This is possibly the worst book I have ever read! I was shocked at how poor the writing is. I have read at least 4 Dashiell Hammett books and most were quite good, but this one should never have gotten past his editor, or I'm tempted to say that he couldn't possibly have had one.
I quit at the end of the third CD(out of five) without really knowing just what the plot is, and who the characters are, and what their positions are. Many of Hammett's descriptors are inappropriate, teenage level.
I don't understand how this book got such high review ratings.
I'm not sure I would try another Hammett without listening to a good representative part of it.
The reader isn't bad, but not particularly good, either.
What scenes would I have cut? Just about all of them.
This reader, Patrick Tull, is so concerned with 'authentic' accents that the listener is denied access to O'Brien's delicious syntax. For example, the is nothing in O'Brien's description of Maturin's Catalan-Irish ancestry to indicate that he speaks with a strong Irish brogue. Quite the contrary, Aubrey, in the first book, is not aware that Maturin is Catholic: an Irish brogue would have made Protestantism doubtful.
The reader Simon Vance, on the other hand, read's O'Brien as written, with excellent cadence and rhythm befitting the characters' personality and heritage as suggested in the wonderful text.
Complete and balanced. An essential read (Step NO. One in a process) for anyone really wanting to understand the relationship between the Saudi Arabia's leadership and U.S.A., between Al Qida and other Sunni Arabs; where America (and Russia) went wrong.
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