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Reviews for The Indestructible Man

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A gripping thriller...

By:Joe Ford, Eastbourne
Date:Sunday 21 November 2004
Rating:   9

The cover and blurb might lead you into thinking this might be a fluffy Gerry Anderson-esque romp but nothing could be further from the truth. Simon Messingham has written his best PDA yet, a disturbing, exciting thriller that takes the Anderson idea of hero worship and twists it so we can all see the darker side of it.

The writing is crisp and readable, the regulars are caught perfectly (and really put through the wringer) and the Myloki make a great, mysterious enemy. Some of the dialogue was pure Troughton, you can almost hear him ad libbing the story!

Zoe gets some fine development and Jaime is put through hell, you can finally see why they love the Doctor so much as they go through hell just to get back to him in this excellent read.

Indestructible Russians

By:Hatman, Meridien, IDAHO
Date:Friday 26 May 2006
Rating:   4

Absolutley none of this makes sense. Good Russian characters, but the rest were as flat as a cardboard cut-out. Avoid at most costs.

Very, very good.

By:kieren, kidderminster
Date:Friday 27 March 2009
Rating:   9

It seems that Mr Messingham is ethier friends with or has copied Mick Lewis' style for this is very graphic and very violent. If you are a Gerry Anderson fan(Thunderbirds, Stingray, Captain Scarlet,UFO) you may become very irritated by the numerous references, but I was ok with it and I enjoyed so much I was able to read it again between reading new ones. If you become concerned while reading just carry one it sorts itself out.

Gripping And Grim

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Saturday 23 February 2013
Rating:   8

I understand that this novel is in part a send-up of Gerry Anderson TV programs. However, it is remarkably readable without one's ever knowing about them, as I didn't until I read the reviews after I had finished the novel. I have not watched "Thunderbirds" or "UFO" since I was a child, so I did not catch any of the allusions. These allusions, however, do explain the weird piece of throwaway business with Zoe and the purple wig. I will, therefore, review the novel as I read it, knowing nothing of the TV references. To start off, the cover is misleadingly peaceful, so definitely one should not judge this book by its cover. The novel starts off as if Messingham were writing about the future as imagined in 1968, so that computers run on spools of tape for instance. However, the novel fairly early leaves the cozy world of 1968 TV sci-fi for a much more mature and sinister story. That story involves a future world recovering from the ruins of a war fought against a virtually unknown and ultimately unknowable alien menace given the name Myloki. The Myloki attacked Earth by animating cadavers and by creating copied humans who then sabotaged Earth systems. It is now thirty years after the war, and the Myloki are back. Both they and the secret military organization SILOET are after the same target, the only remaining working duplicate human, who cannot die. Although it has six "parts," the novel, like many six-part Doctor Who adventures, really has two main parts. In part one, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe are separated. For about six months, each lives an entirely separate life. Existing in a balkanized Britain, Jamie and Zoe are firmly convinced that the Doctor is dead and they can no longer see each other. This part is the most compelling of the novel. Jamie becomes a foot solider for a religious cult, Zoe an indispensable slave in an extreme Thatcher-Major version of London. The Doctor, meanwhile is a prisoner at SILOET headquarters. Messingham has a real talent for getting into the heads of his characters, of making their thoughts come alive. He is especially convincing at giving Zoe a full characterization. He also deftly shows the intense pressure that the team at SILOET are under, believing that only they can save the world, and the psychological damage this pressure causes. Part two of the novel involves the search for the Indestructible Man himself while the threat from the Myloki grows and grows. In this part, Messingham shows a talent for characterization and dialogue. Throughout, Messingham relies on interior monlogue for most of his narration, which works surprisingly well. Messingham is also very realistic about violence, a stark contrast to TV sci-fi of the 1960s. All this makes for compelling reading through to the end. The demerits are these, one major and a couple minor. A minor demerit is that many of the background characters have very generic names - Matthews, Drake, Taylor - and so it is difficult to remember who is who when they vanish for a while and then return 100 pages later. Another demerit is the ending, which is a bit of an anti-climax though consistent with the events presented in the novel. The major demerit involves what Messingham does to Jamie. In essence, Messingham makes Jamie have a complete mental breakdown. So convincing is the creation of the circumstances for it and the description of it, that Jamie's recovery is unbelievable. This Jamie will need years of psychotherapy, not just a few days living with his regrets. It is at this point that I think the novel would have been just as good or maybe better if it were not Doctor Who and Messingham weren't compelled somehow to get Jamie back to recovery. To summarize, this novel is not going to be to everyone's taste. While it is not a festival of carnage, the violence when it happens is realistically gory. Likewise, readers may be put off spending so much time inside the heads of deeply disturbed people. I found it to be one of the top Doctor Who novels I have read so far.

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