As usual, reviews of Audible books are broken into two categories…the writing, and the narration. First the narration. Excellent. In my opinion, the best narrators are the ones that are so seamless that you don’t even notice them and can immerse yourself in the book, and Paul Michael is like that.
Now the book: Dan Brown makes, in my opinion, two large mistakes in this book (large enough where they break through the suspension of disbelief). First he writes a “brilliant” person, and then makes her the dumbest person in the room. She continually has to have things explained to her, often in a painstakingly step-by-step manner. I’m talking about things so simple and obvious that even this reader has figured them out.
The second big mistake is that if the government made some crypto device so wonderful as to be able to break any codes, the very first thing they would do is build another one….no matter how much it costs (oh, and he keeps referring to the 2 Billion dollar price take like it is some huge price tag).
That all being said, I think this book warrants at least a couple of stars. The romance portion of the book was well done. One extra star for the excellent narration.
A Great Listen! Edge of your seat, smart read (listen). I can't wait for Dan Brown to write another book, I hope it comes out in audio at the first release.
This is the first time I have ever reveiwed a book in writing though I do recommend books for people to read often by mouth.
I really like Dan Browns books and had purchased this book in paperback but never read it. Once I got used to the reader's voices and got through the first part I was hooked. I think it would be better if you could rewind a bit or fast forward a bit if you wanted to, but putting that aside the reader actually sounded like Ray Milland when he did his British accent which I quite liked actually. The story was sort of predictable with some surprises at the end but not really in the same class as either Angels and Demons or The DaVinci Code so as long as you don't expect that kind of writing you wont be disappointed. A good read but not worth so much money - it should have been way cheaper as it certainly doesn't deserve the price that it costs and I probably would have given it a higher rating if it had been cheaper. But I did like it and really like listening to books on my Ipod.
This book isn't nearly as bad as some reviewers might lead you to believe, but it clearly isn't as polished as his later work. What really hurts this book is the recording itself. I don't know if Audible is to blame or if this is the way the publisher recorded the title, but the audio is very poorly recorded. At the beginning, the recording is too slow. I keept looking at my iPod to see if I accidentally put the book on slow speed. In other parts it is too loud, so the audio distorts regardless of your listening level. If you are interested in the book, I suggest you go get a physical copy or e-book and read it, don't bother with the audiobook version.
I really liked Angels & Demons and The Da Vinci Code, but this really was a weaker effort. I am not a person who normally sees who the "bad guy" is right away, but if it was obvious to me, than I would guess most people would see right through it.
I won't reiterate some of the technical flaws that have already been discussed in detail.
The only redeeming quality is Paul Michael, he brings the characters to life in a way that makes me care about what happens to them. Rare quality.
This book had really strong word of mouth when it was released-- the 1st hard cover edition became a Modern Firsts collector's favorite rapidly. So either time has passed it by or Mr. Brown needed to do some research in computer design. His all mighty computer had a definite retro feel to it-- like those 1950's alien invasion movies. And his characters! The female lead was clearly a male fantasy. While I don't necessarily expect a major amount of character development in a suspense /action thriller I do want characters thicker than the paper the book was first printed on.
For any one that works with databases, encryption software, etc. Or for anyone who thinks "Big Brother" is up to something and likes to read about it. I found this to be a very thrilling book of what might actually be a possibility in the future. Any maybe Brown has some "inside" information that we don't had is already happening. It was easy to dicpher the villian early on, so the great surprise was in the key.
Dan Brown can really tell a story that keeps you listening, and the concepts are great, really well thought out; finally the locations make the whole thing more enticing. But then he undermines his story with clunkers that are obvious to anyone who has been to the locales he describes (mountains near Paris for DaVinci code; why not look at an atlas for god's sake?).
In this case, he substitutes out dated cliches for reality in his description of Seville. Just a couple of points: In Digital Fortress, he has masses (pun semi-inentional) of people going to Church in Seville, a country supposedly more Catholic than the Vatican. A Betis football match maybe, but church hardly. Churches are far fuller in the US than in Spain, a country about to legalize gay marriage. Similarly, medical care is described as pathetic in Spain, but really it's about the same as the rest of Europe. I've had first hand experience at that. Trust me.
OK, I like Spain, and don't like to see the place trashed, but the real problem is that these inaccuracies just contribute to the sense that Americans don't know and don't care about what happens outside the US. If he'd just gone to Seville and poked around a bit for a couple of weeks, checking out what he was planning to describe, he would have been able to add more unexpected and realistic descriptions and added to the delight of the book rather than taking away from it.
Also, the narrator might have pronounced the Spanish a bit better. Hardly an exotic language.
This guy has wonderful plots - I really wish he were a better author. You could make a drinking game out of every time one of the characters "stops short" in this book. Be careful though, because you'll pass out in the first hour.
I agree with one of the reviews that spoke of inaccuracies in how the NSA probably works in reality. Yet, I found it fun - a good listen.