Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
Hmmm.... maybe this is an historical novel? Maybe it is a true crime? Maybe it wants, at the end, to apologize for playing it straight down the middle for a lot of the first three quarters of the book. It started out well enuf... got reeeeeeely slow around the middle and that ending... what was that thing? Couldn't possibly finish that mire. I'll not buy another Howard Blum and the book's attraction to award judges is totally puzzling.
Oh so much belief to suspend here. At times the plot has more holes than a lace shawl. BUT it's still a lace braided with precious thread. I'm guessing this is an early Coban. But the ending's plausible if you buy Coban's set up and Coban's strength is in set up.
Frankly, if you/ve not read this author before… don't start with this. If you have read him, don't expect as much. Ed Sala does a journeyman job.
Okay, the ending's WAAAAAAY over the top. But John Verdon's created a killer villain and a complexly credible hero. And all of the threads are neatly plaited together in the end. Dave Gurney's all flawed up. And his home life's a rich stew that's on the verge of going as bad as his cases.
In fact, the tension between the Gurney's is as gripping as main plot. I wish Madeline Gurney stayed true to her character as chaos explodes. Still, this is a classic series that you should start with "Think Of A Number", the first in the series. Why have the flashbacks here ruin the plots of the three earlier Gurney novels?
Once again, Robert Fass makes this cast his own. It'd be difficult for me to imagine Gurney through another voice.
I can imagine a dad reading this to his child, and enjoying it at least as much as the listener. Of course there are the required dense paragraphs of double-talking scientific gobbledygook that modern sic-fi authors need to numb the reader into suspending disbelief. And of course I don't pay attention to any of it. Why not just employ a shortcut like warp-drive oe whatever to move us into the plot? Hey, I paid for this thing to be amused, entertained, maybe even awed. Not distracted by a magician's trick.
Ah well, everyone's doing it today. In fact I even gave up Neal Stephenson who eventually gave up writing plot for just so much "look at how smart I am" blather. But Meyer gets over that stuff and tells a fun Harry-Potter kind of story.
I liked it. Definitely because of the great job that Luke Daniels did in reading to me.
The twin entwining plots of this tale are as classic as the names Asimov, Clarke, and Bradbury. But look, plots are to writers as brushes are to painters. I don't know a composer who fails to diddle with key, or photographers who avoid negative space because others have used it. Nope… they're all tools.
And so in "Factoring" Sawyer churns at least two mature hunks of red meat through his grinder, mixes them with clever spices, then cooks and presents the dish deliciously. If there's a problem it's that he's got a tendency here to get pretentious and a tad corny. But hey… corn sells with me, especially when it's popped, hot, buttered and salty.
Katherine Kellgren's very good and perhaps, given the echoes from romance literature, we'll the book fits better into the mind and mouth of an excellent woman. Kellgren's made it her own.
Maybe I'm still reeling from Michael Kramer's disappointing reading of Perry's mediocre "Dead Aim", but I'm a little more critical of him than in the past. Especially since I listened to Shelly Frasier exciting read of Perry's 'Nightlife' since I heard the disappointing 'Dead Aim'. Okay, I'll recover, and really, this Kramer reading keeps him within the top ten talents I've enjoyed at Audio Books.
'Silence' is serious, but very serious. fun. No, it's not comedic tromp by any imagination. It's about killers, blood, baseball bat beatings, and all of the other good stuff we live for in current mysteries (!) And Perry's characters are each solid links in this story's chain.
You are lucky if you've not heard a Thomas Perry novel… Why? Because so far, except for 'Strip' and 'Dead Aim' I've heavily enjoyed the other ten novels of his I've listened to so far and look forward to more. Perry is one of the best mystery writers today and in spite of the "secrets" that the distressed damsel holds back, almost implausibly, until the novel's end (hence my 4 rather than 5 stars for the story…
This tale of killers versus a riddled-with-ethical-angst, big shouldered P.I. is old school fine. Overall it is more than the sum of its parts.
Sometimes a good listen is hits us with the chick/egg riddle. Is a terrific novel what makes an audio artist terrific or is the verse visa? Well, anyway… Nightlife has married a compelling Perry novel with the perfect reader.
Perry likes the theme of darkness and light in intense and sustained babble. Two smart, tough, and driven protagonists who sustain a macabre dance over time. And he's such a powerful builder of character that the struggle always seems epic.
