I am ambivalent about "Gun Machine". I won't recount the plot points, because so many other reviewers have done so already, and done it very well. PROS: I really, really liked the writing style, the author is showing his comic book roots and really knows how to plot out a story. And the story starts great, with immediate action and an eerie mystery, and some funny parts too. Finally, without revealing any spoilers, there's a plot twist involving the killer that I rather liked. Not a big surprise or a big deal, but handled in a very matter-of-fact way that just appealed to me. The narrator does a good job and definitely has a way with delivering tricky/conic dialogue. CONS: But it all collapses in the last third of the novel, which is kinda slow. When the ending finally arrives, it is abrupt and flat. Also, most of the characters are common stereotypes. I am particularly tired of the lesbian with the rapacious sexual appetite who can get any beautiful, hot young thing the male protagonist/author desires; she seems to be everywhere lately.
I loved Herring's "Hitler Mustache" and couldn't believe how unfunny this is. It feels like he was in the early stages of developing this act and it just is not funny at all.
Picks up a bit in the second half, but I'm not sure the payoff was worth it. Actually, I'm sure the payoff was not worth all the hours I put into this. Bottom line, there's way too little of Jack and far too much of the side stories. Too much detail put into characters that are not Jack. Like when Wilson shows us step-by-step how a guy goes about scamming a senior citizen out of her savings. Goes on and on for hours. Literally. Soooo boring. Otherwise well-written and I still count myself a fan.
This is part of The Adversary/Repairman Jack/Secret History sequence. And that is the problem. It feels like a "check back later/buy my next book" filler. There's too many plot lines leftover from previous books and this story does absolutely nothing to advance the series; totally forgettable.
The story has too many new characters, all introduced to little effect. All the characters, including Jack, are pure cardboard. There's way too much chatter and exposition. (This Secret History stuff takes ALOT of telling, not showing). There's way too little of Jack "fixing" stuff. We get a few teases of thrills or horror. But it never really delivers. Although that Fhinntmanchca stuff certainly had some serious horror potential.
In my opinion, there's too much effort put into one of the author's main conceits of this series: There are no coincidences. So the author struggles to link every single person and every single momentous world event to Jack and the ancient struggle between the adversaries. Only it all really feels lazy here. Each new coincidence/linkage brought on a shrug of "so what" rather than feelings of wonder. So why keep this theme running so relentlessly?
This summer, I read some of the earlier novels in this sequence: The Tomb, The Keep, The Black Wind, etc., and it seems to me those earlier novels were never conceived as a series. And those stories are so much more satisfying than this later stuff. Wilson is a good writer, so I'd still rather slog through one of his weaker efforts than most of the stuff that's out on the market. Even so, this isn't something I'd recommend to anyone.
I really liked Safe House. It has a sombre, somewhat depressive mood that is very, very different from the flip tone of Chris Ewan's "Good Thief" books. But the tone is appropriate to this story of a man recovering from a mysterious accident while also investigating the mysterious death of his sister. There's a good amount of action and while the story contains elements (and coincidences!) common to many thrillers, the story still manages to seem fresh and plausible. Everyone feels real and their actions/thoughts are both believable and relatable. Nicely narrated, as ever, but Simon Vance.
After four hours, I gave up. I'm not sure what the story is here, what the author is going for. There's a lot of scenes of cut throats or intestines pulled from gaping bellies and then piled next to corpses. But also, strangely, there's a ton of exposition on "evil" and what is owed to God/Jesus. Perhaps this is some sub-genre of Christian fiction?
I really wanted to like "Drynn." Unfortunately, chapter upon chapter of tiresome exposition ruined the story for me. Characters are forever standing around talking… or meeting in restaurants and talking… or standing in apartments talking… or ruminating in their own heads… frequent, protracted internal monologues. Very little action here, and not a true science fiction, either. Also, have to mention that the author has some weird obsession with eyes, giving endless descriptions of eye colors and facial expressions. One positive: The narration is quite good, although the speaker occasionally struggles with the pronunciation of some fairly common words.
Jack London is magnificent and I've read this story before, long years ago. However the narrator reads too fast and oddly emphasizes certain words. The rhythm was too jarring and ruined the story for me.
Murder porn. Although multiple writers contributed, and despite the narrator who does a fairly good job of creating different voices, all the characters were essentially the same. Different stories bring the various characters together, but the threads lack intrigue or dread. Very repetitive and ultimately boring. Ending was weak, too.
Wodehouse is enough all on his own, but this cast gets it just right. Amazing voice actors and some parts are just sublime. This is the audible recording I go back to over and over again when others disappoint. Never fails to bring me to laughter.
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