Well-written, well-read. Contrary to one of the other reviews, I did not hear this as a scree on one political side. It seemed to me that the author went out of his way to explain the political contexts that study of pre-Columbus native American cultures finds itself in, and how lots of folks across the political spectrum have reasons to try to discount particular research results in this area. I consider myself pretty well-read, but McCann talks about recent archeaological findings( and, for that matter, revisits of the wrtings of the first European visitors to the New World)that I had not heard of that do, in fact, seem to question the "conventional understanding" of lots of pre-1491 "history." "History" in quotes, because if a people do not write it down so that people can read it later, it is hard for it to be history. This book will make you annoyed at your teachers, at your children's teachers, at the discovery channel, and at the guide that you had at those Mayan ruins. If a lot of what you have heard previously did not sound correct, that is because it was not correct. Sound of this is really the application of logic to what we have always known. For instance, does it realy make since that the Mayan civilization would be destroyed by drought alone, when the Mayan had managed very well in their environment for a 1,000 years, must have seen severe droughts come and go, and the evidence we have shows some cities gaining in size and power, while others go down, right in the middle of these supposedly disasterous environmental conditions. Other things I had never heard previously seem beyond dispute. For instance, that the Incas conquered a territory and population larger than Alexander the Great's against some tough opponents. And apparently we have a written record now of the who, when, what, and part of the why. Fascinating stuff. Some of it over time will undoubtably be proved wrong, but already much of what we thought we knew has been.
I have complex feelings about Tom Clancy. I thought his first five or so books were wonderful. The next few laughable. The last few great entertainment, particularly as to the action scenes. This one is just too trite. Too much like thousands of other jingoistic, US all good, SEALs all good and near superhuman, the wives all brilliant and beautiful with great careers until they become housewives after getting married, volumes. Like a pulp Western I suppose. Telegraphs the outcome, to the extent is any different than it would ever be in any similar story, way ahead of time.
That said, the action scenes are great. Very compelling, even if the characters are super human. And the actual prose is not bad at all. I thought the narrator was suitably manly and serious. Really quite good.
So it is not horrible escapist literature, just way more predictable than even most of the genre.
I admit that I am not all the way through this one, but I have some strong thoughts on it already. The narrator is fine, even excellent. Nothing really to comment on there. The writing is pretty good and almost sells the story, but I do not think it quite does, and the story seems absurd on many levels. Maybe not enough to discourage me from listening to another one in the series when translated.
As others have commented, the story seems endless with a fantastic number of subplots some of which go nowhere. Our detective protagonists do seem extremely ineffectual at actually solving anything. I would hope that earlier books in the series would add interest and depth to them. There are few, if any, attractive characters in the book, and the entire village seems evil, which is not credible. Too much coincidence, although some of it might be well-disguised. Too many things generally unbelieveable. Hope this is not a spoiler, but the official and public reaction to someone pitching a human being off an overpass onto a busy "super highway" to the expected results seems vastly understated. Lots of violence that seems to go relatively unreacted to.
Maybe all of rural Germany is like that. I doubt it. Actually, anything official German seems amazingly ineffectual at doing anything.
Characters evil and relatively good alike do not seem all that credible.
All of that said, it seems kind of hard to put down. One still wants to know what happens.
I love the Scandanavian detective books. Somehow the characters in them seem very credible and deep. I thought this would be more like those. Instead, I guess this one remind me more of the Tana French books. Not bad, but not really credible, and kind of unsatisfying.
The Harry Bosch series is one of my absolute favorites ever. This one seemed a little thrown together. Not as tightly edited as usual. Still pretty good. The narrator was excellent. I hope Connelly is not running out of steam with this character. Still nice father daughter interaction. A good read. Just not as good as others in the series.
Pretty good police procedural. But it did not seem compelling to me. I am having trouble remembering the other Rebus books, but my recollection is they were more compelling, and that the Rebus character resonated with me a lot more. He did not seem very complex this time. Just drank and smoked a lot. Narrator had an authentic Scottish accent to my ear. Which means in part, he was relatively hard to understand. The Scandanavian thrillers are blowing things like this book away, it seems to me.
I have read other of the Rebus books. I think I basically like them.
