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.
[NOTE: Mild spoilers below.]
A terrifying look into a future where companies like Google and Facebook leverage the power of Big Data to obliterate privacy and track every minute aspect of our lives. The Circle is quite obviously a fictionalized portrayal of largely Google but with aspects of Facebook and Twitter thrown in. The ability of the company in the novel to destroy privacy and position itself to establish totalitarian control of our future is a bit of a stretch but not as much as you might think. The novel also gives a glimpse into the naivete of the millenials and other young people whose "progressive" thinking on information, collectivism and social interaction empower this risk to all of our privacy. The term used late in the book - infocommunism - perfectly summarizes the result of this dangerous lurch toward tracking, recording, monitoring, datafying and analyzing all aspects of our lives.
Some of Baldacci's King and Maxwell books (as well as some of his series in general) are hit or miss. Unfortunately, this book is more on the miss side. It's not bad, but, without giving spoilers, some of the situations that private investigators, even ones that are former Secret Service agents, find themselves in are just not realistic or plausible. For me, that gross lack of realism detracts from the story. Baldacci's books are generally not in the "realistic" strain as are many of Clancy's book. To make such stretches in the credibility of his plots really reduces my enjoyment of his books. Specific to the audiobook format, there are too many cheesy sound effects in the audio version of some Baldacci novels. While this is not always unwelcome, how these are done should be handled with care. I thought they went a little overboard with "King and Maxwell."
Really good overview of Steve Wozniak's life and accomplishments. He comes across a little arrogant in this book, but in a personable, lovably innocent way. The book is written in a very informal, conversational style. For example, the book is peppered with "Wows!" and "Oh my gosh!" The narrator does a very good job of conveying this style to the listerner.
Woz's stories on developing the Apple I and II computers as well as the remote control for his CL9 venture can get a little mired in technical detail. But for a former electrical engineer, there was serious nostalgia as he talked of circuits, gates, binary numbers and chips. If you are an Apple fan or interested in computer engineering, I highly recommend iWoz!
Absolutely, the best John Grisham has written since his earliest books 15-20 years ago. In Sycamore Row we are reunited with the cast of characters from his first novel, A Time to Kill. The story is compelling and engrossing and grasps you from the outset and does not let go. I don't want to spoil anything, so I will only say the twist in the end was very predictable and the fact that the main characters were surprised by it seems a little hard believe. But that small criticism does little to take away from the magnificence of this book. If you love John Grisham, especially his early work, then run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or e-reader download story and get this novel.
I thought the first half of the book was good. I am more into the political side than the military of the American Revolution. As such, I personally felt that the last third got bogged down in military detail. I did like how the book, especially in the first half, married the political and military into a coherent , unified story. If you enjoy American history, you will like enjoy this book.
Really good book! My sister recommended it and I am glad she did. I normally don't read teen fiction but this is one of those books that is good for adults. No, it is not quite as sophisticated as adult fiction but that does detract from the story. I found the novel to be a bit darker and more grim than the movie about the tyranny surrounding the Hunger Games. I was so anxious to find out what happened next, I have jumped straight to the next book in the series, Catching Fire.
I had high hopes for this book in the early going but by the middle point it devolved to a muddled, over-complicated plot that required more thoughtful consideration than I wanted to give it. The narrator did little to help by soundeing very laid back and poorly suited to the story as well as having poor voice-acting that that only slightly differentiated between some of the male characters. While I love Wall Street/high finance novels, by the end of this one, I was ready to wrap it up and move on to my next book.
I am enjoying the Puller series by David Baldacci. It has interesting and, mostly, believable characters. This novel is a bit of a stretch from a jurisdictional sense. John Puller, being an Army CID agent, has no jurisdiction in a civilian murder in Florida, yet he plays a key unofficial role in an investigation. I would note that the female narrator is just not that great. Not terrible but they could do better. Some of her voice acting for certain characters is simply not believable. Also, this audiobook publisher using a A LOT of cheesy sound effects. Occasional, well-placed, subtle sound effects can enhance an audiobook but machine gun fire, punches, etc. especially as done in this novel, take away from the experience.
Another page-turning John Corey novel. I did think that about two-thirds of the book set the stage for the last third. For those who are not already familiar with the Corey character, this setup stage might have been somewhat long and drawn-out. But if you enjoy Corey's wisecracking, you had plenty of doses of that. I did think the ending had sort of a "ok, wrap it up", almost anticlimactic, type feel. However, this was definitely a good read!
The first half of this book was kind of ho-hum and I thought it was a pretty pedestrian, matter-of-fact plot. But wait for the second half. My perception went from "nice story" to "that was one of Grisham's best in a few years!" Mr. Grisham still has it! This one would make a good movie.
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