He's done that here in Nightlife with a master detective tracking a master criminal. Two women whose motivations are almost as note perfect as Shelly Frazier's creation of their struggle.
Nightlife is Thomas Perry at his best and I'm looking forward to hearing Shelly Frazier tell me other stories.Nightlife is why many of us read mysteries.
I hate to write it… but this is NOT a good book and it's not well read. I hate to write it because I am a serious Thomas Perry fan… I'm used to giving him FIVE… count 'em…. FIVE STARS. But this thing, no way.
Perry is a master plotter… But you'd not know it from this flaccid string of implausible coincidences. And the characters, which Perry is famous for creating… none of them came to this mess. Oh well, since Perry doesn't return to the same cast twice, at least we won't read about this gang any more. One thing though… the basic motivation of that ignites the book around a distressed damsel is Perry-Clever… Unfortunately the ignition ran out of gas.
And Michael Kramer… who I normally can't over-praise… Where was his talent? For example, the villain of this muddle is supposed to be Afrikaner. So why does he talk like Dr. No? Like an escapee from some central European castle town? Was Kramer trying to create a story with characterization that might save the book he was paid to read? Dunno…
What I do know is… learn from my experience… SKIP DEAD AIM. But keep buying Perry. I've listened to 12 of his novels and except for Strip and Fidelity, they've all earned over five stars from me (and Fidelity got 4). Everyone has a bad day… Dead Aim is Thomas Perry's.
Harry's self inflicting wounds again, driven by his pesky sense of ethics.Connelly is such a competent technician that once more the plot is complex yet accessible. The characters while each drawn with limited brushstrokes, are competently formed to create tension, feed momentum, and buckle me in right to the darkly satisfying ending among the burning streets of Las Angeles.
I took a rest from Harry for some months, but Angels Flight's made me wonder why. Regardless, Connelly spent time on this tale, it shows. He's a pro and fortunate to have Peter Giles interpret his ensemble so effectively. Thing is though, I'd recommend not stating the Harry Bosch novels with this one. Nope, go on back to the beginning so you'll enjoy the tales that have led up to Angels Flight. But if you must start here, well this story can stand alone pretty effectively.
I have not been so bored since I tried to listen to, Flaubert's Parrot. I'm thinking that this is perhaps a masterpiece of post-decontructionism. Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault along with their academic fan-boys will be proud that like Jullian Barnes, Stephenson has written a book about nothing.
Hell is a place with infinite facts that lack connection, which is exactly what deconstructionism is about - ferreting out and eliminating all connections. After hours of listening to Quicksilver try to start its engine… I finally concluded that it either lacks fuel.. or AN ENGINE AT ALL! Okay, maybe by the thirtieth book in this epic, I'll discover that there is a there, there somewhere. Unfortunately… As I concluded after simultaneously listening to Stephenson's Snow Crash… The guy wants not so much to be read… As to be studied.
Yeah, I get it, Stephenson's smart. He does a bunch of research. But look, I don't want to study a science fiction novel… I want to ride it. This one doesn't ignite.
I'm going to return Quicksilver.
Daniel Suarez and Neil Stephenson are two master fishers in the same sociological pond. They both are masters of social science as well as hard science fiction. They effortlessly toss-off ideas about the post-tech world with a scary competence. Their nonchalant attitude toward the inevitability of whole lines of tech and cultural evolution are wonderful.
While they each detest capitalism, neither seem confident about its evolutionary successor. In other words, they swim in the deluge that they predict will follow our moment in time.
And each author is intoxicated with the space between illustrated novels and film. They are entirely visual in their technique. No surprise that their fans beg for novels like Influx to become BIG BIG BIG blockbuster summer tentpole flicks.
In an odd way, this book's a logical extension of Tom Clancy's techno thrillers. Suarez understands that lots of male readers are gear-heads like me. Maybe a lot of women are too, but it looks like they're a smaller part of this audience. And the tone-deaf way that Suarez deals with girl/boy relationships probably won't sweep a lot of female readers into his fandom.
Regardless, his two dimensional characters are fun vehicles to race us through books like Influx. While my recent boredom with Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Quicksilver's kind of dashed my interest in his efforts: Influx, and it's totally competent interpretation by Jeff Gurner will keep me reading more Daniel Suarez.
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