Overall, this is a fairly good book. I liked the themes of friendship and betrayal, and unrestrained greed vs. the morality of making money. The plot moved well enough. The characters were interesting and some were nicely developed, especially Cotton Malone and Torvald.
However, as other reviewers have noted, Scott Brick's narration pretty much spoils the book. He seems to be trying to control the lilt that makes each sentence sound like a question, but otherwise, his narration is just plain awful. He can't do accents at all; his "French" accent sounded like his "Italian" accent and Torvald's accent was unidentifiable. None of them has any claims to authenticity. He reads every sentence with the same degree of gravitas; for example, he uses the same tone to tell the reader how many bridges there are over the Seine as to describe action sequences where a character gets killed.
Do the production people actually listen to the finished product? How could anyone possibly miss how poorly Brick does the job? Random House, and any other publisher using Brick's narration services, needs to seriously reevalute his contract.
If Scott Brick is going to continue narrating audiobooks, he should be properly educated to do so. Otherwise, he should no longer be allowed to spoil the efforts of the authors with his terrible technique.
I have listened to perhaps 200 books over the past few years, and I've never had to stop and delete before. I tried and tried but didn't get past the first 45 minutes. Scott Brick is horrible. The same unbelievably annoying lilt to each sentence. Awful attempts at a French accent, and failure to let the story speak for itself. I spend time before selecting each book and was looking forward to a new author and an interesting story. Disappointing. Would like to have my credit restored, and will NEVER download another Scott Brick narration!
I really enjoy Steve Berry's books. However, I find the narrator's style of reading distracting and often off-putting. I just would like him to read the book and not interject so many voice inflections and poor attempts at accents. The story stands strongly on its own. It just doesn't need the affectations of the narrator. And, I know he is a popular narrator, he just has never worked for me.
I have always enjoyed Scott Brick as a Narrator.
The narration has odd pauses, strange (and inaccurate) foreign inflections and inappropriate emphasis throughout the book. I will continue to listen as the plot and the writing itself is interesting. But the odd narration allows only short periods of listening enjoyment.
I went in optimistic despite the bad reviews for the narrator -- from past experience this can be polarizing. Unfortunately they were right -- I have had to start the book twice in order to even come close to following it; the narrator is just so distracting, it's almost funny. He sounds like he thinks he's auditioning for a Shakespeare play with EVERY line, no matter how innocuous. Wildly over dramatic. I trust if I read the book it would be up to expectations from Steve Berry, but impossible to know for sure with this narrator. I encourage the publisher to re-record this book!
I love books!
If you like international thrillers based on historical mysteries then you'll like this book.
It has never occurred to me to try to get my money back but this narration is intolerable. I am going to delete the book from my library and write to audible to ask for a refund. I am going to be so careful from now on not to listen to anything read by Scott Brick. Anyone considering this book should listen to a preview. He can't do accents, he can't do women, it is impossible to keep the characters straight. It is like listening to a really bad preacher, that sort of whiny tone. .
This is the first time I have been completely driven from an Audible Book by the narrator. The "dripping tonal nuances" became just too much. I should have heeded the warnings of other readers.
Perhaps the worst read book I have ever heard - at least for the first part. I gave up on both the narrator and the story after that
After I learned to jump quickly from venue to venue with agility, I became absolutely devoted. I'm learning more about geography and history than I learned in the classroom as well as being entertained.