I have been a fan of Michael Crichton from the first time I watched Jurassic Park at far too young an age. Until recently, I thought I had read most of his works, but then I found John Lange. Turns out, like a lot of great writers, Crichton wrote under a pseudonym. Easy Go was published in 1968, just one year before The Andromeda Strain, and some sources say he wrote it in a week, earning just $1,500. Unlike his typical techno-thriller, sci-fi style, Easy Go showcases Crichton’s love of history that would later go into books like The Great Train Robbery and Pirate Latitudes. But enough background, this is supposed to brief, let’s get into it.
Easy Go has excellent pacing for 95% of the book (I checked my progress when it fell apart), and weaves a fun narrative about an Egyptologist, Barnaby, that discovers the location of Egypt’s last undiscovered tomb. After roughly translating the tomb’s location, he does the next logical thing and puts together a team to rob it. The premise is simple, but enjoyable. Listening to Barnaby wax about the tombs of Egypt and the untold riches lying in the sand inspired a sense of adventure in me that few books manage.
I was ready to give this book five stars until the very end where things wrap up in about five pages. The whole book is a single case of rising tension that suddenly and violently deflates. I’m a fan of quick endings as much as the next pulp reader, but this one could have used some more breathing room. After my time invested with Crichton’s band of tomb robbers, I wanted a few more minutes with them to know how things ended. I suppose that’s a mark of good characters. While most of the team are pulp tropes, that’s really what I came here to read, and I wasn’t disappointed.
Overall, if you’re a fan of adventure novels, ancient Egypt, or Michael Crichton’s other historical fiction (not counting Dragon Teeth, let the man rest in peace please), I’d give this one a read. The style is unmistakably Crichton, and for someone who thought I was done with his collection, Easy Go was a welcome surprise. Can’t wait to read the other John Lange novels.
Are you a fan of pulpy adventure novels? Michael Crichton has been one of my biggest influences as a writer, and books like this one inspired me to create an adventure series of my own. Nick Ventner is a drunk who is damned good at hunting creatures that aren’t supposed to exist. His first adventure, Whiteout (4.75/5 stars), follows him as he chases a yeti deep into the Himalayas and finds himself pitted against an old rival. There’s treasure, cannibals, undead, and plenty more to get your heart pumping. Check it out at the link below!
More info on Good Reads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15019448.Ashton_Macaulay