A less hysterical primary character and a better reader
To be fair, I did not get far enough into the book to determine if the narrator was as objectionable as the story. Dick Hill narrated the first books and was fine, but Sandra Burr did not improve the story.
Did not get far enough into the book.
I usually do significant research to find a good book, but I would like to find a series where I could just enjoy everything by that author and save some time, like James Lee Burke, Patrick O'Brian or Rex Stout. Stephen White seemed to be such a guy. The first 5-6 books in the Alan Gregory series are nothing to rave about. I rate 3-4 stars and think Dick Hill makes them better. They have good plots and interesting settings and characters. But the dialog is not natural; there are usually a few gratuitous gory parts and a wild improbable culmination. Right away The Program was not usual - The opening scenes are fairly improbable followed by a hysterical performance by the main character, a lady district attorney. This was not helped by the narrator, Sandra Burr. I've quit books before but never as early as The Program. Currently I've found W. E. B. Griffin and will continue with him until he comes a cropper.
I stopped listening to the book yesterday and cannot remember anything about the reader. This may be related to the flatness of the book rather than the reader.
the table of contents that precedes each chapter
This is one of those books that for the first hour or so I ask 'what's going on; what's with the colors, and who is the narrator'? It turns out the narrator is death which is different, but I had not figured out the colors by the time I gave up half way through the book. I could not discern a plot, what the book thief got out of the books she acquired or even why she wanted so badly to read.
I enjoyed Clancy’s first 4-5 books but have not kept up. When I decided to listen to Locked On, a reviewer (who appeared to have similar tastes to mine) said it was imperative to have listened to the previous books in the series for full enjoyment. The first one he mentioned was Without Remorse. This was actually great news because I have been looking for a series (like Aubrey/Maturin) that I can enjoy without having to do research for each book. Without Remorse was 11 or so books away from Locked On so this would set me up for quite a while.I mention this to note that I was really pre-disposed to like Without Remorse. And I tried, well beyond where I would normally quit, but ultimately I could not finish. I noted early on the awkward relationships and unrealistic plot complexities. Characters to things to drive the plot, not because that is what their character as developed would do. I thought the technical details and overall picture would pull me through, but it got worse as I went along; I even fast forwarded through a couple of the many plot threads. That helped for a while, but eventually I ran out of caring about anything other than the police investigation.I went back to other reviews of later books to see if I stuck it out, things would get better. I looked mainly at the 1-star reviews to see if others were bothered by the same things. And there in Locked On was this - “the word choices, the cliches, the lack of character depth”. The reviewer was referring to Locked On being ghost-written and the words not being Clancy’s, but this could apply 100% to Without Remorse. “Speculation was rampant but not too rampant”; “his thoughts were more complex than theirs”. What does this even mean since it is said by the narrator, not the hero, and no other discussion follows?I guess I’ll listen to Simon Vance read the Master and Commander series for the 5th time and look for something else.
Some reviewers disliked this reader. I have enjoyed Michael Prichard for many hours through 60+ Nero Wolfe mysteries at least 3 times. I cannot imagine anyone else as Archie Goodwin. And while I agree with those who disliked the reader, I chalk it up to bad writing; I’m not sure any reader could save it.
from the reviews, some liked this, but I cannot imagine who they are
too many problems to address with a single sentence
they are all weak
When I listen to a book (or watch TV) with my wife, I often make comments about the story, usually in the negative about some inconsistency, error or unbelievable coincidence. I know this drives her crazy, and we usually listen to books that I recommend (she has her books for when she is alone) after a discussion of the expected content and reviews. We like mysteries and Snow White Must Die was such a great title, coupled with good reviews (which I should have read in more detail) seemed like a sure thing.
And at about 12 hours, when it seemed to be winding up, I had hardly made any comments, and most of those were attributable to the translation regarding grammar and the wonderment as to how certain phrases/words like “in cahoots” came to be the preferred meaning from German. At that point, I could have given it 3 stars across the board but would not have put the author on my ‘read’ list.
But it did not end there; it went on for another 4 hours, and as it went on the plot became ever more convoluted and unbelievable. Interminable is the best one-word description. The dialog and character actions do not ring true or in-character, the moralizing is irritating as are the incidents of ‘product placement’, but the biggest problem for me was the use of ‘unlocked doors’. I use the unlocked door as code for a point where the author must solve a particular problem but cannot do it logically so the characters find a particular door conveniently unlocked or open at a critical point so the story can proceed. This is irritating but not uncommon and usually occurs only 1-2 times/story.
In Snow White there are dozens of unlocked doors; like the sister who shows up after 14 years with no motivation at a critical point to unravel a particular question, a locksmith that is available on short notice to help solve a tense problem that has been building for over a week and then (no kidding) a key that just happens to be left in the lock in the final door that leads to the rescue. I’m sure I extended the actual listening by a significant amount by stopping every couple of minutes to comment, snort or roll my eyes at the preposterous story line. I could go into greater detail but do not want to waste any more time on Snow White. My main motivation for writing the review is the great listener guarantee. Even though no reason is required to exchange the book, I feel obliged to audible.com to comment.
In fairness, other than the convoluted plot, my wife did not find the story particularly objectionable. My comments were probably more irritating than the defects noted (even after I pointed them out). When I get to the end of a story that I give 1-2 stars, I go back and read the reviews to see if my objections are singular. Usually they are not, and when the reviews are detailed (not just describing spelling errors), they are better-written than the story.
This is my first Walt Longmire book. In the beginning I thought and commented to my wife 'this is actually going pretty slow, but I don't mind because the narrator is so perfect'. Later the story picked up. Some reviews from those familiar with this series thought the dialog is somewhat tired, but as a first for me, it was not. I read mysteries but not often, and while the ending was a surprise, I recognized it from other books/TV shows I had read/seen. My primary reason for writing the review is to note how much the narrator improved this book.
The voice was just right; it sounded Western; each character was distinct; pace was great; pronunciation perfect; dialog sounded natural.
I'm not going to make a film.
Hunting Season was my first Deutermann book and thought I discovered gold. The description on other titles did not look particularly interesting, but I finally picked Edge of Honor. It begins in San Diego with some background on Holcomb's Navy career and his marital relationship. After the ship deploys, it alternates between Holcomb on the ship on Yankee Station and his wife back in San Diego. The description of ship operations is fascinating, but the personnel plot is bad. But not as bad as the action back in San Diego which I feel certain was written by a different author. It was trite and transparent. Even my wife, who likes more women authors and the romance-type story lines could not take it. Because I enjoyed Hunting Season so much, I carried on way past my normal intolerance level but finally had to give it up. I will not try another Deutermann book. Jay Charles and Sandra Burr were not particularly noticeable as I was in almost constant critical mode on the plot.
It was almost 9 months ago when I listened and do not remember much about their performance. I do remember that I did not comment on it during the listening so it must have been fine.
I don't think there is a way to edit this to improve it for me. I spent 26 years in the Navy and Coast Guard, enlisted and officer (as a department head). I was not familiar with the current state of warfare in the Navy, but the description rings true and was excellent. The other parts of Navy life involving personal interaction were unlike anything I ever experienced. The parts with Holcomb's wife (as far as I got) read like (I imagine) a Silhouette romance.
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