At first glance, I was less than intrigued. Another JFK story? Having been a fan of Mr. Hunter for many years, I decided I'd give it a shot, pun intended. The opening of the book made me question whether this was indeed a Hunter novel or not. It wasn't written in his usual style, but the departure ends up being one of many enjoyable aspects to this piece.
The reader who is familiar with Mr. Hunter will immediately notice a bit of wit in the opening chapter, and will most likely enjoy the similarities, but that's all I can say for fear of ruining it.
As for the story itself, all I can say is that it is a unique take on the events of that day, and those leading up to it. A credit to Mr. Hunter, as it's not only a unique take, but it's also a highly plausible theory... which only serves to add to the intrigue. At times, I found myself wondering if, perhaps, this wasn't a fictional tale after all.
Our beloved, and respected Bob Lee plays an almost trivial part in the entirety of the story. While he is the main character, his role is made less noticeable in this novel, at least for the first two parts. Sure, he's there, but he takes on more of a investigative role than that of the actionable shooter we so cherish him for being. He's old though, so what do you expect? I did enjoy the overseas action scene with another aged shooter, however.
All things being equal, this is easily one of his 3 or 4 best works. DEFINITE BUY.
I've not heard any of Mr. Schirner's works, but I will be more than happy to purchase more works wherein he narrates. Unlike some of the more notable narrators, such as Scott Brick, Dick Hill, and George Guidall, (though I enjoy them all) Mr. Schirner doesn't go to obviously strained lengths to differentiate between characters in the story. He deftly manages to make clear distinctions between speaking characters, without working so hard at it that it becomes unbelievable.
There should have been more disclosure in the synopsis that this was an erotic homosexual rape short story. Sure, it involves Larison, and anyone who knows this series knows his "secret" but this short story amounted to nothing more than a forcible rape by Larison of a young college male. There was nothing entertaining, enjoyable, or worth the cost of the audiobook about it.
The synopsis says of the story: "...when three locals decide Larison would make a perfect target for their twisted sport, Larison exacts a lifetime of vengeance in one explosive evening. "
Reading this, anyone is sure to think that it's going to be some shooter violence revenge. I mean, we're talking about a hardened killer, right? Beating a couple guys up, and then forcing the weakest of them all to perform oral sex on him is not my (or anyone's, I'd think) idea of "a lifetime of vengeance in one explosive evening."
It may be enough to make me abandon this series, and this author altogether, which would be something I regret as all his other works that I've read or listened to have been great.
But seriously... homosexual rape? That's Eisler's idea of a lifetime of vengeance??
Did I mention: EPIC FAIL?
It's quite possible turned me off from any new works by Eisler (I've already read or listened to everything currently available by him).
The performance was ok; I'm just so disgusted with the story-line that I didn't want to give any positive review.
I'd have cut the entire story...
Let's face it, Dick Hill is perhaps the best narrator there is. However, even he couldn't save this travesty. The story line was a little too generic, relying largely on the notoriety of UBL to bring in an interest, as opposed to actual character and plot development. It's a milquetoast variety of the Vince Flynn fanfare.
Additionally, unless you're a fan of "G-d d*mn" and "J.C." used as expletives, I would recommend you not get this book. The argument of character believability doesn't fly, there's simply entirely too much profanity, to the point that it's no longer realistic, and simply annoying. A talented writer can tell a believable and realistic story without profanity in nearly every sentence a character says. These aren't street level criminals, the characters are C.I.A. professionals.
...but any damn fool can cuss.
Dick Hill is, in my opinion, the most talented narrator today. I was unfamiliar with this author, and was willing to try him out simply because I knew the performance would at least be enjoyable.
Stephen Hunter has been on my required reading list since the release of the movie Shooter. I was less than impressed with the movie, and since it's always been said the book is better than the movie I decided to see if this was again the case. After the first read, I was hooked. I've been through each of the Swagger series since then. Having run out of Swagger adventures to get me through my days as an over the road truck driver, I decided I'd give his other novels a shot, and The Master Sniper was my first purchase.
I regret to say that I am not impressed. The commentor above me remarked that this novel is "fast paced." Perhaps it is...after the first three or four hours. I wouldn't know, as that's as far as I could safely listen. After an incredibly long, and mind-numbingly boring bout of character introductions, I was left wondering if there would be time for the story itself to develop before the end. Two times within the first hour I found myself nodding off. As I mentioned, I drive a commercial vehicle for a living, NOT a good place to be nodding off. I turned the Ipod off and went back to music. However, I've known many novels to start off boring but eventually turn into a masterpiece so I decided to give this one a second shot. BIG mistake. The most exciting scene I came across was that of the fellow prisoners being sniped while "the jew" manages to escape. I'd hoped that this scene would be the redemption, but the ensuing chase and eventual, lackadaisical calling off of the pursuit were the final straw.
I'd hoped I could say that the duldrum was merely due to the monotous drone of the narrator, for that would somewhat redeem Mr. Hunter's writing, but sadly this is not the case. The narrator was indeed incompetent...I felt like I was listening to someone who was contemplating suicide with each syllable. His "german" accent was more difficult to understand than that guy from the Micro Machines commercials of the 90's. Horrible purchase. DO NOT BUY.
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