The best thing Verdon did was secure Scott Brick as his narrator. That's what I would have changed in his first book. It was the right move. All of the qualities that were distracting and irritating in the first book are ironed out in this one. Thank you!
I would pump up the action a bit but the actual investigation and crime are interesting and compelling. Mostly though, I would just excise the marriage sections since they drag the story down. The wife's character was such a confounding, unsympathetic creation. But she is better served here with Scott Brick's narration than she was in the first book without him.
They're smart and creative but he's really gotta get Scott Brick to narrate any future books. He's the key.
The main character, Gurney, is complicated and interesting. Brick lends just the right amount of bravado and vulnerability. I know I'm a broken record here but this is a reader who will buy a book strictly because it's narrated by Brick so there ya go.
Very well rounded characters brought this thriller to life and had a sense of high stakes. Very grim but involving whodunnit. It really makes me want to see the film now which in a sense is listening to it again.
The opening scene will not be soon forgotten. I also really enjoyed the hackers -- they were a nice, brief comical respite.
Hammer has been getting a lot of criticism for his narration but I didn't have any problem with it. His world weary voice added depth to the main character who is an older recovering alcoholic and needed gruffness. Matt really seemed like he'd seen it all and I think Hammer delivered on that. The pauses felt realistic and helped organize the complicated narrative. And he didn't overplay the female characters which is a pet peeve of mine. I'm not in a hurry to listen to books so had no problem with the slower pace. I think it suited the story.
I couldn't stop listening; was obsessed. I looked forward to my drive to work so I could hear more. A great listen!
I am a converted Block fan and will now star consuming his books.
I love the recurring cast of characters Lutz has populated his Detective Quinn series with. They are vivid, quirky, and show some wear and tear that's realistic. The weakest link is Pearl's mother who gets more and more tedious with every book.
There's a glimmer of a good serial killer M.O. in this book but it seems forced and sorta silly, ultimately.
I always recommend Lutz to my friends with strong stomachs. Lutz is HARSH so unless you're one of those who appreciates that (especially when it comes to violence against women) steer clear. One of the things I like most about Lutz is his willingness to push the boundaries.
I won't lie. I LOVE Scott Brick. I will jump at any book he narrates. Something about the timbre of his voice and his great female voices ( never over played and deal breaker for me) really hooks me. His is TOP NOTCH and has become the voice of Lutz. He has narrated most if not all of the Quinn series.
Always worth listening to a Quinn story. But the killer in this one was rather half baked and the resolution felt rushed and unsatisfying. Especially since Lutz has set such a high bar for himself. The narrative also suffered with the addition of some lack luster new characters that I hope are gone by the next novel.
Read Lutz! He's sick, harsh and usually brings the pain in every novel. But this one was a bit of a let down. But still better than most of the hard boiled serial killer stuff out there.
I liked the first book but the second was helped mightily by Heyborne's narration.
I would not recommend based on multiple sequences of animal torture and violence. If I had known this was in the book I would have skipped this book. Now I'm telling people what I wish someone had told me. I fast forwarded much of this.
Great characterizations and emotion. Great timbre to the voice and his narration for the main character, a teenager, sounds like the right age. Another improvement over the first book.
John's whiny sister.
I know it seems odd to complain of animal violence while humans bear the brunt of it. It's just my pet peeve (pun unintended) to include animal torture in fiction whether it be horror or crime. It's up to you whether this bothers you or not.
Okay, so maybe I expect too much from narrators but the child voice she uses was so whiney and shrill that I finally just had to stop listening. Nobody should have to listen to that.
The setting in the hospital made it intriguing but it eventually just seemed to slide into a typical slasher film. Much of the suspsense is just ruined by familiarity.
A different narrator would have been the only way to save this one.
I was disappointed in the paint by numbers quality of the story. Good start but it just goes downhill from there. Just meh.
