To really appreciate this book you need to have grown up in Southern California in the 1950's when there were seedy amusement parks with rickety wooden roller coasters at the Sunset Pier, Venice Pier and Ocean Park Pier. This story is not typical Ray Bradbury in that it is not really his usual genre. However his poetic use of the English Language to give the feeling of an old black and white high contrast Noir mystery is unmatched.
There is a certain unreality that is present throughout which makes it seem like a fantasy but underneath it is a solid murder mystery. The characters are a mixture of Raymond Chandler, Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe. While the storyline is solid, it obviously takes a back seat to the mood created by dark poetic language and the unique characters that Bradbury uses throughout. It is said that much of this novel is autobiographical and that the protagonist is really Bradbury himself. Frankly it doesn't matter. Overall this was a great listen. It literally sent me back in time; back to the days when there were roller coasters and seedy bars and tattoo parlors on wooden piers that have long ago been torn down or washed into the Pacific over time.
I wish Bradbury had written some more books like this one.
Peter Berkot did an excellent job of narrating.
I have over 300 audio books in my library. I had been putting off listening to this one for a long time because it just really didn't seem that interesting on the surface. Well this one was a huge surprise. This is far and away the best audio book I have ever listened to. I won't get into the details of the story, except to say that it is true. Just buy it, and start listening to it. You will not be disappointed. If I could, I'd give it 10 stars all around.
It looks like most of the people who didn't like the audio book complained about Michael McConnohie's performance. At first I didn't like it either. It was just toooooo slow. So I decided to listen at 1.5 speed with my IPhone app and a miracle happened. At 1.5 speed Michael McConnohie sounds exactly like Bob Bailey did on the old Yours Truly Johnnie Dollar radio shows of the late 1950's and early 1960's. If you are an Old Time Radio fan, you will appreciate this.
Bob Bailey was the best radio voice around during the 1950's and 1960's and Michael McConnohie has that same rich nicotine stained baritone voice that Bailey had and most of the same expressions (only in slow motion). If McConnohie would just speed up his delivery, he could be one of the best audio book readers around. Thankfully, due to the miracle of modern computer technology, you can do it for him.
Another advantage of listening at the faster speed is that I got through the book in 2 days of commuting around town.
I gave McConnohie 4 stars because I had to speed up his performance. If he had just sped it up himself I would have given him 5 stars.
The book itself is classic Bosch. Great story. The usual procedural and political stuff mixed with twists and turns and surprises. Overall 5 stars.
Give me a break. The book was very interesting with a lot of intricate twists and turns and Joe Mantegna was great as a narrator. But when it was revealed that the Evil Serial Killer the Watchmaker was just a paid lacky of a gang of Terrorist Christian Homeschoolers, the Author lost me completely. Was it just a hatred of Christians in general that drove Deaver to come up with this ridiculous premise or just Christians who homeschool? I don't know, but I do know that the whole story fell apart when it was revealed that a cabal of evil Christian homeschoolers were the puppet masters of the serial killer the Watchmaker. I was all set to give this book 5 stars all around until the last couple of chapters. Come on Deaver, get real.
I bought this on a whim because it just sounded like it could be interesting. In fact is was utterly fascinating. The idea of a murder mystery at a monastery 500 years ago in the midst of the English Reformation was something just too far out of the box to grasp. But I'm glad I did.
Sansom takes you on a tour of 16th Century Britain and weaves a masterful tale of murder and intrigue in the backdrop of the religious conflicts between the Roman Church and the emerging Church of England. Politics, Religion, Lust, Greed, Murder and Mystery. A great mix.
Crossley does a magnificent job of narrating the work. 5 stars all around!
I wanted to like this book. It started out pretty good with the Napoleon/Nazi connection, but just became a monotonous string of action with no character development and no point.
The heroes could have killed the bad guys a hundred times and didn't. The bad guys could have killed the heroes a hundred times and didn't. These treasure hunters travel all over the world and every scene is the same. They show up, the bad guys chase them, they get away and then end up in some other remote section of the planet and it starts all over again. I tried to get through the book by listening to it at triple speed on my i-Pod, but it was just too tedious. I'm about an hour from the end and I just can't take it any more. As far as the characters are concerned, I hope they all die.
Apparently they don't because there is a sequel.
Scott Brick did a good job narrating but he couldn't save it.
The book had it's moments, but it seemed in the end to be just a plot looking for an ending. And it was tolerable until the end. I can sit by with a lot of silly stuff as long as it adds something to the story, but in this case it just got too stupid for words. The main character and the protagonist on a deserted Island in New York City dueling it out with clanging back hoes was just too much for me to handle.
The main character had a dozen opportunities to kill the bad guy but decided instead to have a duel at midnight with guns and backhoes in an empty cemetery with night vision goggles. I've read more believable stuff from junior high school boys. But there were moments when it was an acceptable novel. I liked that Eli Glynn was part of the story, but clearly not enough to save it from the scrap heap. I gave it two stars because I did finish it. There have been a few audible books that I have abandoned. This wasn't one of them, but maybe it should have been.
I will probably listen to the sequel only because I have read or listened to every Preston Child book they have written. Normally their stuff is great. Maybe they had their teenage kids write this one.
I was shocked to find this book at such a low price. Michael Page does a wonderful job of reading this book. For the price I was expecting an amateur reading, (Like you find on Librivox) but this was a first class narration. Kudos to Michael Page for bringing this book to life. Five stars!
This is one of those books that just grabs you and won't let you go. I've read it at least 3 times in the last 30 years and now I can just listen to it while I waste my life stuck on the freeway. And to have Scott Brick do the narration is awesome. He really keeps it alive, although the book itself is just plain fascinating. I've been holding out for the unabridged version and here it is. 10 stars!
The Issac Bell series is the best thing to come out of Cussler since the early days of Dirk Pitt. These stories are just great for my long commutes. I looked forward to this for months and I was just thrilled when it came out. Planes, trains and automobiles! In my opinion Cussler is better at landlubber novels than he is at sea novels. But that's just me. As usual Scott Brick is outstanding. He could read the phone book and keep me listening.
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