I have read most of Westlake's books and enjoyed them. This one tops them all -- it is a hilarious satire on reality shows. The gang signs up to do a reality show about them doing a heist, with unpredictable results. Narrator does a fabulous job -- thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end.
For the past month I've been trying to get through this book. I'm two hours into the book and about to give up. I suspect there's a decent story here but the narration is so poor -- complete with a lisp -- that it makes the book impossible to appreciate. Someone should have listened to her read before hiring her.
I loved the first 5 or 6 books in the Bolitar series. They were light, funny and highly entertaining. Then Coben discovered his work would sell a lot more books if he wrote "thrillers" instead of humorous detective novels -- and his work went downhill from there. This new novel is a Bolitar novel but it is more of the style of his new set of "thrillers" -- and the result is a huge disappointment and a book that I had trouble getting all the way through. The new Myron has become boring, the dialogue is no longer crisp and the "suspenseful plot" doesn't work. I feel badly writing this review because I loved the early books so much, but this is a pale shadow of his early work.
I had low expectations when I ordered this book -- how could anyone compete with the Hammett's Maltese Falcon or with Bogart in the movie? So I was delightfully suprised that Gores does such an excellent job in capturing the spirit and atmosphere of the original. The narration was wonderful, too -- one could picture Bogie saying these lines. Probably the most enjoyable listening experience of the past 20 books I listened to.
I had seen reviews that compared this book to F. Scott Fitzgerald's writing. Not even close. The frequent gay sex scenes perhaps may be titillating for gay readers, but I suspect most straight males will find them merely boring, as I did. Hardly a classic -- suggest readers looking for well written recent "coming of age" novels to seek out Nick Hornby instead. It also didn't help that the author read the book instead of a professional reader -- always a danger sign.
I usually like novels that are not afraid to be edgy, but this one never engaged me.
If you loved the DaVinci Code, you'll love this book. I thought the DaVinci Code was overwritten with flat charcters and this book suffers from the same flaws. Too many cliched descriptive terms. If it were written book, I would have put it down half way through. Narrator is nothing special either.
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