The novel begins with an investigation into the relationship between the accidental death of a munitions tycoon and his complex business empire. Gradually it devolves into a sordid potboiler. High finance, double-crossing, prostitution, espionage, s?ances, adultery, drug use, insanity, murder -- this much sensational subject matter ought to produce a ripping tale, not one that numbs the listener with tedious details and irrelevant diversions of plot.
The story becomes more and more confusing with later parts contradicting earlier parts. The ending to the mystery is revealed (not discovered), something of a letdown, and so long in coming that it fails to shock.
All the narrators are excellent though. They are the only reason I gave this two stars.
Three distinct interconnected stories, each with a different narrator. Sound quality very good, narration is good, but considering the upper-tier quality of the narrators selected, particularly John Lee whom I love, there are some big annoying misses in the accents. All 3 narrators came up with eastern European accents sounding like George Hamilton in Love at First Bite, the Italian was not even Ronzoni quality. Don't ask about the southern drawl. OK picky I guess, but still with these 3 should be much better. That said the writing seemed to be good quality with a decent amount of character and environmental development - but the story itself I found simply dull. The first 1/3 of the book initial story was interesting enough as you get a grip on what is going on, the second part drifts around and the third part slows to a dry crawl. As an aside, I work in business, so long stretches of business and banking themes [like 1/2 the book] just don't provide me with the escapism I'm looking for. Very much like a Masterpiece Theater mini-series that you get caught up in but don't really care if you catch the last episodes or not. I half expected Hercule Poirot to show up or discover that Colonel Mustard did it with the candlestick. Seriously, very Agatha Christie like where all the characters are involved and everything gets tied up in a neat bow at the end. And the end...pleeaase. I can't decide if the author thought up the shock ending at the beginning of the writing process and built a book around it or if he was boring himself with the dull third part and decided hey, why not write this crazy thing to finish it off. OK, enough said, go ahead and spend the credit and you will probably not be disappointed, but when you're slogging through big segments of nothing think of me.
Intersting characters, with interesting and sometimes surprising connections between them. This book also flips between different periods of the characters' lives, and does a good job of providing the appropriate, if subtle, nuances of the characters' various ages throughout the story. Very well performed (I listen to lots of Dickens titles, and Simon Vance is a favorite) and a satisfying listen overall.
The story was well read by all. At times, I found it dull and slow but the ending was so fantastic that it made me want to start at the beginning and read it all over again, just to put the pieces together!
No. It had overlapping layers in story-line, so I wanted to take more time with it. In addition, I enjoyed looking up some of the historical locations/events mentioned throughout.
Writing reviews is work. Therefore, I need to be really happy or really unhappy with a book to write one.
This book has everything: espionage; economic ruthlessness; social scandals; pre-WWI national power plays; anarchists; hidden identities; great use of language; great narrators - and completely wastes it all as its increasingly unlikeable characters tediously wind their way to an improbable conclusion. My rule is that if I finish a book, however boring, I do not return it, but you could save yourself the trouble by not buying it.
The ending was a shocker. The story was very well written and well laid out. At times I wondered how these things tied together but in the end it is all wrapped up with a neat bow.
Elizabeth. She seems to be the only one with pure motives.
The one where they are trying to save the bank of England.
Very good book. Well written, well thought out, very well read. Very enjoyable.
The onion like nature of the story, the fact that it touches on everything from espionage to high finance, engineering to journalism, politics and current affairs of Europe alongside descriptions of human nature. The story is tied together so well it is almost an epic. In addition, the way he builds the characters is sophisticated to say the least, you are so drawn into the story. In the end, the fact that what appears to be an obvious red herring and is dismissed earlier on, comes back and hits you like a ton of bricks, I am still getting over that.
A Tolstoyian style. Based on the style of the author to Zoom in and out, it touches on so many aspects of society and life, but still keeps the focus on human nature. The granularity of detail, for instance tiny incidences such as Stone stealthily grabbing a fruit in Venice from a girl is treated with such delicacy as and detail as is given to a high power meetings of British, Russian and French finance ministers.
They draw you in and you can almost see it happening..like watching a movie. I think the lady voices are done strangely in some instances by Simon Vance, though his reading of Stone's thoughts and projecting the personality just drowns any quibbles I may have had with the female voices. There were times in John Lee's narration where it was hard for me to keep track of the characters involved in segments with rapid conversation, but again his performance on other segments more than made up for this. Roy Dotrice was impeccable.
If you are a patient listener who likes attention to detail and enjoys a subject being deal at many levels this may interest you. If you are in it for just the "story", then look elsewhere. This book is like a journey which has to be relished.
Stone's Fall is a well developed story, told in unique style, allowing the reader to 'peel the onion' of the plot with each new narrator. Roy Dotrice, John Lee, and Simon Vance make it all come to life and the result allowed me to get lost in the story, so much so, that I was loathed to have it end. Wonderful audiobook!