I have loved the previous "Private" books, this one, not so much. I should have read it rather than listen to it. The writing is very poor, for a Patterson Novel. And yes, I know Patterson didn't write a word of it. His 'co-author' is the true author of these books, but he did put his name on it, and the Patterson name carries certain expectations. Those were not met this time out.
There were a number of disconnects: one of the investigators wondering if a soccer player, theretofore not mentioned in connection with the victim, could have been responsible for the situation. Another disconnect was the description of the investigator's son as being 'intuitive about his mother's moods--when all he did was make a logical connection due to the presence of a cat in the house. And his happiness ran counter to her sad mood. How is THAT intuitive? A third disconnect concerns a list the investigator found at the victim's house, which she hadn't read until later, yet she already knew that the victim was supposed to be seeing the soccer player--before she read the list! I am trying not to give away too much, but I have to point out the victim had been 'missing' for quite sometime, and the last time the investigator saw him was weeks ago, in the timeline of the book. So... how is it possible that she makes these undocumented connections? I'll tell you how... High School level writing and plot development.
As for the performance, even though there is a man (Ari Filakos) and a woman (January Lavoy) AND Ari DOES voice a man in the same segment that January is voicing the women, for some inexplicable reason, January gives voice to Jack Morgan, who comes off sounding like a female bobybuilder with a headcold. She also voices her partner who sounds as you would expect "Moose" to have sounded in the old Archie comic books.
I am too far into this story to stop now, I want to see how this is resolved, but this is NOT Private's finest hour. Though the storyline is compelling...
I can think of no one with an operating brain who would like this performance or the writing and characterizations within this dreck.
I have barely gotten though the first 1/4 of the book. I am struggling to continue. The writing is so poor, and the character of the so-called hero is, well, bi-polar at best. I have screamed at the dash of my car, where I do my listening, many times that he is asking inane questions and can't figure why things are happening as they are, despite the alleged fact of his having been a Colonel in Army (it is assume the US Army, but really? This guy is a DOLT.) Hes the one who tells the town leaders about the EMP that he thinks happened, then is continually astonished that things are breaking down. The scene in the Assisted Living Facitily is very instructive on this guy's mental imbalances. But I put that on the author. He did excellent research into the EMP phenomenon, but has ZERO clue how to draw a sympathetic hero, nor tell a compelling story. This supposed hero, John Matheson, would've made a great clerk in the enlisted ranks, but a General (a rank he was supposed to have been offered)? No friggin' way. Dumb, dumb, dumb. This work of fiction is so fraught with cliches and basic idiocy as to be cringe inducing.
Will Patton, hands down.
None I can discern.
Don't buy this book, if your brain works and you can think clearly for yourself.
I don't think anything could save this stroy, but a different narrator might help. I stopped listening after three hours. Frank Muller is NOT what I think of when I think of a performing narrator.
This was a disappointment, as I have enjoyed both authors immensely over the years. I loved jointly-written book The Talisman, as well as the books both have written separately. Black House, to me, was hard to follow and gave me a feeling of disconnect from what the authors may have intended.
His delivery was too mellifluous. Too many times he spoke in hushed tones when the story line did not warrant it. He was also too breathy. There was one line that I did like: "Case closed, game over, zip up your fly..." but from the 3 hours I listened to before I shut it down and deleted it from my iPhone, that is the only line I remember.
All of them.
Buy this if you must,but don't blame me if you don't like it...
Ray Porter IS Joe Ledger to me, so any Ledger book her reads, I am buying! That said, this book is a big disaapointment. JUST when the action gets moving and you think you are the cusp of figuring things out, BAM, a stupid 'interlude' pops up. These interludes add NOTHING to the story that could not have been done in a single prologue. They are too distracting from the arc of the story, and by the time we are brought back to Joe and Echo team, too much time has elapsed and the momentum is lost. I don't know why Jonathan Maberry loves these 'interludes' but they really need to go. A story like this, and others of its ilk, relies on momentum and suspense--not idiotic forays into times way past, and which have very little to do with the story at hand. Next time, Jonathan, do this sort of thing in a prologue and let the story move! If I was reading this on my kindle, I would have returned it for credit after the first 6 interludes. Had this been a paperback I was reading, I'd have shredded it. Dreck.
Where to start...? Ok. It sucked. I listened to the end, because I did want to know what happened, but the story was poorly drawn, EVERY ONE of the characters were written as annoyingly insipid morons. There is NO way Richie Conklin would be a real cop. He's too stupid, in this book anyway. The story arc about Lindsey's baby was gratuitous and really had no place in this book. The storyline about the professor was patently irritating. Patterson either should stop putting his name on this dreck, or hire better "Co-Authors", but we all know JP doesn't write a word of these co-written books. He just puts his name on them to sell them. I think the WMC has run it's course. Retire the force.
Yes. Besides Will Patton's excellent vocalizations, the compelling storyline would bring me back to listen again. I would have to give it time, but it is one I would revisit. I may actually read the book.
