Dang, I wanted to love this book. With all the good reviews and awards the thing got I was looking forward to this as a new favorite that I could go back to every couple of years. Don't get me wrong - I really really liked it. But it's not going down in history as an all-time fave. The characters are great - the sci fi dystopic vision is thought provoking and feels real. It's not just a good genre book - it's a good novel. But in the end - I wasn't blown away with the way the plot resolves. I think I wanted to see what happens after the novel ends - maybe there is a sequel to come but it feels like an ending that is meant to be the ending. The narrator does a good job of creating a bunch of different accents for characters without calling attention to himself - enhancing the words rather than making it about the performance. Definitely a worthwhile listen - I think my expectations were a bit too high.
So - I'm about five hours into this one and - well I don't think I'm going to make it all the way to the Dark Tower. (What is it, about 100 more hours to go?) I like the story okay - but the new yawk accent the narrator is using for the junkie guy is getting on my nerves.
I've had this reaction to Stephen King books before - little bored at first and usually I get sucked in and have to see how it turns out.
But with 5 more full books to go - I'm not making any promises.
I was a kid growing up in Queens, NY and I bought a staticky radio at a garage sale for $1. When the Mets weren't on - there was this guy who would just sit there and talk for an hour. Tell jokes and stories. I don't know if there's ever been freeform commercial radio like this before or since. The guy is unique. To really appreciate the work you've got to realize that he did one of these 5 nights a week for years and years.
Okay - they're all pretty formulaic - but this one is a little less predictable than most. And the supporting cast gets to shine a little more than they usually do.
I hate myself for liking this book so much.
Basically, I'm a knee-jerk liberal who hates the real life excesses of our intelligence community. And I was sort of uncomfortable with the actions of the ultra macho secret agents that populate the Flynn-iverse.
But I kept listening every chance I got and pretty soon I was making up not-so-important errands so I could listen in the car.
I've heard a couple of these Vince Flynn stories now and even though I don't think he writes the most three dimensional characters - he's just really good at crafting these plots that just rope you in and never let up.
How come they're not making these things into movies?
I thought this was a cool idea and I did enjoy listening to it as just a spy type thriller. But what added to the fun was trying to figure out where the various authors were crossing each other up.
It's the kind of book where you expect characters to have hidden agendas - but there are a couple of characters that seem like they were really intended to be good guys that end up being turned into bad guys - or that just get killed off before they fulfill much of a story purpose.
It's not as consistent and polished as it probably would have been with a single author - but on the other hand - it's probably got more exciting reversals than any single author would have had the nerve to include in a single book.
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