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.
Reads like an old German fairytale set in an authentic Germanic village (replete with artisans and laborers), but includes modern amenities such as cell phones.
Narrator was great, I think he really made the words come alive.
There is something really enjoyable about Mick Heron's writing style. I'm not sure if it is the story, the slow build, the slightly off-beat characterization, or something else...but I seem to be pulled into the story eventually, every time.
I was somewhat disappointed when this. One came to an end. I suppose I knew it had to happen, but I was no less surprised when it did happen.
Perhaps a sequel? Hollywood can do it, why not you? Hehehe😚
Perhaps it is the difference in times and cultures, but this book moves at a snail's pace, and the plot remains unclear after several hours.
As an avid listener to espionage novels, and classic lit.,... this one is a dud.
*It doesn't help that the narrator sounds like Yoda when performing the main character.
World War II, occupied Paris.
A film director navigates through twisting allegiances and desirable damsels to locate a path to survival.
Not great. Not bad.
A cathedral in Mediaeval England was highly honored, and would bring great importance to any city that had one.
Ken Follett did an admirable job of creating a world that revolves around a group of monks who ambitiously embark on building a new cathedral. The story also focuses on a few skilled builders, several Bishops (both good and bad), and the inevitable Royal Families that control the lands, and of course...the peasants.
Follett was fair-handed in his depiction of both the "devout" and the completely "corrupt" and both character-types were believable. It was a novel as sprawling as the cathedral itself, but was also very well-done.
Narration by John Lee was superb.
This is the second book in a new detective series by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.
The first book "Cuckoo's Calling" was an enjoyable departure from Rowling's typical writing. It focused on a hard-luck detective who begrudgingly takes a case, only to break it open and find an interesting twist at the end.
The second book "Silkworm" follows the same main characters as they track down clues from a gruesome murder.
Rowling does a great job at continuing the character development of the main characters, but many other characters felt like cut-outs with a name. I found many of them similar and unmemorable, especially as they all ran in the same circles and held similar careers.
This shortage of viable characters in the suspect pool, certainly made it difficult for Rowling to create believable Red Herrings, and left me slightly let-down at the reveal.
It's hard not to picture Bogart, but there is so much that is lost on the silver screen. The movie 'stage punches' and dated cinema left me feeling disconnected, whereas in the book, the grit and brawn came to life in color.
A mystery in a day in the life of Slough House.
MI5 has a cast-off department where screw-ups and castaways go to pasture. Whether it is because of gambling addictions, or leaving a file on a subway car, everyone at Slough House is a "slow horse" or, as they are sometimes referred, "Special Needs".
The character development is filled out enough that you have a feeling of who the main players really are, and you know what makes them tick. They are the underdogs, and deep down want to prove themselves.
When they catch wind of a sleeper cell from Cold War times being awakened, they might have a chance to redeem themselves.
Slow Horses is the prequal to Dead Lions.
A serious 'Crime Thriller' written by Norway's Jo Nesbo.
I have read three books in the Harry Hole series and this was my favorite. It had a well-considered plot, good dialogue, positive character development, and the writing was expertly handled.I enjoyed the character study of Harry Hole (the hero/anti-hero). He is funny in a pathetic, yet lovable way.
There were multiple minor plot lines that intersected during the chase for an elusive serial killer; I felt this added interest to the story, and thickened the plot. I do not always enjoy multi-tiered stories, but in this case it was a welcome addition.
The descriptions of the crimes were mild given that the subject matter involves a serial killer and multiple victims, but would nevertheless give it a strong R-rating for violence and graphic sexual content.
*Recommended for fans of the genre only.
The first book "Cop Killer" was set against a heatwave in the middle of Summer.
The second book "The Mugger" takes place in Fall (Autumn).
I happened to read both books during the seasons they were written about. I was impressed with McBain's atmospheric writing, perhaps because I experienced the seasons as he was describing them.
McBain describes the city as if it were a woman (his words) and the reader can thus feel the dress sticking to her skin; Whether it is the sweltering summer sweat, or leaves falling around her ankles onto wet pavement.
Once the mood is set, the actors are introduced: the criminals and the crimes they perpetrate, the enforcers of peace, and the families at home.
“The body lay outside an abandoned, boarded-up theater. The theater had started as a first-run movie house, many years back when the neighborhood had still been fashionable. As the neighborhood began rotting, the theater began showing second-run films, and then old movies, and finally foreign-language films.”
- Ed Mccain from "Cop Hater"
By todays standards Mccain's writing may seem quaint, but it captures the essence of 1950's cop novels.
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