Having taken Jack Ryan, Sr. way beyond the realm of possibility, Clancy needed to come up with new characters, and the tie in to his kid and nephews gives the plot line some context.
Much of the book is made up of dialogue between the two cousins, who refer to each other alternatively by endearing Italian nicknames (Enzo?) and more often as "Bro" (!). Maybe real life conversations with twenty - something males also leaves something to be desired, but this is really hard to listen to.
Far fetched plots and unlikely outcomes are commonplace in this genre, and I can listen to some pretty silly stuff, so long as the writing itself is interesting to listen to. Here, the dialogue between the brothers, and Jr.'s references to "Dad" really made me grate my teeth.
J.D. Souther is the perfect narrator for this book, and I don't understand the reviewers who thought otherwise. Try listening to the end of the book, and then Jimmy's postscript or afterword or whatever he called it, which he read himself - it is hard to tell one from the other. It was also great to hear from J.D. Souther again, as he doesn't seem to be releasing any new music. As an early contemporary of the Eagles, Jackson Browne, etc., I think he has known many a Tully Mars in his time, and narrates the book in a wry, knowing manner as if he had been there, and seen that done.
Just so you aren't surprised (as I was), the entire book, other than the singing, is narrated in the first person by the author as a variety of poor, southern black folk in the early 1960's. It is humorous, and the diiference in point of view between the older characters and younger characters, particularly as to the evolving racial and social issues of the time, is quite interesting. At first I was somewhat put off by the narrative style, but it grew on me as I came to know the characters' personalities.
The narrative and dialogue style of this book is like a classic old Mike Hammer novel, but the content is more like the irreverent modern humor of Elvis Cole, with a shot of Dutch Leonard thrown in with the Detroit setting and Latino characters. The author obiously knows Detroit, and relies upon many recent events, both local and national, in the narrative, which is sardonic, and often funny as hell.
Little greasy half-baked ideas, pretending to be a real novel. Extremely lacking in authenticity and detail. For the real deal on a mass tort case gone bad, read "A Civil Action".
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