I have to admit I had no interest in reading this book in high school but listening to it read by Tim Robbins made it very enjoyable. Regarding the problems people are having with the women's accents, if memory serves me correctly both Daisy and Jordan were originally from Tennesee even though they lived in NY, hence the accents.
This is definitely hard to put down, with unexpected twists and turns.... the action is constant, the characters compelling in a train-wreck kind of way and the dialogue engaging. I kept coming back to the story often because I had to find out what happened next. Others complain about the ending, which I won't spoil, but to me it adds to the haunting quality of the story.
One thing that drove me nuts was the mixing of tenses in Amy's part of the book. Using the present tense to describe the past is bad enough, but then it switches tenses back and forth..... to the past tense for something that happened earlier than morning, and back to present tense to talk about an event that happened two weeks ago! "Two weeks ago, we are driving to...." instead of "we were" Very clumsy sounding.
The other problem I had, and this is common, is Julia Whelan's narration of male voices. In fact, I have a message for half the female narrators who read audiobooks: Don't try to sound like a man. Don't bring your voice to an unnaturally low level or disguise it to sound like what you think is manly. The result will sound like a man with a really bad stomach ache. Instead, just bring the pitch down about a half-octave, but stay within your normal speaking range. The goal is to differentiate between characters, not sound exactly like they would sound. The audiobook-listening world will still be able to tell the male is speaking and won't be distracted by the fakeness of the voice. A good example of a female reader who can do this is Laurel Lefkow.... you can hear how she does a man's voice the the sample of "The Reckoning" by Alma Katsu.
I am always happy to find a new series of books to keep me busy for all of the driving and walking I do, and this kept me interested throughout the entire story. I love the author's vision of an underground society, and the trip to the down-deep by the mayor and deputy, while a slower part of the book, was a great way to describe the makeup of the silo in a more dynamic way than just a narrative description which would have taken too long. The plot twists were well timed, the characters interesting and there was just enough left out to make you want to continue with the next book "Shift" which I will be reading next.
Unfortunately, the narration for many of the character voices was horrendous. I read about narration problems in the reviews, but when I listened to the sample (in both versions of this book) I thought "well that isn't so bad".... of course, because there is no dialogue in any of the samples. Good thinking, Audible, I wouldn't want potential buyers of the book to hear the cringeworthy voice of Bernard, which is a cross between Paul Lynde and Edward G Robinson, or the Minnie Mouse voice of half the female characters. For other males she makes the same mistake as many other female narrators doing male voices... she tries to sound like a man rather than just using a lower version of her normal speaking voice. The result, for characters like Lucas and Holsten, is the voice of a man who has just been punched in the stomach. It is a shame because it takes away from what would otherwise be a very enjoyable and interesting book.
This was a great summer read for my daily fitness walks.... the 70's setting, the traditional amusement park, the North Carolina shore and the detailed descriptions of character and setting really makes you feel like you are there while everything is happening. I could almost smell the fried dough and hear the carnival music coming from the merry-go-round. During my walks I felt like I was making that daily hike along the beach to Joyland.
I too am a long-time fan of Stephen King, but have read enough of his books to know he occasionally departs from his usual thriller style.... he can do that because he is a talented writer. The stories that wander off the beaten path are just as enjoyable if you look at them for what they are, and not what they are not. If constant-suspense-thriller type novels are the only kind of reading you enjoy, you might be disappointed... but if your taste varies a bit from only one kind of genre I think you will find this an entertaining and enjoyable read.
I do think there could have been more at the end describing what happened over the years between 1973 and the present to all of the characters... or maybe I was just disappointed when it was over. I know the first couple of times that I looked forward to listening and remembered that I finished the story, I felt a little bummed.
I have read and enjoyed many of Dean Koontz's books but I really can't believe how bad this one was.... the effort to finish was tiring.
