Silva does a good job with building his story. I had to work to stay with the story for a little while but worth the wait. Nice job. I have down loaded several more of Silva's works and have not been disappointed.
I am a voice over artist with work in tv, film, radio and commercials all over the world.
I think someone who enjoys bad endings and poor narration would like this book.
I have to, I bough them all at once on a recommendation.
Look, it is a good story. A very cool plot... but the ending, it's like Silva just said... ahh, I quit. It was SO disappointing I actually want my credit back.
Why does a Jewish guy from Israel, who lives in England have a German accent... it seems like every character has a German accent.
I will never use all of my saved up credits on an authors series again. I had high hopes, but wow... Silva... could you have screwed up a great story opportunity at the end any more?
In case you have not yet familiarized yourself with Daniel Silva's amazing oeuvre, you should know this going in: Silva is an author with a mission and a message. In "The English Assassin," he explores the appalling -- and little-known -- role that supposedly-neutral Switzerland played during WWII, aiding and abetting Nazi Germany. Our hero, Gabriel Allon, moves with mastery in both the art world -- as a world-renowned restorer of Old Masters -- and in the espionage world -- as a master assassin. Sound kind of unlikely? Well, yes; but Daniel Silva writes so well that he makes it work: We can suspend disbelief, because we are enjoying the story so much. Most of the episodes in Silva's Gabriel Allon series utilize both of Allon's skills to mutual advantage. In "The English Assassin," Allon uncovers a dirty little secret that "the Swiss financial oligarchy" tries to keep under wraps: the extent to which Switzerland helped Nazi Germany steal and sequester art works from their Jewish owners. (Probably, Swiss listeners should bypass this audiobook.) The general tone and message of "The English Assassin" is well summarized in the following quote from a character known as "The guilty conscience of Switzerland:"
"When you're dealing with Switzerland, Mr. Allon, it's best to keep one thing in mind: Switzerland is not a real country -- it's a business, and it is run like a business. It is a business that is constantly in a defensive posture. It has been that way for 700 years. ... There are people in Switzerland who stand to lose a great deal if the sins of the past are exposed, and the sewers of the Bahnhofstrasse are given the thorough flushing they so desperately need. These people are an invisible government, and are not to be taken lightly. ... If you choose to pursue this matter, I suggest you watch your back: Beware the gnomes of Zurich."
In "The English Assassin," the invisible government referred to in the above quote calls itself The Council of Rütli, and dedicates itself to guarding the illicitly-garnered treasures stolen from doomed Jews during WWII, and hidden in Swiss banks ever since. Gabriel Allon -- Israeli-born son of Holocaust survivors, master art-restorer, and Mossad assassin -- reluctantly gets himself involved in this nest of vipers, nearly to his own demise. One of the previous reviewers understandably wondered about the title of this audiobook -- "The English Assassin" -- since our hero is Israeli, not English, and the eponymous English assassin, Christopher Keller, appears only intermittently as a secondary character in the book. The answer comes eleven years later, in Gabriel Allon's 13th adventure, "The English Girl," where Keller shows up again, this time teaming up with Allon, rather than opposing him. Apparently, Sliva liked the Keller character enough to dust him off for another outing!
I reluctantly docked a star from my rating of narrator John Lee. While he undeniably has one of the most gorgeous voices in all of audiobookdom, and he enunciates beautifully, he doesn't distinguish the characters from one another very well. To me, the ability to individualize the characters with different voices matters a lot in an audiobook, and signifies a good actor, even if that actor doesn't have such a beautiful voice as John Lee's. However, "The English Assassin" otherwise works well as an audiobook thriller, with an albeit dark, serious agenda. I wouldn't recommend to to anybody searching for light listening, nor to Swiss nationals!
The title would suggest that the main plot revolved around a British killer. That character seemed to play such a small part in the story as to be nearly irrelevant. Not only did we not learn much about the Keller character, but also, it never seemed that there would be any substantive interaction between him and Allon.
Certainly, the thought that billions in stolen art and other cultural items may be secreted away in Swiss bank vaults is intriguing. I'm not sure that this book really brought that to the forefront, but almost gave this an "oh, by the way" kind of treatment.
The character of Gabriel Allon seems deep and interesting enough as to warrant another try at this series. I have a few in my queue that I will listen to first, but I may come back and give it a whirl. So far, I prefer the thrillers from David Baldacci, Barry Eisler, and Brad Thor, so it may be a while before I get back to Silva's works.
Possibly. I think the characters are interesting, though the jumping between European cities is dizzying enough in a book that it might be confusing in a movie setting.
I especially like stories where the authors mixes in some fact with the fiction and doing so in a way where the reader can't always tell where the line is between them.
Oliver North's books are ones to compare the fact mixed in with the fiction. The story of the covert operative compares with Mitch Rapp and John Wells.
This is my first time listening to John Lee and I was very pleased. I especially like listening to George Guidall and listened to the ones in this series that he read first. While I was hoping the Mr. Guidall would be the one narrating the entire series, I wanted to listen to this book because I like the authors story. I will end up starting the next book in the series tomorrow and look forward to listening to Mr. Lee again. When I first started the book I did a double take thinking that maybe Mr. Lee was really Sean Connery, whom I really like too. The Sean Connery voice is that of the story narrator, the voice telling the story in between the voices of the various characters.
I wasn't sure I was going to like this book the way it started (It started slow). But it built as I kept going. I'm looking forward to the next book in the seris now
Love Daniel Silva and always hate to reach the end of his novels. This was no exception. Great plot with plenty of twists. So well written I would read any of Silva's novels again just to savor his skill.
2nd book is better than the first. Character development is richer. Good research in the points he makes.
I'd heard good things about this series, and was prepared to enjoy it. Of course, I mistakenly started the series with the second book, but was a little bored at first. Then it caught my interest, and I had a hard time turning it off.
Allon is a different kind of hero, an art restorer/Mossad agent/widower. He's also older, in this book he admits to being 50. The book moves from one place to another, one adventure to another, quietly.
I'm currently listening to the first book and enjoying it immensely. I look forward to the rest.
I judge all narrators by Scott Brick. John Lee is good, his voice is pleasing, his accents acceptable to an American who doesn't know accents. He has the right amount of expression to keep me interested.
Absolutely. It is a lot more interesting in listening to a book rather than reading it.
I am obsessed with these spy novels. These are the best that I have ever listened to.
His performance is outstanding. He can change his voice for the different characters.
A masterful spy mystery that you will not be able to put down until the end.