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15 April 2012 @ 07:57 am
Retief II  
Retief's War - Keith Laumer [Comedy/Sci-Fi] ★★1/2

Envoy to New Worlds - Keith Laumer [Comedy/Sci-Fi] ★★★

The Flink flipped aside a hanging, waved Retief through into an even tinier chamber behind the shop, from which a number of dark tunnel-mouths opened -- mere holes, two feet in diameter.
"You'll have to crawl, I'm afraid," he said.
"One of the best diplomatic skills."


From My Bookshelf (in Retief!).

It's been 7 years since I last read a Retief story...one of my first reviews ever! You can see below all the other Laumer stories I've read in the interim, so I figured it was high time to get back to my Laumer Roots. I actually read the second half of the Retief! omnibus this time, made up of the 2 original books I linked to above.

Sadly, this wasn't that great. Just like the first time I read some Retief, I feel like he overstays his welcome in a short novel, and is much better in Laumer's short fiction. Retief's War felt largely like "There, he barely got out of that one, what should I throw at him next?". It just got really old really fast.

In the short stories, there's a larger percentage spent on the setup, which I surprisingly found more entertaining than the descriptions of Retief's quick jabs, upper cuts, and barrel rolls. They also contained a lot more of the dry wit I was looking for.

It's rare to find Laumer in a used bookstore, but that's probably the only way I'll read more Retief stories. I'll stick with Laumer's more serious works, or Harrison's Stainless Steel Rat stories when I want something in this vein.

Other books I've read by this author:
Retief I, The Compleat Bolo**, Galactic Odyssey**, Short Fiction 1959-62, Short Fiction 1963-64, A Trace of Memory, A Plague of Demons, The Great Time Machine Hoax

Imperium series: Worlds of the Imperium; The Other Side Of Time**; Assignment in Nowhere; Zone Yellow

** - Favorites
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