I listened to this a few weeks ago, on the recommendation of a speaker whose opinion I respect.
The autobiography is about a small town preacher who follows the holy spirits urging (os so we must assume) and follows that urging to New York city. After some humiliating attempts to ensconce himself in a public trial, and bring the testimony of Jesus Christ to some murdering gang members, he eventually moves to the Big City. He starts to actually help lost children find meaning and purpose, and for some he helps to find God.
Often times the tone of the book struck me as holier-than-thou, or of a false humility, but I hesitate somewhat to say that, because I may be wrong. What he actually did was brave, and certainly much needed. His wife and child(ren) were so secondary while all this was happening that I wondered about his priorities a little bit, but put it down as secondary to the story he was relating.
I actually learned a lot about heroin addiction from this book, and how rare it is for someone to conquer this particular habit, so strong is it. I am glad I read it, but would not like to do it again. somewhat dated in feeling, I think this took place in the 50's or 60's.
Slow Horses is an interesting new take on the Spy Game genre.
Instead of the best of the best in modern spy craft, we are introduced to the cast-off's of an offbeat MI-5 division. "Mission Unattainable". Because they are screw-ups, they have been relegated to a backwater department that monitors emails for suspicious activity (at current they have checked 80,000 emails and have found no imminent threats).
I enjoyed the writing style, which was descriptive, but not bogged-down in details. And enjoyed the characters immensely, especially the corpulent and flatulent director of the Slough House Division.
However, one criticism I feel inclined to make is: halfway through the book several peripheral characters became main characters; It became very confusing for me personally to know what just happened. It took a re-listen to those parts before I could make sense of who was who and when, and where, and why... The story steadied itself before a satisfactory ending.
I definitely recommend to fans of the genre.
What may be intended as wry-old-humor and absurdity, just became somewhat tiresome after a while. I lost interest in the story and the characters about halfway through. Although lighthearted, it seemed unfunny to me, and just became long-winded in its delivery.
Listening to "Defending Jacob" is like watching a train wreck.
You watch with a weird fascination, knowing that what you see is terrible, but unable to pull your gaze away. One bad thing piles onto another bad thing, and you begin to question the truth (as the lawyers, and the author intended). "Jacob" redefines the courtroom thriller. If Grisham were to write a novel that was not formulaic, and was smoldering with emotion and filled with flawed characters (that may or may not be sadistic killers) then this might be it. You will never guess the ending.
Without giving anything away... the DA's son is accused of murder, and as the title of the book suggest, a number of meanings begin to play out. His family is pulled headlong into the muddy fray, and their lives are quickly unraveled with hateful gossip, community backlash, and etc...
Excellent reading by Grover Gardener.
A veterean Homocide Detective is forced into an early retirement as cancer ravages his insides (and makes a mess of his plans at fishing and lazy days ahead). Amidst the upheaval this illness causes, he is given a rare chance at redeeming a bungled case from his past. This distraction saves him from thinking about his current misery, and may even save a girl's life.
It is a solid detective story, if a little predictable. The 'cancer' aspect of the novel was very informative and written neatly into the story; The author seemed very knowledgeable about the subject, and empathetic to the hero's predicament.
The narrator's timbre was appropriate for a gruff, worn-out cop.
You won't find a deep Tolstoy-esque story here.
The characters are straight-forward, set in a PA wasteland, with a few minor tweaks to set it apart from other books of this genre. There are some cyborg elements and characters with supernatural abilities that set it apart from other PA stories, but otherwise it is fairly standard-fare.
You pretty much know what to expect when you choose a novel with a giant sailboat on the cover sailing on the open ocean.
What you also get is solid writing, a noteworthy main character, and a clear plot.
Choose, if you love this genre!
Hugh Howey's is a capable writer. He has created a mostly believable sand-world. Not quite escapism as much as an alternate reality, or PA fiction. An obvious homage to the Dune.
I am always interested in an author's take on "God", especially if they breach the subject in their book. Although the author of "Sand" argues that God(s) are either dead, or doesn't care/doesn't exist, the subject is explored and turned over by the author multiple times throughout the course of the characters' mis-adventures.
Robert Harris' novel "Imperium" tells the fictionalized story of Cicero through a first-person account by his servant Tito. This is the first of three novels, recounting Cicero's rise from commoner to high-profile lawyer and professional politician.
Imperium is slow and somewhat rambling story, but manages to create a believable backdrop of life in ancient Roman. Harris has effectively brought to life the white marble and flowing robes so often associated with Rome, and has made them seem elegant and sophisticated. He has used examples of corrupt and power-hungry leaders to create realistic scenarios and believable characters.
Imperium clearly links todays court-room justice and modern politics, with the their roots in the "Pax Romana" model of law.
Bad writing is compounded by unlikeable characters, and annoying narration.
As another reviewer stated, it seems the author really wanted to write about a devolution into a fantasy world.
Save a credit...
The author wrote a really great children's story, then ruined it with Atheistic rantings and insistences.
Mr Pratchett doth protest too much, methinks.
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