Mixed, complicated feelings about this after listening.
We picked this up for a little Halloween road trip being huge fans of Joe Hill and having really enjoyed King's last few books.
And the beginning of this story is so, so, creepy. And wonderfully narrated.
When the explanation for what's in the grass comes, though, the story veers into King territory pretty hardcore. It's violent and disturbing and much more "The Regulators"-era King than "Nightmares and Dreamscapes," with a little too much "Dreamcatcher" in there. Yuck.
We don't regret the experience and it IS well written and wonderfully read, but know what you're getting into. We'd been hoping it would be a little more ofa Joe Hill story, but it is wonderful to see the two of them writing together.
I love Joe Hill's books and find him to be a wonderful storyteller, but I'm writing the review because Kate Mulgrew's reading is, in my ten years of membership, hands-down one of the three best I've heard. You can't help but get sucked in, and her voicings and nuanced readings are spellbinding.
This is an audiobook that was made by people who love audiobooks. It's a gem to listen to.
If you've read the book, you still owe yourself a listen ESPECIALLY because of the audio-only easter egg in the credits, which is NOT featured in the text. Very cool. My hat's off to Mulgrew and Hill for that little touch alone.
After the unrelenting thrills and turns in "The Snowman" and "The Leopard," this book is a little slower and more damaging. I agree with all the other reviewers that poor Harry takes a beating, but I think what I love about him as a protagonist is that he's this dogged unsquashable cockroach who keeps coming through death trap after death trap. He's a very unique detective at this point, and in such a crowded genre, that's a feat in itself. And as Scandanavian crime goes, I <3 Nesbo more than even Larson at this point.
Overall, "Phantom" is slower-paced and uses a different narrative style to unravel the mystery (but ultimately a very effective one) - I was skeptical at first, but the parallel narrative ends up paying off in spades at the end. Obviously, word's gotten out that something shocking happens in this book and I won't comment on that except to say that it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the book in the slightest.
It's a smaller, more personal story than the previous two books. I think if you know that going in you won't be disappointed. Robin Sachs is, as always, an amazing reader on these books. He's creepy and deliberate and his style marries with the text in this grim, plodding, croaking way that let me experience the audiobook like I was was watching a first-rate movie in my head.
The book's a good, easy, compelling read, and it really does offer a unique insight into the mindset and daily routines of our most elite group of SEALs.
It is also, as both a strength and limitation, exactly what it says it is on the cover: a firsthand account. It is at times spotty on details (sometimes for the protection of the people involved, to be fair) because it's a single viewpoint on a complex event. But as an unapologetic "this is what I saw and this is what I felt" account, it's really quite amazing.
Holter Graham gives a very good read. He has the deliberate cadence and efficiency of speech that I've come to admire and respect in almost every warfighter I've had the pleasure of working with. Even though he was just narrating the book, I never felt like I wasn't hearing Owen speaking directly to me.
Some reviews complain this book editorializes a little, but it's incredibly minor, and Owen's very quick to acknowledge his own biases. Again: firsthand account. This is what you came here for.
The book's just the right length - it spends exactly how long as it needs to set it up and make you understand who these people are and how they operate and then gets to the actual raid. It doesn't overstay its welcome and the epilogue's very welcome.
Everyone who wants to understand the economic meltdown better should read this book.
I like Michael Lewis. Sometimes his books are incredibly gripping and sometimes they're a slower plodding read. "The Big Short" which handled the early days of the financial meltdown in America was very dry and complicated. This book, which covers the global aftershocks is the opposite - fastpaced, at times salacious, and all in all the kind of thing that I feel bad about saying things like "salacious" about because it's true and still happening.
The book gives a very good boots-on-the-ground accounting of just how ##%#ed the world economy is, to the point that the things stateside seem incredibly minor by comparison (terrifying!). I spent most of the listen saying "what?!!!" and then being astonished by the accounting practices of the Greek government, etc.
Bonus for Audible folks like me who dip around all the genres. If you're a fan of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad books, especially the last two "Fateful Place" and "Broken Harbor" - the chapter in this book on Ireland will put those books in a whole new context for you, especially since it's a plot point in both of those books.
This is my second Koryta book, after a surprisingly wonderful time reading "So Cold the River" - this one is not as good, but still well worth the money and the time to listen. Koryta's at his best when he's not playing in Steven King's sandbox, and unfortunately, this book spends a little too much time there, drawing comparisons that are unfair, but there all the same.
The story's good, the historical context is interesting, and the reading is pretty good too, though the producer's heavy-handed use of a scary sound effect every time something scary happens is a bit silly - this doesn't detract too much from the experience but is kind of a facepalmer. It happens a lot at the beginning, which may turn you off, but then it calms down. I'd read another Koryta book, hands down, and finished this one in about a week, so minor gripes aside, it was one of the better ones I found on Audible this year.
Reviews flux all over the place. Let me see if I can help.
1) Do you find the story and premise of "Twilight" intriguing or at minimum your brand of fun guilty pleasure BUT every time you try to read it, the writing is so atrociously offensive you have to chuck it aside?
This book is for you. It pushes all the same buttons but is well-written! Enjoy! There is forbidden romance, supernatural intrigue, and an astonishing number of scenes where witches take a long relaxing bath or vampires do yoga and where everyone smells like cinnamon or cardamom or other pie spices to someone.
2) Did the cover and some of the reviews lead you believe that this was going to be a Gaiman-esque fantasy romp or an intricate Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel?
This book is gonna frustrate the hell out of you if that's the case.
On purely technical levels, the reader's a little weak when she tries to do voices, but the recording's good.
Like all his books, this one is heinously long, but I finished it before I even had another credit ready. The book is, in a word, engrossing. I looked for excuses to have my iPod on.
If you're familiar with his other books, this one has a lot of the Stephenson tropes in it, essays on a piece of technology, lots of characters with interweaving paths, and odd bits of humor that make you unexpectedly smile. Unlike Stephenson's other books, though, this one is decidedly a thriller and has the usual stuff in there as a backdrop. This is a sleeker Cryptonomicon that riffs on paperback thrillers - it's more accessible, less obsessed with technology or history, and the REAMDE virus itself is a terrifying piece of imagination that doesn't go where you'd expect it to.
Also, a nice bonus, it seems he's finally figured out how to write an ending. ;)
Like all of Ben Mezrich's books, he found a great real life story and that carries the day. Given the way his books tend to become movies, the choice of Casey Affleck to be the reader, though, is suspect and honestly is kind of lacking. I go back and forth on whether it was a good choice. He's NOT a good reader and mostly delivers a throaty stumbling read, but on the the other hand, you can't help but associate his voice with the book's subject and THAT at least is immersive/an interesting characterization, but the voice does get old.
I went into this book knowing nothing other than it was my wife (voracious reader's) #1 book since finishing "Under the Dome" and that after "Spin" I'd listen to Scott Brick read anything.
Easily one of the best books and one of the best performances I've enjoyed in the 6+ years I've been a member of Audible. It's long, it's worth it, it's worth knowing this is book 1 of a saga, and it is a must-listen. I lucked into the "only spend 1 credit on this" sale, but I'd have gladly spent 2 credits on this title and got 6 weeks of happy morning commutes out of this and plenty of terror-filled nights up too late listening before bed. Everyone will be talking about this book soon, it's well worth being in on it before someone spoils the wonderful surprises and the masterful reinvention of a classic monster.
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