The Black Mask version of The Maltese Falcon is even better than the version released as a novel. Both are good, but this one was very good. Even if you read/listened to the novel version already, this one is worth it. It is different enough to make it a fresh read.
It's not easy for me to give an Elmore Leonard book less than a stellar review, but... I've read or listened to at least ten Elmore Leonard books and would give almost all of
them 5-star ratings with maybe an occasional 4-star. This one, however, just couldn't keep my interest. I'm not sure what Leonard was trying to accomplish, but there wasn't anything here to hold things together. Weak characters, weak story (stories?), poorly defined settings. There didn't really seem to be any reason for anything that happened. Seemed like the characters and the settings were just random, unrelated characters and plot ideas that were poorly pieced/thrown together and called a book. Leonard is much better than this. I really had to force myself to finish, and when i did, I had to ask myself, "why?" Thank goodness for Frank Muller. Great narrator.
Falling somewhere between a soap opera and a romance novel, this book left me cold. I don't know if I really didn't care about any of the characters, or if I just plain disliked them. High on my list of unlikable, shallow, cheesy characters was Annie who spent a lot of energy rationalizing (through her diary) her duplicitous behavior in flowery, over-the-top bullshit yammering about how wonderful a person she was - how she deserved forgiveness and understanding, yada, yada, yada. I found myself thinking whoever offed her did the world and her family and friends a favor. Had she admitted to herself and the reader that she just wanted to get laid and hang out with the rich and powerful, I might have liked her better. So...most of the characters were cookie cutter, one dimensional, boring, people. The plot was convoluted and in the end silly. I am giving up on T J Parker. I listened to the end - I don't know how I did it.
I can't really review this book. The narrator is so bad, I am unable to continue past the first two chapters. He's bland, sterile, boring, unemotional, unable to audibly act the character's parts, horrible! I don't know who chooses narrators for audio books, but this choice is a big zero. I am a long time fan of Michael Connelly and the Bosch series. But, this book is unlistenable. I'm going to purchase the paper/ink version so I can read it. What a disappointment.
The first two hours of this empty listen seemed like fifteen, so I quit.
Glad I got it on sale.
As much as the book tried to depict a new and unique kind of PI, the main character offered nothing out of the ordinary to the genera. She kept telling us how different she was, but never showed us why.I didn't really dislike this book, but just found it to be a run-of-the-mill PI novel. I think I got it on sale. Glad I didn't use a credit or pay full price.
...but still an enjoyable read/listen.
The story seemed a little thin to me, but I'd still recommend it to a friend.
The regular characters are great as usual, but my admiration of Brunetti was knocked down just a notch when he admired a pair of Tasseled Loafers in a shop window. Tasseled Loafers! Come on Guido, loafers are bad enough, but Tasseled Loafers - yuck!
The narration by David Colacci was stellar, as usual. He's one of the best narrators in the business.
I advise anyone who really cares to read this book on the printed page where it won't be polluted by Dick Hill's intrusive and cloying narration. I tried to listen, but a giving up because I can't bear another minute of Hill.
This book would have been much more enjoyable if two of its characters had been eliminated, or at least minimized or viewed differently by the protagonist. The adoration of his cheesy, shallow, bimbo wife Gina, and of his beloved "city", San Diego, were a little hard for me to take. I call San Diego a character because the author used it as such in the book. Come on, SD may be big for a small town, but that's really all it is. There is a blandness to the book's setting that I don't feel when I read books based in LA, SF, NY, or other major cities. And Gina - she should have been dumped her in the beginning of the book. Robbie's constant attempts at pleasing her with expensive trinkets made him look like a fool. Actually, there seemed to be too much babble throughout the book about expensive toys. I don't think I'll read anything more by TJ Parker.
The book was well performed by the excellent narrator, David Colacci.
This book comes across more like a Harlequin Romance than a crime/mystery novel.
A little too affected,,, too cute for my tastes.
I'm only a short way into it, but I'm desperately looking for a real-life/live character. Everyone in the book is just too cartoonish, stereo-typed... characters, not people.
Too many brand names and designer labels.
And I'm not convinced the coffee information comes from anything other than book research.
Don't think I'll be reading anything else in the series.
Three stars is a little generous, but two would be too low.
Really enjoyed this one. It was a great listen. I've read some other Lashner books, but have stuck to paper versions since Marked Man is the only Lashner book Audible offers that is read by Richard Rohan. I sampled the other books on Audible, but couldn't get with any of the other narrators.
I have listened to this one more than once and it never fails to entertain. Good humor, good story; an off-beat, and good mystery. I recommend it.
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