I heard about this book the day I heard Michael Creighton died. Suarez is a worthy successor. The pace gallops along,one learns about, and understands, the implications of high tech, and it just plain fun to read. Is it too techie for some? Maybe, but everything is explained well and is real (not like, say, teleporters in Star Trek). Only disappointment is the end--not that it is illogical or doesn't make sense--in that it is something of a letdown considering how the book builds up and up.
Look, it's my fault for not realizing this book was part of a trilogy. So, since I did not read Book 1, I was not primed to read this book. And I feel this book does not stand on its own. It isn't that I missed Book 1. its more that I expected a fuller story in this book. All the 14 hours of build up and suspense just seem to get dissipated by the 15th hour made to set up Book 3, whenever it will be written and published.
As far as believability, Beecher, the main character is an archivist, i.e. a librarian. Why? What about the Dewey Decimal System makes one a James Bond? Given the subject matter, he could have been FBI or Secret Service. Wouldn't have really made a difference and would have been more believable. While the author added substantial back stories to some of the main characters--usually a good thing--jumping from the present to past often seemed to cut or frustrate tension rather than enhance it.
I've listened to Scot Brick before and liked his readings. This time, however, it seemed like every sentence was read as if the next were about to reveal the secret of the universe--the reading was somewhat overboard.
I wanted to like the book based on interviews with Brad Meltzer. I was looking for to a great historical thriller. The book does pretty well deliver well on history, but I was not thrilled.
For me, the best way to describe this book is to use the analogy of going to a French restaurant for a great dinner (The Da Vinci Code) and then the next day go to a fast-food joint with a French-style menu. Everything is similar but not as good. Also, the book is extremely formulaic, but so openly so, you see the formula more than the plot. And the writing probably has more clich?s than any professional writer should include.
But, it is a fast read--good for long, long plane rides or boring vacations. And if you ever wondered about the Masons, this is their Gone with the Wind.
Sometimes having the author read his own material is a mistake. Not here. Mr. Delaney's reading is vivid and his slight brogue a pleasure to hear. The story itself is unique and exciting, although it does drag a bit in the aftermath (though the aftermath is very pertinent, it just couldn't be as exciting as action on the high seas during a hurricane.)
It's said that no one is more pious than a reformed prostitute. Listening to the author's confession does get a little wearing at times as he makes his point over and over again. That said, his point is a good one, and what our corporations and government appear to have done deserves to be known and deplored. I read this after visiting the Galapagos and Amazon basin in Ecuador. It explained the roots much of the poverty, corruption, and ecological ruin I saw.
If you care about how the United States is perceived in the world today, and wonder why, this book will give you the answers.
If you are looking for a move-by-move analysis, this is not the book. If you are interested in the phenomenon of chess events, oddball players, and how Fischer became world champ, listen up. The only real minus is that the authors delve so deeply into the Soviet politics of chess that the book sometimes sounds like the minutes of a Polit Bureau meeting. Also, there are a lot of long Russian names to get through.
But, the study of Fischer and Spasky--their foibles, flaws, and accomplishments--is fascinating. And, the story of how the event came off is, at times, funny as any Marx Brothers (not Karl) movie.
You might think that adding sound to motion pictures was laboratory boring. I found the technical details fasinating as an example of multiple approaches to problem solving. But the real story and interest in the book lies in the affect upon the movie world both before and after sound's introduction. Sound was revolutionary, and this book shows you why.
Well written and fascinating, the book makes you feel the cold--both in Antartica and chills down your back. You know Scott died, but that's just a part of the story--something that admittedly colors the author's views. Modern polar scientists seem to give Scott a break (the weather WAS uncommonly bad, but "Cherry" was working against the talk of the time (1920's) that labled Scott a reckless fool. Judge for yourself.
Roth knows that a book is more than a plot. His charaters are real as the guy sitting next to you on the bus--and a heck of a lot more interesting. Ron Silver doesn't just read the book, he performs it.
Well worth the listen--especially for readers who remember the 60's.
Nothing against Grisham, but this is the way to write a book about lawyers. Not only an engrossing plot, but real, thinking characters. The book also is read well. As good as Presumed Innocent--and that was a classic of this genre.
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