Which is rare for a movie to be better than the book. But this one is. HMS Surprise pursues an American warship bent on taking the conflict to the Pacific Ocean. Jack is enjoying his cruise in Surprise, while the Doctor is doing his usual antics.
What?s missing is the action. The movie has some great action sequences, along with the chase of Surprise by the enemy until Jack turns the tables. Well, that was actually out of a previous book. Readers will note many of the movie lines and some plot come from other books in the series.
The best line in the book?.
Jack and the Doctor have been captured by cannibalistic women. They?re on-board some native craft, and the crew is breaking out their ceremonial knives, talismans and the like. Jack?s comment??Looks like their going to rig for church.?
Of course they escape, after all, it?s book 10 of 20?
In fact, the doctor saves the whole book.
The first half of the book is dreadful. I would guess that, collectively, nearly an hour is spent on "our story thus far." There's goings on between Jack and his father, along with Stephen and his intelligence people. I just couldn't get interested, and in fact, set the story aside on two occasions.
Then, near the end of the first part, it gets going, and keeps going. In perhaps the most moving chapter of the entire series, Jack finds out who is friends really are. Outstanding.
This book sat on my wish list for a long time before I listened to it. I guess I?ve always kept a jaundiced eye on books about the CIA. I mean, if it?s true, it?s secret, and if you tell, well, it?s not much of a secret anymore, is it?
The book is written, as I found out later, by a CBS 60-minutes producer. I?ve had personal problems with some of the stories that have appeared on 60 Minutes. Let?s just say they show you what they want you to see.
The book uses several techniques used by the TV program, the most evident is the appearance of presenting the information in chronological order. Well, things jump around in time and place, and it gets hard to follow who?s where and when.
The book mentions a documentary about the Afghan fighters created by several of the players. Neither a Google or IMDB search returned any information on said program. That was one of several issues I had with this book, which led me to develop a credibility problem.
The congressman is just too stereotyped. Alcoholic, but connected with all the necessary players. The junkets. The women. The deals. It?s all too?.
The book mentions, but glosses over (in true 60 Minutes style) the failures of the Carter administration in foreign policy. The Regan administration is mentioned, but exists only in the background of the story. Oliver North pops in, but is derided as an idiot with a group of conservative wackos. Again, more 60 Minutes modus operandi.
If the book is true, then it is an incredible story of the growth of the CIA Afghan program from a hole in the wall operation to the largest covert operation in history. This was made possible mostly on the part of a well-placed and connected congressman.
Worth the read? Yes. I figure maybe 50-60% is fact, and the rest is conjecture if not outright fiction. But don?t look at it as an expose of the intelligence operation. Rather, look at it as a story about a debauched congressman with a personal mission against communism.
Finally, an accent (Italian woman), that Patrick Tull cannot do with perfection.
The book is a typical M&C - Jack is sailing around doing Jack things, while the Doctor is up to his capers and collecting organisms.
If you've ever wondered how they can do all that swimming in the ocean and never get attacked by sharks, you're questions are answered in this book. And it's particularly gruesome.....
Very enjoyable listen. The end looked tedious, but was a very big surprise, including the death of a long time character.
But if you are a student of history, particularly the War of 1812, you'll know how the battles are going to turn out. And that was a bit of a spoiler, at least for me.
I enjoyed the character studies of some of the people of Boston during the period. Very entertaining.
The only dark spot of the whole read was the detestable DV. I find I have to restrain myself from hitting the fast forward whenever she's there.
Consider the intrigue between the Doctor and the Lady Spy. Consider the friction between Jack and the ?I?d do it this way? Grant. Consider the parallelism between the Doctor and Herrapath [SIC], the bad luck with women, the opium problem, etc.
I thought it as the second best of the first 5, with only the first book being better. Well written.
And the sea chase between The Leopard and the Dutchman were outstanding.
Can?t wait for the next one.
"GET ON WITH IT!" So much time is spent going back and forth with the women that I was on the breaking point. Fortunately, the action picks back up and keeps going.
But the movie hits a lot of the highlights. Forget about the Costner whitewash of Joe Jackson in "Field of Dreams." The author explains who was in, who was out, who did what, and most importantly, who made the money. The coaches, the gamblers, the players, Comiskey, and all the lawyers are covered in great detail.
The author covers a few other facts that I had not previously known. For example, several years later Comiskey, at a civil trial, does something incredibly STUPID in an attempt to save himself a mere $18,000. (You'll have to listen to find out...)
The reader is fair and the quality of listen is about the same. After listening, I came to the opinion that based on this, Pete Rose will never get back into baseball...too much negative history with gambling. Now, if he had sold drugs to children, that would be different, wouldn't it? (Note the hipocrisy of it all)
But only time will tell...
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