If ever a book begged for an abridged version this is the one. The time period just prior and up to the fall of Bear was, I will admit, a very good read. I am in the financial world and the author did a good job providing commentary and color to the actions and events that lead up to the takeover.
And then, it just goes downhill for me from that point after.
1. The writer feels it necessary to explain and re-explain 2 and sometimes 3 times some not very important or necessary points. Several of these points are barely worth 1 mention much less 2-3 times;
2. The mechanism of continually comparing certain Bear execs bridge playing addictions, especially using such as a metaphor for explaining (away) aggressive and potentially risky Wall Street behavior, just plain wore out after awhile. Enough was definitely enough. I got the point. Never let a bridge player invest your money.
3. The narrator would, with great frequency, simply "disappear" and go unexplainably silent at the most odd times. You would expect this between chapters - not at the end of paragraphs - and in the middle of trying to communicate a complete thought. Very, very annoying.
4. The end - whoo boy ! I'm still hanging up in the air waiting for the writer to finish off some of the incomplete thoughts he introduces in the Epilogue.
And yes, I did listen to the whole book. Shame on me. If you are attracted to this book - it is interesting subject matter - find the abridged version.
This book was entertaining and mildly suspensful. For me, it took a long time for this book to get some lift and get into the air. When it did it finally became a worthwhile read (listen). I might have given this audiobook 4 stars but I couldn't solely due to the poor narrator. Get a mental picture (or audio picture) of Sally Field trying to reading Stephan King or for the Aliens screenplay. No depth, no feeling, no tone. When she tried to channel a male voice it sounded like a little girl with a sore throat in search of a lozange. I am sure her voice is better suited to other, lighter type of material but she definitely did not and could not communicate suspense. How and why did the producers pick this person to read this particular material ??
I bought this book based on reviews posted to Amazon.com. Across the board superlatives. There were no reviews posted to Audible yet (I may be the first)
I just finished the first 5 hours of this book and all I can say is that I must be listening to a different book. This was one of the most painful reads I have experienced in a long time. I do not intend to listen to the 2nd half.
The messages contained in 5 hours could have easily been condensed to 1 hour. The authors write in vagaries in many places and the repetition is very, very tiring. The company examples are not very insightful at all.
I kept waiting for the content to start to gel, to start coming together to make more concrete points but it just never did -- at least for me. I constantly felt like I was moving between high level "ether" and mind numbing pontification.
Some of the "exercises" described in the book seemed like they were ripped out of the pages of an elementary "pop" management course. Some struck me as just silly.
I really wish I could have appreciated this book more - the subject fascinates me and as a manager I want to look for ways to improve. It was clear to me that this book was not going to provide that help. If I could get a refund on my purchase I would happily accept it.
If you purchase this book I hope you have a different and more positive experience. Otherwise, you too may be asking yourself "How Did This Happen?"
At best I would have rated this 4 stars but I chose to rate it only 3 stars due to :
1. Very uneven; some chapters were touching, warm and inspiring; other chapters I found myself lunging for the fast forward button - boring
2. In several places the author just seems to go "over the top" with extended and sometimes rambling and disjointed soliloquises; thought at times I was reading Carlos Castaneda
3. The last 1/3 of the book was excellent however I will weigh in with at least one other reviewer, the ending was very, very weak and just a little sappy and somewhat abrupt following 15 hours of content
4. The narrator is a little hard to take at times; I applaud him for getting into the voices and characters but he too went a little over the top (dramatically) at times
It was worth the read but I cannot put it into the "brilliant" and "perfect" review class as others have suggested. I will be curious to see how this story gets translated in the upcoming movie.
An excellent book. What some people criticized as a "travelogue" is one of the aspects of the book that held my interest every step of the way. In fact, I was constantly going to Google maps to follow Paul Brenner's journey from south to north Vietnam. I lived the Vietnam war years and the historical references brought back vivid memories.
I highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it thoroughly. Even though I figured out an ultimate plot point very early on (it becomes a little obvious) it did not spoil the read for me.
5 stars !!
The plot seemed to dwell for hours on the opening event. I started to feel like "enough is enough".
The story about half way really picked up and had my attention all the way thereafter. I actually enjoyed the overall story when it was finished. I enjoy the Sean Drummond character (President's Assasin was very good). I enjoyed the interaction with the lead female character.
However, I rated this book very low because of the HORRIBLE narrator. Every 3rd sentence was a long, loud and very annoying inhaling sound. Either he needs breathing control training or the producer had no budget for editing and sound clean-up. His intonation and charater voice (especially females) was unbelieveably bad. And his pacing - don't even get me started. The narrator RUINED this book for me.
I will admit, I am a Scott Brick fan but there are numerous other narrators that while not in the league of Brick are competent and talented. I hope this narrator kept his day job as he will certainly need it. Mr. Haig - just say NO to this reader in the future.
I just completed Last Man Standing and I have to say that I completlely enjoyed this book.
I found it to be fast paced with some very interesting characters (although I did find the characters of Percy Bates & Buck Winters a little "slow on the uptake" - especially since they represnted the senior leadership of the FBI).
I thoroughly enjoyed how this story unfolded with its twists and turns. I should have disliked the ending but I accepted it. I was hoping for more story however.
I just cannot say too many good things about this book. I highly recommend !!
I enjoyed this story very much. Very creative twists and turns and a good finale. Credible and sympathetic characters. I am becoming a fan of Baldacci's works.
BUT . . . what was with the hyperactive, don't take a breath narrative of Scott Brick ?
The first 3 hours were very trying. I almost gave up listening. My reverse button got a workout as I was constantly backing up to re-listen for what I missed due to his machine gun delivery.
So many times there wasn't even a pause when the story changed scenes, characters and chapters. Very disconcerting.
I have listened to Brick with other audiobooks so I know he has other delivery styles that are more pleasant. Was it the producer for this book that directed him to compress the run time down ?
David Baldacci Story = A
Scott Brick Narrative = F
My wife suggested that I read this book. While I am big dog lover (our lab mix is the best) I just thought that this was going to be a "chick book". I was wrong. The story of the rescue of "Lava Dog" is a heartwarming tale (no pun intended) and well told by the author. My only criticism - the narrarator. His voice and delivery was not suited to this (type of) story - reading a Stephan Hawkings book yes, but not this one.
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