I have read every word the man has published (that I was able to find) and this one really got to me. When one reads Burke, the plot is nearly superfluous as he paints flawless dioramas of life, its beauty, its evil, its life-giving and its life-taking and many of the nuanced, indelible connections twix the two.
I used to think his ending were weak. But now I understand there are no 'endings', just pauses where one can reflect or suffer.
His brief description of withdrawal from drug/alcohol addiction was crystalline in its accuracy. My soul ached as I read it.
One of the few authors where it absolutely does not matter where in his bibliography you start. There are simply pauses in between.
Were it not for the rich texture of historical perspective, these (include Angels and Demons) books are terribly ordinary. The characters are underdeveloped and the plot simplistic, boring really. One dangerous vignette after another grows weary after a time. Mythical cult attacks Myth! Several die, boy doesn't realize that girl wants him. Pretty spine-tingling stuff, alright.
The revelation that the winners write the history may justify the price of admission, but just barely. The paucity of characters and the narrowness of the storyline make anticipating the true culprit far too easy. Just not that many possibilities. The presumptive clues indicating the Captain discount his culpability. After that, the choices are pretty thin re the "teacher".
Good historical vehicle, poor novel!
I tried Baldacci a few years ago, a book so unmemorable that I cannot remember its title. I thought I might give him another shot, based on his continued popularity.
Lesson: Do not rely on the general public's ability to elevate anything but common denominators in any realm they invade.
Sure, this is fiction, but Baldacci relentlessly challenges our ability to swallow endless improbable situations and remedies. While one's imagination struggles to paint his plot elements with even vague connectivity to credible reality, he solves problems by a string of intuitive leaps or epiphanies that are not necessarily composed of information that has gone before in the story line.
Combine this with super-human characters aplenty and you find yourself wondering why you continue to read (listen) this stuff. Baldacci is resting on his laurels, the existence of which evades me.
I is 'difficult' to keep such a compelling premise going. Might say 'impossible' if this dog is an indication. Based on the cut and dried character we know has Reacher, this series started to wane after a half dozen titles or so. Vital signs surged occasionally in the intervening issues, but this attempt at resuscitation failed badly. Many of the above reviews have touched on the tedious plot, the weak characters and missing "Reacherisms", but A Wanted Man certainly left me wanting, in a big way. With a 'bar' so impossibly high, this lemon went subterranean.
Like most Reacher addicts, I gobbled it down moments after release. Now, months later, I cannot tell you much if anything about this vacuum-packed embarrassment. Try as I may, I cannot recall reading the thing, let alone enjoying it. If this was Child's premiere episode in the legend that hoped to be "Reacher", Lee Child would be back writing TV scripts instead of owning homes on many of the world's rivieras.
Instead of struggling not to be repetitive (of others) in my critique, I will hitch my wagon on the literary hearse that is hauling this cadaver to its final resting place. Child has had quite a run, but we should have known that he'd left the track when he authorized Tom "Scientology-bot" Cruise to play the lead in the movie. A little like Wally Cox as Spenser for Hire. More than a simple 'omen'. The worst sort of arrogance delivered like a slap in the face.
I propose a boycott until we get Reached back in long pants surrounded by a story with some quality and muscle.
This book engages every gimmick in the 'mystery man as hero' genre while it fails to engage my interest. Formulaic and predictable, trite and ponderous, it fails to build the tension it sorely needs.
Garden variety villains spouting stilted dialogue as characters stutter start but never gain traction in the absurd premise.
Perhaps I have heard one too many Dick Hill renderings, as his lack of voices to accommodate the diverse players was glaringly obvious. Almost corny enough to be a parody, this tiresome attempt puts me off Hall for good. Hall just tries a little too hard to live up to his own high opinion of himself as an artist and the result is more than a little disappointing.
While good at what they otherwise accomplish as writers, this dialogue serves to degrade each of their accomplishments. Gladwell is an undocumented social observer and Finder writes improbable stories about a contemporary white knight. Why in the name of all meaningful things would anyone care whatever it was this conversation was about?
Utter waste of time.
I have enjoyed this series, improbable as it is. Doc's character is just human enough. His cluelessness around women is as spot on as it is pathetic.
My only gripe this time around is Dick Hill's Caribbean accent sounds too much like an Irish Brogue!
Were it not for Dick Hill's excellent job of trying to inject some life into this dog, I would have considered asking for my money back. Ever wonder what a psychologist is? How is it their counsel is always so spot on? Are their lives perfect? Do they know the 'meaning of life'? Are they capable od absorbing and contending with every travail life throws at us?
Alan's psycho-babble just wears me out. If I want it, I'll just watch day time television talk shows. Match that with a somewhat transparent story stocked with mundane characters and...Voila! a Stephen White novel.
I have always enjoyed RC's work and found his books well crafted in a made-for-TV sort of way. Pike is a particular favorite, but even he is more than a little cartoonish,
Suspect is a dumbed-down, transparent story that is more about what goes on (theoretically) inside a canine's noggin. As a dog lover (3 Basenjis), I could relate somewhat, but as a mystery lover, this is too much like "My Friend Flicka".
Should be in the 'Young Adult' Section.
My M.O. is to find a new (to me) author, then read all their books in chronological order. I get to witness their maturing as an author and in the case of character-based series like this, I can assess their growth as regards creative abilities.
I have had it with Mankell and Wallander. The protagonist starts as and remains an asocial depressive that trudges drearily through his miserable life, surrounded by melba toast character solving implausible crime line stories.
The few interesting folks that occur, he kills off almost immediately. These are dark, dark stories set in a dark cold world spun in a dreary, repetitive style.
i am astonished Mankell is as well known as he apparently is. These books leave me nearly suicidal.
Is this "the' John Grisham? had to check my player for the speed it was using. Nope, it was 1x and the guy was just s-l-o-w. And the material slower. I like Grisham, but this is a dog. Got one half way there and then put it to sleep.
Normal deficiencies of a poorly written book. Weak characters, trite plot.
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