The book had many fascinating ideas but the characterizations were, frankly, uninteresting at best and confusing at worst. These "characters"--whether human, virtual, cyborg, or whatever flavor, all spoke as though he, she or it were standing before a lectern. In no way would their conversations plausibly occur in any real or imagined world. I wish someone like Clark or Niven could have run with the author's ideas; that could have been some book.
To make matters worse, the reader droned on and on in an almost unintelligible brogue which would be very difficult for most American listeners. Please sample this first if you are still inclined to buy it.
As is typical of Price, the characters are 3-dimensional and the dialog is spot on. This put me right back onto the streets and into the neighborhoods of greater NYC.
One of the best narrations I've listened to in awhile. He managed to present the different characters uniquely without resorting to labored mannerism or ridiculous falsettos.
C. J. Box is a good writer and has produced some quality books. This is not one of his best but that does not mean it is not worth reading. However, one would think the audiobook producers would find a narrator worthy of the material.
The narration had all the warmth and depth of a Dragonspeak production. It was only because of Box that I stuck with the book until its conclusion.
Truthfully, as much as I like the Pickett series, I think it might be time to give it a rest and start something new. The characters and scenarios they get involved in are starting to show their wear.
It started off well. Part 1 was very good. Part 2 , however, dragged and meandered too much. My attention kept drifting. I guess I was expecting something more similar to a Ludlom or Higgins. Instead, we watched as a civilian matched wits with some less than daunting SS villains.
We're to believe that the 5 most qualified astronauts in the world talk and act like teenagers in heat? Very poor dialog. Badly constructed. Amateurishly rendered.
Next time I need to hear someone with a noticeable lisp, I know who to turn to.
Anger at wasting time listening when I could have been doing something more productive like picking lint out of my navel.
Maybe if the author had written one story instead of stringing together 3 or 4 unrelated stories, there might have been hope. Also, maybe the author should not insult the reader's intelligence by presenting so many improbable circumstances such as, out of the blue, the first lady--after meeting the protagonists briefly, once--inviting the protagonists to join the first family on their vacation to Nantucket on the pretense that she thought the male hero could bond with her troubled pre-teen son. Of course, the impending assault on the first family was unknown to her at the time but gee whiz wasn't it handy to have two assassins handy when it did occur. Please.
Cassidy's Korean accents were bad and distracting,
She read without taking a breath. It was as if she had been told to read the entire book in half the time it would normally take.
I couldn't finish the book because the narration was so bad so I really cannot assess the story itself.
I should have read the reviews first instead of just relying on the "average" customer ratings provided in the product blurb. After enduring this book--I absolutely, positively hated it, I revisted these reviews to see how I could be so out-of-sync with the other readers. I found, however, that most reviews had it right: this book is trash.
I used to believe that a 3 1/2 star rating would reliably indicate a decent book. In the future, I will have to restrict my choices to only books receiving 4+ stars. That is the only certain way to avoid the inflation effect that occurs when every book starts with 1 star and enough reviewers lacking good critical reading skills opt to grant garbage 5 stars.
I am a big fan of "period" pieces. "The Alienist", "The Name of the Rose" and "The Devil in the White City" are among my favorite books. I also enjoy experiencing unfamiliar settings and cultures. This, and the fact it won the Edgar, was why I chose to listen to this book. Unfortunately, I just could not get into it on any level. This caused my attention to the book to frequently drift. Replaying those parts I "skipped" did not seem to help. Maybe I was just having a bad day, or maybe the book was not as good as everyone else says it was. I will never know for there just is not anything there pulling me back into the story for a second listen.
This is a difficult book to judge. I can truthfully say it was well written, well read and engaging. Had I not also read "The Faithful Spy", I would have no problem giving this a big thumbs up. Unfortunately, it is largely a rehash of the earlier book. By itself, I would have to say it is worth reading. If, however, you have already enjoyed "Faithful", you may opt to pass on this given the gross similarities in plot, character, locale, etc.
I have read many of Herbert's books. I found some of them good and others not so good. This book falls well within the "good" category.
Even though it was written over 20 years ago, its subject matter (systemic hatred, tribalism, terrorism, WMD, vengence, survival, redemption) addresses situations which could have been taken from today's headlines. I found it very thought provoking as well as entertaining.
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