Calling this book "the most terrifyingly realistic air disaster thriller of all time", as the Publisher's notes do, is misleading. The story is anything but realisitic! It would be more accurate to describe the book as a cross between Conspiracy Theory (for evil conspiracies), Gilligan's Island (for ridiculous plot threads) and Night of the Living Dead (for, what else, the "living dead" - a term even used in the book!). Given all that, I found it to be an enjoyable book that I wanted to keep listening to, if only to see what sillyness happens next. If you want a serious thriller, take a pass on this book. If you don't mind silly fun, however, then Mayday is an immersive yarn.
Unlike "Survival of the Sickest", which lays out a premise and provides some great background, this book is so ovbiously an argument for evolution that it gets old. Now, I believe in evolution so I didn't need this book to convince me. In fact, I was interested in hearing more about the science - the problem for me was that I didn't need all the convincing. But, this author keeps deriding those "non believers" so often that I felt like much of the books time was wasted. Also, I would expect that a book aimed at an intelligent, thinking audience could just say once (at the beginning) that graphs and charts could be found on the publisher's website. Why repeat it every 5-10 minutes? Why??
Every month I try to listen to one fiction and one non-fiction book, from which I can learn something new. This book was fascinating and I found myself backing up to re-listen to a few parts, just to make sure I got it. Is it a long listen? Sure, a few points are repeated. But, overall the concepts and theories are very interesting and fresh (at least to me). My only complaint is the odd and unexpected pieces of music that are played during seemingly random times throughout the reading - the first time it happened, I thought a phone was ringing. I recommend this book, if you have a curiosity about science and are open to novel ideas.
If you're expecting a "pure" mystery novel, this is not the book for you. I found myself talking out loud - things like, "you've got to be kidding" or "oh, come on." The main character is whiney, the situations are strained, and the author leaves out important facts until it suits her to drop them on you. I much prefer a mystery that doesn't play games and doesn't try to incorporate the Harlequin Romance twist.
If you, like I was, are hoping for a mystery/adventure novel, then this isn't for you. Despite almost 4 years with Audible, this is my first of the Kay Scarpetta novels. I actively seek out unabridged versions, which this is. But, out of the 12 hours of narrative, this book breaks down about so: 4 hours of Kay whining in grief (either about her dead ex, or her neice), 2 hours of Kay being depressed, and 3 hours of Marino being blustering and rude - all wrapped loosely around about 3 hours of investigation. It's probably just me, and my expectations, but this is the last Scarpetta novel I'll spend time on.
I have listened to all of the other available Bryson audio books, starting with A Walk In The Woods (which I had already read first, but loved as an audio book narrated by Mr. Bryson). I've enjoyed each and every Bryson book - until this one... In the other Bryson's, I've found myself engaged and wanting to hear more. Sadly, this narrative seemed pointless and wandering. After an hour and a half, I found I just didn't care to listen any longer and it became almost a chore. Certainly not as fun as his other works! Sorry.
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