I really enjoyed Odd Thomas, but this didn't live up to it.
I liked the character enough to read Brother Odd and that is a great read. My advise is to skip Forever Odd -- there really isn't anything in the book you need to know to enjoy Brother Odd.
Good listen, solid B effort story line. A bit too much borrowed from the Firm.
But geez, the extortion scheme which is the basis for the story just isn't credible. Kyle wasn't involved and everyone knew it, he knew it, the black mailers knew it, the police knew it, and the other people involved in the black mail knew it. Still, Mitch, er, Kyle, gives in to the black mailers threats.
Still, great look at big firm life. Ugh.
I've read/listened to a lot of Koontz and this is middle of the pack for him. The book has a whole bunch of red herrings, which are a bit frustrating. When you finally get past them, though, the book is satisfying. A good thriller with important insights into human nature.
First, I think the narrator was a poor choice. Not that he's a bad narrator, but not right for this work.
Second, I think the author is a bit self-indulgent and builds himself up too much.
But that said, the story is told with broad brush strokes and too little background. More detail and more history would have made a better book.
Close up personal insights on what is wrong with American intelligence service in the middle east and how this leaves us vulnerable to terrorist organizations. Some of the things which Baer says, if they came from another source, I might view with suspicion. But his credentials of having worked for the CIA in the middle east, in the field, give him credibility to say that we need to find different ways to deal with Islamic terrorist organizations than what we are currently doing.
The raw material for this story is just riveting, which makes the flaws in the narrative that much more frustrating. I particularly found the discussion of some of the difficult moral choices the partisans had to make to be compelling reading.
Let me also say, I remember well being in 8th grade and reading Night by Elie Wiesel and feeling, forgive me if this sounds like blaming the victim, but feeling angry with the passivity of those who went into the gas chambers without a struggle. This book not only shows another side of the story, but it provides a very convincing, and heart-tugging discussion of why some didn't resist.
My only critique is that it is written more as research paper than as a story. For example, Chapter 11 is entitled (paraphrasing) "The Formation of New Social Structures", and discusses, well, social structures among the Bielski partisans. It seems to me a more inventive author would have woven that in to a narrative.
Certainly, this is a book I heartily recommend. It is easy to say "we must never forget", but a book like this is important to ensuring that we consciously remember the holocaust, rather than simply have it locked in the recesses of long term memory.
It is ironic that while the authors say that in order to sell you must put your focus on your customer -- they fill the book with self indulgent personal anectdotes. We are forced to endure story after story about the author's bout with breast cancer, and about their trips to Europe.
The actual advise they offer is embarrassingly bad: Don't be late to an important sales meeting? Don't bring a Papermate pen to a sales call with the Bic Company?
Ugh. Reads like the author just taped a bunch of note cards together. No thought or analysis. And to make matters worse, the author relies about 50% on newspaper articles -- for an event that happened 40 years ago. Hello, there are thousands of living witnesses to events -- maybe step out of the library and interview someone.
But the most glaring omission is any insight from anyone who isn't Israeli. The book is 100% written from an Israeli viewpoint. Well, I guess the victors to get to right the history books, but that's not the kind of history book I'm interested in reading.
Well narrated. Hope the sequels are added to audible
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.