Hi, everyone. My name is Katie, and each week I’m going to give you my totally unbiased perspective of a book I didn’t read based on an interview I have with a Friends of the Library employee. Although the books discussed are very real and definitely read by my interviewees, they are most certainly not read by me.
For this interview, I spoke to a bookstore employee named Marlene.* Marlene was initially unaware that I would be conducting a book interview for a humor column and took the first ten minutes to talk about the upcoming bookstore sale that I should probably be writing about instead. After Marlene and I were on the same page, we then spent another ten minutes on Google finding the title of the book she was trying to describe to me.
(Sentences and words in bold type are my own commentary. I hope you find it as amusing and disruptive as it was intended to be.)
*name was changed in order to salvage employee’s dignity
The name of this week’s book is “The Devil’s Triangle” by Catherine Coulter.
Me: So it seems like, in spite of you always being around books, you haven’t had the chance to read many at all recently.
Marlene: Well, actually I’m reading a book about dogs right now.
Me: I stand corrected.
Marlene: And there’s a pile sort of like this (gestures to stack of books) on my bedside table…and the books that I pay closest attention to are fiction.
Me: You’re bored of the real stuff?
Marlene: Well those are the books I’m around all day.
We then spent the next few minutes continuing to search for the book Marlene wanted to talk about; apparently it’s by Catherine Coulter.
Me: What if I tried “Google-ing” the plot of the book to see if the title pops up?
We Google in silence.
Me: While we’re waiting...I love the color of your nails.
Marlene: It’s called Cajun Shrimp.
Marlene: Don’t tell me I dreamed this book up…
Me: Is it called “The Devil’s Triangle?”
Marlene: That’s it.
After discussing how it was the heavy rain, and not my interview, that was keeping Marlene here past her shift, we began the interview.
Me: So what’s this book about?
Marlene: It’s about a family that is wanting to take over the world. And they’ve discovered a way to control the weather as a means to rule the world. It’s a father, daughter, and son, and they’re sort of all working at odds with one another because they each want to be the first one to be able to do this so they can control the world and all its money.
Me: They don’t really get along with each other, do they?
Me: But would you say they’re kind of banding together for this purpose?
Marlene: Well, they initially do, but then the daughter and son discover they have more to gain by doing this individually.
Me: And they throw their dad under the bus?
Marlene: That’s exactly right–that’s what I was going to say.
Me: How did I know??
Me: Anyway, what’s the meaning of the title, “The Devil’s Triangle?”
Marlene: I think that started out by being a play on the Bermuda Triangle, because what the main characters eventually find is located exactly there. In terms of the plot, the three family members start out with their plans by creating small storms.
Me: And how do they do that?
Marlene: Something with electromagnetism and a lot of computer stuff.
Me: Important question–do they have a lair?
Marlene: They do have a lair; there’s a big beautiful mansion on this little island and a cave tucked away as dad’s lair. So they start with these little storms, like a category one or less, and they start to wreak some havoc until they decide to turn it off just like that (Marlene attempts to snap her fingers). I never could snap.
Me: So we can slap our hands together whenever you need a snap. Or I could just snap. I snap then clap as as to provide both options to Marlene.
This was probably a bit of a tangent on my part.
Marlene: In the meantime, there are two FBI agents named Savage and Sherlock (who have been in many books in this series by Coulter)–how do you like those names? And they’re the heroes. And the agents are able to figure out who this family is but not where they are since the family is very rich and has planes and that sort of thing to go running all over the world. At one point the agents chase the family through Rome and all over, and they finally figure out about their place in The Bermuda Triangle.
Me: So they’re toast.
Marlene: But they haven’t found dad yet.
Me: And why don’t the kids just turn the dad in since they want to “win this” for themselves?
Marlene: Because dad really has all the secrets.
Me: Seems like the only reason they’re keeping him out of jail is so they can get the secrets so they can control the weather so they can control the world.
Marlene: And here’s the big plot.
I was ready.
Marlene: They’re going to control the world by launching a massive, massive, massive storm on Washington D.C. to wipe out the government.
By Marlene’s description, the storm seemed like it was going to be...massive.
Marlene: And they’re going to wash out the northeast.
Me: That’s some apocalyptic nonsense.
Marlene laughed at my joke!
Marlene: So they’re quite ready to just wash out D.C. with this storm, but only dad has the key to make it happen, and the brother and sister battle each other to try to get the answer to make this happen. In the meantime they want to buy up all the stocks and bonds and sell them as the crisis unfolds to make gazillions of dollars.
Me: Of course. This sounds a lot like the beginning of The Handmaid’s Tale...destroying the government for a “higher cause”...and then everything else goes really, really well...
Marlene: I’d really love to read that.
Nothing in “The Handmaid’s Tale” goes “really, really well.”
Me: So now what?
Marlene: Now Sherlock and Savage are trying to get ahold of the brother and sister, and they also need to find the dad.
Me: At this point in the book, where did you think dad was?
Marlene: The book is written so the point of view switches from the father to the daughter to the son.
Me: So you know exactly where everyone is.
Me: And where’s the turning point?
Marlene: The big denouement (This is a French word Marlene used that apparently means “the big part when everything comes together.” I had to Google this three times to get the spelling right.) comes when the father finds out that the son and daughter have been trying to do this all for their own gain, and I think he shatters the equipment. This was in front of the agents. Then Sherlock and Savage take everyone away.
Me: Is this the end or the turning point?
Marlene: This is the end.
Me: What happened to the turning point??
Marlene: It’s just the FBI agents chasing them around the world trying to find these people. But it is interesting when the son and daughter are having lunch one day and both realize that the other one wants this for evil, and they start accusing each other.
Me: Tough stuff. Did the son and daughter have a softer side to them?
Marlene: No. The father did; but they’re pretty much just evil.
Me: Last question–what was the father’s motive in all of this? What was he trying to get out of it.
Marlene: I don’t remember.
And there we have it, folks.
Marlene: I think it was so they could control the weather for the better, so if a big storm was coming, they could stop it or reduce the size.
Me: Did you like the book?
Marlene: I loved it. The FBI agents are very likeable. They’re married and have a young son. And they’re in a lot of the author’s books.
Me: What known book or series would you compare this book to?
Marlene: It’s sort of a technological James Patterson. With a lot more real stuff–you learn a little about the FBI and about how weather is created.
Me: So it’s not just fluff. I like that.
At this point I asked Marlene who she would recommend read this book, and she told me a relatively bright woman would like it. We also decided it fell halfway between a beach read and Jane Austen in terms of readability. I used a lot of brain cells to create that scale.
Me: Any books you’ll be reading coming up?
Marlene: The one about dogs.
Me: Beach read?
Marlene: Not at all.
And we will end there.