I am a fan of both the genre this book represents, and Alan Furst (usually), but this book just didn't cut it. After almost 10 hours of listening I was still waiting for the story to get going, when suddenly the book was finished. The reader, Daniel Gerroll, has a voice that is better suited to hypnotherapy than audio books and I found myself wandering off on mental tangents way too often. I understand the need to concentrate hard when listening to audio books, but one shouldn't have to work this hard at staying involved with the plot....
A better narrator. I felt like I was listening to a race caller..monotonous and monotone. How could Audible.com have possibly allowed this narrator, Michael Russotto, to read this book. I have never before failed to finish a Griffin story, but by the time I'd listened to an hour or so of this audio book, I was looking for another book to listen to. THe story is fantastic...(I've read the book before)..but the narrating was the worst I've ever experienced in an audio book. Just sad.
He has a terrible voice..and his narrating sounds like an old fashioned horse race caller...nasal and monotone. He is the reason I couldn't finish this book.
However it is far easier to accept these judgments when they come directly from the man who was, after all, leader of one of the world???s great powers, the United Kingdom, during such a historically significant window of time. This is a book that thoroughly transcends partisan politics. It helps the listener understand the complexities of leadership and realpolitik in our time, at least as Tony Blair saw it. More importantly it is a book about relations and how they are managed at this strategic level. The listener is taken through a first-person account of a range of issues starting with the Royal Family over the death of Lady Diana, and with Heads of State and the UN over the catastrophe in Kosovo, with Sierra Leone???s transition from war to peace, the robust relationship with US President George W. Bush following 9/11 - and the politics of moving into war and a nation-building role in Afghanistan and Iraq; and then dealing with terrorism in his own city of London. This is powerful, serious and thought provoking stuff that should not suffer the indignity of being thought of along party political lines. Naturally it can???t all be about international events, and it would be impractical for Tony Blair to write an autobiography without dealing with domestic political issues, especially the troubled relationship with Gordon Brown. However these issues are dealt with in a way that is not at all onerous for listeners from outside the UK and actually provides an interesting perspective on politics generally, that politically savvy listeners from many other countries will find much to identify with. Finally, Blair makes no attempt to disguise areas that he felt were not his proudest moments, and this balanced approach lends an essential credibility to his story that would severely degrade the worth of this work if it were not present.
I am an avid audio "reader"..listening while commuting, exercising, shopping etc..and this Millennium Series has been without doubt the most exciting thing I have "read" in years. I can't wait to get back into the traffic, out on the track, or shopping the aisles so I can turn the iPod again. Anybody who turns away from these Steig Larsson novels disappointed is just unpleasable. The only thing disappointing about this series is that they have finished, and sadly Mr. Larsson is no longer with us to create any more masterful stories such as these. Make sure you read the three books in the correct sequence however...this is MUST!!
This fourth book in the Presidential Agent series is another fantastic "read" from WEB Griffin. These are books that are definitely best read in the right order (although not absolutely critical). Dick Hill does a great job of keeping himself "in character" with his voice variations. These are easy books to listen to, with very interesting, albeit not totally unpredictable plots for WEB. The genre of novels featuring independently wealthy public servants who use their independent wealth in the prosecution of their duty has become something of a hallmark for this writer, going all the way back to his brilliant Brotherhood of War series..but if you liked that, you will find equal listening pleasure in the Presidential Agent series. Not 100% believable but definitely 100% entertaining. These books make commuting a pleasure. I would give this book a solid 8 out of 10 and recommend it to my friends without hesitation.
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