Speed_Max2 Speed_Max1
Full Name: Max Speed
Nationality: American
Organization: -
Occupation Reporter

Creator: Richard Starnes
Time Span: 1967 - 1969


Max Speed is a reporter.

He has been one for more years than he cares to remember and he would be the first to admit his was a jaded take on life. Too many airports, too many antiseptic hotel rooms, too many late nights in the bars and waking with someone he didn't know and didn't want to. And too many times writing articles that every reader thinks is terrific and ground-breaking and important and which end up accomplishing nothing of substance. Bitterness is beginning to plague him along with the cynicism too many years on the front lines has made unavoidable.

Though Speed writes for a New York-based magazine, he lives in London, a reward he knows for caving into pressure and stopping scathing attacks on the Vietnam War during its early years, a time he thinks his writing might have made a difference. The push from Washington bureaucracy had been amazingly intense with the word being either he stop it or the magazine could fall on harsh times. His employers pushed from their end, too, and Speed relented. It is likely because of the unhappiness over his capitulation that Speed risks his life in the two adventures chronicled in the books.

Speed does not function as a spy in any capacity. He is after the story and, to a large degree, the truth, even if in his heart he wonders if it matters anymore. It is this pursuit of the story that happens to put him in the middle of the trouble and it is his wits more than anything else that keeps him alive. And he is determined that nothing will get in his face to find out and report the truth, not his bosses and not the regimes that find his facts unpleasant to see. And the latter usually have incentive to stop him.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:1967
Last Appearance:1969

1 Requiem In Utopia Requiem In Utopia
Written by Richard Starnes
Copyright: 1967

A world famous Swedish author has written a manifesto calling for the end of hostilities around the world. Max Speed is asked to help him get it out into the world. The Russians and the CIA, however, each have their own reason for not wanting it go any further.

2 The Flypaper War The Flypaper War
Written by Richard Starnes
Copyright: 1969

A small kingdom in the Middle East is one of the few devoid of its own oil reserves but it does have a vital pipeline going through it, for which billions are earned. Now a rebel band is trying to take control and Max Speed is asked on behalf of an American political lobby to report the events. From the middle of the gunplay.


The writing style of Mr. Starnes is pretty good but wordy (much as most of my descriptions, I'll admit). Conversations take a long time, action is very slow, and angst is ever present.

Still, it is fascinating to read Speed's disenchantment and to listen to his reasons for it. After a while, you get to understand quite a bit about the man. You're terribly depressed by then, but you know him. And you really start wanting his actions to bring about the change he sees being so necessary. You know in your head that they likely will not but that does not keep the heart from hoping.

That is some good writing.


My Grade: B


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