I go from fiction to nonfiction on a routine basis. This book reads like fiction. It brings to life the sacrifices and suffering that a whole generation undertook to save western civilization. Books like these should mandatory reading in high schools.
I thought I wold listen to this book since business books is not my favorite genre. This book does a great job of explaining how Alan Mulally did a great job in saving Ford motor company. The basic lessons in the book are that
-Eventually every big organization will be complacent
-Board of directors are mostly in it for the money and prestige and are mostly clueless
-An organization that does not tolerate failure will eventually fail
-When you surround yourself with "yes men" you are disengaged from reality
-Sometimes smaller is better, Being big for the sake of being big is foolish.
The basic problem with Ford at the time of arrival of Mulally is that the company was out of touch with the market. Most of the top managers did not own or drive a classic "Ford" preferring the luxury brands of Jaguar and Range Rover which the Mulalay dumped as Ford divisions. He makes them drives Fords and even competing brands. When they do, they realize that at the time Fords kind of sucked. Ugly, poor quality, and no fun to drive. Most of America had come to that realization years earlier. No one was ever held accountable for failure at Ford because no one ever failed. He implements a management tracking system that makes it difficult to hide problems such as delays in car launches, quality issues, and cost problems. At one point he asks how many models of cars the company sells. Nobody knows so he goes to all the company web sites and prints out a picture of every model and shows it to the board. There were over 400 different models.
Its a good listen if you like cars and business. It does get tedious at times but you can just skip forward
Virgil Flowers is just the younger version of Lucas Davenport. John Sandford has the problem that his mainstay character is getting older and in doing so is getting more conservative. I have read almost all the books in this series and the Prey series and while I enjoy them all, they are basically mindless reads, or listens. This book is not much different.
I would rate this one of the better Virgil Flower books based on the dialogue. At some times it is actually funny. The villains in this book are a bunch of dog nappers, a murderous school committee and a bunch Meth cookers. The links between the three are rather tenuous at best. It's mostly that they commit their crimes in the same rural town in Minnesota. Virgil gets called to the town to solve the dog napping case and then gets caught up in the other two crimes. Nothing really that sinister here but a bunch of "hillbillies" and middle aged murderers trying to cover up a theft of school funds.
However, the banter between Virgil and the other characters is humorous at times in the fashion of "oh christ not again." Also about every third line seems to have the F#$# word in it. There are humorous scenes of not so fast chase in boats that putt along and then in golf carts. There are also scenes of breaking up an illegal dog auction and hundreds of dogs escaping.
So in summary, if you like this series you will like this book. If you are looking for a good detective thriller there are much better options such as Jon Nesbo, Jussi Olsen, Lisa Gardner. Having said that I am sure I will listen to the next Virgil Flowers book.
Although this book has some of the usual Stephen King supernatural aspects, inherently it is a book about growing old. It starts with the lead character at age 5 and follows his life, with the book having many flashbacks as the character narrates the book at the end of his life. The writing as usual is great, but the "suspense/supernatural" aspects are almost an afterthought, The reverend who discovers a new for of super electricity appears and then disappears for large portions of the book. His invention of a new form of electricity reminds me of John Galt in Atlas Shrugged. The story telling also reminds me of John Irving, another great American writer.
I would not view this as a thriller or even as a suspenseful book, but more melancholy narration about getting older. I suspect it is because Stephen King himself is coming to terms with his own advancing age. I would recommend this book for both the narration and writing skills, but it is not the Stephen King of old. That does not make it bad, just different.
This book reminded me so much of Stephen King's It. Instead of the killer clown we have The Rainbow Man. It's an interesting story but has a rather religious theme just to let you know. Visions by a young girl predict the happenings in a small town in Virginia. Again it reminds me of a Stephen King book Under the Dome. The mayor in both books is named Big Jim. So if you want a Stephen King book with a Christian theme, this is your ticket. There is also tension between the young girl's parents that is never really explained other than the father has a job and has to work to support his family. He keeps getting in trouble just because he has to see his patients as a therapist. This makes the other two characters sound like a duo of crybabies.
