I was really upset when the book was finished - I had so enjoyed hearing about this slice of Southern Life. The story centers on crimes committed in a small Georgia town - but its main achievement for me is that it is also an amazing portrayal of human relationships, changing racial relationships, local, state and national politics from the Twenties to the Sixties as seen through the eyes of the local protagonists. Mark Hammer's warm narration made it an absolute gem! Go get it!!!!
I've read all of Stuart Woods books over the years and this by far is his best work. This book contained some of Stuart's own family history and it was definately written from the heart. Read all of his other books if you want a great read you can't put down. His style flows without huge descriptive sections that can put you to sleep. By far my favorite author.
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
Yep, I fell in love with this book! With 2 of the Chiefs, with lots of other characters and a town, and especially with a narrator!
Narrator is too weak a description of what Mark Hammer accomplishes with "Chiefs". His voice seems relaxed and unhurried, but it conveys all the heart and soul of a small town called Delano and its residents. He's flat out fabulous!
The book, too, is a real find. I agree with all the reviewers who note that this is obviously a deeply felt, deeply personal work by Stuart Woods. As the section for each chief ended, I grieved and thought the next one couldn't possibly be as good, but each time I was wrong and got just as engulfed in the lives and cares of the next set of people. There are wonderful and sometimes surprising connections among the 3 stories. There's suspense, emotion, and a just-plain-good-old plot in "Chiefs". And a progression through the years which reflects perfectly the changes in all of America during the period from 1920 to 1963.
Everyone can relate to this story and to these people. And that's pretty much what a good book and a good listen should be, isn't it?
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I don't know if my southern heritage influences the way I feel about this book, or if it's just as good for people without that history. Whatever the case, this is one of the most realistic views of the south I've ever read. It's a heartbreaking part of our nation's past, yet has been crafted into a compelling novel. The narration is perfect. I think this would make a great book club book.
Enjoying one good listen after the next!
This is a GREAT story. . . filled with great characters and a plot that just won't let you go. That said, I must confess that at first, I had a hard time adjusting to the slow, methodical narration. But once I accepted it, Hammer's plodding southern inflections and varied voices actually made the story. Listening felt like being there in the south, in that time. You could sense the humidity, the tension.
Prepare yourself for some heart wrenching listening. The story is true to the racism and hatred that the south foster(ed?) for eons. And there is some, but not a lot, of graphic sexuality and sexual violence as well as brutal killing. But the good guys and really good and they prevail when all is said and done.
The thread that captivates is that this story takes place in the little Georgia town of Delano (and where the citizens of Delano go,) and is filled with well-developed southern characters that you will come to know intimately.
It is worthy of your time and credit! Highly recommended.
Read the book, or listen to get my headline question answered. This is a very good book, to start a series of novels about generations of the Lee family. It's actually about 3 separate and very different police chiefs, starting with the first police chief of Delano, Ga. They end up with one case in common.
The book spans approximately 50 years, and can be a very disturbing look at life in the old south. I found myself emotionally involved and fearful for the characters at times. That fear is well founded, as anything can happen.
It's a long narration, read rather slow, so I did skip back and forth with reading and listening, but didn't mind. It was well worth my time.
Woods wrote two or three amazing books before he devolved into the James Patterson-like, formulaic book a year for the money-type author (Stone Barrington-drechhhh). This book is a total classic, great characters, intricate and compelling plot line, awesome story telling and a very satisfying long length. An interesting picture of the old south in a small town in rural Georgia.
I read the book back when it first came out, and bought the audiobook recently on a whim during a down month for new titles with an about to expire credit. I was not disappointed.
I wanted to comment on the slow reading other reviewers have mentioned. I groaned when this book started. I thought the reader was reading too slow and his voice sounded too old for the story, but it became one of those audio books I never wanted to end. I got absorbed into the lives of the people in the book. I adjusted the audio book speed of my ipod, but I quickly changed it back. The readers slow reading seemed to make the story better for me.
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
This is only the second five star book I've listened to (All The King's Men by the great Robert Penn Warren was the first). It is a masterpiece. First off.. the plot is watertight. A thriller murder mystery, political drama, and police procedural that holds your attention rigid throughout. But... while good enough, this novel is so much more than well crafted... it borders upon being one of the Great American Novels.
These characters are so spot on perfect. Deep yet simple... Good smack up against evil. Each side scores devastating punches. Frequently I gasped.
And the historic sweep is essential to every nuance of the developing ensemble. In fact the sense of place and evolving moment are.. well part of the ensemble each sewn together into a tapestry of emotion.
When the pitch-perfect reader Mark Hammer muttered... "The End"... I moaned, close to tears. "NO!" I exhaled, "You've got to take me farther along the development of the town of Delano. I need the next generation. Don't leave me." And yet... yet.... Stuart Woods ended at the perfect moment for my imagination and emotions to continue to ride the story arc on my own. I'll wonder now for the rest of my life about the Chiefs, their friends, and their enemies.
Art without wonder is merely craft.
Stuart Woods is our Robert Penn Warren. Hmmm... did I write "Borders upon being one of the great American novels?" Thats a very very very thin border. Yeah.... 5 stars!
For me, this was a sleeper! I wasn't expecting much, but the story was terrific!
This was my first Stuart Woods novel and I will now look for others.
The book not only captured the sense of a long running murder mystery, but also a piece of Americana and politics in the rural south in the 20's - 50's.
Some won't like Marc Hammer, as he slurs and mumbles a lot.... and adds at least 2-3 hours to the listen, but I don't mind him and didn't let it distract me from a 5-star rating!
This is a good one.. don't miss it!