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Five against Venus by Philip Latham
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Five against Venus

by Philip Latham

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In 1963, when I was six years old, my oldest sister took me to the Sunnyside, Washington public library. This was the first book I ever checked out of a library, and it was the first library book I ever read.

Re-reading it I found it to be every bit as enjoyable as I remembered, while being chock full of all sorts of errors and inconsistencies, at least, as seen through the eyes of this middle aged man in the second decade of the 21st century.

The story moves along at a great pace. Teenage protagonist Bruce Robinson's description of the "space club" at Los Angeles High School is barely warm when we find him, and his family, headed to the moon where Dad has scored a cherry job. Before you can say "I wonder what's under the clouds of Venus?" Bruce and family have crash landed on Venus and find themselves in a race to survive the oncoming Venusian night and the giant bat like creatures that inhabit the planet. In classic 1950's Young Adult (YA) fashion, by the end all you have to do is utter the magic words "Deus ex Machina!" and all is well. After Bruce just gives the magic cure-all Venusian fungus to that nice man who heads up a pharmaceutical company, he and his family are fairly recompensed (righhhhtttt!!!!) by said company who plans to blithely grow acres of the strange Venusian fungus for medicinal purposes. What could go wrong? Well, without a sequel, we'll never know.

I LOVE this book to this day! ( )
  fugitive | Mar 14, 2012 |
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To Marjorae
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Bruce Robinson took his usual seat on the bleachers among the junior members of the Los Angeles High School space club.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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