I have read or listened to all of the Spenser books and this book, although very dated in its language, has always been one of my favorites of the early mysteries. But the books are intended to be light and breezy - an easy read without too much seriousness. Joe Montagne, who narrates the later books, has the exactly right approach to the characters where the light-hearted banter between Spenser, Hawk, Vinnie and others sets the tone.
But Michael Prichard seems to think that Spenser is Sam Spade and narrates the book accordingly. There is almost no humor and he has completely lost the tone of the book. That is too bad since I would like to have bought more of the early Spenser books. Now I am stuck with The Judas Goat and, my personal favorite, A Catskill Eagle, and neither touches the upbeat and sprightly tone of the books themselves. I would willingly buy them again if Joe Montagne were to narrate them.
Good book. Poor narration. And a real disappointment.
I read this book in paper format more than 30 years ago, but I had forgotten how good it really is. When I saw it available in audible format I jumped at the chance to listen to a previous good read.
Some of the reviews I have read are very hard on the book, but I believe that the are looking in the wrong place. What makes this book so interesting and unique, at least to me, was the idea that humans could encounter aliens so different that all of our assumptions would be wrong. How do two species interact when one is general and adaptive in nature and the other is differiented. That is at the core of this story; at least for me.
The process of meeting, all of the mistaken assumptions and the final realization as to just how different the species are is, I believe, a very interesting story with, for new readers, an unknown conclusion.
But listeners should know that this story is from 1974 and hence some of the story line is 35 years out of date. I believe that to be the cause of some of the bad reviews. Perhaps those listeners did not know the copyright date and might have been more charitable to the male-centered character of the story.
All in all I think this is a nearly great book with more than adequate reading.
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