Classic YA novel. I read this in my pre-teen / teen years, and I still like it now in my 30s.
Like other Grisham titles, 'The Broker' is a nice mini-vacation into suspense, action, and a shady world full of lawyers and politicians. My favorite aspect of this particular novel is the protagonist's immersion into Italian culture (particularly food!). The technology in the story has a dated feel -- the high-tech Smart Phone used by Bachmann to elude the bad guys and communicate with his son is yesterday's new toy, not today's -- but so what. I don't read these stories for the technology so much as for the hide-and-seek suspense, anyway.
Nice construction of a futuristic America. An exciting treasure-hunt through an online universe. The main villians are not anything you haven't experienced before in books or movies, but the author does a good job in building the tension between them and the heroes of the story. Lots of 80's trivia and I have to admit, I grew up in the 80's and am familiar with a lot of the references. I think the story is strong enough to keep the interest of a person who has less of an association with that decade, but a person who has absolutely no interest in the 1980's (and 70's) should avoid this book. The protagonist follows the very satisfactory and familiar story-arc of a high school student with low prospects and no money, thrust into sudden fame and danger by his involvement in something much bigger than himself. The larger message about a generation made isolated and antisocial by technology is well-done but made easier to swallow because the author so obviously understands and enjoys the things that the geeky main characters enjoy.
I tend to avoid stories that I know will make me cry, but this one had such a great premise that I listened to it anyway. Who hasn't taken a walk or driven down a road and felt the urge to just keep going? I know I have. This story did make me cry, as I expected it would, but it was just lighthearted and oddball enough to keep me smiling as well.
I may finish this one, or I may not. If not for the reference to F. Scott Fitzgerald in the book summary or the lovely cover art, I wouldn't have taken a chance on this story. Having listened to about 45 minutes of it, I don't think the Fitzgerald comparison is earned. It's been a while since I've read Fitzgerald, but what I remember was his ability to write vivid descriptions of the world his characters lived in. Klaussmann has plenty of descriptions, but mainly it's clothing, perfume, and drinks... This sounds like a weak complaint, but when Nick's outfit and hair is described, followed by a bit of a sex scene or thoughts about sex, it feels like just another romance novel. Not my favorite genre.
If the movie "Office Space" had a baby with the tv show "The X-files", this would be it. The work-place angst and the eerie atmosphere of misplaced ceiling tiles and ghostly desk-jockies is completely enjoyable. The main character is a snob and a stereotype, but he doesn't realize it. There were times when I wanted to slap him, but on the whole I enjoyed following him through this tale. All that said, I probably won't listen to this a second time. Like many of the X-Files' "Monster of the Week" episodes, the secret behind all the creepy happenings is not incredibly interesting.
A great introduction to one of today's major environmental problems. The author smoothly intertwines a story about a personal research project with a history of the plastics industry in the U.S. and abroad. Well worth the purchase.
I love twists on fairy tales, and I am fascinated by reality shows. The combination of the two promised more than what was actually delivered in 'The Selection.' Where to begin on my issues with this story ...
1. This is a trilogy??? Really?? I'm surprised the editors found enough plotline in what I just listened to to print this first book on its own.
2. Predictability ... Wake me up when Mer and Aspen are rescued from being executed for having relations inside the palace. I'm guessing the rebels will succeed in one of their attacks at a convenient moment.
3. The characters and the setting were just flat. The world-building could've been done so much better. I could go on, but I don't feel like it. Save your audible credit for something else.
2.5 stars out of 5. The beginning of this book is familiar to anybody who has seen the Disney movie "The Sword in the Stone." I loved the concept of Merlyn as a person moving backwards through time. His meeting with Arthur as a boy was poignant because of that -- To Merlyn, it was the last time they would meet, while to the Wort, it was only the first.
The characters of Lancelot and Guenever were well done, as was that of Kay, Arthur's foster brother. Actually there were many characters I enjoyed in this book. The reason for my low score lies mainly in the ending, which involved a long-winded Animal Council about how people ought to manage themselves. I disagreed with some of the arguments and found them boring and heavy, something similar to the 50 page speech delivered by John Galt towards the end of 'Atlas Shrugged.' I'm not opposed to philosophical discussion, but there are better ways to handle it in a story, in my opinion.
Oh, and I thought the witches -- Morgause et. al -- were weakly portrayed. The most you could say for them was they had some pretty weird house-building ideas and they seduced a lot of men. Even their witchcraft / connection to the faerie realms was poorly explored. For a MUCH more interesting story about them (and a great portrayal of all the female characters in the Camelot story) check out "The Mists of Avalon."
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