Failsafe. But only for the chilling effect of the thought of Nuclear Annilhilation. The stories are different in scope and effect, but the considerations they dredge up are timeless. How would YOU react in either situation? What would YOUR thoughts, expectations, realities and future be?
Will Patton gives each character, not just a voice, but he imparts personality and depth to each person. He makes them real. I listen to many books, and have a number of favorite narrators, but Will Patton stands alone in his ability to create a scene with his voice. Through Will's intonations and inflections, you can SEE the town, the people, the various homes; stores; offices, etc... In his readings of James Lee Burkes 'Dave Robicheaux' series, you can FEEL the heat and humidity of the bayou on a sweltering summer day. You can see the moss hanging from the cypress trees. You can smell the fetid stench of a marsh... he is no less successful in 'Alas, Babylon.' I will buy any audiobook that Will Patton narrates. In fact, he is my first search when looking for a new audiobook.
Yes, but being that I listen while driving, by necessity, I listen in short segments. But that only serves to make me want to listen all the more next time I am in the car.
When listening to this book... try, TRY to imagine this happening today. We are so much more dependent on our lifelines: cell phones; ipads; laptops and such. They serve to isolate us from the realities of life. They are our escape, actually, from those realities. A catastrophe as unimaginable as the one in 'Alas, Babylon' is a reality from which there IS no escape.How would YOU cope?
The storyline was very compelling. I enjoy pretty much every Nelson DeMille novel, as he writes such involved plots, forcing you to be sharp to keep up.
I liked the pairing of John Corey and Paul Brenner. I hope these two team up again, soon.
I did NOT like Scott's performance on this one. He was trying to give John a New York Accent, but it was spotty at best. And in an annoying way. I don't even know what accent he was trying to impart.... sounded Brooklyn with a mix of Boston and Mid-west. Very confusing. I will say he did great with the Middle Eastern accents. I have liked other Scott Brick performances, notably as Aloysius Pendergast. In that series, he does a commendable New Orleans accent. But this particular performance left me annoyed and unhappy.
No. Way too long for that!
Yes... While I find John Corey an interesting character, Nelson DeMille had too heavy a hand with the sarcasm, facetiousness and general smart-ass commentary the mark John Corey's character. It was distracting in many cases to hear smart-ass comments in rapid succession. And the OVER use of the word "right" sometimes 4 times in a 15-minute section of the book... well, I nearly stopped listening. The John Corey of this book would have been justifiably shot by Kate by the second chapter, and no jury in the world would convict her. Once the action got started (which was WAY too late in the story for my tastes) the sarcasm, etc. was used sparsely. I think a good editor could have saved a couple hours off the reading of this book by cutting the "right" and sarcasm, etc. down to more normal levels.
No one with a brain.
There is nothing to recommend about this dreck. The 'hero' is a mentally unbalanced, obsessive delving into something that is none of his business. The plot is contrived, the story is annoyingly stupid and the way this loser Fisher is portrayed is embarrassing. I stopped listening after about 10 chapters. I couldn't take it anymore. What Harlan Coben could have done was never publish this farce. I have loved everything else Coben has written, but had this been my first exposure to Coben, it would certainly have been my last.
I generally like Scott Brick, but here he portrays his character as a sniveling, obsessed idiot. The whiny quality with which Scott read this character was grating, and part of why I stopped listening. Scott did a fantastic job on 'Still Life With Crows' to hear him do THIS crap... well, in my opinion, it was not a good career move.
Nope. None that I can think of.
Can I get a refund?
Better story line. This one made Michael Bennett seem to be an ambulating idiot. He can't figure out the most obvious of clues. And Mary Catherine is drawn as a selfish, self-involved person. Not the Mary Catherine of the past novels. I found myself tuning out most of the time, having to rewind and try to follow the story arc.
You want me to name ONE thing that was most disappointing? How about that I actually bought this dreck? The writing was poor and the characterizations were farcical. Except for Seamus, the other major characters were ploddingly drawn, and insipid.
I liked Bobby Canavale's performance, he captures New York perfectly. Too bad he was saddled with such a poor excuse for a story. Jay Snyder was not memorable to me.
It wouldn't help to cut a character or characters. The book was not worth the money I paid for it.
I hope this is the last Michael Bennett book, at least it most likely will be for me. I was hugely disappointed.
Certainly in the top 5. I resisted, for years, reading James Lee Burke, now I am thoroughly hooked. In his prose, Burke brings the landscape to life, regardless if it is bayou Teche; downtown New Orleans or the vistas of Montana--you feel as if you are walking the same path as Dave, Clete and Molly.
The image of Clete Purcell trussed up to that tree, doused with gasoline. Vivid descriptions, I could smell the gas.
Everything. I have NO idea where Clete's voice comes from, and Will's atonal inflections renders every voice memorable. Clete's voice, however, conveys all the Jack Daniels and cigarettes the man has ingested; every hooker he slept with; every wife he ran off; and every bad guy he gave what was coming to them... that is one inspired voice, Big Mon.
Even in Montana, things are not always as they seem...
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