Black Sunday is one of the big thriller suspense novels from the 1970 s It s up there with Jaws , The Exorcist and Marathon Man I can remember seeing used copies at garage sales and used bookstores for many years Also, like the other novels I named, it was made into a big budget A list movie during that decade I was curious to see how it s aged over the past forty years I was also curious to see how much Mr Harris changed his writing style so I finally picked up a copy I was especially pleased to see that the copy I got was printed in 1976 I have vivid memories of the Bantam book cover art from that time period A blast from the past.I find that it s aged very well though that might have something to do with my age I m forty seven It lacks detailed sexual encounters ,which I don t mind, and the violence isn t really that graphic The details in the book showed that Mr Harris did his research and ,of course, there is a prophetic aspect to the story that delivers a zing even forty years later The villains are three dimensional and it s easy to see some prototype modeling regarding Dr Lector One thing that I like as well is that his heroes are not perfect superior Human beings They have flaws,they make mistakes, but they drive on They also lack arrogance Too many writers mistake arrogance for confidence and I don t like arrogant people in fiction or real life Like most first novels Mr Harris had not yet found his style, but I can detect aspects of his later writing in some parts There are elements of Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon in the writing Especially in the character backgrounds and the focus on their peculiar habits, but the psychological details don t seem to be as refined However that doesn t hurt the book Black Sunday isn t a novel about serial killers It is a novel about angry people who kill for reasons that are political and personal They have much in common with Buffalo Bill and Dr Lector, but they operate on a different stage A good novel that had the good fortune or bad depending on how you look at it to be prophetic that anyone would have dreamed in 1975 As a result it s a novel that holds up very well and has a very modern feel to it It has character and plot than younger readers might expect from a suspense novel about terrorism, but if you can take the time it s still worth reading. I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.This is a book about terrorism, fanaticism and retribution.One has to read this book with an eye to how the world was in 1975, when the book was first published.The Palestinians, PLO, hate the Jews The Jews hate the PLO Both hate with fatalistic fanaticism The war in Vietnam is over and there are a lot troubled veterans back in the USA Michael Lander is one of these troubled vets Troubled by PSTD Michael wants to die but in so doing want to take lots of people with him Arab terrorists know of Michael s desire and encourage and help him to reach his goal His goal is to fly a blimp packed with plastic explosives into the Super Bowl and kill himself along with 80,000 innocent bystanders.Then there is the Israeli Mossad lead by David Kabakov David Kabakov is every bit as fanatical in his hatred for the PLO With all this hatred death has to be inevitable.David s main concern is to stop the terrorists from killing 80,000 people but than anything he wants the head of the leader of the terrorist cell A man he has been chasing for years.The book is well written with lots of tension and pace Looking at the world today, forty years later, nothing has really changed Highly recommended as a page turning thriller. I read this long ago, long before 9 11 I mean, and now that I read it again I find that reality has dismally caught up with the plot Written and set in the middle of the 1970s I thought it might have become a little dated by now, but it isn t Even without all the technology and stuff that has been invented in the last 45 years or so the story is still captivating and the pace was just right for me There are a few insertions that shed light on the past of the prota and antagonists and help explain their motives, and I have to say the psychology of the characters is fleshed out rather well Better than many modern thrillers I suppose This was Thomas Harris debut novel, and I ll probably check out his new one called Cari Mora, which will be published later this month after a break of 13 years This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Before the Hannibal Lecter s books Thomas Harris wrote the Black Sunday in the 70 s The book describes the terroristic group which is willing to strike the USA They are planning to kill the president of the USA and 80.000 men along with him in the stadium by the blimp filled with the high explosive, plastid The terrorists, Dahlia and Najer recruit the American, Landen who suffered a lot in Vietnam War He shows his willing to blast the blimp Dahlia is expert in making people expendable, she s psychologist She feels that Larden is not bluffing She suggests his candidature to the terrorists as a reliable person Mayor, Kabakov is sent from Israel to help Americans in catching em He s skilled anti terrorist agent of Massad He killed Najer but hesitated to kill Dahlia as well, in hotel with Najer in Beirut He thought she was his slut Afterwards, he regretted very much for not killing her Dahlia killed lots of people who would have intervened with their plan of mass slaying Kabakov doesn t know in what way they want to strike But in the end when seeing approaching blimp in the air to the stadium he thought quick ad decided to use a chopper to intercept the blimp He with the FBI agent kills Dahlia and turns the blimp to the riverside near the stadium Laden could detonate the charge but in that time the blimp was not on the stadium so the casualties were only 512 Unfortunately, Mayor Kabakov was dead But he saved thousands of people. When your plot line involves a major terrorist attack, there are some plot elements which are unavoidable the pace that builds up until the D day, terrorists and law enforcement trying to outwit each other every step of the way, a couple of romantic flings on either side of the law and then the whole world goes to hell Black Sunday is no different and within the premise of the story, Thomas Harris brings the Israel Palestine conflict to the heart