This review applies to the audible versions of both The Quiet Game and Turning Angel, the first two Penn Cage novels. Greg Iles is a talented author, no doubt about that. He draws you in and it's a "can't put it down" kind of ride. However, I find some of the graphic crude sex and disturbing scenes totally unnecessary, and at times abhorrent. Dick Hill is one of the best narrators out there, but he should research the pronunciations of the locale of a book. I've lived in Mississippi 50+ years and never heard any locals pronouncing Natchez the way he does. That's central to the book, and it grated on my nerves every time he said it. [We Southerners rarely put the emphasis on the last syllable. We do not say "NatCHEZ", but "NATchez", rhyming with matches.] There were other words like this...Biloxi, kudzu, pecan. And he gave a Cajun sort of pronunciation to Baton Rouge. That would be more appropriate in a southern Louisiana setting. I do not like it when Southern writers sell books by perpetuating the negative stereotypes of the South, but I'm simply confused at times by the racial content of these books. All that being said, I probably would enjoy these books more in the printed form....where my ears would not be annoyed, and I could skim more easily past some of the more offensive descriptions.
I hadn't read any Sandra Brown books in years and decided to give her another try when it was on sale. She has skill as a writer, no doubt about that. But the ridiculous sex scenes thrown in throughout are disgusting and reminded me of why I don't read her books. Why cheapen good writing with sophomoric sexual fantasies? The plot on this book was about as implausible as a book can get. I can't even decide which character was the most annoying and unrealistic. I wanted to slap all of them. And then at the end, she throws out the most ridiculous twist of all.....no way that twist fit the "facts" of the story. I won't buy another Sandra Brown book, even on sale.
The minute I finished this book I got right on the computer to write a review. I would give it a 0 if I could. I was furious.
I've been disappointed in Patterson for a long time...not that I believe he writes everything he puts his name on....he's just raking in money on reputation, not caring about his fans. I've threatened to quit reading him for some time, but this is the last penny he gets of mine. The book was actually kind of boring to me, simply because it's the same old Alex Cross story with different names for the villains. They all seem to be able to bug his house, track his every move, and his family's, and he never catches on. No family could live with all the drama the Cross family does, they'd be insane. But I kept right on to get the ending....oh, what? There is no ending. He just walks into the blue with his ENTIRE family still held captive. And then Patterson tries to tell us that this sort of disappointment is good for us? Well, I hope the disappointment of decreased sales are good for him. I think he's blown it this time.
The narrators were as good as usual, can't blame them for the lousy story....except that I would be ashamed to narrate it myself.
I'm a big Coben fan, but this was more like a Stephen King book. It was full of violence and sick behaviors, a horror story more than a mystery His writing skills are still there to keep the story going, but it sidetracks in too many directions. Like all modern authors it seems, he feels a need to put in some gay and cross dressing characters just to be pc, that didn't really fit into the story well or add to the book. I've seen this same trend with many authors.....the more popular they become, the more gruesome they get. I often wonder...do they add the gore because they think they need to in order to keep selling books....or do they feel comfortable enough in their success to write what they always wanted? Whatever, I move on to other authors when they start this nonsense.
I kept trying to listen to this book to find out what happened, but it was just way too annoying. Tamara has to be one of the most annoying characters I've encountered....alternating constantly between whining, attacking, loathing (self and others), lusting, rejecting, encouraging. I just wanted to slap her and couldn't imagine any man being attracted to her, let alone so patient with her. But the ridiculous sex scenes finally did me in. I like mysteries. I would buy Harlequin romances if I wanted this nonsense. I want my mind stimulated, not my libido. No more Lisa Gardner/Alicia Scott books for me. I didn't finish it....rare for me.
I have enjoyed several Jack Reacher books. He's totally implausible to real life, but a fun character for reading. But this may very well be my last Reacher read.
First, I hate when authors perpetuate negative stereotypes about any state or region. His 1997 description of Mississippi might have been accurate in 1957 or 1967, but not 1997. It was unnecessarily demeaning. Example: describing a man as "the result of four generations of eating squirrels". That is not only an obnoxious description, it's just plain stupid. If an author describes one place like this, then I don't trust any of his descriptions.
Second, I also hate when authors feel the need to live out their sexual fantasies in the middle of a good novel. His train sex scenes were little more than bad porno. Way too graphic and way too long.
But if you don't mind either of those flaws, it's a good story.
Okay, I understand it's fiction in the thriller genre and one can't expect total realism, but this one really stretched believability at times. The scene where he falls in the ocean has to be the most dramatic sequence I've ever encountered in a book. It was so ludicrous that I laughed out loud instead of being tense. I thought that scene would never end. He had time to drown several times over, let alone think it all through in such graphic detail.
But I like Dick Hill as the narrator for Jack Reacher and in general I like the character. The overall plot was good, just too far fetched at times to be very believable.
I particularly enjoyed this after the TV series and I could "see" them in my mind from the series (Why did it get cancelled????)
Not crazy about the female narrator, but overall they did a good job.
The story is far fetched, but it's fiction and to be expected in a "thriller".
The main reason I gave it a 4 though was because I hate the sound effects. Just read the dang book, it's not a movie.
If you like a book that is 25% sappy sex scenes and 25% profane and vulgar language and 50% actually story plot, this is the book for you!
I didn't really care for this book for the same reason I didn't care for Time to Kill. It perpetuates negative sterotypes of Mississippi. It is set in the 80's, but the racial atmosphere is more like the 50's or 60's. Either way, folks in other places read this type thing and think things are still that bad here. The other reason I didn't care for either book is that they are totally implausible at times....legally and socially.
Having said that, Grisham is a master of the written word. Even though I got weary of the tale about half way through, and just wanted it to be over....it was still easy to contnue. With some books, you get tired and just quit and feel no loss. With Grisham's books, he draws you into the story in spite of yourself.
And the ending wasn't as lame as some of his books. My personal opinion is still that his best three books were The Firm, Pelican Brief, and The Client. None since have just really really grabbed me.
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