Mactan is a fictional story based on a true incident in WWII. General MacArthur needs to get the wounded out of Manila before the Japanese invade and most likely kill them. Edward Forbisher is ordered to go into Manila ahead of the invasion and find seaworthy transportation for these troops to Australia. The first few chapters put us in the thick of the war in the Philippines and enmesh us in the difficulty of Forbisher's assignment along with his adventures and entanglements on the treacherous trip on a rickety inter-island ferry, Mactan. These first chapters alternate with a separate story set in the present of Matthew Wintercorn from Texas who lands in Manila anticipating adventure in his new job assignment with the American Red Cross. Wintercorn becomes interested in a photo of the Mactan on a wall at the AMC and seeks to find out the story behind it. Matthew finds more adventure than he ever dreamed, along with a mystery and love interest.
Even though newspapers everywhere are cutting staff, there’s nothing for Quade O’Bric to worry about: the publisher is his pal. When he’s not at work, Quade spends most of his time at his favorite watering holes. So what if he’s a little out of shape? He’s got his dream job as a columnist. Doesn’t see his family too much, but he is a good provider, and surely that’s enough? The antagonist shows up in the form of a devious manager who schemes to deny him a promotion, and boot him out of the company as well. When the plot works, Quade finds himself unexpectedly out on the street. Turning over every rock in his search for a new job, Quade uncovers some slimy surprises. Despite his many faults, readers wind up rooting for Quade O’Bric, especially as he sets out to right wrongs along the way. And when he stops looking for a replacement paycheck, and starts building a real life, it just may be that being Downsized is the best thing that ever happened to him. As one reviewer commented: I really like this well-written, interesting and fast-paced narrative. The writer shows great talent in devising a wonderful plot, a likeable protagonist, marvelous complications, and a satisfying conclusion
I worked at a newspaper in college and got to know a sportswriter fairly well. I mused about what his life would be like if the paper closed (which it eventually did). Of course, many of the other characters were purely imaginary or loosely based on other people I had encountered along my way. The fun was in the freedom to exaggerate which you will likely recognize.
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