I loved this book! And no one could be more surprised by that statement than me! I'm an over-60 female listener with absolutely no background in the underworld of imaginary dragons and such; and have only fleeting technological understandings. Nevertheless, this story caught my head and heart and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The narration is among the best I've heard -- flawless!!! It is a centuries old mystery set in such contemporary times and places that you can't help but be drawn in. Great story!!
I can't say much that is nice about this one, so maybe I should say nothing. In a nutshell, once you have read GOOD legal thrillers, this one doesn't even come close. The lawyers you are supposed to care about are immature, sophomoric boys who still hang on to their high school football days; can't develop the emotional maturity it takes to keep a relationship going unless it is all about their "needs"; and the bad guys are one dimensional characters who come and go in every dime store novel, so it is impossible to be held in suspense about what they will do next.
On top of bad writing, add really bad narration. . . and this one becomes painful. Keep looking if you want a legal thriller. This isn't it.
I tried, I really did. There was no getting past the narrator's gasping breaths between every sentence; the ungodly long pauses between paragraphs ( and even longer ones between chapters.) I tried to stick with it but after two+ hours, I gave it up. The story wasn't particularly engaging and that, combined with the dreadful narration was just too much to bare. Do authors have a say in who performs their books? I can't believe Barbara Kingsolver would approve of this awful production.
This Turow novel is different from his others. . . and at one point, I considered giving up on it. Am glad I didn't, because in this one, Turow reveals how police, investigators, lab techs, prosecutors, defenders, judges, press and public can get at cross purposes with each, creating tangles within the legal system that can hold men accountable for acts they didn't commit.
Turow wrote this in such a way that the "back story" on the individual characters is intermittently revealed, making the book anything but chronological. If you miss hearing a date or dateline, you will be a bit confused at times, more than likely.
The narration is superb and I ultimately enjoyed the way that this story untangled the horrific web that had developed around one unfortunate man. Good did prevail, but it came after years and much expense of others.
I liked this book until the ending. . . then it was so anti climactic there was hardly a need to finish listening to the last 45 minutes. Too bad, because it had great potential and good narration. The story built and built and then just collapsed on itself with predictable events that made for an oh so happy ending. Too, too bad. Three stars at best.
I have read other Courtenay books, but in my view, this is one of his best. Perhaps that stems from the story being set in the 1960's Singapore when so much was happening in every corner of the world. Courtenay combines world history in a manner that is educational, engaging and well plotted. It was a wonderful listen.
This story is exceptionally well told by Humphrey Bower. Lots of good voices to represent the many characters and just the right pace. I enjoyed the entire plot as well as the family history that was revealing itself in the then present-day characters' lives.
If any fault is to be found, it is in the final minutes when finally the truths are revealed. I didn't want the story to end and it seemed too abrupt. However, when the pieces of the puzzle came together, they did so very fast, so perhaps it was in keeping with the plot.
If you like historical fiction and want to learn more about the coming of age of Singapore, China and other parts of the east, you will enjoy this one.
Simon Vance's narration is what drew me to this book and he was spectacular, as always. The story was a fun little diversion in the city of Amsterdam, and having spent time there myself, I enjoyed all the references and geographically staged events. Interesting plot and outcome. . . just a nice listen!
This is a L-O-O-O-O-NG story. You get your money's worth if you buy books by the hour. However, it could have been told in a much more compact, exciting, interesting way. If you haven't ready many books about dystopian societies, this one will be entertaining; maybe even seem pretty realistic. If you are better read, leave this on the shelf. I gave up on hoping for reality in this story when the snow plows arrived and cell service continued, despite the loss of all other services, including shipments of food, availability of medical care, and the loss of electricity.
The main character was Alex, a former Marine captain, who may or may not have PSTD eight years after the fact, and may or may not have a family he truly cares about, and may or may not make the darnedest decisions. . some of them borderline stupid. . when a global flu epidemic turns his Maine neighborhood into a combat zone.
The characters are really little than cardboard, nothing multi-dimensional about them at all. That leaves the listener wondering if he/she should really care how all this turns out. In the end (spoiler) everyone lives happily ever after, just as you know logically that every 12-year old boy who plays video games, would after using a automatic gun to kill a man who was about to shoot his dad.
The narration was solemn, slow paced and really fit the story, although it might put less committed listeners to sleep.
Three stars only because I finished the book. It was somewhat engaging.
The Foxmans are a quintessential dysfunctional family, sans their recently departed husband/father. . . . five kids and their mom sit shiva and the dysfunction reigns supreme. Funny throughout, filled with coarse language and crude moments -- but somehow, quite believable. This is a family many can relate to; especially their varied states of discord and lack of emotional intelligence. Judd, a man reeling from infidelity, narrates the story and offers hilarious "mind thinks" about every situation.
This one is likely not for everyone, because it has graphic sexual descriptions and a plethora of hard core four letter words. But it rings true, terribly, terribly true and for that reason is a good read.
Nell, Fen, Bankson and the tribes of New Guinea are the central characters of this novel with their surroundings well described, their depth of character well-established. The story reveals how professional jealousy, egotistic greed, and love can intermix into a painful, if not volatile circumstance. I enjoyed this story because of the story itself. . . anthropologists who themselves would have been good "case studies," studying the tribes of New Guinea while dealing with complex emotions, needs and relationships.
Nell may have been fashioned after Margaret Mead and Fen and Bankson otherwise modeled. Perhaps this was why the story rang true and the unscrupulous behaviors of some anthropologists realistic given the 1930's setting.
Great story, I think. . . would have listened to the narrators and story much longer had it been so.
Enjoyed this one, but decided half way through that McKinty's Alex was not as brilliant and capable as my fav, Sean Duffy. Good story set in Denver CO which made it great fun. Lots of tragedy and violence, but closes with a semi-happy ending, nevertheless.
McKinty hasn't written a bad one, so I will look forward to the next!
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