Friday, December 30, 2011

Buckaroo Banzai (Rauch, Earl Mac)

Rating: 4/5
Year: 1984
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure
Read again? In another 10 years

Adventurer, neurosurgeon, rock star, physicist, engineer, and all-around genius Buckaroo Banzai races his Jet Car through a mile-wide mountain and into the 8th Dimension!

But first, Buckaroo had to attend to a bit of tricky neurosurgery.

Meanwhile, Emilio Lazardo, aka John Whorfin, a Red Lectroid from Planet Ten!--plans his escape from a mental institution and schemes to steal Buckaroo's Oscillation Overthruster, the amazing device that allowed Buckaroo to cross the Dimensional barrier--and which will let Whorfin return home to Planet 10!

John Whorfin has a sort-of team of people--all Red Lectroids in disguise: John Bigboote and John O'Connor are running Yoyodyne, an aerospace company front that's suposed to be building their way back to Planet 10. But Bigboote and O'Connor seem to enjoy the human life too much.

Buckaroo Banzai has a team of people--a small army, actually, but his inner circle and rock band are known as the Hong Kong Cavaliers. It's up to all of them to save the world.

But first, they'll celebrate breaking the Dimensional barrier by playing a gig.

Save the world? Yes. Those Red Lectroids are bad guys banished from Planet 10. The good guys, who call themselves Adders, have threatened to blow up the Earth if Buckaroo can't stop the Lectroids.

The book is narrated by Reno, one of the Honk Kong Cavaliers and Buckaroo's official chronicler. Reno's got an entertaining heroic/cowboyish style that could be distracting or annoying if it weren't so tongue-in-cheek. There's a real-world feel to the narrative, thanks to Reno's footnotes and references to a backlog of Buckaroo Banzai adventures. Maybe a little long-winded. The book does drag in places, just enough that I zapped a point.

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