I struggled through the entire book, anticipating that it would get good and justify the high ratings from other reviewers. Sadly it never did get good, and I'm sorry I even started listening to this tedious story. The story just bogs down and keeps bogging down. The plot is pedestrian, being the diary of a life beginning in a third world country. The medical information is not particularly interesting, but it is the only interesting component of the book. The characters are simply boring and slog through life with little excitement and mystery. I don't know what planet these reviewers are on who give it five stars. It needs to be edited, abridged down to half its length, and then it would still be boring, but at least not so much a waste of time to listen to it.
The narrator has no varying voice intonations whatsoever for the different characters. I was often confused about who was talking. The plot plodded along after a good start and was diminished with numerous characters appearing out of the blue. Maybe the listener needs to start with earlier books in the series to get missing character developments. Sandford seems obsessed with gory descriptions of what Becker does, and doesn't have enough action left for the rest of the book. It was a tedious listen.
It just has too much incredible stuff. There are too many departures from reality that become a distraction. Try Heart-Shaped Box for a much better story by the same author.
I thought this was going to be full of action and I was very disappointed. There was action in the first two chapters, a legitimate bad guy defined, but the rest of the book had no action and was all about feelings. The bad guy was never confronted by the main character, he just basically went away - was deleted by a female character in a minor scene. It reads like a work from two authors. It started out being an action hero novel, but it seems like the author handed over the rest of the book to his wife who made it mawkish.
Overall, the book is a romance novel with stereotypes of what a man's feelings are and should be. A child's voice and narrative is included that contributes little to the novel - just another vehicle to show emotions that I found, well, ...childish.
I did like the reader - a good Texan drawl that fit the main character. Too bad the main character was so sentimental.
I have become a huge fan of this series. This book starts with Reacher still in the army and tells how he left. It's maybe the best Reacher book I have listened to so far out of about five novels. The characters are extremely well defined and the plot is deep.
This book is pretty bad. The characters do the most illogical things such as get threatend by a gun, save the bad guy and then shoot the girlfriend; accidentally kill a pleasant character with chemotherapy drugs; accuse the president of being corrupt with no evidence of corrupt behavior whatsoever; president saves his sister and then abandons her when she tries to commit suicide; a barber commits suicide for no reason; a main character thinks he's George Washington, and he turns out to be the smart guy! Jeez..... I was so thankful when it ended and my misery of listening to this book finally ended.
I have no idea why I bought this book. I don't like books that dispatch with reality and make things up out of the blue. I guess I downloaded it because some reviews said that this is a geek's book. Just what is a geek's book anyway? It isn't a book for someone who works in IT, or a scientist concerned with the natural world. It seems to be a book for alternate reality gamers. Anyway, this story isn't for me. I don't appreciate sophomoric and stereotypical attacks on evil corporations, evil government institutions, and evil economic systems. I made it through 4-5 chapters and barfed. Is this a book for OWS?
Narration is good. It's not the narration that flops here. It's the illogical behavior of the characters and the illogical premise of a computer created by a terrorist that is thousands of times more capable than anything else in the world and that runs on red crystals originally described by Marco Polo. Come on, get real.
The author dominates his dialog with stories about how incompetent our soldiers are and how ungrateful the Iraq populaton is. Every now and then he throws in comments from the Iraqi like how they appreciate us removing the tyrant Saddam Hussein - apparently a weak attempt to balance his political bias. He spends lots of time with insurgents and protrays their comments as common in Iraq. He treats suicide bombers with sympathy. Make no mistake about it, this is not a neutral work. If you want to read about all the bad stuff and little of the good stuff, then this book is for you.
The story is full of stereotypes and Tandia comes across as a weak, weeping character. The ending isn't satisfying and it seems like Courtenay got tired of writing and just decided to end it. Actually I was glad when it was over, the plot wasn't going anywhere.
For me, it more or less ruined the satisfying result of The Power of One.
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