It's unfortunate that I didn't note the publication date of this book before buying it, but post-9/11 a novel about middle-eastern terrorism that starts off with a jumbo jet flying into NYC with no radio contact and no one knows what to do is just plain silly. The entirety of the book is just as laughable in the reality of the world we live in today.
That would be somewhat forgivable. What is not, however is the tedious pace of this glacier. This made even worse by the ponderous 1st-person narrator of the protagonist - "As a man of action, I'm not one to stand around and wait for things to happen." DUH!! And every third line is a (failed) attempt at humor. The reader is pretty bad as well, attempting to put such little differentiation between the charachters' voices that it is very difficult to follow.
Frankly, I'm not sure what book the writers of the other reviews here downloaded, but it was clearly a different book than I've just listened to.
If you're a fan of contemporary spy/terrorism/espionage novels (eg Vince Flynn, etc) you'll want to steer clear of this one. If you've been in a coma since 1998 and just woke up - and want to go back to sleep - this is the book for you!
Nelson DeMille is an extremely talented writer, and this book kept my attention. However I am growing weary of books like this that have so much unnecessary bad language, and the sex scenes did not add anything substantial to the plot. Yes there are those of us that still care about chastity and virture, and we try hard to avoid bad language. Perhaps books like this are just accurate reflections of the general moral degradation of our society, but there are many of us who do not experience that kind of life except sometimes by proxy in books and movies. To be sure, other authors are much worse in these regards. I prefer authors like John Grisham, Mary Higgins Clark and esp. Ted Dekker that usually steer clear of sex and offensive language, particularly when the plot does not warrant it. Thrillers like this still have a lot to offer if they could just leave out the these undesirable elements. Sex should be a private matter, definitely not something to be paraded to the public in books and movies.
A good story that hits home in light of recent events, BUT the author appears to be way too sympathetic to the terrorist who is killing Americans. I understand character development,but Demille paints the picture of a psychopath with an excuse for being a psychopath.
This book is essentially about a character with no life, a bore with cliches that basically is very hard to like.
The narrator is good and does a decent job to make the story pallatable.
May work for you in a pinch
I really wanted to like this book and the actual story and the parts about the terrorist were excellent but the main character, I mean come on! Supposed to be some 'witty' former NY police detective, however nothing he said was funny. I dreaded every part where the main character was the narrator. Also, most of the other characters were written with the same kind of spoken language, that coupled with the narrator's inability to change his voice for the characters make them all blend together. Good story . . . poorly written main character. . . what to do. The story kept me interested but the writing was very poor in my opinion.
If you call this book a thriller, I am sorry but go and read some Dan Brown. I guessed most of the things after the first half of the book. The pace of the book is pretty slow. It talks about the daily life of the characters, their sex life, etc, too long.
The ending is also a little clumsy. The author wraps up the story in the last half an hour. That's it.
Consequently, I did not like it too much. I give only 3/5.
For me, Lion's Game was too much of, "this is what I did first" and "then I did this next" and "she did that." I didn't like the play-by-play description. Got boring for me. I thought it dragged. But if you like that journalistic style, I think you'll like this a lot because the story itself is fine.
Just finished The Lion's Game by Nelson DeMille (audio) and it has me wondering, can a thriller be over-researched? I finished this pre-9/11 story of a dogged NYPD cop on the trail of a Libyan terrorist, and definitely had moments of frustration as DeMille paused to observe the scenery, sit in on a bureaucratic meeting, or watch cops shag.
The protagonist, John Corey, is a likable enough example of the species, but I found his wisecracking dialogue creaky (downright colorless when compared to, say Elmore Leonard, but then...). The plot was plausible (see research above), and I appreciated the narrative techniques of switching back and for the between cop and terrorist -- PC points scored on that one.
It's not that this is a bad book (I listened to all 25 hours of it, after all), it's that it took our heroes a good 16 hours (of listening time) to even pick up the bad guy's trail. I felt the Corey romance with his partner Kate, was cookie-cutter and given an awful lot of air time. Lion's Game had it's hair raising moments, but it took a lot of meetings to get there.
In other words, cut to the chase.
pros and cons
This book is: gleefully racist, slow, and bad in pretty much every way you can think. Also, let us hope that those in charge of our national security are not as dumb as the central characters in this book. If so, we are all in serious trouble.