Colorado Springs, CO, United States | Member Since 2004
I really enjoyed this book. I know there are comparisons to Stieg Larsson, but I really think this book stands on its own without needing a comparison to the Dragon Tattoo series. That said, since it's being marketing that way, I will say that it's not as violent, or quite as detailed as Larsson's books, but it's got great character development and plot. I must say, my mind was twisted up trying to figure out who the Old Man really was, and the revelation of such was thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding. The translation from Norwegian was a tad quirky, but in no way did it detract from the writing. I look forward to reading (hearing) other books by Jo Nesbo.
I was not at all impressed with Harry Hole at the beginning, but he grew on me as time went on. I wasn't expecting a super-hero like Mitch Rapp, but he was a bit of a loser. He needs to lose the beat up Ford Escort.....
The unveiling of the Old Man's diary.
I really wanted to soak up this book, I'd never studied WWII in Africa in detail and I was itching to learn about it. But listening to a detailed book about it was not the right approach for me. While very well researched and written, it's a constant barrage of names, places, facts, dates, scenarios..... I simply couldn't keep it all straight in my mind. I think that a book like this is much better read in print, where you can look at maps, stop and let something sink in, remember a person, look up a reference point for clarification, etc.
My audiobook addiction began in 2005 with "The Closers" by Michael Connelly. I was blown away. The story and the narration were so good, I knew right then I was hooked. In the following years, I listened to virtually every Michael Connelly book, and I enjoyed all of them - until The Black Box. This story felt shallow and uninspired. Harry Bosch has become a shadow of his formal self. The story was chock full of cliches and simplistic writing, and the character development was almost non-existent. The narration was terrible and made me feel like the narrator was speaking in satire. I think this will be the last Michael Connelly book I read. It's the end of an era.
I looked forward to this book since I loved Snow Crash. Boy was I disappointed. Not sure if the author was on LSD, or if LSD is required to listen to this book, but it's weird, disjointed and confusing. There are so many strange sub-plots that weave in and out of reality and bizarre fantasy. Don't assume that if you liked Snow Crash you'll like this - I didn't.
The writing is juvenile, the narration boring, the story goofy. The characters alternate between trying to be serious and funny, but achieving neither. Don't bother with this one. Thank goodness I got it as a buy on get one free so I didn't waste a credit on it.
After reading the amazing 4 and 5 star reviews I was expecting this to be one of the best books I've listened to in a long time. Plus - I'm a huge fan of Humphrey Bower as one of the best narrators in the business so I was expecting a great one - two punch of a great story with great narration. Alas, it was not to be - I was unfulfilled. What I listened to was a book that was WAY too long (this might be the one and only book I've listened too that I wished was abridged)., and characters that were enigmatic and a strange contrast between good and evil. C'mon - a mafia don who was a learned philosopher? The protagonist a common criminal / drug addict with a conscience? The woman love interest a former prostitute who teases the protagonist unmercifully for no good reason? It just didn't come together for me. There were too many contradictions in the lives of the characters. The story didn't make me dream of Bombay - on the contrary, it confirmed that I have no desire whatsoever to go there. I don't know - it was just disappointing, and I really can't recommend it to anyone who prefers a more pragmatic story with realistic characters.
By the way, Humphrey Bower is amazing in his narration of the book. Too bad the story doesn't make up for the great performance.
An ending that doesn't include a megalomaniac with a "doomsday" machine. I felt like I was listening to a James Bond movie with an unlikely bad guy who has a doomsday machine that exists beyond credibility. The doomsday machine relies on nuclear weapons launched from satellites that have existed 10 years past nuclear winter.
A bit. I like post-apocalyptic stories, but this one too itself too seriously with a cruddy ending. I kept waiting for a meaningful ending, but it never came. Cliche is the order for day for this book.
Narration was OK.
Not worth the many, many hours it took to get to the end of this book.
While I thoroughly enjoyed the narration (I love hearing an authentic Irish accent), this story was so depressing and seemingly pointless, I'd have to say that I won't listen to another book by Frank McCourt. I kept waiting to hear some scrap of good news, or hear of some revenge (particularly against Frank's father), or glean some bit of goodness, but it just didn't materialize. For me, great writing and narration could not overcome the bleakness and hopelessness of the lives of the characters.
No. I put this book into the same genre as Bryce Courtney, but I'll continue to listen to Courtney's books.
Uncle Pat Keating - he doesn't give a Fiddler's fart about what people think.
I think a follow up book would be great - if it introduced something besides human suffering, pain and despair. Clearly Frank McCourt must have finally succeeded at something - maybe this is what the follow on book could describe.
Unfortunately I was expecting a book that would engage and entertain me like "The Pillars Of The Earth" did. Unfortunately this one didn't. I found this book boring. It told the tale of several "couples" in the time before, during and just after World War I. Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the couples interesting or worth "worrying about".
I was expecting dramatic descriptions of the horrors of war. This book didn't provide that either. Instead, a few benign battles were described. At one time, the author mentions that 10 million men were killed in WWI. No where in this story did I get the sense of tragedy and horror at 10 million men dying. Any descriptions of battle were underwhelming and uninspired. There were no heros or villains in this story. I finished this book wondering why I didn't just read a text book on World War 1 history. I have no plans to read / listen to any sequels.
OK, so it's not a literary classic, but for pure fantasy entertainment, it's a lot of fun. While supposedly a human wizard, Harry takes many a beating that would easily kill any ordinary mortal. A few of the fight scenes were a bit over the top, but this is, after all fantasy. The plot was not too deep, but the writing was good and the action plenty.
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