I can't complain about the ending because I can't get that far. I'm half way through and just don't care enough about the characters to go on. Despite having gotten to know them all in the first two books, they now seem to have no personality and no "story". The plot is written like an outline with huge jumps between scenes and passes through time so quickly you wonder if you missed a part.
The first two books in the series were wonderful and I couldn't stop listening. This one I stopped after a couple of hours and came back to it weeks later. Now, I'm half way and know it's just not worth my time.
As a woman rapidly approaching 70, I did find this novel compelling and also disturbing as a very accurate look into the decline of an elderly person's ability to even control his own thought processes. The "mystery" is the least important part of this story. The story of the gradual breakdown in the character's personality is far more interesting. Having been responsible for the care of my childless aunt who was stricken with Altzheimer's, I can now better appreciate why she acted the way she did and why nothing I did made any difference at all.
If you love fantasy stories, this may be perfect for you....the escapades of the lead characters are so over the top that they seem more like a Superman or Batman story. The conversations are written like they were made by a grade school author...flat, simple and not the way real people talk. The male narrator had a stilted reading manner , pausing at odd places as if it were the end of the sentence ....and then going on with the remainder of the sentence.
I thought it would never end.
I almost quit listening because of the flat, halting tone of the narrator. He doesn't "perform" the story but just reads it in a flat , monotone voice and halts or pauses in odd places. But I stayed with it and really did enjoy the story itself.
I don't give many 5 star ratings. I listen to too many books to be impressed by many of them but I honestly wish I could give both this book and this narrator 10 stars. They were perfectly matched and I did not want this story to end.
Like most people of my generation (mid 60's), I read this book in high school and found it boring and didn't like it at all. It is wasted on the young who haven't faced any hardships in life yet and they can't possibly understand the impact of it's lessons.
But now when I listen to it I can feel the dust in my throat and the bugs biting my skin and the heat beating down on me. I know the pain of the parents watching their children starve and the humiliation of the men , especially, who could not take care of their families.
And, I could see how we as a country are starting to repeat those same mistakes that culminated in the massive poverty of the majority of Americans in those years.
This is a must read for all adults.
Where to start with this bit of junk writing. If you like violent, explicit sex with very little story line....you'll love this. It goes off track even more with the rapid growth of bed bugs exposed to radiation. Really?
And, to make matters worse, what story is there needs to be read by a male narrator. It just doesn't fit a female's soft voice. This woman did a decent job I guess considering she had little to work with.
I won't be buying any more from this author.
Did David Baldacci actually write this drivel? The writing is very "simple" and the characters are not developed in any way. There are large leaps in time and action during the story....so much so that several times I thought I must have drifted off and missed something essential. So I rewound to find what I'd missed only to find I'd missed nothing. The story line just jumped ahead and left info out.
But all of that would have been fine if the cheesy sound effects had been left out. The sudden eruption of gunfire and the chirping of crickets to indicate a walk in the woods....really? Have we become so simple-minded that we can no longer conjure up an image based on the written words? And the sound effects just sounded like someone got a new sound board and wanted to try out all the buttons. Awful.
Please, leave out sound effects and let the narrators spin the images from the written words.
Baldacci's last few novels have been so poorly written that I doubt I'll waste money or credits on any more of them.
The only reason I didn't give this book a 5 star is that I several times stopped listening to do other things and really didn't want to come back to it. The supernatural just isn't my cup of tea and I didn't care much how it ended. That said, Kate Mulgrew's performance was so outstanding that I did keep coming back to it and she got me through it. The story was good, I guess, for the subject matter. Well written but even better performed.
I'm not fond of fantasy stories of any kind and this one is no different. But it is well written and held my interest long enough to finish only because of Meryl Streep. She could make reading a telephone book sound like great literature! It's worth listening to this just for her performance.
The writing is simple and predictable and verges on Romance Novel territory. And the narrator reads in an overly sweet, gentle voice suitable more for reading children's books and with a halting pattern that was distracting. I had a hard time finishing this one.
This is the second time recently I've purchased a book that is a duplicate of one that was published on here some time ago. They change the cover and apparently some other identifier so it doesn't show that it's already in your library and because it's an author you like, you buy it again. I listen to a LOT of books so remembering titles is hopeless for me but as soon as I started listening to this one, too, I knew I'd heard it before. Sure enough, it is in my library but with a different cover and slightly different time. Same narrator and unabridged as is the previous one. I wish Audible would clearly state that for some reason they have re-recorded some books. A big waste of my credits.
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