I thought the narrator of this book was great. The content however was less than stellar. I started to wonder if there were going to be any characters left alive at the end of the book after the first few chapters. Too many authors thinking they have to kill off a character.
It seemed like the authors were involved in a private joke to see who could outdo the others with ridiculous killings and blow ups that had little context. It was almost funny.
There is no plot and the characters are 2-dimensional at best. I loved the name "Harold Middleton" though, and the reader gave him the perfect voice.
I so enjoyed the farce of the Chopin Manuscript, but this farce was not clever and fell flat.
Disappointing at best. Disjunctive and lack of flow. Plot was mundane and the story line was shallow.
I downloaded the free chapter one by Jeffery Deaver and was looking forward to the rest of the book. Now I know why the price was dropped to $9.95. I kept falling asleep trying to finish it, and couldn't remember what what had been happening. I finished it, but it was a lot of work!
Good book but too many authors- They each took on a different style and I did not enjoy it as much as some of the others
This was hard to listen to, it jumped all over the place and I had a hard time keeping track of it. Albeit I only got to the third chaper before I just stopped. It was just too confusing.
I am so disappointed with this. Maybe if it was released in serial again, it would have been better, but the chapters didn't flow together, and I didn't even bother to finish it. It was disjointed and boring--I didn't bond with any of the characters. The first was such magic, I'm very sad this was so bad.
Molina's talents and some interesting characters kept me from awarding one star. The narration is wonderful! I loved The Chopin Manuscript, despite the jerky-at-times plot, so was disappointed and then increasingly irritated by the Copper Bracelet. With an ingenious central idea and already-established characters, the authors still seemed to deliver an unsatisfying whole. My take was that multiple excellent and experienced authors, given this task of advancing a plot handed off to them, felt it was important to make a mark in the plot and (nearly always) sent the story in a different direction. In their own books, surely, there are chapters that stabilize a plot or advance the characters a bit. Not here! Every chapter has a BOOM! The result was that I became increasingly frustrated and eventually abandoned the listen about 3/4 of the way through. Thus my take on the endeavor as a whole. For me, it was a lot like stories we tell to occupy children on a car trip: everyone takes a turn and hands off an improbable twist. Thus some entertaining episodes, but not a very satisfying whole. Well, except for Molina's steady and experienced hand.
The Chopin Manuscript - multiple authors. Released in 2007, 7.5 hours of listening. Harry Middleton and the “Volunteers” are introduced in a mystery involving a newly discovered Chopin manuscript. The ‘Volunteers’ is a small group of clandestine good-guys that goes after bad-guys with the aid of alphabet soup named organizations across the world.
The Copper Bracelet - multiple authors. Released in 2009, 8.5 hours in length. A story that starts with a bang: an exploding cell phone and laptop at a beach sting involving Harry Middleton and his cohorts. Subsequent chapters morph into a twisted, confusing, and globe trotting mess that ends with an assassination attempt.
The Starling Project is written by Jeffery Deaver alone and released in 2014. A shorter story just over four hours long, but told in the manner of an old fashioned radio mystery. Lots of sound effects like footsteps, car doors slamming.
The first two books in the series, The Chopin Manuscript and The Copper Bracelet, are collaborative efforts involving multiple writers - each author responsible for one chapter. A single narrator, Alfred Molina, does a credible job - no trouble with male/female voices, good diction, sound effects a little over the top, but decent productions. The books begin with a foundation by Jeffery Deaver and the final chapters are his efforts to bring all the disparaging clues to a close. This wasn’t the plan, I’m sure, but it’s what appears to have resulted.
The books lack the cohesiveness of an overall vision because there are so many cooks in the kitchen stirring the plot with their own vision. The efforts were likely fun (or frustrating?) for the authors, but resulted in books that were difficult reads. Lots of rewinding and muttering of “What the…?”. The best parts of these stories are the chapters written by those you would expect. Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder, and Lee Child. In my opinion, the rest tried too hard to ‘make a splash’ and ultimately damaged the overall effort. My cliched opinion: Everybody was not using the same playbook - shoot me.
The last book in the series, The Starling Project, is completely different from a production standpoint. The book is the performances of a myriad of narrators/actors, special sound effects of bombs, gunshots, creaking doors, and heart-thumping music fill - basically an elaborate radio drama. Smooching/moaning during a few sex episodes distracted from plot. These scenes are presented in a ‘fade-to-black’ manner, but are eye-rolling and ridiculous. Although the plot is interesting, Jeffery Deaver uses Harry Middleton conversations to wrap up much of the story - pulling loose ends together in the last few minutes of listening. This book is more about production than story.
The Harold Middleton Series was created in audiobook format only. The series has decent reviews and is certainly an extraordinarily usual effort. Suppose I’m alone in a ‘meh’ opinion - but, there it is.