A good story since it is fairly unique in its setup and execution. The challenges, crimes, and retributions in this story are more indirect and obscure than in your typical crime or espionage book. You really have to think to understand why all the characters are trying to get even and why the "hero" is in the middle of it all. Along the way, we get exposed to Italy and Bologna, in a way you wouldn't normally experience it in an espionage novel. I found myself wishing for pasta and wine every night I was reading this book. If you enjoy subtlety rather than being hit by a 2x4 in a spy book, you'll probably enjoy this.
I?m sorry I wasted a monthly selection on this book. If I wanted to learn Italian or I wanted a Travelogue of Italy I would have downloaded Italy for Dummies....
This book isn't much. It certainly benefits from excellent narration. The story itself is pretty much lacking. It isn't bad but it isn't real good either. Grisham could have done much better. The audiobook held my attention and I finished it. That's probably worth three stars. If you haven't listened to any of Grishams early work, I recommend that instead.
Ho hum... Yawn..
I orginally started this title in the abridged form. I couldn't follow it. I bought the unabridged, having listened to Scott Brick before. I heard him paint the audio canvas with this great tale by Grisham - another of my favorites. The thing about the story that set it apart from everything else I have read of Mr. Grisham's - is that while it had to do with law, it had more to do with politics, power, money, and international flavor. I got to "live" them vicariously through the author's love of Italy, and the narrator's vivid characterizations.
Michael Beck makes it easy to love Italy and the fast pace of this novel makes stop-and-go traffic an afterthought. While the gritty details are skimmed over quite quickly, the intent of the book is not to write a factual spy how-to. Rather you are drenched in Italian culture and the focus is clearly on the broker who transforms his identity from hellion to hero. Believable, entertaining and worth your time. And I'm looking for more books read by Beck.
I really wanted to like this book, however it failed on many levels. I've grown tired of hearing long descriptions of food, how it eaten, who ate what and so on. The book lacked cleverness in all respects. It's time for Grisham to get back to writing good books like he did in the beginning of his career. Come on John you can do it!
I know if I had to read this book I would have quit after 50 or so pages. Extremely boring. I kept listening to it in anticipation of it getting better at any moment..... it never did. This has to rank as one of Grishmam's literary failures.
I generally like Grisham, but was extremely disappointed with the Broker. The novel's tour through Italy is an obvious attempt to capitalize on the success of books like "Under the Tuscan Sun", but the writing in this case is tedious and uninteresting. (Half the drama seems to involve the protagonist repeatedly ordering lunch in Italian.) Similarly, Grisham's daliance into the spy genre is lame. The plot is slow to develop and not the least bit plausible.
Mr. Grisham hasn't really written a good book since he decided he no longer wanted to write lawyer books (The Bleachers was the only non legal thriller that was any good). It appears that he now is trying to enter the spy/espionage type thriller. This is not his area of expertise and there are a lot of authors out there that do a much better job at it then Mr. Grisham (Ludlum, Demille, Finder, Crichton, etc.)
I heard the unabridged version, and the reading was awful. Several times in mid sentence, it sounded like the reader dubbed over a previous reading (meaning, late in a chapter his voice was getting tired, all of a sudden his fresh voice overlayed a few of the words in mid sentence). This happened a lot throughout the book and it really made it a very difficult listen.
This book goes to show that if you get enough books published you can get anything published. Slow does not even begin to give the pace of this "book". This book would have you believe that an attorney / lobbyist who has been in prison for last 6 years is cunning enough to learn another language, become a self-taught counter intelligence agent, allude the intelligence agencies of 4 different countries and learn the nuances of an Italian city that until this point he did not know existed. All in the span of 2 months.
I'm not sure but I would be willing to bet that Grishams child was the actual author of this snorer.