I finished all of the Michael Connelly books and was wondering how I'd get along without Harry Bosch. I have also read a number of Stephen White's books and feared I would soon be without a detective I liked as much as Alan Gregory or Harry Bosch. AND then I discovered (through some really helpful reviews) Kurt Wallander and I"m no longer worried. The narrative is excellent, the reader perfect for the book. I like the kind of low key committed case-solving by Bosch and Connelly without hype or pretension. Like Alan Gregory and Harry Bosch, Kurt Wallander is a real person with strengths, weaknesses, blunders, and and an abolute committment to his job. Henning Mankell is now on my list of really good authors (along with Greg Iles, Michael Connelly, Stephen White, Lee Child) in the Mystery area. I recommend the author highly.
I really really like George Guidall as a narrator and the combination of his voice and intonations with Alex Berenson makes me very happy for as long as the book lasts. This book (The Night Ranger) situated in Africa (Kenya and Somalia) perhaps isn't as good as his books on the Middle East - but more than good enough and gives a credible feel for life in Africa, the warlords, the instability etc.
AND much much less black than the later books when Harry gets more and more depressed and eventually ... well. You'll see if you get into the series. John Lee is great, the characters are fun and diverse. (When I say fun, it's a murder investigation so it's not a light book), but I liked many of them and Harry Hole showed sides that eventually disappear.
Increasingly I find the narrator has a HUGE impact on how I relate to a book or a series. Dick Hill and George Guidall are excellent and I've become hooked on Alex Berenson's John Welles series and Griffin's Presidential Agent novels. The stories themselves are good, characters (lead) likable and human with good detail. Because the W.E.B. Griffin ones need to be read in order, there is always a part where the book has perhaps a chapter filling in the reader with things they might not know (if they haven't read it in series). I'm not sure how much this will bother me or not as the Presidential Agent ones continue - but Charlie Castillo is a very likable "guy" and enough details are provided in the retelling to add flesh to the "bones" of his history. I do think that Dick Hill is an important reason I've liked the series so much so far. But really good and I'd recommend others who've liked Berenson and Vince Flynn (with reader Guidall),
And yet - an enjoyable listen. I was frustrated in part because some things were SO predictable that it spoiled the story. But there is enough detail about Poland the the cruelties of Germany and Russia. AND insights into various immigrants groups and blue blood Americans. So overall I rate it as OK, but not more so. I can't give it a 2.5 stars, so I settled on 3.
Reader (who isn't my favorite) was masterful and had a full menu of voices, accents etc. He's pretty good. But book is really bad. I liked the Lions of Lucerne but hated this one. I don't know if it was the character of Meg or the plot or a large number of contrivances, or perhaps all of these - but I actually laughed at times, and said "oh yes, of course." Really bad.
Buy it and read. There are no more left. It's by far NOT the best, but it's got Courtenay's mind for detail and knowledge of parts of Asia and his skill in building the plot. I'll miss him and Humphrey Bower, although the latter still lives.. I've now read everything by Courtenay (there was one I didn't as I didn't like the narrator, or I might have but given up).
I almost stopped ⅓ through, then ⅔ through - and then I hit the last ⅓ and it's incredible. Very strong.
I had downloaded this book sometime ago. I have a feeling it must have been a special sale. I did listen to the whole thing but didn't like it at all. The story goes back and forth between a present and a past. The lead character, Anna Pigeon (who is in many of Barr's books - a NPS ranger) is related to the characters in the past. The past takes place at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln in an outpost prison where some conspirators or sympathizers are kept. The present is in a NPS garrison park. Flashing back and forth between the past and this present with evil afoot, "someone" drugging NPS rangers with LSD in the water so they think they are going mad, the same someone involved in human smuggling operations - well, it's melodramatic and not very well written.
To be fair to this book, I had just finished Woud's "War and Remembrance" and so there are very few books that could even come close to the power. However, my opinion doesn't change when I think of it relative to some other fiction (historical fiction) I've read. It's an OK story. It's well told and it takes place (at least in part) in a part of the world (Bulgaria) with which I am less familiar. But it didn't really grip me. When it ended, I had to listen to the last two chapters again to be sure I hadn't spaced out and missed anything. It's the first Furst novel I've read and I'm not rushing to add others. I do like Guidall in general.
I've read (listened) to so many books on WWII including The Storm of War, Bloodlands, Inferno, The Rise and Fall of the 3rd Reich, In the Garden of Beasts, Lisbon, The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich at War, Spandau Prison, Black Cross - and many others. Wouk's writing particularly in this book made me feel and experience what it meant to be a Jew/Jewess in Germany, France, and Italy profoundly. I felt and experienced the trauma. The last volume (Part 7) is particularly strong. Wouk made me experience the horror and not just read about it. It also provides insights into the mindset in the US and the political resistance to our entry into the war and recognition of what had happened. I recommend it highly.
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