This is a book that is recommended with reservation and only to a certain kind of friend. Palahniuk's coldly removed writing style is not for every taste but he does bring a sly perspective to, shall we say, unsavory moments. But it's so interesting and unique that I do sing its virtues to various pals. Then, of course, I would sit back and wait for the inevitable phone call from them asking why in the world I would recommend this book. This is based solely on the gang busters opening 'short story' GUTS. I just tell them that this story is a litmus test and stomaching it (ha pun) means you are worthy to continue reading. If you can get through that you can get through anything.
Its hard to like any character in this book and I don't think they're meant to like. The main framework of the writers on the retreat is full of horrid people with nary a redeeming virtue. But I do love the odd names they're given even though this further serves to remove you from them. It has an icy dehumanizing effect... but that's probably a good thing because considering what these characters do to themselves you'd probably never finish it if you cared about them.
There were a variety of narrators, many of whom are faves such as Scott Brick, but I liked them all.
It made me nauseous but I think that's the point!
I loved the structure from framework narrative, to poem, to personal short stories written by the authors on the retrea
I haven't read the print version of this book but Wil Wheaton's narration lent it a modern relevant feel that you may miss if you just read it.
I'd make the comparison to Steve Job's bio in the sense that it is about an incredible innovator who changes the technical world with a real sense of pop culture savvy. It's like a fantasy version of what could happen if Jobs had died and left behind a scavenger hunt game for his fortune. It felt incredibly contemporary.
His youthful voice was a perfect fit for the tone and action in this story. His importance in geek culture is cemented when he actually reads a passage that mentions him. Smart stuff.
I love video games so it felt especially relevant to me on many levels. It engages the fantasy: What if video games mattered and impacted the real world. There was genuine suspense when characters were in peril even if it was just their avatar. An amazing juggling act.
A unique perspective on the war at large by taking it inside from a medical perspective, one injury at a time. Exciting, suspenseful, tragic, confounding -- great insight into the mind of a doctor and the chaos of war.
Small stories made large by making them personal. You really root for Jadick and his initial naiveté when he decides to take this on. Medical care in battle is a unique perspective with huge stakes.
His first hand experiences are heard in his voice and that was very affecting.
This book rates high in my list of audiobooks because it offered an honest look into a family's pain and confusion. Sheff's righting is razor sharp and insightful. I felt for the guy as much as I came to resent his son and what he put everyone through. Granted, that may not be exactly what he was shooting for but pain is pain.
Sheff pulls no punches while telling this story and has no interest in making himself or anyone else look specifically bad or good. This lack of vanity cuts right to the core of the story and takes you inside without a superficial gloss. You really feel like you're in the heart of this thing.
If it had been written by his father, David Sheff, but that would be impossible. His father's version of the same events from his perspective is so far superior to this effort that you can only be let down when you hear this 'fill in the blanks' version.
I was intrigued to listen to this because David Sheff's heart felt book, Beautiful Boy, was basically a mystery at it's heart. Learning what happened during Nic's absences and how it all began first hand was a big draw. Too bad it turned out to be a non-mystery and he really wasn't doing much at all besides living a cliche.
Unless he has matured and has developed some self awareness, it's doubtful. I was hoping for some insight but didn't really get any.
Full of heart, grit and compassion, this book informed while pulling heart strings. I felt like I was dropped into a world I could never imagine and learned unexpected things about war, soldiers and the capacity to feel loyalty to a puppy in the midst of that chaos.And the book isn't just a mush fest -- it's exciting, suspenseful and tragic.
But at it's core, this is a boy at war and his dog story. Amazing combination.
Lava, the dog at the center of the story actually has some great characterization and you can see why Kopelman would go to such extremes to save him. If he didn't I was ready to go over there and get him myself.
You can win or lose when an author narrates their own book and this is a winner. I really felt like I was hearing him tell his story to me personally. It never felt painfully narrated or 'read.'
I could not put this book down. I was amazed by so many people doing so many things for one dog. And in the long term changing military policy. So gratifying.
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