Helprin's story is detailed and intricate. He is also the rare author who uses language and imagery in a delightful way - the sort that makes you stop and wonder how he creates such art in his words. The story has many high points but its pacing seems off in many places. There were a number of times that I wished I could skip ahead to help move the story along. If your delighted with a clever writer who knows his wordcraft you'll enjoy the work but if you want a story that moves along this isn't the one for you
I think this is how it happened: Baldacci and Child are at dinner one night and Baldacci says in a playful tone "Lee, anybody can write that Reacher stuff." And Child responds: "Oh yeah, wanna bet! Why don't you give it a try." And so he did.
It's still a worthy read (listen). McLarty is as good as ever and the story is reasonably intriguing.
Maybe he should have given a Puller a like for tea - just to keep it completely tongue in cheek.
I have to agree with the many comments about the narrator. This narrator's pace and flatter approach doesn't serve well. The book drones on and doesn't seem to go anywhere. It makes me wonder whether Martin's publishers are coaching for more pages (i.e., more revenue) rather than reaching a satisfying conclusion. I'll buy book five but it needs to improve a lot before I'll invest any of my credits on the rest of the series. After the first three books I was anxious to get on with the story but at this point I'm bored and a little worried that Martin doesn't know how to end his tale.
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