I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first chapter is hands-down the funniest piece of sci-fi I have ever read. I agree with some critics that claim John Scalzi borrows some of his content from other great writers. Nonetheless, he does give proper homage to history (as in naming the sheep breed Android's Dream). Moreover and more importantly, his writing contains plenty of original thinking.
I appreciated this audiobook, even after seeing the HBO miniseries and listening to the abridged version of the audiobook. This unabridged version has quite a bit of additional detail that I had not heard (or seen) previously, and I enjoyed hearing the story over again. Tim Jerome's narration is competent though, to my ear, it was not as good as Cotter Smith's reading of the abridged version or as good as George Wilson's reading of Citizen Solders.
Prior to this audiobook, I had seen the movie and read Wouk's Winds of War. So I had high expectations. I was not disappointed, and was even surprised by how much I enjoyed of the book. The story is engaging, entertaining, profound and even (a little) twisty. The character development is excellent and rarely seen in recent fiction. The narration is very good.
A few words of expectations management: First, this is less of a war book than Winds of War, and much less than other novels. The backdrop is the WWII Pacific Theater, and there are some fighting scenes. But this is not a war action book, or even a WWII history. Second, this is an epic story. Unlike the movie, the plot unfolds over 24 hours of audiobook and sometimes requires patience. But patience will be rewarded with a fantastic read (well .... listen).
I got this book based on the sterling reviews but was very disappointed. The main character and story line rang false on multiple levels. A CONTRACTOR overcome with guilt over a construction mistake that was blown out of proportion and wasn't his fault ... please. The actions of the bad guys are terrifying but implausible ... would a thug break into a house just to whisper scary messages into a baby monitor, then leave?
Overall, the plot was on the level of a teen horror flick (Scream, etc.) than a quality mystery novel.
Scott Brick is (or can be) one of the best narrators out there. Nonetheless, I find that his performances on some books are overdone, with too much emotional breathy talk. This was one of his overdone narrations.
I wish I could get my credit back.
I think the concept of this book is very interesting and important ... there is a lot of false information in "official" histories, and we should question popular theories and be vigilant in seeking the truth. The author/professor provides some good information and analysis, and I thought some of the information he presents is interesting and thought provoking. Nonetheless, the book fell short in a few areas: 1) A lot of his revelations of truth are pretty old hat ... yes, we know that Columbus and the early English settlers treated the Native Americans horrifically, 2) The author seems to make the same mistakes as the historians he critiques ... for example he criticizes mainstream historians for projecting their own values, motives and personalities onto historical events, but the author himself does this throughout the book, and 3) He seems to want to re-write all history to reflect the current fads among college history professors ... he correctly points out that past historians have often succumbed to the prevailing mood of the time (i.e., the politically correct story) rather than the truth, but he seems to want to do the same thing now.
I love Lawrence Block as a writer. Not so much as a narrator. In this case, his voice doesn't do his writing justice. This should have been narrated by Robert Forster (the original Hit Man voice and the bail bondsman in Jackie Brown).
Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent was a fantastic novel: a gritty, twisty courtroom drama with interesting characters and insight into flawed human characters. In The Burden of Proof, Mr. Turow tells a deeply thoughtful, sympathetic, tragic and highly boring story about one of the characters from the first novel (i.e., Sandy Stern). To me, this book was not very engaging or interesting. Just one man's opinion ...
A very good book. Boyd brings some original and refreshing elements to an old spy genre ... strong female leads, British actions in America, and two interesting and somewhat rare time periods for a spy novel (early-WWII and mid-'70s). The writing is good and the narration is excellent.
There are two reasons I didn't give the book 5 stars: First, there were some rather dumb factual mistakes that, while not really affecting the story, detracted from the book's credibility (e.g., several times, the book referred to the sinking of the "Reuben Jones", when the real name of the ship was the "Reuben James"). Second, while this is a good book and is done "in the style" of Le Carre and Greene, it does not really compare to some of the classics by Le Carre, Greene, etc. ... they did it first and they did it better.
This was an okay book, particularly for a new author. Nonetheless, the book didn't live up to the outstanding reviews it got on Audible and Amazon. For example, many of the positive reviews highlighted the writer's research of the subject matter and the authenticity of the story. However, there were some parts of the book that seemed foollish ... after Oklahoma City, would law enforcement officers really not know that fertilizer could be used for a bomb? Also, the overall depiction of the mafia didn't ring true and was sometimes almost clownish. I actually enjoyed the book, but I might have enjoyed it more if there wasn't so much unwarranted hype.
This book describes a part of military history that is interesting, important and not adequately covered by other books. Nonetheless, the book is a bit tedious to get through due to both its organization (meandering) and its narration (humdrum). This would be an excellent book if it were half the length and reorganized.
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