Having just finished the author's "Los Alamos," I was looking forward to "The Good German," but so far, the story has been completely flattened by Tucci's incompetent job of reading out loud. He starts too many sentences in which the predicate comes as a surprise to him; he doesn't know how to provide emphasis without being hammy, and he just drones on and on as though the text was passing before him on a screen, one sentence at a time. His wimpy little milksop voice is nowhere near what's needed for this story. Where's Patrick Tull when we need him?
Turning loose a trained Vietnamese assassin among a bunch of IRA bombers is an idea loaded with possibilities. It's a great little book, but the author falls into the trap of Orientalism in his characterization of the Viet Cong hero: he makes him into a single-minded cutthroat with the tracking skills of Natty Bumppo. He could have been a Joyce fan, or a horse racing bettor, or a baseball or lacrosse fan. But no. He does know how to make nitroglycerin out of antifreeze and fertilizer and set it off with a flash bulb. Not too deep. The Irish terrorists get full three dimensional portraits, on the other hand, including cottages, favorite drinks, Land Rovers and girl friends. Still, the plot moves right along and it's a fun read, with plenty of surprises -- all of them for the deliciously astonished white folks, and many of them fatal.
The Yeats of cruelty, the Greene of plotline, the Dylan Thomas of diction, the Merchant Ivory of atmosphere, the Dashiel Hammett of characterization... in short, another Joyce in his expert literary thievery and another Molly in his the ultimate 'Yes'
Writer tried to make this idea work, but he took too long. He seemed to know little about child murderers. Plot device -- story emerges as cops interrogate suspect -- dated back to the days of the Saturday Evening Post. Gotta be real patient and real naive to dig this thing.
I really wanted to hear Patrick Tull read this alleged masterpiece, but the sound was so bad I couldn't follow it. I understand the Burton Jouney to Mecca and Medina is being remixed, and I hope this one can be next. This is one of the greatest readers of the sport -- as those who've heard him read the Patrick O'Brien novels well know.
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