This book is done with humor and sarcasm to produce an understandable outline of the current problems faced in the global financial crisis. Lewis breaks down the issues of Iceland, Ireland and Germany...tracking back to the inevitable start of this mess - WE THE PEOPLE OF THE US. This is a mirror that is unpleasant to gaze in, but the presentation will leave you laughing as you shake your head at what all this may mean for our future.
I enjoyed this book very much. Although I enjoyed "the Passage", as well, I think this book was a little tighter in terms of writing and story-telling. I think the writer struck a better balance between the "slices of life" character development stories and the continuity of the overall storyline in this installment.
I was especially impressed with how the past and present story-lines tied together in order to give more depth to the motivations of the "adversaries". Cronin is very simply an excellent writer, so he brings life to material that could easily be one dimensional in the hands of another. I am very much looking forward to the next installment of this series, in addition to future projects he undertakes.
This started out well enough and I enjoyed spending some more time with the David Loogan character, but it got a little convoluted toward the end...in fact, I suspected they would when there were several chapters left and the story had already reached the point where it should have logically concluded. Overall, this was still an enjoyable book, but the author tried to connect too many dots as a conclusion to the detriment of the story. I still like the characters very much and will purchase the next installment, but if it is time to end the story...it should end. Occam's razor... : ) Also, I think they can find a better narrator for these, as well. He has a great reading voice, but some of his characters sound a bit like a Carlos Mencia monologue.
It is interesting to watch how various writers take on the "detective genre", which has been so overdone that we all recognize the various elements of these stories: the divorced detective that drinks too much; the hard nosed cop with the heart of gold; the former special forces soldier that somehow works in a small town; the "civilian" that helps the cops through a difficult case; etc. We all recognize these elements so well, that such characters do not even really have to be fully developed anymore.
In this case, the characters are interesting, fresh and the story is entertaining. Here, the main character is a mysterious guy that is working as an editor for a crime publication, as such he and the various published writers can all put forth theories - and become suspects - based on various plotlines. There is a continual refrain "if this were a story in Grey Streets...", which I think adds to the atmosphere, and really helps convey how the character is trying to deal with the facts of a murder.
I really liked this and look forward to the next one by this author.
I really do not understand all of the overly positive reviews for this book. There is a creepy and creative storyline, way down deep in this book somewhere, but it is smothered by childish body fixations and overly verbose descriptions of unnecessary details that, ultimately, go no where.
It seems like a lot of people have been convinced that this is one of those books one "must" like, because I honestly don't understand the appeal otherwise. There are some really creative characters and twists in here, but those are the least described pieces of the book...no joke, it is like 300 words to one in terms of coverage.
Especially ironic is that he keeps citing Chekov's "one must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it," because he does EXACTLY the opposite throughout this book. A rubber tree here, a goldfish there, spiders over yonder, a piece a celery over there, a crazy drunken foursome sex romp that can't quite be remembered...none of which serve any purpose whatsoever, but take up PAGES.
If they ever come out with an abridged version, MAYBE go for that...just make sure it is only about 10 hours long, because that is all this "story" actually requires.
This started out pretty interestingly, although I thought her definition of what "conscience" influences seemed a little expansive...and I discovered why by the last third of this. She has far too few clinical examples, and then she devolves into why a Buddhist/Hindu global consciousness is the answer to sociopathy... Wow... Not interesting at all, not scientific and not well supported.
For instance, one of her early examples was that in traditional Inuit (if I recall correctly) society, which is about as communal as you can get, they pitched people like this off a cliff - THAT was their cure and treatment for sociopaths. Yet, somehow when she discusses that in east Asia the rates of documented sociopathy are low, it is not really considered that it might be attributable to something other "they have an ingrained communal, group consciousness"...like in the Inuit society...where sociopaths seemingly occured and where their solution was to pitch them off a cliff... Might these societies in Asia, at least socially, pitch sociopaths off a cliff? Well, that would be up to another author to examine, because this author is too busy using it as an open door to go on and on about the Buddhist or Hindu worldview. I felt like this book was a bit of a bait and switch.
The author was kind of like the person you meet at a party that initially sounds pretty interesting and intelligent, until you realize they think 9/11 was planned by Israel and the CIA...or that the last four presidents have been Reptile people... What few examples of her actual clinical experience there are in this book were very interesting and thought provoking...but trust me, there were very few of them.
This was an excellent story - the author is clearly an expert on the period and location depicted in the book and he is able to weave in those extra details that allow the reader to experience a taste of what the scenes would have felt like. He describes common maladies, attitudes and hang-ups with ease and uses them to take a very good detective story to the next level. Loved it! I plan on reading the first book in the series soon and will then anxiously await another installment with this set of characters.
This is the first book I have listened to from Neil Gaiman Productions and it will definitely not be the last. This was a solid story performed excellently by the reader, and although it was quite entertaining the author did a good job using that as a forum to make you reflect on the transitory nature of my life. I found myself thinking of the finality of moving from one phase of life to another, without the story being in the least preachy or to heavy handed about it. This was an excellent selection!
The story was outstanding and I look very much forward to getting further acquainted with this author's work! Additionally, in terms of the audiobook, the narrator does a great job by taking on an Indian accent and doing a good job of expressing the dark humour that runs throughout this book. I would highly recommend this one! One of my favs!
This was an excellent, creative story and I found listening to it fairly addictive...but it was literally twice as long as it had to be. I felt like I was listening to an older aunt that doesn't know how to condense. There was NO need for this book to be as long as it was, but other than that - I loved the characters and storyline. I hope this guy has saved the vampire genre from its current sorry state.
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