I have read or listened to more than a dozen Nero Wolfe mysteries and this one is the first I felt compelled to review. Others I have enjoyed due to their wonderful and sometimes even humorous indulgence of my sense of fair play. The bad guys who seem beyond the reach of more pedestrian justice are brought not only to justice but to heel by the depth of Wolfe's understanding. Where the police would give us flat but proper procedural justice, Nero Wolfe, when the circumstances of the case demands it, satisfies not only the impersonal demands of the legal system, but the specific demands of every character involved, sometimes even the murderer's.
This particular story delighted me because the ending caught me so thoroughly immersed in Archie's viewpoint that I was as furious with Wolfe as Archie was, and was ready to walk away in disgust. Then the final wrap up showed me that once again Wolfe had thought of everything and delivered a nuanced justice that kept my little gray cells spinning for a long time.
My poor review is based solely on the quality of narration, not on the book itself. I found Rama a slow read and not as engaging as Clarke's other works, but it was well written. I didn't like being left with so many questions at the end, but am interested in reading the sequels to see if more will be revealed.
This is my first Peter Ganim-read book and I found it very frustrating. He sounded a bit like the Talking Moose (first CG reader) and I actually found myself listening for clues to determine if he was a human being - his pacing was so very stilted and artificial - or if Audible decided to save some coin by having computers narrate their books now.
He seemed to improve a bit as I moved into Part II of the book - or else I just got used to it.
Since reading this book, I have purchased another Ganim narration - When Worlds Collide. I grabbed it on impulse because it is one of my all time classic scifi favorites and didn't bother to look to see who was reading it. I found Ganim's read of When Worlds Collide to be completely acceptable.
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