This book intrigued me because it really puts you into the psychology of the sniper. Its easy to have preconceptions about jobs like that of a sniper or SEALS in general (or team 6 in particular, if you've read certain other books about it) and I found this book to be pretty enlightening as to the human side and the psychology of them. Listening to him talk about realizing the humanity of the enemy, for example, and making real choices about how to best control intensely hostile situations really gives an appreciation for the life of an operator in combat. Great book about overcoming adversity. I highly recommend this.
Interesting survey of some independent film directors and films. Worth the low price. Reminded me about a lot of films I'd forgotten about. Enjoyed it as a survey although not super in-depth. And, the recording is full of errors. Every few minutes there is a hard cut in the middle of a word as though this was spliced together out of tape by an amateur, and it seems like there are words or sentences cut out. I don't know how this got past QC.
The performance is perfectly listenable, although marred by the jarring recording/edit errors.
The performance should have been more conversational. It's robotic and patronizing while reading text that is very conversational. English is my first language. I don't need someone to read conversational text this carefully, over enunciating every speck of it. You're not defusing a bomb. Just read it.
Maybe this style of narration works for some people, but it almost wrecked the book for me. The performance is so robotic and over-enunciated that it comes off as patronizing and almost sarcastic. I almost stopped several times because I couldn't stand the performance. It was probably directed this way, which makes me wonder, does the director of this recording ever actually listen to people talk? Can he stand listening to this, and expect listeners to take numerous hours of this over-exaggerated insanity? Was this done on purpose?
Once I was sufficiently numbed to the performance and resigned to finish the book, the stories in it are actually quite good, and well worth it for those interested in directing.
This book has a fantastic, creepy-as-hell premise and the first half is great fun.... a hole full of corpses in New York, under the site of an ancient natural history museum, and here appears our friend Special Agent Pendergast of the FBI apparently gone rogue with interest in these ghastly things because of gigantic, hidden implications... nothing but fun and intrigue so far... But then in my opinion it shifts away from a great, creepy finale towards something slightly more convoluted, in a couple of twists that didn't seem necessary to me. Without spoilers I feel that the authors here asked you to accept a pretty large conceit about the antagonist that, in itself, could be the stuff of horror stories, but then they just nonchalantly shift away from this idea without bothering to explain much about it, or "go there" so to speak and move on to some other convoluted twists for some reason, as if they were afraid their original idea wasn't enough. If this was a movie it would just need one rewrite to be fantastic....
I have read about 7 novels by Preston and Child, and I have to vehemently disagree with some of the negative reviews I have read of this book. While some reviewers have said "this feels like a movie" in a pejorative way, to me that is a strong point. It feels like a movie: the characters are very clear, they are well developed in lean, crisp strokes, the pace is fast, and the action strong. The story does a great job developing the characters through action, while pushing the story forward without slowing down much. A couple of characters from past books pop up here, and make brief reference to past events, and these said characters have matured and evolved just as you'd expect them to (referring to Eli Glinn and his buddy Garza from "Ice Limit." Having just read that one as well I was expecting Glinn to exert more control in this one). The set pieces are interesting and just like all of their stories, Gideon's Sword does have a some intriguing ideas in it. The protagonist is much more well developed than some of the previous ones I read in other books and the bad guy is fun. Gideon is a great character and it would be fun to see him in another story. As I stated at the beginning of this review, this is my 7th book by these guys and what it feels like is that the things they were doing in earlier books have sort of crystallized in this one, in a story that moves fast and gets better as it goes, and makes some of the earlier ones look like practice.
This is among the best Stephen King books, in my opinion. A fairly sublime blend of magic and melancholy, its an exploration of the 1960s through several intertwining stories with a sort of lyrical sci-fi touch that doesn't disrupt its seriousness (it lightly brushes against the Dark Tower series). Theres a sort of nostalgia and pathos here that you'll remember long afterwards. The movie only covers about 20 % of this. HIGHLY recommend. Not horror, FYI.
This novel is centered around a real mystery in Nova Scotia called the Money Pit. The authors have done a great job fictionalizing this real phenom and asking what if some zillionaire with all the most high tech toys and dream-team crew attacked the problem. And then, what might the most awesome truth underneath the treasure actually be, in the most cinematic of circumstances. Well played, I say. My only complaint is that the inevitable "turning evil" of certain people is a touch too predictable, sudden, and extreme. But the thought they have put into the above issues is thrilling in its thoroughness and sophistication. Nice job.
This is one of the few audiobooks that had me laughing out loud again and again, yet if I had to explain the story as a narrative and the ultimate meaning of it, I would feel like I was wrong in some way. The relentlessly articulate language is refreshing and enjoyable much of the time but it took some time for me to figure out the essence of the story. The characters are in some ways extremely sad but often hilarious, and again, relentlessly articulate. The book seems saturated with social commentary, some of which is hilarious and some of which is somewhat biting and perhaps melancholy. The setting seems to be a parallel present day in an Ohio of an alternate universe. I highly reccomend this.
Stephen King has a fascinating obsession with the creation of artwork that I have always enjoyed. This story has an intriguing basic premise- a man using artwork to help recover from a debilitating traumatic accident- in a location that may be haunted. If you are a fan of King you can well imagine how these three elements can combine to create some good spooks. This is the new King- there are subtleties and refinements here as opposed to his earlier work- but he also brings to this story a very brutal look at the painful recovery from real physical trauma and the damage that it can do to human relationships. But he does still have some fun with this one and a few soggy corpses pop up here and there.
This was a thrill because it has a fresh hard edge to it that I wasn't expecting. There are some callbacks to other King speckled through here but he tries some interesting twists and turns and it is dark and new. A nice refreshing punch in the face. A+ "and he wished for more"
Anthony Bourdain observes and reports with an edgy wit peppered with just the right blend of erudition and four-letter words. There is not a boring moment in this and you'll easily listen to it twice. It does meander slightly and its hard to discern an overall theme- but you'll be so hypnotized by the stream of ideas and wit that you won't notice this.
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