COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, United States | Member Since 2008
I wasn't expecting the chuckles. This is really a preposterous story, one which pokes fun at the Cold War intelligence gathering establishment. While not per se satire, at least in my opinion, the humour is very droll; tongue-in-cheek.
No one ever expected this to be that kind of page turner. It's a great story set in the days before Castro, when so many players had "interests" in Cuba. But you get a real sense of the era and what it must have been like back in the day.
No "extreme reactions," but a very satisfying read. I was surprised at how much fun Greene had with his characters, and by the same token, his audience.
This is not Ian Fleming, James Bond, action thriller. This is not any of the current crop of writers who do this kind of story for the current reader who wants a summer read that can be tossed on the way back from the beach. But this is very entertaining in its own way.
Unlike Jim Burke's later books, this one doesn't have a straightforward plot, beginning, middle and end. It just sort of happened. But on the other hand, this is a first novel, and I didn't realize that until after I finished.
It's amazing how much Burke has matured as a writer. The seeds of greatness are in this book. It's more than a curiosity piece.
The narrator should be able to read. Inflection, character and acting skills are important. This narrator does not demonstrate any of these traits.
none. I'd just fire the narrator.
James Lee Burke remains my favorite writer and I'm glad I have now been through his first novel. He has quite a history since then. Pick it up. Maybe you'll like the narrator.
The poetic prose we all love from Burke is safe and sound in this early novel by my best and most favorite writer. But this is a tough read because it's difficult to separate the back story of a Korean war vet, now an alcoholic and pretty dislikable lawyer running for Congress in 1960's Texas. from the current plot line which involves farmworker union organizers in the Rio Grande Valley. I wish it had been one book or the other, because it was distracting making the leap from flash back to present tense. Not a lot of likable characters in a story that often seems unable to tell itself, or to decide which story to tell.
I recommend it to those readers who've already decided they like Hackberry Holland from his two more recent novels, which I liked a lot! You'll be interested to see where Sheriff Holland came from. But if you're not already addicted to Burke's writing, this is not where I'd advise you to start reading.
The characters are all stock personalities done better in later work.
Not my favorite by a long shot, but not without redeeming quality either. The descriptive prose is good as ever. And it's interesting to use this as a gauge for later work.
Will Patton's voice is genius. He is a cast of characters in one person. Nothing competes with the pleasure of holding a book, but if you just have to hold the book, do so while wearing headphones.
This may be the longest sustained portrayal of white knuckle suspense in the history of literature. It's about the scariest book I've ever read or listened to. The tension just goes on and on and even when you think it's over, it's not.
I've listened to almost all the James Lee Burke work. This is Patton at his best.
The narrator. It's first person narrative and this is the only way you can figure out that anyone is getting out of this alive.
Compelling book for all of us guys over 50. Good humor; Good advice. Well done.
They channeled the authors and I would have bet they were the authors.
They got me when they pointed out that lifestyle can contribute to or minimize the risks of alzheimers and diabetes.
Rarely do I go out of my way to recommend books to friends. More rarely a book written by an English writer published in 1944. No action novel this, but I've been talking about it to friends even since before I finished it. It's on a par with The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald's earlier work of the same era, the Jazz Age. And let me say if Elizabeth Gilbert had gotten it right, she might have written Razor's Edge. If you liked her book, you should love this one. If you hated her book, as I did, you may still love Somerset Maugham's book if the subject of man's journey to enlightenment is your cup of tea. Beyond the literary value and the weight of the tome, the narrator in this edition is the best narrator I've listened to, possessed of a vocal range that makes this audio book a rare treat. If you're still reading this review, then I think you'll love the book. Give it a shot!
How do books like this get published? If I had a dollar for all the "Tom Swifties" in the dialogue, I could retire. The outcome is so predictable you'll have it figured out in the first 3-4 chapters. Are romances typically written in such juvenile style? Character development is really Freshman Comp.
Keep your money/credits intact, and keep looking!
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