I wouldn't call this the strongest Robin Cook book, mostly because the characters didn't seem as fleshed out as they were in earlier books. But the premise of the book is so interesting and its effects so far-reaching that the book is fascinating. Plus, it's still better written than most books. It is a story that keeps you interested, with some surprises. For fans of Robin Cook, don't miss it.
I really enjoyed the first part and don't mind the lead character's black humour. Germany and Russia in 1943 weren't the cheeriest places and his outlook lightens things up in a way that's necessary. I don't even mind the focus on death and despair. But for me personally, I can't handle details of rape and torture and after I'd skipped some sections to miss them and I could tell another one was about to begin, I called it quits. I also realized I didn't mind if I never knew how it turned out. After all, we know the ending of WW2, don't we?! I know we're all unique in what we can tolerate in terms of violence, so it's your call if this book's for you or not. There were a lot of characters with difficult names and that could be a bit confusing at times and I made a few notes to keep them straight. I do enjoy a good WW2 story and I took the risk here from an author I'd read before.
This book was occasionally tedious, but overall I'm glad I listened. I learned lots of little tidbits (sips?) of history as related to each beverage. The author tied each drink into its historical period without lapsing into overstating its importance to world events. Surprisingly, I learned the most about the most recent one - Coca Coca - and in the epilogue he muses about drinks in the future.
This was a delightful book, with many smiles and laugh out loud moments, all due to the dog's perceptions and lack of them. There was enough of a plot to keep things moving along, but the charm is really seeing things from the dog's point of view. It's brilliant and charming, plus the narration makes it perfect. I'm sure I'll read more.
I was all set to find the middle section long, based on the other reviews, but I didn't at all. Nor did I find any characters or storylines abandoned, but maybe I missed it! This is my third Robert Goddard book and it seemed perfectly paced. There is lots to keep one's interest along the way and much to reveal at the end.
I find that I can't listen to his books one right after another, because of the similar elements (revenge, betrayal, nothing is what it seems, etc.), but after a brief rest, I'll return for more. Clearly, it doesn't seem to matter what the external circumstance is in terms of plot and setting, because he makes it a good story in each case. I'm fond of plots with political overtones myself because it lifts things out of the merely personal into a wider sphere. I'll look forward to the next one soon! I'll have to remember to have a dictionary nearby next time for the occasional new word. That's the mark of a good novel for sure!
This possibly wasn't the best choice in the middle of a very cold winter when there is still no end in sight. It's the mood of the book already and it becomes too much. He captures the eroding of the human spirit that life in the secret service brings, which in his hands seems more destructive than actual physical harm. Everything is very well done and Tim Pigott-Smith as the narrator was masterful. One of his characters sounded very upper class British and made me picture Edward Fox playing the Duke of Windsor in Edward and Mrs. Simpson. Apparently it's a Mayfair accent.
A good follow-up to the earlier books and one I enjoyed more than Book 2. Joel Rosenberg is not a top level writer, say, in the class of Daniel Silva, but he still has an important role to play in the writing firmament. Daniel Silva can subtly work in information from earlier books that you need to know but Joel Rosenberg doesn't have that talent. So, sometimes you are a bit confused about who the people are and that takes away from the current book. Also, a really talented writer can make a book in a series stand alone through working in what you need to know and that isn't there in this book. These books are better read in the series of 3.
Having said that, the story is amazingly close to events in the world and is worthwhile for that alone. It's a good story and the characters seem believable and people who you care about. I like the Christian backdrop as a refreshing change to the dominant view permeating everything else and I don't find it overdone. The narrator was amazing, with a huge range of accents to pull off and I found myself beginning to visualize the characters based on his voices. So, great stuff and I'd be happy to read Book 4 in the series if there ever is such a thing. Since the world doesn't end in this one (spoiler alert), why not?
I've read quite a few Hamish Macbeth mysteries and enjoy them as light refreshment between longer and weightier books. This time I didn't. The narrator, Graeme Malcolm, was new to me and Hamish came across more churlish and less charming for me with his reading. There seemed to be few lovable characters and the mysteries seemed forced. I have a pet peeve about seeing religion as the source of people's problems and, as that is an aspect of this book, that turned me off too! It may be awhile before I try another one of the series. I do miss Davina Porter for the Hamish Macbeth books.
I got this book as the only one on a $4.95 list that I wanted, but I enjoyed it very much. I thought I knew a lot about Scientology, but this book goes far beyond the basics and is impeccably researched. There are other personal accounts by ex-members, but this has to be the definitive one done by a reporter. She didn't mention any harassment she has personally received, but one wonders.
The author takes a low-key, objective approach and lets the information stand for itself, which works well. Everything in Scientology is already so over-the-top, presenting it in a cool manner grounds the story. It's hard to believe that we could have and allow to happen such things happening in Scientology in democratic countries. I'm all in favour of religious freedom, but Scientology manipulates that human right for wrong purposes.
The epilogue for me was a bit odd, where I think the writer allowed in her own feelings, but that didn't detract from the overall experience. It's an important book containing information everyone should know.
Despite learning a few little tidbits I hadn't heard, this book didn't work for me. He didn't seem to really analyze something, but just to connect things that had superficial similarities. I much prefer the solid thinking of David Horowitz, the incisive humour of Anne Coulter or the brilliant Mark Levin.
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