I have long wanted to listen to the audiobook of The Firm but Audible only had an abridged version. When I saw that they had added an unabridged version, read by my favorite narrator Scott Brick, nonetheless, I jumped on it. The book is very good but winds up deviated significantly from the book. The story is definitely entertaining, but I have to admit, this is one of those rare cases where I think I preferred the film. That being said, it is an excellent audiobook that was engrossing and kept me engaged. As such, I am happy to give it four stars.
From the description, I had such high hopes for this book. I thought it might be something in the vein on Gone Girl. No...not even close. Other than the first chapter or two, the subsequent parts of the story meander, go into great depth on a bunch of tangentially - at best, irrelevant at worst - related plot points. In the first quarter of the novel, the points of the main plot could have been compressed into less than a chapter. The timeline seems to jump and the context clues for the temporal relationship of the various parts are very opaque. I finally gave up about a quarter of the way through. The story showed little momentum and promise and I realized I was simply continuing only because I don't like to give up. Perhaps, I will come back to this book at some point, but I am onto a new book that is far more interesting in the first few pages than "Descent" was in first few chapters.
I really enjoyed this book. Not being familiar with this author, I had nothing to go on other than the description and I was not disappointed! The plot is well paced and goes deeper than mere action and superficial plot points. But it does not get lost in deep, brooding introspection that weighs down to many books. My understanding is that the Tracy Crosswhite character will be a new series for Dugoni. I hope so! I will be on the lookout for a new entry in this universe!
The first tenth and the last tenth are pretty good. The middle 80%....oh....my...goodness. The tedium. It was not so bad that I quit and gave up, but I came close and it is rare that I don't finish a book. I understand that Christine's days are repetitive due to the memory loss, but the way the author presents this winds up coming across as interminable hand-wringing that gets really old in a hurry. I am hopeful the movie far surpasses the book.
The "Lincoln Lawyer" novels have turned out to be a really solid series. Connelly does a good job to use a different tone than he does with the Harry Bosch books. This story isn't the deepest mystery nor does it have a mind-bending twist, but it's engrossing and keeps you ready to find out what happens next. My biggest complaint is that the narrator for the Haller books can be a tad too dramatic at times, but this is a minor quibble. Overall, he does a very solid job.
** spoiler alert ** This book was a rewritten shorter work from the 70s. It should have probably been left shorter. This novel is way too long and plodding. The title would be more fitting if it were "Talking About the Quest" or "Planning a Quest." There is a TON of slow, tedious, only moderately interesting planning and discussing and preparing for the Grail quest. The relationship aspect was apparently grafted on for the novel and wow, is it frustrating. The lead female character just needs to make her mind up about the man she wants! After the long, sometimes interminable leadup to the quest, the team encounters a character that confirms of their speculations and the book speeds to a quick finish, including a pretty predictable encounter with the book's main bad guy.
This is an enjoyable read that has good pacing. It takes three-quarters of the book to set the stage for a very rapid conclusion. However, it is obvious this is the start of a series the way the build-up establishes the backstory and how the book ends. Some of the plot points are a little bit of a stretch but this is a geopolitical thriller, not literature, a "popcorn movie" if you will.
One of the most disappointing Grisham books. He did his standard glorification of lawyers while portraying all businesses as blood-thirsty and criminal entities. He's always been on the liberal side but if he keeps this trend up, he will cease to be "must read."
Michael Connelly does such a good job with the Harry Bosch series. He makes them feel real with, for a series book, depth. It's a much read series and this one had me looking forward to getting back to the book to see what was coming next.
I think stories like this translate better to film where special effects, sound and imagery really create the creepy mood better than mere words on a page. The book is not terrible, but the first two-thirds can be pretty slow in places. It picks up in the last third if you can make it there. Reading this book in 2014, the 70s setting is very nostalgic!
This series has never been a page-turner. It is more of a plodding story documenting various storylines which converge to a degree of the Long Earth universe. There are definitely some interested exploration themes here, but nothing that is edge-of-your-seat. There appears to be no major driving plot but rather episodes in a far longer arc exploring this new world paradigm. It's not a bad series, but if you are looking for a thriller that drives hard to a conclusion, you will be disappointed.
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