Largo Winch 2 – the best thriller on an international business deal you’ll ever read….
by Jean Van Hamme and Philippe Franq
I’m reading these in the wrong order – Volume 3, Volume 1 and now Volume 2. I know what happens and it still doesn’t matter since Van Hamme does write such deliciously self contained thrillers. This is what I said last time about Largo Winch and it still serves as a great summary of why you should be reading the series:
….. an absolutely cracking thriller. Incredibly cinematic in it’s plot and pacing and essentially it’s a great James Bond movie but without the ridiculously overblown set pieces that rather take something away from the essential brilliance of Fleming’s books. It’s a much underused way of writing genre thrillers, intrigue and planning over action, plot and characters over car chases and it’s a style I’ve always loved.
All you need to know to really enjoy Largo Winch is the neat little summary on the back cover:
“No family, no connections, anti-establishment, womanizer, wanderer, iconoclast and fighter, he inherits at age 26 the W group, which is worth $10 billion.
In Takeover Bid Winch is settling into his new multi-billionaire role while his rivals, both in and outside the W Group, circle and plot his downfall. Winch and the W group find themselves the target of a hostile takeover bid, the IRS is on their case and worst of all for Winch, a marriage happy Hollywood has-been is seeking to make him husband number 12, whether he likes it or not.
(Largo Winch: The Takeover – it’s all about the business, it’s all about the deal – and it’s still a fantastic thriller.)
I think the really impressive thing about Largo Winch, and especially here in Takeover Bid, is the way that Van Hamme essentially spends the entire book playing out a complicated series of business deals and an awful lot of dialogue – yet still manages to make it as thrilling as the very best action thriller you’ll read or see. When the action does kick in towards the end it’s almost a distraction from the brilliance of the high flying financial machinations that make up the majority of the book. But even though there are car chases, gunfights and political intrigues that go to the very highest level at the end, this is still a book where everything here is about the thrill and tension of the deal.
The art by Philippe Francq is as accomplished, as glamorous, as great as always. To deliver such good artwork from a story which involves so little action and so much dialogue is a very impressive thing indeed.
Largo Winch is still the best thing I’ve read from Cinebook. And Jean Van Hamme is truly a master of writing the perfect thriller – better than Bond, better than Bourne, better than anything US comics can produce – Largo Winch is really something great.