This book is so relentlessly grim and depressing that I had to alternate chapters with a light-hearted Bill Bryson book to get through it. But I am glad I read it and was reminded one more time of the events that shaped the world I lived in as a boy. The reader moved this very long book along well, though I think he played hooky on some classes in French 101.
While this was a well-crafted and very complex plot, for me the book really suffered from the female reader, from the cheesy background music, and from the ridiculous sound effects which assume that the reader is too addlebrained to figure out what the readers are saying without assistance. The worst was when a room with one lightbulb was mentioned and we heard the sound of the light bulb. Spare me.
Books in this series always make for a ripping story, and this one was especially good.
On a a different subject, a fun drinking game would be to have a shot every time the authors mismatch a singular subject with a plural verb, as in, "No one knows what the active ingredient in these botanicals are." Down the hatch everybody.
I had never read a Robbins book, but I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. Whether or not you like what he has to say, his writing is a tsunami of simile, a monsoon of metaphor, with witty bon mots bursting forth like slick new-born puppies or ... well, you get the picture.
I am a big fan of the Preston & Child books, but this one struck me as rather silly. But if nothing else, I learned the plural of "cyclops".
As these Pendergast books go, I thought this was one of the best, and a book that could almost stand on its own without reading others in the series. There was none of the red herring supernatural plot twists that are in other books, and none of those annoying mind journeys. Just a ripping good mystery with lots of bad guys and swamp mud. I said that the book could almost stand on its own. There is a sub-plot involving Pendergast's ward that would not make much sense if you didn't read the previous books, but it is not crucial. If you're tired of Sherlock Holmes, it's time for Special Agent Pendergast.
I was ho-hum about the first book so I don't quite know why I ordered the second book, but I'm glad I did. The characters were much more developed and there was a great deal more dramatic tension in the second book. As others have noted, it's hard to say much more than that without getting into the plot, but I'll just say, if you find yourself rolling your eyes in the first book, hang in there to Book Two.
This was a fascinating head-scratcher right up to the last chapter, and then it was a disappointment for me. I can't say more without being a plot spiller, but when it came down to the end, the pieces didn't fit. Having said that, I got the second volume, so maybe I will love that and eat my words.
It's been a while since I bailed on a book in the first hour, but I couldn't get past the readers and the hokey background music.
More action than a Batman comic book! More smart-aleck one-liners than a Groucho Marx routine! These books are just flat fun.
I bailed out on this book about two hours in, but came back later and started over, and I was glad I did. This was the first Nesbø novel I have read and I was interested enough is his dark, psychological plot that I want to read more of his work.
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