My first Dorsey novel. Definitely a Hiaasen wannabe, with mixed results. The characters are truly hate-able in a delightful way. Imagery is terrific. Tarantino-esque. Inventive and very funny overall.
But there's no real story or underlying point. Hiaasen's formula includes 2 elements missing here: an underdog to root for and an overarching point about society.
Dorsey is just pulp. But it's really a lot of fun. I'll listen to another one.
Reviewer below states that the two writers are contemporaries, which is just plain wrong. Hiaasen's books predate Dorsey by at least a decade.
Richard Morgan is an amazing writer. Some of the similes and descriptions used here are nothing short of brilliant. But the story itself is a little bit off.
Still, its worth your time if you enjoyed the Kovacs novels. The storyline is essentially the same: a "superman" with some questionable morals but a big heart deep down goes hunting for bad guys.
The problem with this one is motivation. While Kovacs is trying to stay alive, its unclear why Marsalis is so driven. Oh, right, its "love"...excuse me while I cough politely.
Its a good story. But its a little slow here and there and some of the characters' motivations are unclear or contradictory.
The narrator is perfect. The Cockney quips were a lot of fun and I love that Marsalis is a bad-ass black Brit.
I have read 40+ Star Wars novels, and listened to another 5.
This was the most tedious and boring of all of them. It has so much promise, given the subject matter: the rise of Sidious, the origin of Maul, use of the Force to extend life.
But the whole thing is mired in a series of scenes where rich men whisper threats in the shadows at cocktail parties and discuss the fate of the galaxy over a banquet table.
If you're hoping (like I was) for a Dark Side novel that fills the gaps between the Bane era and Episode I, this is not it. If you like details of the excruciating minutiae behind the International Banking Clan, the Trade Federation and the Senate, this might be your novel.
Oh yes, there's lovely descriptions of the various beards to be found on the Jedi Council.
The performance of the narrator is quite good. But, I take issue with the constant background noise. Its one thing to have a laser blast or light saber hum to accentuate the action. But this novel has constant "conversation" background noise whenever someone is at a cocktail party (which is about 25% of the novel). I am an audiologist and we use noise like that to make speech perception testing more difficult. Why would you want to be challenged to understand that is being said in an audiobook?!
A boring novel that fails to deliver what is promised, with questionable production decisions.
Obviously this book is compared to Moneyball, and rightfully so. But Moneyball was really about Billy Beane and the emergence of advanced statistical analysis in mainstream baseball circles. This book isn't about any one personality or any global baseball change. Its about the changes the Rays went through in the mid 2000s, from all angles: ownership, front office, players, manager, ballpark.
If you find the Rays interesting and you wonder "where the hell did these guys come from?" when you look at their crazy season as they sit a few games back in the AL East in early September 2012, then you'll think this is a valuable read. I find myself sharing "tidbits" with fellow baseball fans constantly.
The whole thing about the "extra 2%" and "Wall Street Strategies" is completely irrelevant and unexplored. I have no idea why that stuff is on the book jacket. It should be called: "Tampa Bay Rays - The Exorcism that Took them Worst to First".
I've read (in print) all the Turtledove USA v CSA novels and this is the base for all of them. It was wonderful to hear the work performed so perfectly. There are many characters in a Turtledove novel and Guidall presents them all uniquely, yet without the overly done accents that plague other audiobooks.
If you're new to Turtledove, start here. You will either love the historical details and the rambling "period accurate" speech patterns, or you will hate it. Turtledove has a distinctive writing style wherein many phrases are used to excess. It can be charming and annoying at the same time, like hearing a favorite uncle tell a long story.
How Few Remain focuses on detailed character explorations of famous historical figures, like Lincoln, Custer, Teddy Roosevelt and Frederick Douglass, and how they react to their times. It's not a book full of thrilling battle scenes.
Try it. You'll either keep going and devour the rest of the long saga, or you'll get exasperated with the pace and lack of action and stop here. Either way, it's worth a listen.
Incredible story, wonderfully presented. Highly worth a listen rather than a read. The narrator somehow makes even the duller parts seem like high-drama.
Having this in your brain makes the movie better too...
I took a leap with this trilogy and couldn't be more pleased with the first novel. RKM created a richly textured universe and an anti-hero that you can't help but love. Sure, there's a lot of ideas that are derivative of other SF - but the author is unapologetic about it and frankly, it makes it easier to swallow some of the concepts and just move forward with the story.
I'm also happy to have listened to, rather than read, this novel. Todd McLaren is a perfect narrator and he nails the gritty tongue-in-cheek tone.
If you like to escape into worlds of (early) William Gibson, aren't ashamed to admit that you loved The Matrix, you'll definitely enjoy yourself here. Its not groundbreaking SF, but you'll be having too much fun to care...
The narrator mispronounces Kovacs - how did no one correct him on this right away?!? The other novels make such a big deal over the pronunciation. He has many other flaws too, including an annoying habit of enunciating final consonants and leaving a big space before the nexT.........word.
But its still fun and still worth listening to - RKM does a nice job of bringing in bits of the earlier novels while keeping this as a worthy stand-alone. If you dig the whole noir-cyberpunk thing, you should download the trilogy and listen to them all.
An aside: anyone else have trouble picturing Kovacs in the mind's eye? He's on his 4th or 5th body by now, and its tough to keep them straight. I think of him as Ryker from the first book pretty much all the time.
Here's the moral of the story: If you've ever gone to college or sympathized with the plight of non-radical Muslims in America, you are the enemy. If you've ever beaten a suspect to death, you are a patriot and a hero.
Putting all that aside, its not even a good story. Top heavy to the point where what should have been thrilling end-game action was summed up as "a sweep of law enforcement". Its obvious that the author had to hit a certain number of words and once he did, he simply stopped and singed the loose ends of this poorly cut rope.
Armand Schultz does a terrible job here. The operatives talk with gruff voices. The ladies and the computer geek have high soft voices. And the SEAL sounds like GWB. Just terrible.
I kept waiting for something to happen. It never does. But if you get off on revenge fantasies of torturing bad guys and think Sarah Palin is presidential material, you'll probably love this.
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