This may be a very good book in the genre (of which I'm not a regular listener), but I found the plot, prose and character development simplistic at best. Overall, I was entertained (if unimpressed) and I do not regret using a credit on the purchase. The narrator was very good.
But this is simply not his best. A fairly predictable plot, with not the usual intrigue and suspense. I have read all the Mitch Rapp books. This is my least favorite.
Vince Flynn’s new best seller, “American Assassin,” is a very poor book. Its cloying narration, while competent, didn’t help matters. The first 25% of the book is an unbelievable and stupid description of efforts to train CIA agents. It is, frankly, dispiriting that any author would think his or her readers so gullible as to believe that what is described here could actually exist, or be successful. It takes navy seals training to a new level and introduces Stan Hurley, the lead CIA trainer, who behaves so stupidly that he could not exist in any organization for more than a few hours. His relationship to other characters in the CIA is juvenile. After the story moves to the Middle East and Europe, the plot does pick up, but it’s so routine and hackneyed, that it’s only mildly interesting. The main event of the novel, the breaking into of a computer network, probably an impossibility, is never explained; the author just mentions that the CIA was able to do it. Contrast this with the meticulous and exciting detailing of a similar intelligence operation in “The Rembrandt Affair” by Daniel Silva. Details are not important to Flynn as, at one point, he places Beirut on the ocean. His cartoonish characters would probably not know the difference. I don’t know if I was more annoyed at the author for writing this mediocrity, or at my fellow reviewers who raved about the book, or at myself for actually reading the entire book. We’re all losers as far as I’m concerned.
I made the mistake of starting to listen to this book at about 11pm. Finally turned it off at 4am so I could get 3 hours sleep before the alarm went off. After 5 minutes, you're into it.
I had hoped the book would have gone on for a couple more chapters, but the ending was appropriate and well done.
The easiest 5 stars ever assigned. This is actually a good first read for those new to Vince Flynn. Then do the Vince Flynn books in order.
I have about 3 hours left of this saga, but I won't finish it. I don't suppose they'll return the credit. My first difficulty was with the narrator. I notice that great narrators, like Roger Allam, Dick Hill, or Len Cariou seem to blend right into and add richness to the story. George Guidall does not. He sounds like he is a scoutmaster reading a Hardy Boys story to Boy Scouts on a camping trip, or someone hired to do an aspirin commercial. There is something about his style that is doesn't appeal to me. Part of that though is the story itself. This is just prosaic and contrived. Lots of little asides in the storyline to create an epic context (the girl friend was on the Lockerbie flight; Mitch was a world class lacrosse player, etc.) These are the kinds of details found in any thriller, but they came across more artificially here than I see in other thrillers, sort of as devices used to get you to believe that this is an intense and immersing storyline. It has not worked for me, so I'll move on.
BTW, to his credit, the narrator does a great Stan Hurley in the story, in my opinion. (No wait, it's not my opinion. Mitch Rapp is standing over me with a gun making me share someone else's opinion!) Seriously, the narrator has a fine voice and is a great Hurley. But for the rest of the book, it does not work.
I know this is a highly rated story - that is why I got it. So, my view certainly is not the one shared by most reviewers. I had just finished two epics - Follet's the Fall of Giants and Verghese's Cutting for Stone - the former was superb and vintage Follet, the latter one of those that most of its listeners will rank in the top five of any audible they have heard, and it was for me. I thought a relatively shorter thriller, of which I have read many, would be a nice change of pace. I picked the wrong one.
I am sorry to say that this book was very disappointing on many levels. The reader was excellent except that he could not do anything resembling a woman's voice. Fortunately, he did not have to worry too much as there are only three women in the book. He was not able to capture young people either, but it was still pretty well read.
The biggest problem, of course, was the writing. The author continuously developed characters and stories that just disappeared. The main character ended up being a lot less than the main character. A love interest was developed to just go away completely with no more mention of it. The story was tremendously tedious. Most of the time was spent building the reader up for a huge main character who never really delivered the goods. There is absolutely no action until the last chapter or two and that action is just not worth the wait. And I am not sure where the title came from as it does not seem to have anything to do with the reality of the story.
I fell asleep on this one many times. Sorry, it was not good.
I'm sorry, this was my first Vince Flynn book. The reviews for Mr Flynn were excellent so I took a chance. American Assassin never hooked me and I don't think in will in its last hour. I don't know why, maybe the third-person narrative was too slow. Maybe the stroy didn't even grab the narrator, would explain why it was a painful listen. Maybe the characters just didn't inspire me.
If you are looking for your first Vince Flynn novel, don't choose this one.
Emergency physician and fantasy nerd in Chicago.
Not sure, someone who liked generics spy novels?
The whole book seems to be about Hurley's temper tantrums. Also I have to say that Rapp is a completely cardboard character. I've rarely read a book with so little development of the main character.
He has a great voice, but he sounds the way you'd expect Hurley to sound (gruff) and so it seems weird for him to be voicing all the other characters.
A few parts are pretty fun.
For those who like Archer, I think the show may have been slightly influenced by this book.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
I read this when it was first published and, for the most part, followed the Mitch Rapp story arc thru the years. However, it hasn't aged well at all .
The positive aspect is that Geo. Guidall can read the Yellow Pages and make it thrilling. Since I've been listening to the Longmire series it was easy for me to get confused with Henry Standing Bear and Mitch Rapp. Great job Mr Guidall-on both series.
As for the intro to the series -well, it was lacking in 2013 what it might have had when published. If you're new to the series, I understand the need to listen to the backstory...I'm sure I'm not the only person who picked up one of the middle of the series books on special from Audible. Just don't expect too much from Vince Flynns Mitch Rapp at 22.
Sorry. It just didnt age well.
I am an avid "reader"- I prefer to listen to books rather than read them due to the added dimension added by the narrator.
I felt there was extremely poor character development of the protagonist, Mitch. The reader did just that... read. It did not sound impassioned in any way and there was very little cohesiveness in this book. I tried really hard to get through it but in the end, deleted it 3 hours from the end.
boring. However, he did some good job on accents.
I would not be interested in reading a follow-up book.