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  • Two Graves

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child
    • Narrated By Rene Auberjonois
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After his wife, Helen, is brazenly abducted before his eyes, Special Agent Pendergast furiously pursues the kidnappers, chasing them across the country and into Mexico. But then, things go terribly, tragically wrong; the kidnappers escape; and a shattered Pendergast retreats to his New York apartment and shuts out the world. But when a string of bizarre murders erupts across several Manhattan hotels, NYPD Lieutenant D'Agosta asks his friend Pendergast for help.

    G. House Sr. says: "Whiplash from the emotional rollercaster"
    "I am shocked any Pendergast fans liked this book"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Having read or listened to all of the Pendergast books I was finally completely disappointed in their newest offering, Two Graves. I have been concerned about the direction of the books for a while. I was troubled by the Diogenes story line and his interaction with Constance, largely because these characters were less than essential to the Pendergast theme. They were peripheral characters in different storylines that were afforded more than a useful share of the books.

    I was troubled by the Stradivari storyline because it seemed an interminable load of back story serving no useful purpose again. I feel the authors have a need to demonstrate that they are worldly travelers deeply knowledgeable about the slightest nuance in broad swaths of lore. It sometimes becomes a bit of self-aggrandizement at the expense of the story.

    I was concerned at the lack of real content in Cold Vengeance. The back and forth with Esterhazy was tedious and reminiscent of Keystone Kops. Important plot revelations equaled about a chapter only.

    Which brings us to Two Graves. I was already troubled at the notion of the Nazis. Why reboot this tired tired canard. Never mind the nod to Captain America in the opening…as Pendergast goes super hero. The deductive reasoning that leads to impossible clues reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes. The shocking mass killer reminiscent of Jack the ripper who we are to believe is the long lost progeny of a central character. And last but not least is the truly monumentally pointless exploration of the Constance story.

    It seems the authors are truly finally lost or bereft of ideas and are throwing characters at the proverbial mud wall in hope of some success. I suggest a return to what made Pendergast compelling and different. Not a lot of heavy muddy pointless personal baggage. Rather a Kolchak-like penchant for uncovering strange occult appearing occurrences that are inevitably proven to be, not the work of ghosts and demons, but the work of bad people. He does not need a consistent buddy. D’agosta would be ok but the Laura Hayward character is not really useful. Also not useful is the whole girl from Kansas storyline. C’mon guys…come up with some new ideas or end the series honorably.

    I won’t be buying another Pendergast book unless there is a change for the better. I stopped reading Two Graves halfway through. I may finish the book at some point but I needed to look away from this unfortunate disappointment.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Tom Holland
    • Narrated By Steven Crossley

    The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama.

    Emily says: "Connects the Dots and Fills In the Gaps"
    "Pointless snide allusions with no substance"
    Would you try another book from Tom Holland and/or Steven Crossley?

    No. This book was a hash job FULL of gossip from various sources. There is no reason to believe any of it. The author and publisher had to know this was bad literature but they put it out anyway. The phrase Junk Food comes readily to mind...

    Would you ever listen to anything by Tom Holland again?

    No. In his narration of this book Steven Crossley sounded like an English gadabout at a mid 19th century dinner party trying to serve up something scintillating and shocking. Neither of which was realized. Rather this is gossip stew done rather better by Suetonius in his tome about the 12 Caesars.

    How could the performance have been better?

    Had it been based on quality material perhaps it would have made the narration rise to the task.

    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It ended...

    Any additional comments?

    I am disappointed that this was made available. I am even more shocked at all the positive reviews. This teaches me to never base my selection on a review anymore.

    5 of 23 people found this review helpful

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