Thursday, November 13, 2008

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: HANG DEAD HAWAIIAN STYLE BY PATRICK MORGAN!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: HANG DEAD HAWAIIAN STYLE BY PATRICK MORGAN!

A FREE-FORM SECRET AGENT DOES HIS OWN THING – AND THE SPY GAME MAKES A WHOLE NEW SCENE.

CARTWRIGHT, WILLIAM

BACKGROUND: Four paternity suits. Three breaches of promise suits. No convictions so far, but give him time.

GEAR: One blood-red surfboard. A hot Dodge Hemi lurking in a yellow Woody pulling a matching trailer equipped with a computer smarter, maybe, than the whole Hawaiian police force combined.

HOBBIES: Surfing, women, and, whenever possible, poking a crooked finger in the eyeball of the Establishment.

VOCATION: Secret agent for the United States Government’s Operation Hang Ten.

Coming out of the late ‘60s, Hang Dead Hawaiian Style is the first of the Operation Hang Ten novels featuring Bill Cartwright – a too cool for his own good, surfing, secret agent, and master of the whole misogynist, no woman can resist me, school of smooth.

Supposedly freelancing for the CIA (which means he should be operating internationally), Cartwright’s first case has him tracking down a busload of hippies selling drugs to school kids. Okay, so not much of this makes any sense, but it simply gives a framework for Cartwright to spout the anti-establishment rants that supposedly make him cool. He hates working for ‘the man,’ but, hey, it’s a living.

As awful as this all is, I’ve still have the complete series on my bookshelves because, while the execution leaves a lot to be desired, the concept and the covers ARE cool.

Part of the problem is Patrick Morgan (real name? pseudonym?) is clearly out of his element – an establishment hack writer trying his hardest to appear cool and sounding as silly as a white guy in an afro looks. The books are over written, but somehow I can’t bring myself to get rid of them – as I have done with so many other series I’ve culled from my shelves. I reall want to like these books, and if I don’t read them, I do.

CARTWRIGHT TELLS IT LIKE IT IS:

SURFING: My board, my trailer, my Woody, my style -- they’re all part of the same bag. It’s my extended middle finger to the Establishment.

LOVING:
I’m a lusty, primitive type. I saw you, I wanted you, I’m going to have you . . .

SPYING: I’m going to blow my cool over this. I want to find somebody that killed her and feel his bones crunch under my hands . . .

A VERY DIFFERENT BREED OF SECRET AGENT HAS ARRIVED.

4 comments:

James Reasoner said...

The Operation Hang Ten books were packaged by Lyle Kenyon Engel, so Patrick Morgan is almost certainly a pseudonym and possibly more than one author contributed to the series. The most likely to have been involved is Manning Lee Stokes, who wrote many of the early Nick Carter books.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Isn't it nice to have other readers/writers come along and add to our knowledge. I think that's my favorite aspect of this. That we can share these old names or pseudonyms and bring them back, even if they're not always the greatest books ever written.

Scott Parker said...

I love the concept. Since Don Winslow's The Dawn Patrol is my favorite book of the year, I'll be on the lookout for these books as well.

Barrie said...

I love how you can't get rid of these books!