This offering is a great example of the axiom that authors are rarely good narrator/readers of their own work. Gary Hamel is a insightful management thinker, and his books are always worth reading. Unfortunately, this audio book is barely worth listening to. The content is excellent (worth 5 stars, although it echoes 2002's "Leading the Revolution"), but Mr. Hamel's reading is awful. It's full of mispronunciations and atrocious diction (bleeve?). This is one of those rare instances where I have to recommend that you buy the book rather the audiobook. Hamel's words on the page have a much greater impact than his words on your iPod.
John Cory AND Paul Brenner in the same book! What's not to love? Nothing could possibly go wrong. Right? Right? Well, plenty could go wrong. Like the usually reliable Nelson DeMille producing a book as flat and monotonous as the Yemen landscape.
Finishing this beast was more painful than listening to John's incessant whining about the lack of booze everywhere he goes. Yes, that's how bad it is in places - the consistently witty and engaging John Cory comes across as a whiny little twit.
The saving grace is a typically great performance by Scott Brick. As other reviewers have noted, he is the only reason I was able to finish The Panther.
Ultimately, I don't regret using a credit on this book. Nelson DeMille is worth the risk. If baseball players can fail 70% of the time and end up in the Hall of Fame, DeMille is allowed to produce a dud now and then. I won't recommend The Panther to my friends, but that won't stop me from taking this same risk again when his next book comes out.
I selected this book expecting an engaging, adventurous listening experience. I wish I could muster the energy to write a detailed review, but I don't want to waste that much of my life on an audiobook that does not merit the attention. Let's just say it was disappointment of magical proportions. Out of my 500+ Audible purchases, this is easily the worst.
Far from drawing me in at the beginning, this book seemed to go out of its way to repel me. The story has no charm, and the reader (not narrator or actor...just reader) is so repulsive that I found my listening occluded by the noise from my grinding teeth. Her annoying, monotonous inflection at the end of every sentence caused me shut this sucker down after an hour.
Many reviewers say they were pleasantly surprised, which means they were expecting something less. I, unfortunately, was expecting something delightful, and was UNpleasantly surprised.
The best thing I can say about this product is that it served to remind me just how amazing my experience of Audible has been. According to my iPhone app, I have 504 titles in my library. I estimate there are a half dozen of those that I would rate as utter garbage. That means I have enjoyed 98.8% of my choices at some level. I would recommend over 85% of the books I've listened to. You don't get that kind of success rate at many things in life.
Thank you Audible. It's on to my next selection.
I have loved the Honor Harrington series for years. But the latest, long-awaited installment is bloated and forced. As much as I want more, I'd prefer the series ended rather than continue if Weber has no more original ideas. He really needs a high quality editor to keep the story focused and to take a machete to the thicket of blather.
As for the narrator...all I can say is: Stop butchering accents. Pleeeeze. Get a dialect coach or just stop trying. You have no talent for this.
For the first time since
The Emperor of Ocean Park is wonderful. Great story and terrific voice performance. Unfortunately, it was so good that I kept giving the author the benefit of the doubt after each succeeding disappointment. But Jericho's Fall is the last straw. Don't waste your time, money or credits on any of his other books. Be satisfied with the Emperor of Ocean Park and move on to other authors.
Griffin's books have repetitive dialog, predictable plots, stereotypical characters...and yet they remain utterly irresistible. The Presidential Agent series follows the pattern of his other four great series. W.E.B. Griffin books have everything you would want from a guilty pleasure. Dick Hill has narrated several books from the various series and he gives a terrific performance here. If you like cliched covert/military action, well described international settings, and self-deprecating yet capable heroes who have their own wealth to rely on, then this latest series will not disappoint.
I've read and listened to all of Michael Crichton's books. They vary in quality, but I have enjoyed them all - even the inevitable lectures. But this one reads like a first draft very much in need of editorial direction. The characters are weak and the plot is poorly structured. The dialogue cliches need an editorial axe taken to them. And the narration had me grinding my teeth with annoyance. What's with all the pauses, swallowing and paper shuffling. This aspect of the production badly needed editing -- and a decent audio engineer. All the earmarks of a churning out a product in time for Christmas. Crichton can do better, and his fans deserve better.
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