The staging of this book is great. The plot is interesting and the characters all have depth...but if you skip a day or two while you are listening to the book, you may have trouble keeping things straight. For most of the novel, the story is actually two similar stories, each with its own set of cooresponding characters. What can make the audio version especially difficult to follow is the sheer number of characters, all with Latin names. This is further complicated by the fact that many minor characters are also addressed by name and for the non-Spanish readers, the street names and places can also sound like names adding to your distraction. Here is an example, Calle Tallers, Nuria Monfort, Lain Coubert, Jorge Aldaya, Fumero, Don Fredico, Fermin, Miquel Moliner, Mr Cabestany and Dr. Anacleto.. The first is a street, the next group major characters we need to remember and the last is a publisher and a then a doctor of less importance. All appear within a few pages of each other and represent less than half the characters you will have to keep straight in your head. In the book it is fairly easy to keep all the plotlines and people organized. When you only have the audio version to rely on you may not keep enough detail in memory to fully enjoy all the nuances. I finally bought a copy of the book so I could go back over the parts I was fuzzy on. I enjoyed the audio much more with the book handy.
The story was okay, but Koontz's main character tends to digress into meaningless reminiscences, wasting time and placing himself in harms way for no particular reason. One minute he is nervously looking at his watch fearing that time is slipping away and the next he visits his worthless father, gives us his biography in a nutshell, has a meaningless conversation with Dad's brain-dead girlfriend, then goes to visit his insane mother. He does this while fearing he is the only one who may keep many people from dying and is running out of time. While the story was generally good, I frequently found myself getting bored, especially toward the end, as he goes on and on about his thoughts on life while I waited for the story to progress. The character's speech is peppered with trite metaphors, especially at tense times when these devises would normally flee from speech. Rather than adding to character development this just gets old. Better to get the book than the audio version. There is a great deal here that you will want to skip over.
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