Here's the thing. It should be obvious from the other reviews that the reviewers not only are not objective but apparently have an ax to grind. Specifically, many of them have objected to what they see as anti-capitalism in much the same way as a certain type of reader finds anti-capitalism themes in The Lorax and The Muppet Movie. If you're one of those people (i.e., a slightly derranged, barely literate, avid Fox News viewer), you too are going to despise this book. However, for the rest of us, the book has an extremly unique voice in a world overcrowded with cookie cutter books and movies.
Is the book perfect? No. The reader was profoundly mundane, which I think marred the book a bit for me. But the story itself is not so much anti-capitalism as a cautionary tale about the quest for wealth and immortality without the consideration of the consequences. It is scary? Not at all. If you want scary that is the same only different, look to Dean Koontz. If you want a book that is lyrically visual, this is an allegory for our time, that is both at times funny and at times tragic, then this book is for you. I enjoyed it and believe that you will too.
This performance is head and shoulders above Cimarron Rose with it's irritating and intrusive dobro interludes. No interludes here, but Burke started phoning it in about 10 years ago. His books have become as formulaic as Dean Koontz. There is always the creepy, sexually deviant psychopath, the rich family that is involved in some dirty dealings, the cardboard cut-out mob guys who are somehow involved, and the hero who gets sexually involved with every female character, normally to his detriment. That said, even the worst Burke is better than 90% of what is out there. Will Patton, as usual, does an astonishing job of bringing Burke's characters to life.
There is little left of substance after the abridgement. Insipid blues guitar pieces separate the set pieces, as well as overwrought, inconsistently used sound effect, give this an incredibly amateurish feel. This is particularly tragic given the excellence of Burke's writing and Patton's narration. The producer and editor should have been horsewhipped.
It's hard to believe that an audiobook on such an interesting subject could be so dull and boring. Part of the problem is Brand's style. It's like listening to someone read a newspaper article to you, a very looooong article. It is just the facts and nothing but the facts. Now if you had a voice talent that could imbue life into even the most boring of subjects, say Will Patton, it would be different. But McGonagle's straightforward reading only makes matters worse. Save your credits and pick a different book.
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