BUTLER

 
Full Name: Butler
Nationality: American
Organization: Bancroft Institute
Occupation Agent

Creator: Philip Kirk
Time Span: 1979 - 1984
ABOUT THE SERIES

       Butler is an agent for the private Bancroft Institute.
       For many years, Butler, who has a first name but hates it and therefore doesn't use it ever so the reader never finds out what it is, worked as an agent for the CIA. On the one hand he was considered, certainly by himself, to be one of the top men the agency had. On the other, he was extremely opinionated and vocal about his dislike of the agency's policies. This led to his having every supervisor he was given.
       At the start of the series, the vociferousness of his objections has led the agency to finally fire him. Suddenly without a job and feeling understandably sorry for himself, he is open to a meeting with people from the Bancroft Institute, especially when it appears that the Institute has set him up to be arrested for murder unless he helps them.
       The Bancroft Institute is comprised of dedicated men and women determined to thwart the evil machinations of the vast military-industrial complex of the western world. Dubbed Hydra by the Institute, this loose federation was itself dedicated to the subjugation of the free world. Only through the Institute could their actions be countered. They disguise their real work by posing as an international think tank and research organization.
       Butler is two things in this series. He is a tireless agent on behalf of everything that is decent and good. He is also one of the world's greatest lechers who has the attitude that if there is a free moment, it should be spent having sex. Of the two, the books seem to spend more time on the latter than the former but that may only seem so because it drags so badly.
       The one redeeming point to the series, if it can be called that, is that the agents of Hydra are even nastier and more unpleasant to be around than Butler, definitely a case of the lesser of two evils. While Hydra will replace its leadership if that head is cut off, at one point its ultimate leader was known as the Swami.

BOOKS

Number of Books:12
First Appearance:1979
Last Appearance:1984

1 The Hydra Conspiracy The Hydra Conspiracy
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1979

Fresh from being fired by the CIA, Butler is enlisted into the Institute and sent to counter the actions of a billionaire member of Hydra determined to take over a South American country to make a bigger profit.

2 Smart Bombs Smart Bombs
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1979

The Soviets have perfected a sophisticated missile system that can elude measures meant to bring it down. Butler is sent deep into the Soviet Union to infiltrate the research facility and come back with the technology that drives it.

3 The Slayboys The Slayboys
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1979

When the President indicates his desire to normalize relations with Cuba, he is immediately the target for assassination by a right-wing Cuban extremist group. Butler must infiltrate that group to stop the plot

4 Chinese Roulette Chinese Roulette
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1979

Someone is trying to smuggle guided missiles and vials of bubonic plague through Hong Kong. Butler is assigned by the Bancroft Institute to find out who and to stop them.

5 Love Me To Death Love Me To Death
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1980

Invited back into the CIA to help it clear up a mess, Butler is faced with a plot to kill many influential leaders of the U.S. by simulating heart attacks during sex with call girls.

6 Killer Satellites Killer Satellites
Written by Leonard Levinson
Copyright: 1980

Not trusting any of those firmly seated in power, the President appoints Butler as the Director of Special Projects of the CIA to find out who has been targeting planes with lasers onboard satellites.

7 The Laser Shuttle The Laser Shuttle
Written by Mitchell Smith
Copyright: 1982

The Institute dispatches Butler to assist a beautiful female scientist investigating a new laser weapon being launched into space to be able to strike any target. The mission takes him from the idyllic isles of Greece to the Soviet border.

8 Dead Fall Dead Fall
Written by Barbara Anson
Copyright: 1982

When his contact on his latest mission plunges 7 stories, Butler knows the only way to learn what he needs is to go undercover in the Mafia.

9 Killer Virus Killer Virus
Written by
Copyright: 1983

Agents of Hydra have someone massacred a large group of religious cultists and Butler is dispatched to find out why and how. His best lead is his friend Wu but Wu's daughter seems to be on the list of the next victims.

10 The Paris Kill The Paris Kill
Written by
Copyright: 1983

When an Institute agent is killed in Paris, Butler is sent to find out why. He quickly finds himself in the middle of a counterfeit case with beautiful women wanting to distract his investigation.

11 The Q Factor The Q Factor
Written by
Copyright: 1984

In an odd act of supposed humanity, Hydra has come up with a soft drink with enough nutrients to ward off starvation and they are giving it away in starving nations. Apparently, though, there is an ingredient that has bizarre side effects.

12 The Midas Kill The Midas Kill
Written by
Copyright: 1984

When a former Institute scientist claims to have discovered the means to turn base metal into gold, Hydra naturally leaps in to steal the procedure, forcing Butler to find a way to stop them.

MY COMMENTS

       It is often hard to select the best or the worst of anything. Philip Kirk's unbelievably bad series about Butler helps, though, in finding the very worst. I was totally stunned at just how bad the writing, the dialogue, the action, and the sex were done and I found it impossible to relate strongly enough how bad these books are.
       I have written - and deleted - many different attempts at describing just how poorly done everything is and each attempt just falls flat and lame. Therefore, I decided to include a couple of passages to let the books speak for themselves.

Passage 1: From Killer Satellites, as a hunter satellite neared a killer satellite to eliminate a threat to aircraft and managed to destroy it:
       'The Joint Chief of Staff threw their hats into the air and shouted 'hooray!''

Passage 2: From Slayboys, a bit of dialogue between a woman sitting beside a pool at a resort and Butler, who had never met her before, seeing if he might sit next to her:
       'Mind if I sit down?'
       ...'The chairs here are for all the guests. If you want to sit down, sit down.'
       'Thanks for the invitation,' Butler replied.
       'Invitation?' she asked. 'It was no invitation.'
       'Oh, I thought it was. Should I go away?'
       'I don't give a damn where you go.'
       'What if I got on top of you right now?'
       'What was that?...Are you crazy or something?'
       'No, I'm only trying to establish that you do give a damn where I go.'
       
       There are an almost unlimited number of other examples, many quite pornographic but all incredibly inane. How these books got accepted and actually published is stunning. And more fascinating is that some of these books were very hard to find online and bring a considerable price online. It is a crazy world.

GRADE

My Grade: D-

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