Solomon Bull: When the Friction Has Its Machine, a Book Review

Updated on January 8, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Introduction

“Solomon Bull: When the Machine Has Its Friction” is a book by Clayton Lindemuth. The title comes from a Henry David Thoreau quote. The main character in the book references people from Camus to Native American leaders and comes from a conflicted, complex background and lands in a situation all the more complicated – while his end goal is simply to win the most difficult race in the nation.

The author's official picture from the book "Solomon Bull"
The author's official picture from the book "Solomon Bull" | Source

The Strengths of “Solomon Bull: When the Friction has its Machine”

A book that manages to have multiple WTF plot twists gets points for being surprising. It also involves multiple plot lines with legitimate reasons for people lying and doing what they do that leave you guessing until the end. And more than one twist occurs right before the end.

This book is interesting for featuring a Blackfoot Indian as the book’s main character, neither romanticized nor demonized. You see an average working class guy training for an insanely difficult marathon for the pride of having accomplished it on its own. That and he wants to find out what happens to people who disappear after the win, to find out whether the rumors they are signed up for a secret paramilitary group.

“Solomon Bull” is laced with humorous lines like “Voters will abide a lot of dishonesty and stupidity, but the upper limit cannot be broached. As soon as a politician looks like a guest on Jerry Springer, he becomes a guest on Jerry Springer.” “I must have accidentally hit the frosty bitch button.” “Do something useless like read a newspaper.” You find lines like this regularly to break up the tension and occasional lectures in the book.

The Weaknesses of “Solomon Bull”

At roughly 300 pages, I found it could have been shorter because of the volumes of detail added that don’t specifically add to the story. Many other scenes have several sentences of extra descriptive phrases as if that enriches the story.

The book falls for the trope that when you want to make someone evil, they have to be a child molester, as if corruption and torturing women isn’t considered really bad anymore.

There are events in the book that happen quickly for the sake of pace and to ramp up the drama. To say “We’ve taken ages to infiltrate this, I’m going to take away everything you hold dear in days if you don’t achieve what we couldn’t” is not only patently unfair, but even for a government agent, unreasonable. And if the race is the likely way of recruiting people, why threaten and harass instead of letting him win the race and spend time getting on the inside? This is explained at the end, but there are moments that require suspension of belief.

Observations

The sex scenes and violence in this book definitely make it rated R.

The book is written as a self-contained story but leaves it open for a sequel. This author has written several other books such as “My Brother’s Destroyer” and “Nothing Save the Bones Inside Her”. Those books are darker than this one is intended to be.

Summary

“Solomon Bull” presents several conspiracies centering on the main character and the personal struggle for identity of the same. I’d summarize it as James Bond meets the Southwest and militia conspiracy theories to create an inventive novel. I give the book five stars on complexity and novelty.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • tamarawilhite profile imageAUTHOR

      Tamara Wilhite 

      5 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Thank you, I'd glad it is useful for you.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      16 months ago from The Caribbean

      Tamara, I started to write book reviews this year, and I am glad to read yours as a guide of how to do it effectively. This one is impressive, citing your opinion of the book's weaknesses and strengths. Thanks for sharing your skill.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)