of America When you set out to read this book, don t think of this as a work by the author of Silence of the Lambs This would seriously dampen your enjoyment levels but if you think of it as another thriller by an author who is as yet unknown to you While the Israeli Mossad and the Palestinian Al Fatah battle it out on the streets of New Orleans, the American intelligence agencies are reduced mostly to bystanders The climax is not one that is not anticipated but still a cliff hanger You will get a whiff of Thomas Harris s later work only in one character and his name is Michael Lander and that perhaps is the only place where the story moves away from the realm of cliche.A decent enough thriller. Welcome to Thomas Harris first and stand alone novel about a terrorist attack on US ground For those interested this books has been filmed as well starring Robert Shaw jaws, The Deep From Russia with Love and Marthe Keller famous European movie star that never had a stellar career but a fascinating face nonetheless The movie is worth your while due to actors than the story.This book actually tells you about the motives and feelings of the baddies than the hero s It is a very classic terrorism plot in perhaps an old school thriller that keeps you interested until the last page The hero being an Israeli Intelligence officer on the hunt of the survivors of Black September who were involved with the Munich massacre who are this time aiming at the US because of their weapon deliveries to the state of Israel In the opening of the book we find Israeli commandos attacking the lord of Black September It felt like a flashback to the Spielberg Munich movie even if that one was filmed much later and we find out about the okay given to an attack on the Superbowl by the terrorists who were approached by an American combat pilot who became an POW and felt his live was destroyed by his government The baddies are dimensional in their descriptions than the hero side of the story which feels like the average conflict between intelligence services.Why 4 stars because like the early Lecter books Harris does show very much skill of telling a story which is difficult the put away It is a well written book and its subject is not that old style but perhaps very much actual than we would like.I was glad to re read this book as my paperback has long ago disappeared and I was glad to recover it Hardback version Some books leave a memory behind and you want to recover them to see if they were really that good I felt not short changed at any moment, perhaps since I prefer the old style thrillers the seventies and eighties when live seemed somehow easier. When The Game Begins In New Orleans This Super Bowl Sunday , People Had Better Get Ready To Die The Super Bowl Where Thousands Have Gathered For An All American Tradition Suddenly It S The Most Terrifying Place On Earth Michael Lander Is The Most Dangerous Man In America He Pilots A Television Blimp Over Packed Football Stadiums Every Weekend He Is Fascinated With Explosives And He Happens To Be Very, Very Crazy That S Why A Beautiful PLO Operative Has Seduced Him That S Why On Super Bowl Sunday The World Will Witness The Bloody Assassination Of The U S President And The Worst Mass Murder In History Unless Someone Discovers What Michael Lander Plans And Can Kill Him First Yes it s a thriller, but it was disturbing I didn t like how the novel exploited the stereotype and made the terrorist, who were planning to bomb a stadium full of people watching the Super Bowl, to be Arabs The only twist was that they were aided by a Vietnam vet who sold his country There s some psychology in there, but overall, I didn t like how the Israeli agent was portrayed as the hero and the Palestinians were the terrorist who were getting their revenge by bombing 70,000 people That s a cheap shot. A Heartbreak Hipster ReviewThis was one of those books I had no initial interest in reading One of those books I went ahead and paid for anyway One of those books that sat unnoticed on my shelf for countless months, until I finally decided to just get rid of it One of those books I just hadn t the heart to dispose of Not without reading it first.I decided I would force myself Fuck it Here it goes.That sweet old man in the upper left picture created one of the most creepy, original, and somehow lovable psychopaths of all time I haven t read all the Hannibal books only Red Dragon but I am a fan of the movies even though the second one was pretty fucking disturbing Anyway when I started reading this, I was well aware that it wasn t part of the Hannibal series I wasn t aware that this was Harris s debut novel That alone made it much interesting When I reviewed Red Dragon , I sided with Stephen Arrogance, and said that Harris was a bad writer, but a good storyteller I guess, in retrospect, I still had Stephen King stuck pretty far up my arse, because the writing in this book was fine Like any effective thriller should be, the style of Black Sunday was sharp, simple and straight to the point No bullshit, in other words.There were some weirder lines that went a little too far with the imaginative imagery, turning what should have been just basic descriptions into obscure, nonsensical pictures that would have had even Salvador Dali scratching his head Visual images that require you or, at least, me To gaze lopsidedly up from the pages, suck my thumb and say, Now wait one cotton picking minute I gotta take a moment to work this shit out I guess I m a bit of a nutcase when it comes to reading my brain has this dysfunction that forces me to read certain lines several times over when it feels like fucking my life up Because of this, I always get very worked up when I discover, later on, that I ve been interpreting something entirely wrong Example I m sure you re intrigued Okay well not long after reading Harper Lee s To Kill A Mockingbird , I became quite the model for inner embarrassment and endless turmoil of hitting the back of my head and pacing my bedroom when I found out that Ewell was not the fuck pronounced E Well That sounds like some goddamned medicine for indigestion or something So, like, I was going to apologize for the offensive picture above Except having just related that information, I think I ll stand by it after all Anyway, apart from the occasional mindfuck, I thought that the writing