When people write about the "Golden Age of Mystery" they're always referring to the 1930's. Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers and all that. Well, as much as I enjoy those classic mysteries, I say the Golden Age of Mystery is right now. If you don't agree, just check out this first rate contemporary suspenser from Peter Robinson.
The audio version adds immeasurably to the experience. Reader Ron Keith brings the characters to life with a wide range of English accents that I, as a Midwesterner, couldn't have begun to conjure up. (No, not even with close study of Masterpiece Theater.)
The Spectator Bird, one of the funniest saddest books you'll ever hear, finds the perfect reader in Edward Herrmann. All readers should aspire to the standard he sets. Listening to Herrmann read was as though there were nothing between me and the author; as though Wallace Stegner were communicating his novel directly to me with no intermediary.
I put Mr Herrmann right up there with George Guidall –– he's that good!
Way better than Charlotte Simmons, not so good as Man in Full. A terrific reading by Lou Diamond Phillips gets the flavor and pizzazz of Wolfe's idiosyncratic writing. Listening to Mr Phillips' energetic interpretation was BETTER than reading the print version.
If you like HIllerman's Jim Chee mysteries or the Posadas County series by Steven F Havill, you will enjoy Craig Johnson's series featuring Sheriff Walt Longmire and set in contemporary Wyoming.
George Guidall's reading of this series opener is absolutely flawless. He's simply the best.
Too bad Mr Burdett couldn't take some time out from his witty sermonizing about the evils of Christianity, America and the CIA (not highly differentiated here) in order to write the police novel which "Bangkok Tattoo" purports to be. Burdett is an amusing preacher, but only occassionally remembers to get out of the pulpit and return to the story upon which he hangs so many screeds against capitalism and the West.
The protagonist, Thai police detective Sonchai Jitpleecheep, convincingly acted by the reader, Paul Boehmer, is an engaging guide to Thailand whenever Burdett allows him to be himself and not just a mouthpiece for the author's standard British Leftism.
For Americans who indulge in self-loathing as a form of broadmindedness, this audiobook may be a real treat.
If you need a handy compendium of all the hoariest sci-fi cliches of the last fifty years, then you might want to check out Altered Carbon. If you think that yet another pastiche of Raymond Chandler's classic detective stories is the last word in originality, you might want to check out Altered Carbon. If you believe that the U.N. will last another four decades, never mind another four centuries, then this book is for you. This weary bit of sci-fi retread is strictly for those SF enthusiasts (God bless 'em) who think Esperanto will soon be the new world language. All others might want to avoid it.
THE CLOSERS is the best yet from Michael Connelly, which makes it the best of the best. I realize that mere superlatives don't make for a very "helpful" review, but what can I say? Each entry in the series of mysteries featuring Harry Bosch is better than the last -- and it started out pretty strong (with THE BLACK ECHO, 1992). If you liked CITY OF BONES and LOST LIGHT, then you'll like THE CLOSERS.
It's been about twenty years since I read this nutty old Heinlein novel -- and it was dated THEN. But it was loads of fun revisiting this tuff little boot-camp-o-da-future tale and especially funny listening to Heinlein's nut-boy political rants. He's so fervid in his hard-selling of the Heinlein version of Libertarianism (Ayn Rand meets Hulk Hogan) that he almost has me buying it. Great entertainment.
The reader has a very pleasing voice and does the various voice characterizations just right -- but, as other reviewers (pause) have pointed (pause) out, his (pause) unexpected, ungrammatical and (pause) mis(pause)placed (pause) pauses and (pause) weird emPHAsis slowly drive the listener mad -- but then maybe it's better to be out your freakin' mind to enjoy good ol' Heinlein to the fullest.
I volunteered for a lot of driving chores this past week or so -- I even invented chores -- and then I prolonged the driving, just to keep listening to this gripping audiobook.
Combines the thriller style of DeMille's cop books featuring detective John Corey (*Plum Island* & *Lion's Game*) with the you-are-there believability of his last novel, *Up Country*.
A serious book with a serious subject (the crash of Flight 800 off Long Island in '96) -- but with many, very funny lines given to John Corey and his wise-acre cop friends.
Peter Robinson gives us another entry in the series of police procedurals set in Yorkshire and featuring Inspector Banks. Fully realized characters, well-drawn setting. Plotting a little hokey near the end with some breathless action not in keeping with Robinson's normally highly realistic style. Doesn't ruin it; just a bit melodramatic for Robinson.
The reader is masterful: wide range of great voice characterizations; every phrase read for meaning.
Highly recommended, if not quite so good as Robinson's "In a Dry Season".
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