I've loved all the books in the Bernie Gunther series and this is no exception. Great plot, believable characters and events. A good look at a part of the war we never studied, and from a perspective few authors give. Start at the beginning and enjoy many hours of great noir detectiving along with a look inside the Third Reich from a German who had to live in a Nazi world.
Others have written better reviews than I could ever create, so I'll only add a few cents worth here. Flashie considers himself a complete coward but. . .to us, he often seems to be doing the sensible thing. Or at least, the thing I'd be doing in that situation. I think the author has done an excellent job of capturing the standards of the time. A Victorian soldier must have felt incredible pressure to risk his life at the least opportunity, to live up to the standards he'd been taught. Flashie gives himself no credit for the many times he is brave or at least soldiers on despite his fear. So--for an anti-hero, he's often a pretty good guy. If you don't mind a little infidelity now and then. . .and now. . .and then. . .and now. . .and then.
OK, make that "most fun". Look, I love mysteries but most are dark and foreboding. This is a lark; a good mystery set in a satire of the British upper classes of the '30s. Georgie is a great heroine, naive but quick to learn. The narration is fantastic. Katherine Kellgren does an incredible job with all the different characters. Even her male voices are good; she doesn't try to drop her register like so many female narrators do. What else. . .start the series at the beginning and enjoy the ride!
Jeez, this book is tedious. Unattractive characters with problems. . .and it just goes on and on. I loved Christine Falls, and I like noir mysteries in general. But I couldn't get through this one. Dalton is a great reader but he goes a little far with the bitterness. I mean, I know Quirk's life is a mess but even the least sentences in the narration are delivered like the world is ending. It just gets to be too much.
I loved Connie's earlier books, and the way she weaves a story out of a confusion of current events. But it seems no one will edit her, now that she's successful, and no one will tell her she needs to cut back on the cranky, irritating and annoying side characters. Just get on with the story, girl! I couldn't take more than the first few hours. I love the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, and the way she brought Bloody Jack and Her Royal Spyness to life. But here, her excellent mimicry only makes the annoying characters worse--you can't just skim over their nonsense in an audiobook, you have to listen to every idiotic word. I think the subject matter is fascinating, but I couldn't get through the book.
Well, since nobody else clued me in, I'll try to help the next sucker who falls for these rave reviews. Look, I grew up on Marvel comics and Heinlein and Tolkien but this book is stupid. I couldn't get through more than the first three hours. At that point I realized that rather than some insightful look at America, we're going to discuss mythical characters as if they still exist. . .but are fading away to nothingness like Tinkerbelle. Clap if you love fairies! Or leprechauns, or whatever.
In those first three hours I had to sit through long, dull mini-sagas of how some ancient European god got to America. No dialogue, just the reader reading out the story on and on and on. Dull, and poor story-telling.
I thought Shadow was a pretty intriguing character, but everyone else--the mythical gods--are annoying and irritating and unbelievable. Couldn't sit through any more. I will say, though, that I loved the readers. Switching between readers was seamless, and it's wonderful to hear a woman's voice doing a woman's voice instead of a man trying to speak in a falsetto. Kudos to the cast, and I hope more books will be done this way.
MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS!!!!!!!
The story starts off pretty well; the mood builds and something seems to be working--but then it just gets stupid. I mean, the hero is sucked into the vacuum of outer space and survives? He's freaked out about the tentacles but can't bring himself to mention them to his pals--like that's any weirder than anything else that he's seen? And spilling the whole story to the goofy religious nut who brings in his zombie friends to trigger the end of the world? I think Clines got lazy and decided to whip out an ending. I couldn't finish it.
The problem with King is as with many successful writers: no one has the courage to edit him. The damn book is just too long--it tries too much. The basic premise is good, going back a few years before the assassination, but the digressions into the life of the different towns--it gets tedious and doesn't apply to the main story line. Or maybe it does; I got bored and gave up after many hours.
I've been a King fan since the beginning, but I'll point out that his most successful books, the ones that have been turned into movies, were novellas. Less is more, Stevie.
Wow. Great story; non-stop action but never gets stupid the way most action novels do. Always something new and unexpected around the corner. Petkoff reads it perfectly; his delivery is spot-on for the character. Can't wait for the sequel--and I hope Petkoff reads it.
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