was good But let s move on to the story Shall we It worked very similarly, I found, to the style of Red Dragon By that, I mean it took its sweet ass time to really get anywhere And one could be forgiven for calling it a pretty boring story, for the first 150 pages, at least However, let me refrain, in the most pretentious of manners, from turning this point into a criticism You see, douchebags, if you choose to focus your stories films on murderers and terrorists, you can t just settle with making them cool for the mere fact that they like to kill people Before you get all steamed up, and tell me I m not your master or something, Quentin, old boy, I think that all your movies are very well directed But then that s about all they really are Call me an old lady, or an Anti Semite Nazi Lover You can call me whatever the hell defines those detested freaks of nature that do not drawl over glorified violence but I personally think that your films are shallow, fucking disgraceful, in their depictions of human nature Yes, human nature is fucked up now But you re not doing much to better that, asshole The Wachowski Brothers the same thing Go and fucking mow down fifty police officers then tell me that your motives were justified because you did it all in slow motion I guess I shouldn t turn this review in a rant, but I just wanted to give what I think is a pretty good example of how not to portray the lifestyle of what is, essentially, an evil person.What Thomas Harris achieves, by taking his time to explore the main characters, in both Black Sunday and Red Dragon , is a group of people you don t exactly feel much affection for but, at the same time, are surprising invested in nonetheless Black September conspirators, Michael, Dahlia, and Fasil, were all quite fucked up people But especially in the case of Michael, the author really does a great job in bringing his background to the forefront of his motivation for killing 84,000 civilians I wouldn t say his actions are justified but there was a certain part of me that understood his need for such violence It never quite explains why the other terrorists are so hell bent on causing such tragedy, but they were almost as interesting, and easy to get a handle on, while you were reading about them At this point in my experience of reading books, Thomas Harris though definitely not the best, or my favourite has probably got the best tools in bringing his character to life Stephen King is also very good at doing this as is Peter Straub But Harris is the only author that I ve read so far, who can really convey his exposition through to his readers, without even once pushing back their attention.While this novel isn t nearly as iconic as his later ones would be, I still think it was a fairly enjoyable experience With complex characters I never actually mentioned the heroes, but they re pretty awesome, as well , a wonderful and interesting build up, some effectively handled moments of pure suspense, and a cracking somewhat unexpected conclusion, this novel is well worth the read The entire genre that this book aimed for is not really my cup of tea, so I feel confident that anyone who does devour action thrillers, will likely give it a higher rating But for what it s worth, I m very grateful to have not been able to return this book without even giving it a chance It was another decent book, by a than decent author But being the twisted bundle of depression that I am there are still a few matters which I can t quite put aside here Not without calling my ex girlfriend at four in the morning, and threatening to kill myself, if she doesn t come over to assure me that we still have a chance 1 The editor of this edition must have been moved into Special Needs during High School He must have been given this job as a desperate means to boost his confidence Because I seriously lost count of the amount of fuck ups there were in the editing I choose not to think that Mr Harris was to blame here I mean, they were only little things, but who in God s, name can take Credit for t,his kind of editing2 While I just squirted over how interesting Harris s method of expositional storytelling is, he does seem to have an unfortunate obsession with boring the fuck out of me with drawn out details on how the fucking guns work That s not interesting, Buddy Remember the picture before That shit doesn t sink in for me 3 This book was longer than it looked, and it also took me ages to read, because about halfway through, I only went and left it in another city, and had to start reading something else instead And while I guess it is quite unreasonable to pin this shit on the book, the concept of reading than one thing at once did not sit too well with that nutcase upstairs And someone has to take the blame, right I guess I could be like the British Media, and accuse the authorities for Not Realizing Sooner Or I could just go all out and accept the blame myself But nah, it was Thomas Harris, I m pretty sure it was him If you actually want to read of this shit, then click here I have to admit first that the premise didn t sound exiting to me, but when I found out the author of the Hannibal series had an earlier book I just head to read it.Harris style is already noticable here, although it is improved in later books It is actually a quiet book for most of it than one would expect from the premise It is also very character driven, which I enjoyed The character moments and the way Harris discusses these people are the best things about the book They are multilayered and interesting in the sense that I didn t really knew which, if any, side I wished to succeed Obviously, the good guys, but I didn t like them and the terrorists were fascinating to read about Like expected, I didn t get that much enjoyment from the actual plot, but I don t think that that s the authors fault for the most part It s just not my topic.
Librarian Note There is than one author in the Goodreads database with this name This is Thomas HarrisThomas Harris began his writing career covering crime in the United States and Mexico, and was a reporter and editor for the Associated Press in New York City His first novel, Black Sunday, was printed in 1975, followed by Red Dragon in 1981, The Silence of the Lambs in 1988, Hannibal in 1
- 311 pages
- Black Sunday
- Thomas Harris
- 12 October 2018 Thomas Harris