I would just as soon books be read in a regular American English accent. I had to concentrate to understand the narrator, just as I have to do in Scotland!
Not that I recall.
No additional comments. I will probably listen to other Rebus books.
Yes. The story is well-written and compelling. I thought the narrator was great. To describe it is diffcult. It is a coming of age story, sure. It is a thriller, sure. But it is more than that, and the description of reservation life sounds authentic.
Lots of memorable moments. The priest's chasing the kid all around was particularly good. And ths strip tease, although that was not at all convincing as realistic and I thought it hit a very off note. Golf course scene was amazing.
No. I like the narrator a lot, though.
Somewhat. The story was fairly compelling. I would say there were sections that were hard to put down. But then there were breaks in the action.
I thought the final section was superfluous and seemed like it was just dopped in for emotional impact. There were some arguably jarring not believeable aspects of the book. No way those kids were 13 years old. Maybe 16. There are jurisdiction issues with enforcing criminal law in and around Native American reservations, but clearly this would not have been one, unless one considers kidnapping and assault to be a mnor crime.
I have been listening to a lot of Scandinavian detective books lately and this one is excellent. In Denmark this time. Not as introspective and depressed as Wallander. Not as truly troubled, violent, and sometimes hard to read because so troubled as Harry Hole.
Mostly wanted to put in some praise for the reader though. I had bought the first Jussi Alder-Olsen book. "Keeper of Lost Causes." The story seemed great, and the reading great, except for the dialogue. I could not get used to the reader reading the English words of the dialogue in what I guess is reasonably accurate Danish accented English. I am confident that a native speaker of Danish would not read the original Danish and hear in his/her mind a heavy accent of any kind. Makes no sense to me. Not that heavy an accent anyway.
Steven Pacey for this one gets it all just right to me.
Good stuff. I look forward to further translations of her books.
I am only half way through, but so far this is excellent. Very believable characters and great character development. Each with their flaws. Each likeable and non-likeable at the same time. Seem very real with excelent insight to me. Nice to see blue collar characters set out as sensitive, intelligent folks, able to understand human nature.
Mostly folks doing their best in trying circumstances to do the right thing with conflicting loyalties and duties.
Nice use of descriptions of natural beauty even though there is blight. It uplifts each character appropriately at appropriate times.
Excellent sense of place and time. Accurate details, at least as to what I know. I like the idea of going from interior dialogue to interior dialogue among characters.
Re the story overall great, but I gave it four stars instead of five because in a few instances events seemed too pat, too timed, so artificial with specific transparent purposes.
Narrator is great. Excellent voice for this work. Completely professional and easy to listen to. His reading is never noticeable. Easy to become engrossed in story.
This is hardly the worst of the Reacher books. I would say that the worst are among the first four or so, and I have listened to each of the Reacher books. Not the very best either, but I think it will more than satisfy most Reacher fans. Perhaps I am misremembering, but Reacher seems somewhat more sadistically violent that ever--is Lee Child having marital problems or something--and the story is pretty improbable, with the enemies being rather cartoonish. But I thought it was a great ride. I think those that complain there is too much writing about landscapes and describing lights, miss that this is well-written stuff which sets up a lot of the suspense, which is here in abundance. This one certainly has plenty of great action, and Lee Child really delivers on those scenes. Loved it, really! One star off though for some things that seemed utterly improbable including I suppose part of the ending.
I really liked this novel. The characters are really well drawn and vivid. Rebus in particular really grows on one, and seems like a real person with all of the faults of one. The setting of Scotland is great. I am not sure why I am not giving this 5 stars. I guess some of the plot seemed pretty contrived and some of the modern internet stuff seemed off. But it kept my attention. I guess I would say that Ian Rankin and Rebus are not quite up there with Michael Connelly and Andrew Vachss, and maybe they are a push with Lee Child (although very different) and maybe with Robert Crais, but they are really good dectective noir stuff.
Seems superficial. May be the abridgement, as others have noted. Also, surprisingly bad writing in places. Overall the entire book would be benefited by taking out every word with an "ly" on the end. Too much hagiography of Lincoln and not enough history. A fascinating era of history and a giant of a man. Does not need any intensifying.
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