A great book and worth the wait. I can’t fathom how someone can weave history and characters together so effectively. He’s an amazing talent. I thought the earlier events and characters were referenced about the right amount….enough to remind you, but the current stories and people were sufficient to enjoy the book.
One thing that rang true for me was his portrayal of women, especially with respect to sex. The way women thought and felt seemed believable to me, and I can connect with it myself as well as through my parents, who would have been young adults in the war years. Some writers, such as Alan Furst, seem to have their characters hop from one sensual adventure to the next, with an endless string of available women. That is one outlook and it reveals the male character’s view of women as sensual delights, which is fine. But it’s not really portraying a woman’s point of view in its fullness. For example, pregnancy or birth control never seems to factor into Alan Furst’s books, but does in this book by Ken Follett. That seems more accurate and reflective of real women, especially in the 1930’s and 40’s.
John Lee, of course, is superb.
I'm another one who loved The Company and had to try more of his writing. I knew from the reviews it wouldn't be as great as what I guess is his masterpiece, but I still enjoyed this one. I will continue with his other books as well in the future. I liked the definition of an amateur versus a professional, plus the window into cryptography.
I see doing a Google search that there was a movie made of this book in 1981 in Canada, starring John Savage, Marthe Keller, with Christopher Plummer as the Czech intelligence officer on his trail. It gets a good review but is similar to The Odessa File, explaining why it perhaps didn't get the recognition it deserved.
I wasn't able to get into this and couldn't finish it. It seemed to go on and on, with the occasional interesting tidbit. The narrator was a bit flat in his tone, but I think it was more the writing. It was focussed on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in general, rather than world-wide secret intel, plus I suspect the author had an agenda in writing the book. There were a lot of comparisons to Johnson and the Vietnam War as well as to the Soviet Union's failures in Afghanistan. That wasn't what I was expecting at all. I should have paid more attention to a negative review on the Amazon website. Best of luck to other readers and perhaps your experience will be different!
I, for some reason, resisted this book until I got a direct recommendation and I'm so glad I took the plunge. It's one of the best audiobooks ever for me. Isaacson's approach is easy to follow, well-paced, making connections without forcing false conclusions. It covers the technological revolution we've all been living through with one of the key players and Steve Jobs, in Isaacson's hands, is a fascinating character. It dragged for me only on very rare occasions. I found I was frequently looking up people or things that were talked about to read more or see a picture. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute! I followed up with the DVD called Pirates of Silicon Valley, a TV movie made in 1999, which followed the early years of Jobs and Bill Gates, ending in 1997. It's on Itunes if you're in the U.S, which I'm not, but luckily library carried it. Time to find a good book about Bill Gates!
This particular one seemed less funny overall and dragged a bit for me. However, it did wind up well, with good twists in the plot. I will certainly continue the series in any case, after a short break.
I liked the concept and enjoyed the plot, when you got to it, but it seemed way too long. There were endless dialogues between characters, going over the same ground, it seemed. But I wanted to hang on until the end and I'm very glad I did. For me, it easily could have been half the length and accomplished as much. I found I could half listen to the dialogue in case anything new actually came up. I'm not sure I'd read another by this author. Maybe 'abridged' is the way to go with this one.
I stopped after giving this a good try. The moment I realized that the narrator was not even attempting to change his voice for the different characters, I'd had enough. The story seemed adequate, but not enough to override the 'reading' rather than 'acting' of the narrator. Makes me appreciate even more the excellence of so many narrators. When I first started audiobooks, I was surprised to hear the words 'performed' used to what I thought was just being 'read'. But I see the better ones truly are doing exactly that and making the audio experience as good as or better than reading the same book yourself.
I enjoyed this one the most, even though I didn't like the concept of the 'glutton' so much. The other characters seemed to be handled with more depth, where you have for many of them what they want, what they think they want, and what they actually need being played out through the book. I became more aware of Davina Porter's amazing narration, that her unique voice for each character contributed so much to my image of each one. Still a great series and I'll continue with it every so often. Flawed, lovable characters, just like real life.
I confess I had this one around for awhile, thinking it would be a bit dry but I 'ought' to listen to it. I finally did and it was great. I realize that I fall into the group...most of us...that if we're not willing to do much to protect our freedoms and we're fighting a foe that will do anything and everything to achieve their ends (such as give their own lives), then I'm part of the problem. The book makes a compelling case and Robert Spencer is a very solid analyst and researcher. Really, I came away thinking that we'll look back at the last 10 to 12 years and realize we were focused on the wrong thing (another possible attack, wars) while insidiously something far more subtle and far-reaching was occurring. I'm ready to read another!
The book has a good plot that, just like a good Law and Order episode, goes in directions you don't anticipate in the early stages. I would definitely listen to subsequent books in the Jeremy Fisk series as they appear, which I hope they do. I'd have to agree with an Amazon reader who said it lacked a bit of emotion, but it was still better than average for me. All very forgivable for a first novel!
I agree with a lot of the reviewers that this is fun, but short and maybe lacking a little something that I can't quite put my finger on. But it's only the first in the series and I likely will try others in time. It has got me curious about the Regency period. I too wondered if it had been made by the Brits into a series. I think it could be.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.