Started listening to this last night. On one hand, I do have to recognize the similarity (on the surface, at least) to The Stand, The Langoliers, The Mist -- other King stories along the same general plotline. As the clock rolled by; 11pm, midnight, 1am, 2am, I was just facinated by this story. I don't know if it is the different world we live in at this time as opposed to the last time I visited the aforementioned stories (pre-9/11, I mean) or what, but I was unable to turn away from this story. The characters are very well fleshed-out (if a bit derivative) and interesting, the pacing is great, and I sat alone in the living room with moments of goosebumps, hoping my husband would not choose 2:00 in the morning to sneak up and say "Boo!" thereby giving me a heart failure. I'm not quite half-done, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the story.
The narration is superb -- a bit of voice interpretation for different characters, but just enough to differentiate, not aggravating in the least. I may be alone here, but I would have sworn (!!) the narrator was REM's Michael Stipe. I know it is not, but the cadence, accent and tone are dead-on. Maybe I'm just nostalgic for my college days.... :)
If you are a King fan or not, this is a great choice. Bear in mind this would be a NC-17 rated movie, though -- not for the fainthearted or squeamish.
I have enjoyed Mr. Child's novels, and this is the 2nd in my Audiobook collection. I didn't mind the reader -- I've had a few that I started out not liking (notedly the reader of several of John Sandford's novels), but have gotten used to over the course of the book. Some plot elements may not be completely believeable, but the story is interesting and the characters are fleshed out (especially if you follow Jack Reacher's progression through the books).
Being from Idaho, the mispronunciations of some Northwest elements is a bit off-putting (Spo-kayne instead of Spo-can), but not enough to "spoil" the story. Just last week, I heard ESPN announcers call Gonzaga "Gon-zoga" instead of "Gon-zaga," and the team's nickname is the "'Zags" -- which should be a clue to the town's name. Point being, we're all protective of our town/state/etc., but it's a big world with a lot of people of different preferences.
All in all, a very good Audible selection.
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