My Dark Past

Make2bthem2bpay It’s amazing what you find when you’re procrastinating and, pathetically, googling yourself. More than twenty years after I wrote .357 VIGILANTE: MAKE THEM PAY, it has finally been reviewed:

After lengthy consideration, I have come to the conclusion that this series was written completely tongue-in-cheek, and was meant to be a mockery of Vigilante Men’s Action Series such as The Executioner and The Destroyer, with an obvious nod to the Death Wish/Dirty Harry influences as well.

[…]The punchlines delivered by Mr. Jury whenever he exacts justice on a criminal are so over-the-top ludicrous, the are my ultimate proof that the entire series is a joke. Example: he notices an armed robbery taking progress in a convenience store, quickly grabs a steel level from the construction site next door, and just before caving in the criminal’s skull delivers the line "You’re unbalanced, buddy."

He’s right…but I have to wonder why it took him "lengthy consideration" instead of a nanosecond to come to the conclusion that the books were thinly disguised spoofs. 

I also discovered that Chadwick Saxelid reviewed the first book in the .357 VIGILANTE series in August and had a similar take on the, um, quality of the writing and plotting:

.357: Vigilante 1 is an amateurish, albeit modestly entertaining, relic of what appears to be an all but extinct sub-genre: the numbered category Men’s Adventure novel[…] At times .357: Vigilante 1 reads like a high school student’s concept of what a hard boiled man of action story should sound like (not surprising, considering that author "Ian Ludlow" was actually a college student named Lee Goldberg) or an out and out parody of one.

5 thoughts on “My Dark Past”

  1. I recently began reading Doug Masters’ TNT series from the mid-’80s. I don’t know who Masters really is, but, man, does he have a bizarre sense of humor. The TNT books are the most wacked-out “mens adventure” parodies I’ve ever read, filled with absurd deathtraps and kinky sex.

  2. You’re good-natured to put that up there and have a laugh at your younger self.
    Maybe the next time someone asks you to write books or scripts for them because they have great ideas but can’t write very well you can just point to this post and tell them to give it a shot anyway.

  3. In my own defense, “lengthy consideration” was actually a subtle way of complementing you on how believable your satire truly was. Eh? Eh?
    I must say, it is both flattering and unnerving to have an author stumbling upon my review of his own book. Now, let’s just hope John Sanford doesn’t stumble upon my old review of Rules of Prey…

  4. My Dark Past, the Sequel

    Not so long ago, I was surprised when a blogger reviewed my second book .357 VIGILANTE #2: MAKE THEM PAY. Now another blogger has reviewed it, too:…if you’re familiar with Goldberg’s TV work as a writer of middle-of-the-road crime dramas…


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