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After The Millionaires, which sucked me in in 2 paragraphs and let me listen over and over with joy, I was willing to give Brad Meltzer a lot of latitude.
But I'm on Chapter 9, and still can't figure out what the point of this narrative is. I know his wife is in congress or something. I know he is proud of his historical snippets. But this is just bad.
The story he is continuing is a boring one, and the characters are non-existent.
I'm turning it off.
A bad guy who kidnaps, robs and tortures. A girl whose father is murdered, compelling her to spend the rest of her life seeking his killer, breaking the rules to get there.... An online dating site where men are not who they say they are.
Sound familiar? Sound original? Sound so completely used up it will make you puke if one more story features these tired ideas? Then this is not the Harlan Coben you're looking for.
It gets worse. The evil bad guy rants on and on about his terrible plans--even using the same sentences word-for-word, over and over again and again and again. The cute, tough female cop thinks about nothing but her poor father's death, even tho it was 10 years previous, and she thinks about it a lot. Of course all this repetitive pondering allows a shallow plot to fill up the required 100,000 words for publication--get's you to 300 pages without much effort, but isn't good in any other way.
This is still acceptable commercial fiction, of course. I couldn't do it myself. But not up to par for this author. Either Harlan is tired, he's teaching his kid how to write, or he pulled out a drawer book and is on vacation.
A bad guy who kidnaps, robs and tortures. A girl's father is murdered, and she spends the rest of her life looking for his true foe, breaking the rules to get there....
Sound familiar? Enough to make you puke?
Then if you like to hear the REALLY BAD bad guy rant on and on about how he kidnaps and kills, and hear the REALLY TOUGH but cute girl cop think about nothing but her poor father, you've found the book you're looking for.
Still good commercial fiction, of course. I couldn't do it myself. But not up to par. WAY too easy to have multiple points-of-view and have the people think the same things over and over again. Get's you to 300 pages without much effort.
Either Harlan is tired, he's teaching his kid how to write, or he pulled out a drawer book and is on vacation.
Audible presented this story to me as a new release. I wanted a new book, so I said WTH.
Story plods on and on. The amazing world of high-tech email is supposed to weave an exciting thread of amazement throughout the story for the reader, which might have been the case when AOL was new and people had car phones.
Now it's just like--what?
I don't mind listening to old stories. But I'd like to know when I buy one.
Harlan Coben always spins a good tale, and I want you to know that I recommend this book, it's just that I felt kind of smacked in the head by dear Harlan. This is over the top, and talk about trying to force puzzle pieces in where they don't belong... As I listened I kept saying to myself--here's where the music swells and this happens--and sure enough, it happened. Then I'd say: the only things that could make this more stupid is if this happened--and then sure enough, it would happen. No surprises. Well, it was a surprise that I wasn't surprised. "Tell No One" is not going to happen twice.
I think a super successful writer must get to the point where he knows what ever he writes will be a best seller, and some things are not as important as they used to be. I saw it happen to Dean Koontz in a big way. Writing for friends--using their names and homes so they can say,"Hey, Frank--this is me!" But those aren't the people paying for these books. I'm paying. I want the writer to write for me.
I think he had a wager with fellow writers to make as many ridiculous "smile" metaphors as possible, and to have the most predictable ending ever--what every TV writer and book writer have ever done (except for the big fire to sort things out at the end). He gave away the entire plot with the "the doctor was his MOTHER" re-played joke, and I could see a writing group chewing on that one and laughing--at me. The ending Itself was so sappy it made me almost physically ill.
His research wasn't up to par, either, and there were a few statements made by characters that they wouldn't have known--or maybe he put that in to make me feel smart.
Just a start.
Wish I could get the ending out of my head, but I'm afraid that bell can't be un-barfed.
Couldn't finish this book. Found myself thinking more about the author than his charaters, which means his ego was totally invested in the story, so it was all over the place.
Instead of a story building naturally from events and from the character's personalities, it jumps to whatever fun place the writer wants to go to show off his great abilities, with espionage, supernatural powers, and of course, the ladies. He compares himself shamelessly to 007. Shouldn't these comparisons come from the other characters, or from the devoted reader?
I just couldn't take it. There was so much potential with his pitch, but he couldn't suspend my disbelief even for a second. Why were he and all of his friends suddenly in Venice? Not because the story sent them there, no, because the writer wanted that write off.
Made me angry. Grrr.
I must find more books by Brett Battles. He understands the nuances of story speed and plot folding, and how story flows from the characters naturally. I was happy to ride along the character's path in their interesting world.
I've listened twice, and, of course, no one can perform better then Scott Brick. He is my bedroom buddy, my tantalizing transistor radio beneath my pillow. His accents don't bleed to other words, his characters are perfect. Women, men, Germans, Bosnians, with one word I have no doubt who is speaking.
After two books where the writer was--frankly--an arrogant ass, ruining the story with his own pride of self (see my reviews on Michael Palmer's Political Suicide and Richard Bards' Brian Rush, 2 books I couldn't finish because the arrogance of the author bled into their protagonist), was beginning to think I didn't like audio books any more, but Brett battled me back to love for this art form.
Don't miss this book!
I'll get right to the point. This book is WI--worth it! A great book to listen to if you are in a rut, and want to imagine your everyday life getting shaken up.
In Stay Close, Harlan Coben asks the question "can people change?" and "how much of your past do tell your close friends and lovers and family members?" If you have a dark past, should you tell your family? When?
The answer is: When your past comes home, shadows your family, and threatens their lives.
This story examines trust, and the devotion of family. The publisher calls the genre domestic suspense--describing how Coben sets the drama squarely into a setting most middle class Americans can understand.
The narration flows well and clearly characterizes all of the cast members. I highly recommend this book.
This novel is a remarkable fatal attraction story where the two people are married and should know each other, but seemingly don't.
Or do they?
Like the news reports on TV where the wife disappears and the husband is always suspected, the reader wonders (at least for awhile) about the the psychological state of the husband. Do the husband and wife really know each other and just accept each other the way they are are, or are they playing some big, twisted game?
The readers gets to hear both points of view, and I didn't want to understand the wife, but found myself doing just that.
Both narrators are very convincing, and even the ending leaves you wondering what the hell is really going on.
Worth it! WI!
After listening to Harlan Coben's newest books about Mickey Bolitar: "Shelter", and "Seconds Away", I had to go back and read one of his earlier books. I didn't mean to stumble upon his very first book.
The narration begins with Coben himself admitting this is a drawer book (which I wish Dean Koontz would do), but that he liked it and had decided to leave it alone. Well, I was skeptical when I heard this, but understood later. There are literally whole areas of the book that did not suspend my disbelief, and would not be accepted in this era as even remotely possible, but that is okay. There story is good, and as long as you don't require realism in your listens, you'll enjoy this book.
Play Dead is another take on "do a husband-and-wife REALLY know each other?" We know there's some great secret, a lot like "Gone Girl". The psychology is frightening because the protagonist can't trust those around her who she loves, which makes her feel terrified and helpless, with no control.
I highly recommend this listen, even though the plot itself is kind of silly--which I won't spoil for you!
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