Most people have seen the movie (often more than once) and many have read the book, so what's new and worthwhile about this audio book? The narrator, for one. William Dufris does a fine job with this book. He doesn't try to make Sam Spade sound like Humphrey Bogart--a wise choice. After all, the Sam Spade in the book (blond hair, somewhat satanic smiling features) isn't like Bogart's character at all. At the same time, he does an excellent imitation of the film versions of Cairo and Gutman. All in all, it was fun to listen to. The story stands on its own merits: classic hard-boiled detective fiction. If you're looking for good entertainment, this is is.
This book is a kick--an adrenalin rush of a thriller that manages to be surprisingly comic and genuinely heartwarming at the same time. The characters are wonderful! Honestly, who doesn't love killer clowns? Or psychotic aerialists? And the descriptions of food make you think it's time to dust off the cookbooks, roll up your sleeves, and start something simmering on the stovetop.
However, I'm only giving the book 4 stars--and probably would have given it 3.5, if possible--because it seemed as if the author had difficulty maintaining the fast-paced, gripping action that draws you in at the beginning of the book. The rather explosive start of the book set my expectations high. Halfway through, although I was still intrigued, I felt let down by the plot. The plot had many surprising turns, but had lost some of the initial edginess that I really enjoyed. I wanted to be scared more.
Nevertheless, the story is thoroughly enjoyable and the characters are memorable. In fact, I am so tickled by them I laugh when I think of them. Koontz is a brilliant writer with a wicked sense of humor. The narrator of the book, John Bedford Lloyd, is quite gifted and a pleasure to listen to.
Lisette Lecat has one of those wonderful voices that is a joy to listen to. I look forward to each of the books in this series to have the pleasure of enjoying her reading once more. For that alone, I rate the book highly. But Alexander McCall Smith's characters are warm and human and the events in the various plots and subplots of the book unfold at a leisurely pace--not without drama and mystery. Indeed, there is plenty of intrigue in this book. But as you listen, you know that you can count on Mma Ramostswe's good judgment, and that the occasionally foolish actions of the other characters will lead to a little more wisdom for each of them. The events don't matter quite as much as the characters they happen to.
It's a slow, rich, rolling kind of book that you can relax and enjoy. If you're looking for fast-paced action, you won't find it here. Listening to this book is a lovely experience certain to leave you satisfied and amused, and looking forward to the characters' next adventures.
This book is great fun if you're looking for entertainment that's rather scary, surprisingly funny (I laughed out loud at parts), and baffling to the end. I would call it a light-hearted tale were it not so downright frightening at times. But the humor is the chief appeal of this story, and Koontz shows that he has a real flare for it.
I'm giving it 4 stars rather than 5 because the characters did not seem fully believable to me. Close, but not quite there. Nevertheless, it's one of those books you can't stop listening to because you need to find out what happens next. Paul Michael, the narrator of this book, is masterful! He is one of my all-time favorites--always a treat to hear. This book is great fun. If you want some chills and some laughs to go with them, listen to this one.
I love the book Moby Dick so I had my doubts about an abridged version. What would be left out? Then I thought, there are some reasonably good movies that take a long book and distill it down to a two-hour experience. Why not a six-hour audio book?
It's definitely worth the listen. The narrator does an excellent job with all the characters and you can tell the book was carefully edited to retain the flavor and pacing of the original novel. I enjoyed this thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy one of the all time great adventure tales but not invest the endless hours it takes to read the book. Or, if you've read it before and want to re-experience the book (as I did), this is a fun way to do so. It's also a great introduction to the book for anyone who is not familiar with the story. Very well done!
You know when you're lying awake at 2:30 am, thinking in the back of your mind that you need to get up by 6 and go to work, but you're so mesmerized by the story that you can't stop listening...well, you know then that it's a darn good story. Frankly, I bought it because it was 19 hours long and I wanted something that would last for awhile. That was wishful thinking. I was drawn into this book so completely that I finished listening in record time.
It's gripping, intense, and often incredibly eerie. You'll be mystified as the action unfolds; it's impossible to figure out what's going to happen next. Some of the characters are downright creepy, while others are so likable that it's hard not to be frightened for them. Koontz's use of language and ability to conjure up a scene are masterful. The pacing is perfect. The narrator, Dylan Baker, does an impressive job. This book will pull you in from the start and lead you down countless twists and turns until you hardly know what to expect next--you fear the worst and hope for the best. It's a thriller.
It's been nearly 20 years since I read a Dean Koontz book. Whichever book I read then seemed unrelentingly grim and violent, and I decided his writing wasn't for me. But the top selling Audible offerings are usually good, so I decided to give him another try and I was completely taken by surprise.
This story is completely engrossing from the start. The story line is fascinating, gripping, and unpredictable. I couldn't stop listening. But more than that, it was Koontz's superb use of the English language that made this a real treat. He is truly an expert with words, and I am truly impressed. It's definitely time to explore his other works. The narrator, Holtor Graham, was also new to me and did an excellent job. I'll watch for more of his work as well. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a thrilling, fast-paced puzzler. It'll hold your attention from start to finish.
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