As a retired military officer, who spent a year in Vietnam I can attest to the accuracy of this novel. His use of colloquialisms and military routines are dead on. His character painting is vivid and it makes you care about his characters. I couldn't wait to see how the Marines were doing each day as I got my dose of this audio book. It is one of those books that grabs you and holds you throughout. When its over you wish there was more.
Following on the heels of his Blockbuster first novel, I expected more. The problem with this novel is there are too many story lines, shifting in both time an perspective. It lost me in the middle and never regained my interest.
I realize fiction is to suspend reality in favor of imagination, but some of the plot lines in this novel are ridiculous. I'm a big fan of the series but this one seems like it's off kilter with a plot line and twists that defy reality.
without a doubt, Pendergast
It's been quite a while since their last novel, the prior one in this series. I'd recommend reading that prior to beginning this novel to refresh yourself on the myriad of relationships and the history of how the new book got to where it is.
I've read every lee child novel. I love the Character. It is obvious to me that there were one or more chapters omitted from this audio book. One of the pivotal events is missing, discussed after the fact but not seminal moment when it happened. it took me quite a while and several references during the plot line to determine what was missing and how that event fit into the plot.
Fix the problem and it will be worth it.
It's never easy to try to anticipate the plot twists and subsequent actions that Lee Child delivers through Jack Reacher. that is one of the primary reasons I enjoy the series so much. I read extensively (or listen to audio books). While many books are well written and enjoyable, you can frequently anticipate what will happen next. It becomes almost formulary. Not so with these Jack Reacher novels. the only consistent thing throughout them is reacher and his zen like existence with nothing but a toothbrush and disposable cheap clothes. I'm a retired Army officer and find his description of military life and actions to be fairly accurate (although most soldiers would be thrown into Prison for some of the things Reacher routinely does in each of these novels) So, yes.... it is necessary to suspend reality on occasion (Reacher whips the asses of small armies single handedly) you WANT to believe that these bad guys will get their just rewards (an ass kicking by Reacher). Child does have ONE formula that he repeats over and over in each novel. I guess he feels it is necessary at some point in each novel for a female associate to hop into bed with reacher as though he is irresistable to the female species (despite his admitted lack of showers, clean clothes OR the use of toothpaste. My wife gets a good laugh out of that part of his novels. Otherwise, I believe it ALL.
I was guided to this book during my quest to read all of Don Winslow's novels. I read SAVAGES and was hooked on Winslow's writing. He wrote a novel that was tied to this Trevenian classic as a prequel with many of the same characters. When i discovered this, I did a little research and found SHIBUMI, (on which Winslow's novel SATORI was based) to be held in high literary regard. I enjoyed it immensely. Like many of Winslow's novels it has broad historical scope with cultural and historical accuracy coupled with a plot that grabs you and won't let go!
I've read most of these novels by John Sandford, it is one of my favorite series. However, this abridged version sounds as though it has been artificially speeded up to fit into some sort of time criteria. Much of the dialogue is delivered without much inflection, and music and sound effects are added here and there - not improving the performance much. this is the first audio book I've purchased in this series that has been "abridged", I won't buy another abridged performance. A couple of truisms I've learned listening to audiobooks, the first is NEVER buy an audio performance delivered by the AUTHOR, now I'm thinking about these abridged versions. The UNABRIDGED versions are done well in this series.
This is the kind of book that when you begin, you wonder "why am I reading this", misery and suffering endured by young Marines. I spent a year in Vietnam as a medical evacuation helicopter pilot and found this narrative to be true to life down to the colloquialisms in use at the time. What makes it such an excellent story is the authors way of showing the human spirit in war. Combat scenes as good as saving private Ryan. It sets the hook and reels you in. When it is finished you wish you had a sequel or could continue reading. It is an exceptionally well written piece of literature, with a great story line and the enduring story of men in combat as it really is. I found myself looking forward daily to going back and seeing what kind of predicament the marines had found themselves in that day. If you are thinking about joining the Marines, don't read this, no fancy crisp uniforms with gleaming swords here, just reality.
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