I was completely, totally caught up, sucked in, taken up with this book. I listened at every possible opportunity ~ made excuses to wash dishes, do laundry; any mindless activity where I could rationalize putting on my iPod. I loved the characters, loved the story, loved the narration, just loved everything about this book. If you're a Stephen King fan ~ or even if you're not ~ get this book. You won't regret it.
I don't know what made me download this book, since it's such a departure from my usual listening fare. But I'm SO glad I stretched from my comfort zone. This book was flat-out incredible: the writing was engrossing, the characters were finely drawn, and the narration was excellent. There were a lot of people to keep track of, which initially almost put me off the book, but there came a point, an hour or 2 in, when I realized that I was completely and utterly engrossed, and from then on the book never let go of me. It was by turns heartbreaking and uplifting, and I became invested in the fate of each and every character. I thought I knew about the Vietnam War, but after listening to Matterhorn I realized that what I thought I knew barely scratched the surface. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
I really liked this book, so much so that immediately after finishing it I downloaded and listened to "Say Goodbye", also by Lisa Gardner. "Say Goodbye" is well written and well narrated, so I recommend it with a caveat: it does deal with child sexual abuse, and includes some truly horrible and heartbreaking scenes, so the listener should be forewarned.
One thing I didn't see mentioned in the overview of "The Neighbor" or in any of the other reviews, is that one of its key plot points is a continuation of one of the key plot points of "Say Goodbye". I figured this out pretty early on while listening to "Say Goodbye", so parts of the book weren't as suspenseful or surprising as they might have been otherwise. Bottom line, I recommend both books, but definitely recommend listening to "Say Goodbye" first. Just know what you're getting into, because it can be hard to take!
This book is an engrossing listen ~ well written and very well narrated ~ but be warned: if you have children, especially if you have a young boy, parts of this book will break your heart. Certain passages are very hard to listen to, and might just make you frightened enough never, ever to let your child out of your sight for a single moment.
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