First of all, I am not an idiot so I don't need a long detailed explanation of why someone puts a chair under a doorknob or why someone is pointing a gun at the ceiling instead of the floor. In fact it really isn't relevant to the story at all how someone is holding a gun between action scenes while they are just talking.... if ever there was a need for an abridged version!
Which brings me to the next point. I also don't need to know every item of junk in a garage. Or every piece of furniture in a room that the characters spend all of five minutes in. Sometimes it seems like the author is just looking for a chance to increase his page count, or use over-superlative hyperbolic descriptions of wealth, power or intelligence. Many times after a character's long-winded over-stated self reflection I'd actually say out loud "Can we move on now?"
Then there are the inconsistencies..... Eric is fueled by rage, but controlling the rage in order to maintain normal behavior, so that he can ultimately carry out his rage. Rachel is another example, going back and forth from strong to whiney as it suits the plot just to make sure she is at the right place to be put in jeopardy. So contrived!
Also, the psychic powers that some of these characters seem to have, which they have to painstakingly explain in the narration of what this person will probably do and what that person will probably do, in order to lead to the next likely chain of probable events that the next character just "figures out".
And the reading... I have never heard and insect go "reee" "reee" the way that narrator sounded. Not even trying to do sound effects, just reading the letters on the page. SO annoying I cringed every time I heard it. Mens' voices too were just awful. Some narrators don't know how to read the opposite gender and they over act or over modify their voices, as was the case here. The key is to use your highest or lowest NORMAL speaking voice to differentiate, not sound like a munchkin!
The characters were unsympathetic. In the first chapter I wanted Ben to either die or take Rachel's break-up with him seriously. I don't know if it was his wish that the Vietnam War would go on forever or his pompous, self-righteous preaching on morality but he became a very tiresome character from the get-go. In fact, the entire book got very preachy and I felt like I was getting more of an agenda than a story.
I'd say skip this one and read "False Memory" or "Intensity". Those are the best Koontz books.
Even though it kept my interest enough to finish the book, I really found my mind wandering a lot during his walk through the sewers, his climb up the ladder, and the never ending description of why he did each and every little thing... I don't need an explanation of why someone would turn off the ringer on their cell phone.
However it was entertaining enough for me to listen each time I was in the car, and I finished it relatively quickly
What a waste of time, you knew all along what was going to happen and the characters are all just a little too perfect to be normal and believable.
Some things are totally out there... for exapmle, Allegra is woken up in the middle of the night to bail her client out of jail? Come on! Lawyers are not ethically permited to post bail for their clients. Do some research Danielle, like the rest of the authors do... don't rely on what you see on television. No lawyer would ever give out their home number, let alone answer calls in the middle of the night.
And I am sick and tired of this obsession this author has with thinness. A size 10 is fat? Women like to read about characters who they can relate to and are like themselves... not the ideal woman created by the male world.
Don't waste time on this book, unless you are still in high school.
If you eliminted all the redundancies in this book it could probably be read in less than an hour. And why does Faith have to be such a weak pathetic character? Even when faced with the truth about her husband she doesn't want to leave him. This woman is totally incapable of feeling angry, just constantly blaming herself for all the trouble in her life. Great heroine, wonderful role model, Danielle! And why do all the "good" characters have to be thin?
This is by far my favorite of Patterson's books, probably because I've gotten tired of all of his stories being about cops and their investigations. This was more like Patterson meets Grisham, though I thought the "justice broadcast" was a little farfetched, and the final consequences to Mack, Pauline and Jack a little unlikely.
The reading was very well done, though, I just didn't like the sound effects between chapters... ostensibly supposed to be waves crashing but sounded like someone flushing the toilet.
I wish I could get those three hours back, even if they were spent driving. The story is told as seen by three children who apparently have no names, as they are always refered to as "the boy" or "the older girl". The book is constantly jumping around chronologically so you never know where you are, and you have to wonder why the author bothered writing it, as there is no plot. Save your money!
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