This is the third in the series of 9 (through 2013.) These are like police procedurals, so the plot develops slowly. I enjoy the humor and the characters, but no doubt, some will find it slow. They are not action thrillers, but they are not as plodding as the Kurt Wallander series, for example. Walt Longmire is a complicated man, and his bond with Henry Standing Bear and relationship to his deputy Victoria Moretti are a continuing source of amazement. Walt has a penchant for noticing seemingly minor but revealing details. Invariably, I learn more about various subcultures and groups from these stories.
I gather that Longmire is now a TV series on A&E, going into its second season, but I haven't seen any of those episodes.
This is about a troubled LAPD cop and his similarly emotionally-challenged dog Maggie. Crais introduces the conceit of writing alternate chapters from Maggie’s point of view. Do dogs really think like this? He was consistent in limiting her abilities to reason, but, perhaps for that reason, it just got tiresome. The ending was predictable.
What saved the day for me was the narration by MacLeod Andrews. He was terrific.
This is well-written debut by Rosen; he's a very good writer. I enjoyed the intricate characters and the personality of Henri Poincaré, purportedly the great-grandson of his famous namesake. The story is intricate, with many twists and turns. I sort of guessed where things were headed, but the ending is quite preposterous. The mathematician Fenster resembles Benoît Mandelbrot in several respects, both in terms of his topical focus and in terms of his attempts to extend fractals to a comprehensive world view. A scientific world view is not the same as religion, and the conflict between science and religion are not well-drawn.
Grover Gardner does a good job with the voices of the different characters, and I enjoyed his reading.
The denouement was rather disappointing to me, quite unbelievable in its details and philosophically unsatisfactory (and philosophy plays a large role in understanding the motives of the some of the principal actors.)
The relation between science, mathematics, and religion is not well-drawn, yet it plays a big role in undertanding the motivation and behavior of a number of the central characters, although rather incidental to Poincaré himself.
An aside on the science and math described: The reader will get a good sense of the meaning of the notion of fractals and self-similar systems. The notiion that the world is fundamentally fractal is not unprecedented; again, see the writings of Mandelbrot and, more generally, the approach called cellular automata, such as by Wolfram. Scientifically, this has not met with much success.
As an aside, to the extent that the book touches on the work of the famous mathematician whose name the protagonist bears, it is not quite right. Although Poincaré talked about "relativity," (for example, in his 1904 lecture at the St. Louis World's Fare, he clung to Newton's absolute time and the ether concepts and even rejected the implications drawn by Einstein in his famous 1905 paper about "special relativity." Indeed, Poincaré disbelieved E=mc^2. Rosen states that Einstein owed a debt to Poincaré for general relativity (published in its final form in 1916). That is simply not true. In fact, Poincaré did not accept this as the correct theory of gravity. Although incidental to the plot, I was disappointed that the author did not do his homework on these matters.
I enjoy the Dortmunder series of comic mysteries. This is one of the more intricate plots and more complicated than most. Not that it is believable, but at least, within its own world, it kind of makes sense, which isn't to say it isn't full of surprise twists. It ends in a satisfying way, in which nearly every crook gets what he/she deserves. Needless to say, John Dortmunder is never going to make a huge financial killing, but he'll never be without his group of friends and admirers. The narrator, Michael Cramer, does an exceptional job giving individual voices to the characters and adds enormously to the pleasure of the story.
This is the only book by Shute that I have read besides the celebrated "On the Beach." The story was a mixed bag; the first part concerning Jean's capture and treatment at the hands of the Japanese in British Malaya is interesting and well-told. I found it easy to identify with the women prisoners and their children and admired their perseverance. The second part of the book concerns Jean's quest to find Joe, an Australian stringer whom she had come to know during their mutual imprisonment. Although there is some interesting history and geography, this part of the book drags along soporifically toward a predictable and idealized conclusion.
I don't understand why this novel remains so popular; the characters seem quite dated to me. I might even have given up finishing except for the marvelous narration by Robin Bailey, whose brings the characters to life through his imitation of their dialects, their gender, and style of speech.
I like the Lomax-Biggs duo. The plot is a bit of a stretch, but this is just "light reading" and, while it isn't likely to win any awards for great writing, the dialog is believable and often witty. There are several twists and turns that will keep you guessing, but the story moves right along. This is on a par with #2 in the series (Bloodthirsty) and better than the first (Rabbit Factory.) I look forward listening to the fourth. Tom Stechschulte does a terrific job giving voice to the many, varied characters, making it much more fun to listen to than to read.
I like Craig Johnson's series about Walt Longmire and have listened to 8 of them. This novella is a kind of "Christmas cheer". If you like the series and are familiar with Walt and his friends and family, you'll probably enjoy the book. There is no suspense at all, because the story is a flashback. Despite its attempt to build tension and excitement, it fails as a thriller, since the introduction in "present time" tells the reader how it is going to come out. The writing is as good as ever, and the narration by George Guidall is excellent, as usual. Thus, I rate it as just "ok", as if the author had to satisfy a contract without putting much effort into the story line.
I like Nate Heller and find this series interesting, but this particular story wanders about and is more historical fiction than a mystery. Given that Nate is a fictional character, the details of his experiences in WWII and in the hospital are kind of irrelevant. The role of the Outfit in both Chicago and Hollywood's history is detailed and, while I find it interesting, I never quite know how much is history and how much is fiction. (I find myself checking characters in the wikipedia in the hopes of figuring it out.) This is the finale of the Frank Nitti trilogy. The last chapter is an epilogue about what happened to the various gangsters subsequently. The writing is good and the performance excellent, so I'm not sorry I listened.
This is my first in the series about undersheriff Bill Gastner, of which this is #4. The story was just ok, although it is a good mystery. I didn't much care about the victim or her family; she seemed to be a spoiled brat who never grew up. I didn't much care who the killer was or why. I find Gastner's behavior in the face of danger (whether human or natural) implausibly reckless; he would not have lived to reach his present age. I might read another in the series but not soon.
This was my first in the series. Interesting protagonist in Detective Kathy Mallory. Intricate plot but am I to believe everyone in a family is a psychopath? I hadn't heard of Williams Syndrome before. Excellent narration by Barbara Rosenblatt, as usual.
Maybe I'm getting jaded but I'm afraid this follows the usual plot lines, written like a summer action thriller movie. Hallinan writes well, but the bad guys are pure evil, and the good guys are invincible. The narration is excellent, which helps. I've only read two in the Poke Rafferty series, but I think I've got all there is to get.
In the epilogue, the author refers the reader to the book "The Phoenix Program" by Douglas Valentine as a factual account. Critical reviews question that and refer to the more reliable "Stalking the Vietcong: Inside Operation Phoenix" by Stuart Herrington, which sounds like it is worth reading.
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