "Are You Kidding Me!" type of ending. It was ridiculous and was certainly not worthy of the first half of the book. I wonder if Haldeman had two partially completed books laying around and he decided to weave them together with the story about the book/movie deal. If so, he ruined two potentially great stories.
I rate this book 2 stars out of 5 because the first part was so strong.
This book can be found on Amazon.com here: Work Done for Hire by Joe Haldeman.