A nameless South American river, the 1930's: Driven by curiosity, by
greed, by thirst for adventure, by a twisted code of honour or simply by
boredom, a motley crew of wannabe adventurers embark on a journey to find a
lost civilisation - and our group of heroes couldn't be more diverse: An
American gangster with more brawn than brain, his stripper moll, a British
tennis ace and her carefree rich kid boyfriend, a French mercenary, a
German soldier who doesn't admit German defeat in World War I, and of
course the absent-minded professor.
Of course, while making
their way up-river, our heroes face all the typical threats a jungle has to
offer, from wild animals to cannibals, from rapids to rabid plantlife, and
of course several members of the group don't get along too well with one
another - but that's only child's play compared to what they encounter
when they pass through a series of caves and enter a world yet
undiscovered and (fairly) untouched by civilisation, where they have to
face an amazon tribe led by a British socialite gone rogue, pterodactyls,
missionaries trying to teach the natives to play cricket, a long-lost
tribe worshipping an ancient God that might be more than just
superstition, and of course robots and time travelers from space ...
you are probably able to tell from my synopsis, Drums of the Lost
pretty much like writer Dan Leissner's Cool Cat before it, is not what you
would call high literature, nothing he will ever win a Nobel Prize for.
No, the book is an hommage to pulp novels and movies of old (predominantly
from the 1930's), and as that it is amazing fun to read, just as I imagine it
was fun to write it.
The main aspect about Leissner's writing
style is that it is amazingly visual, almost cinematic. That way though,
he clings to surfaces, he (intentionally) refuses to probe into the minds
of his characters, refuses to give them the dimension of self-reflexion - which is
exactly why the book works so well: This is not a post-modern take on a
vintage genre, not even a parody or something, this is genre literature,
and the reason it is so enjoyable is because it is a conscious, loving
game with genre elements rather than a pseudo-intellectual comment on
Now I admit, the book is not for everyone, and you need
to be in the right mindset to enjoy it, too, but if you're into vintage
pulps, into B-adventure movies and serials from the 1930's, you will get a
real kick out of this one I'm sure!
This book by the way can be
ordered directly from its publisher, the reputable Midnight Marquee
- URL: http://www.midmar.com