This is a complex tale woven together by many characters, somewhat like Rashomon on steroids. After the first thirty minutes, I contemplated dumping the book, but I was also beginning to get curious about what was going on.
Another simile is Seurat's painting, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte," which is made up of countless little dots of paint that all contribute their share to the whole. You don't have to remember each little tale, but the impression of them certainly builds up.
This book was drawn from a longer trilogy that tells the same story in more words. It is masterfully written, and the narration is the best I've heard for an Audible book after five years and 200 titles downloaded.
This crime-fantasy novel does the job of distracting listeners from reality for several hours. It got me through several workouts at the gym and put me to sleep many late evenings in bed.
However, upon completion, I felt a bit guilty for not spending my time with something better written. The characters are stereotypes who utter implausible remarks when the author is not lazy. When he is lazy, you will hear "So?" and "I guess" so often that your ears will cringe. I also take exception to the reader giving a snotty, Brooklyn-esque tone to the voices of the FBI officers.
At the climax, the secretive protagonist suddenly can't stop spilling his guts in a torrent of revealing discovery, the very stuff he suspected but would not share, even with his proven allies.
The author wishes us to join him in an alternate universe where the most outrageous events can occur without a hiccup or hitch. The characters are 2-dimensional and the dialogue is 12th grade at best.
How they trap the chief villain is so childish that it is not worth the time getting there.
The reader, however, is excellent.
We pretty much know how the book will end and the interest is in how the author will get us there. Well, the ante-climax consists of a preposterous confrontation between the Italian provincial police and the FBI laced together by a sophmoric conversation between the protagonists.
It has all the drama of a Mozart libretto.
On top of that, the reader has trouble with dialects and portraying women's voices.
Unless you are drawn to ear trash, stay away.
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