Like many reviewers, I read this book many times back in the 80's and 90's and loved it. I was enticed by a recent $4.99 special to buy the audio version. I found it lacking in three respects.
- Direction - Manny's Russian accent was appropriate, but he spoke with the flatness of a cyborg. Prof feels totally wrong, sounding more effeminate than the practical, crusty and insightful academic/revolutionary. He sounded closer to 30 than 70. Plus, the director failed to catch the deficits in the performance noted below.
- Editing - too many gaps in conversations that were both distracting and confusing.
- Performance - Manny's Russian accent often lapsed into ordinary American English, and many characters sounded very similar. Old, young, male, female, it was often hard to tell them apart.
Overall, I wanted a performance that lived up to the story, which is one of Heinlein's best. This didn't.
If you've never read this book, ignore this message and have a listen. The story is that good. If you read the book and loved it, and are looking to enjoy it anew in another medium, you may be disappointed.
I've been an Audible member for over ten years (607 downloads) and I'm hard pressed to think of a worse read than this one. Every conversation sounded the same, whether deciding what to eat for dinner or staring down an incoming missile. Men, women, Americans, Chinese, all sounded the same. This was particularly frustrating when men and women were talking because you had to listen especially hard to figure out who was who.
I don't know who Rob Patterson is and what he's done before, but it's as if they pulled some random guy off the street and said, "here, read this novel." "Never done it before?" "No problem."
The biggest shame is that the story is actually quite good. Put in the hands of even a competent reader, and it would have been fabulous. As it was, I put this down three or four times and had to push myself to finish it.
The story was the most intricate and involved of all the Coes books, involving a healthy dose of Brits, Chinese and US characters. The narration was very nuanced and full, bringing the characters to life before your ears, with full personalities and excellent differentiation.
The story? Dewey is a compelling hero, but (like all such heroes) you're going to have to suspend disbelief quite a few times. How many times can you be shot at by machine gun toting pros and not get hit? And the mechanism used near the end to get Dewey close to the protagonist strains credibility; one of the least likely strategies ever formulated.
But somehow, it all works.The characters are personable and likeable, the story serviceable and the narration just top notch. You'll enjoy yourself so much that you'll just shrug off any deficits and you'll be sad (like I was) that the story had to end.
If you're unfamiliar with Dewey, where does he fit in in the action hero continuum? Let's assume Jack Reacher is kind of ground zero, super but not superman. Throw Gabriel Allon a bit to his left; even more realistic. At the far right extreme (no political connotation meant) is Mitch Rapp, gone before his time, enjoyable, but not always believable. Scott Harvath is between Reacher and Rapp,
Dewey is probably on the far side of Harvath, but nowhere close to Rapp. He's more human, more likable, has more personality. No criticism meant, they're all enjoyable, and I've read or listened to every book in all the series. But hopefully, this will help folks unfamiliar with Coes/Dewey understand what they're in for.
If you like this general genre, you'll love the book.
I think I've read or listened to almost every book in the series; this is one of the better ones. Interesting plot twists, intriguing new characters, no miraculous escapes that seem random.
I am not a George Guidall (the narrator) fan. I don't like him in the Mitch Rapp series, and the narration here, which requires much more subtlety, is deficient. The British accent is nearly indistinguishable from the French, from the Corsican. Basically, all accents sound the same and all characters sound the same.
For me, Phil Gigante has become Gabriel, and I was looking forward to another elegant read, assuming he was the reader. You know what they say about assuming and the error was mine.
Would I have bought the book if I looked and saw that Guidall was the reader? Probably not, but having listened to it, the story trumped the narration, and I'm glad I did.
So I wrote this as a plea to Silva, or whoever makes these decisions. Your characters and stories are far too subtle for Guidall. Please bring back Gigante, or someone with his breadth and depth. Your stories deserve more.
Woods wrote two or three amazing books before he devolved into the James Patterson-like, formulaic book a year for the money-type author (Stone Barrington-drechhhh). This book is a total classic, great characters, intricate and compelling plot line, awesome story telling and a very satisfying long length. An interesting picture of the old south in a small town in rural Georgia.
I read the book back when it first came out, and bought the audiobook recently on a whim during a down month for new titles with an about to expire credit. I was not disappointed.
This was a cartoon from the clumsy plotline to the ham-handed reader performance. At first I thought it was so bad it was good, but I finally concluded it was just bad. Been with Audible since '01 or so; this was the second book I didn't finish.
A unique and interesting character (the Ghost Man) escorts you into the world of high profile bank robbery. A great match of voice and character personality.
There is lots of repetition, and some since de-valued examples, like Tiger Woods and Roger Clemons. Still, the book delivers invaluable insights to those who frequently face new challenges and opportunities. It's the one book that you wish you could get your teenage children to read (still trying to work that one out myself).
You know how Clancy books (most books) go; someone is attacking the US, it looks bad, gets worse, the tide turns, the good guys win with only minor injuries via displays of brilliance and bravery. Jack Ryan and progeny come out shining like a rose.
Knowing that going in, this book is serviceable, but not exceptional. Good plot line, fun locations, reasonable action, characters you know and love. Better for old time Clancy fans than for newbies trying their first (start with Patriot Games, or Without Remorse).
Perry does a great job creating a tension between a surprisingly sympathetic mob hit man and the Department of Justice lawyer who is chasing him. First in a series that I've pretty much finished.
Not your prototypical enjoyable listen. The reader sounds a bit like a 50's film noir detective (just the facts, ma'am) and the hit man guesses right just a bit too often, but it all ... just ... works.
If you like Reacher, I'm guessing you'll like the Butcher's Boy. Not 6'4", but the same kind of analytical thinking and get 'er done attitude. A total steal at the $4.95 sale price; definitely worth it at full retail.
This is one of Baldacci's worst; the characters are put in hard to imagine places and keep doing incredibly stupid things.
The narrator sounds like a 50's detective with all characters; young, old, male, female, like Joe Friday on a particularly monotone day.
There's an audible pop at the start of about 15% of the sentences in the book, but concentrated, like 10 sentences in a row, so it gets irritating. Not quite sure how the audio engineer missed it, but it's distracting.
I finished the book, so it's not terrible overall, but a definite 2 stars max.
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