>On a whim, I bought my first Repairman Jack novel, “Harbinger.” Anyone who has read a Repairman Jack novel, by F. Paul Wilson will realize what came next. I bought my second Repairman Jack novel, “Hosts.” And then I bought “Gateways” and “Crisscross,” which I am reading now. I bought “Infernal” on Friday.
No, I am not reading them in order. I have been buying them used, based on price and availabililty. I really need a copy of “All The Rage.” Events in that novel seem to alter the future of Jack, at least he realizes that there is more to his repair work than meets the eye.
FPW weaves a lot of geography into his works. His endnotes in “Gateway” specifically address his use of literary license to deviate from known geography to relocate certain restaurants and other features. The environment, via the Everglades, becomes a character in “Gateways.” Demography of southern Florida is expressed through the Gateway retirement community. Jack’s father retires to southern Florida, which is characteristic of our current US population. Early in the novel, Jack runs across the unique fauna and flora of Florida, the sawgrass, mosquitos, herons, plus the low relief terrain. Near the end of the novel, Jack, his father, and Carl have to deal with the looming influence of Hurricane Elvis, in addition to certain reptiles.
FPW novels are rife with geography examples. Jack is highly observant of traffic patterns, the movement of people, when people are active and when they are not, as in commuting patterns and weekend travel. Jack is attentive to the economics of the neighborhoods, caring a mental map of New York City and New Jersey that helps him at a basic level navigate the region, and operate at an advanced level as he uses his knowledge of commerical, industrial, and residential areas to conduct his “repair” operations.
For someone who has only traveled to that area once, FPW through Jack’s voice, I feel like I have a better understanding of the geography Newark, NJ and New York City.