The narration is quite excellent going from a young girl with sutter to an old man.
This book was sort of "disjointed". Although we have the same characters Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin and the retired police detective, the plot is hard to follow. Actually it really does not make that much sense. It involves money being stolen from Iraq banks so of course we have the arab terrorists, double crossing CIA agents and your other usual characters including the beautiful arab girl. I would say it is not a "terrible" book but the others from this author are much better. I preferred Shatter and Bomb Proof. If you have not listened to those start there first. If you don't like those than you won't like this. The narration of all these books quite good.
I like this genre, but after reading so many they get sort of repetitious. This one had a different slant and I found it interesting. THe basic theme is that there is a plague that is slowly wiping out the world's population. However, this one is different in that it is not actually transmitted from person to person but is triggered by a different method, resulting in what are called dead zones. People within a certain radius of just a few hundred yards almost instantly drop dead. Obviously this can cause mayhem if people are operating cars or other heavy machinery. So we have a thriller that involves the typical chaos when lots of people start to die, the world taken over by gangs bent on murder and mayhem, and a science thriller of tracking down the cause of the deaths.
It's a long book (26 hours) and the author has a tendency to add too many unneeded details, but it holds your interest. The narration is fairly good with the single narrator able to have a rather large range of voices. So if you like books like Stephen King's The Stand, or "plague" books you will like this. No zombies however, (Not sure I can take another Zombie Book) The length of the book makes it a good "bang for your audible buck." . You need a little patience in the beginning as the author introduces the major characters, a CDC doctor and a Nobel Prize winning Scientist.
I really enjoyed this book, I am a big fan of this genre and have listened to the entire series of John Sanford, Jon Nesbo, and Jussi Adler Olson. I would rate this in this category as well done.
I like this book because it has a different theme. The victims kill themselves mostly by being convinced that they must do so. The villain is an experienced British major who has spent his life torturing and interrogating terrorists and "alleged terrorists. Now he turns his skills to the British civilian population. Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin who is suffering from parkinson disease must stop him. In the process he puts his family in harms way.
There is not too much violence or heros with martial art or weapons skills. It is a battle of minds. Psychologist Joe O'Laughlin can barley even walk so will not be fighting a pitched battle with the villain.
I have listened to all these books in this series. This is as good or perhaps better than the earlier books. Set in Copenhagen Denmark, it is a detective thriller featuring Department Q. Three misfits lead by Inspector Carl Mork occupy the basement of police headquarters and are in charge of cold cases. Besides Carl are Assad from Syria and Rose. Assad is a rather mysterious character with a less than adequate grasp of the native language. He is always mixing up his metaphors and creating analogies revolving around camels. Rose dresses and acts like a punk rocker. Both are good detectives in their own right. The series reminds a little of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the really good series by Jon Nesbo.
This plot is more complex than earlier books in the series and involves corrupt bankers, gypsies, hired African assassins, corrupt civil servants and of course Department Q. Marco is one of the gypsies who leaves the clan and must make his way on the streets of Copenhagen while being chased by just about everyone. At 15 he uses the skills he learned as a pickpocket and thief to allude his pursuers.
Good 13 hours of listening enjoyment.
This is a great listen. It is only ruined if you have ever seen the movie. The book could almost been the screenplay for movie. Therefore there is no suspense because you know exactly what will happen. So if you have seen the movie maybe save the credit. If you have not seen movie, then listen to this then watch the movie. It is much more suspenseful in that order.
This is both a great thriller as well as historical thriller. Set in the Ukraine during WWI and WWII it is much about the child thief as it is about the terror of living in Stalinist Russia. This was the period of collectivization, where peasants were forced off the land they had sometime worked for generations. The hero of the book spends as much time hunting the child thief as he does dodging the Stalinist officials. It also can be considered as a survivalist book because the hunt takes place in the frozen forest of Russia in the middle of winter. The story does bog down for a few chapters with page after page of torture scenes. This is one of my more favorite listens of the year.
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