Milford, MA, United States | Member Since 2012
This recording comes highly recommended, with one powerful caveat.
The novel itself is brilliant and complex, full of important themes and messages as it follows the interconnected lives of some generally screwed-up people in various walks of life. It's entertaining and fascinating, full of tragedy and pathos, but with the ability to make me laugh out loud repeatedly. The sometimes insular and disjointed writing style reminds me of Thomas Pynchon, which my English-major daughter tells me was an influence on Wallace.
The narrator does a brilliant job with a very difficult work - a commendable performance. His inflections are spot-on, use of accents and voicing is excellent. Will look for Sean Pratt in other works.
However, the decision to exclude the footnotes, except to mention their number as they occur, is a seriously flawed one. There is a lot going on in the footnotes, which essentially means that this is NOT truly an unabridged production, and that you need a print or ebook version of the novel to get the full experience. I fortunately do have access to the book on my Kindle, so after every hour or two of listening, I could go back and read the footnotes, referring back to the context as needed. It would be very much an inferior experience without this ability.
Preface: I have been a fan of Tom Clancy novels long before I started audiobooks. I love the jargon, the level of detail, the technology described so completely. I like the military, political and even the personal intrigue. Also, as you might guess from the review headline, I think Jack Ryan makes a great hero character.
This is a fine story about America's attempt to use a covert military operation to stem the drug trade from Columbia, an action sanctioned by the president during an election year. The political infighting is fascinating - a study in personal gain, leverage, and back-stabbing. The operation itself is described with an enormous amount of detail, from the planning, supplies, strategy, tactics, and of course, weapons. Great stuff, if you're into it.
The narrator, Michael Prichard, was competent, but undistinguished. Many of his "voices" sound very similar, and at times it's difficult to keep track of which character is speaking, especially in a 3-way "conversation". Still, he is easy to understand and his pacing and pronunciation were very good. Still he's not as good as some other narrators.
"Mr. Murder" follows the mold of so many Dean Koontz stories. An ordinary, albeit quirky, person has their life turned upside down - and a giant conspiracy is behind it, with elements of the supernatural or super technology thrown in. Add Koontz's colorful character names, vivid descriptions, and fast-paced action, plus a great performance from the reader, and you have a very entertaining listen.
The story follows a budding author on the cusp of fame, Martin Stillwater, and his family. They are attacked by a seemingly indestructible double of Martin, who tries to kill him and take over his life. The family goes on the run, while government agents seek the double for their own reasons.
Koontz does a great job playing on the listener's emotions, especially from a husband & parent's point of view. The narrative is believable and sincere, if some elements of the story are a bit beyond the pale. Kudos to the reader, actor Jay O. Sanders, for a well-paced performance.
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