I've been a Coonts fan since "Flight of the Intruder". I've read them all, including the one where Coonts hops around the US in a Stearman. This one has no character development. Fighter technology is an interesting topic. The size of bullets and which gun to use for which job, not so much. The characters are recycled. The bad guys are one dimensional. The Teeth of the Tiger is the one where I finally said, I don't have to read any more Clancy books. This one is it for Coonts.
The philosophies discussed are both subtle and well thought out and explored. You care about the characters; you want to meet them for real. The story is about two teenagers who happen to have cancer. It is a big part of their lives, but they struggle to not have it be the defining parts of their lives. They accept the 'cancer perks' just like they accept the cancer tragedies, but this book does a great job of letting you see the humans beneath the circumstances. We all die, but most of us think we have lots of time to sort out what it all means first. These kids know that they don't, so they think a little harder about it, and they grow from the effort.
The reader does an excellent job with the idiosyncrasies of the characters. I can't imagine it being read better.
It seems remarkable to me that a 57 year old man can relate so well to the thoughts of a 16 year old teenage girl, but I guess it shouldn't be so surprising given that the teenage girl's thoughts were well conceived by a man in his 30's.
In spite of the seriousness and sadness in this book, I came away feeling pretty good and was happy that I had taken the time to listen to it.
In order to present many views of the same story, the author has intermixed first, second and third person styles and changes tenses, often using the present tense to describe past events. In addition, different timelines are interspersed. This must have presented a very challenging job for Jim Dale, who does a fantastic job of managing the transitions for you. These literary tricks can be distracting and even annoying, though. Character development is somewhat light. I did not become overly attached to any of the characters. The scenes are innovative and elaborately described.
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