I think it is safe to say this book is destined to be the least popular of the three by those who focus on the story line. Simon Vance is once again excellent and his narration helps a book that could otherwise be a bit boring at times. The wonderful character development that marked the first two books is missing here, and the plot becomes somewhat predictable. So the book pales in comparison to the other two, but they were really good books so not measuring up to them is not the worst thing in the world. I like this one less than the others, but I still think it is worth the time -- but make sure you at least read Fire before Hornet's Next because this one is really not a different book so much as a continuation of The Girl Who Played with Fire.
This book does what good literature is supposed to do: provoke thought. Anyone looking for a good time read to pass the time while driving should steer away from this one. Richard Ford's phrasing is often poetic here, and one gets the idea that he spent much time considering how to construct his narrative for maximum meaning. Destined to show up on English teachers' reading lists, the book provides substantial fodder for analysis and thought. Despite the disturbing and ultimately somewhat depressing events of Del's life, Holter Graham manages to create a sympathetic voice for the hero even though it recounts a life that few of us will envy.
The story is enticing and, like others have said, it's a page-turner. However, many of the "turns" are far too predictable. I never like it when I figure out plot twists before they happen, and in this case I saw several of them coming -- and I am not very smart. On the other hand, the narration is good and captures the persona of the main character pretty well.
The writing here is okay but not as good as usual. Hecht is still fine as the narrator. Even Kerr's not-so-good stories are still worth reading/listening to. In this episode it just seems that Bernie is making too many mistakes for the convenience of Kerr so he can make rather obvious political statements. It is more fun when Kerr is simply telling a story and letting Bernie smart-off and get into feasible trouble. In A Quiet Flame Bernie's arrests are far too contrived to enable the listener to feel a smooth flow of the plot. The wise-cracks are still there and the story is passable, even given the several bumps along the road.
I followed Steve Jobs' career from when he first started Apple with Woz, so I knew quite a bit about him. However, this biography fills many gaps and introduces new insights by providing intimate details not always available elsewhere. By the same token, some dimensions of Jobs' life are given short shrift or omitted altogether. Of course, what to include is always a dilemma when writing a biography, and Isaacson's goal appears to have been to present a balanced a view of Jobs' life -- with both good and bad thrown into the mix -- but in the end it should be no surprise that Jobs comes across as something of a business super-hero, which he may very well may have been.
Overall, Dylan Baker does a fine job as narrator and Isaacson an admirable job as author. The book is a must for anyone wanting to know about Jobs, but just as important it presents a certain perspective on the history of personal computers from the 1970's to the present. Despite its length, the book leaves you wanting more when you complete it.
It is fun to find out a bit about Reacher's past. This book is one that a Reacher fan will like, but if you aren't a Reacher fan it won't be as meaningful for you. Dick Hill was good as Reacher but this was the first time I thought some of his female voices didn't fit the character so well. It is probably better for Hill if Reacher hangs out in Nebraska or Michigan and stays out of Mississipi and Georgia. Nevertheless, the book is worth a listen.
Although the plot has some rough spots, this book is a good example of how putting the right narrator with the right author can help compensate for weak points. Scott Sowers has an incredible range of voices that makes the characters come alive. Hart does a nice job of creating the backstories for the characters so that their actions are credible. Some plot points are a stretch, but the story works in the end. Overall, a good audio book that moves along smoothly.
Kerr is probably one of those writers that you either really like or really don't like. His books on Audible benefit from good narrators (Paul Hecht is as delightful as John Lee once you get used to him) as well as interesting historical plots. I have no idea how accurate his Nazi world is, but it makes for enjoyable listening. Gunther is hard not to like as a hero because he so often turns out to be incredibly vulnerable. In this book Gunther gets a little out of his element, or maybe it is Kerr and his experimental style that goes a bit awry. Nevertheless, Kerr still delivers and Bernie does not disappoint.
If you don't like this book then you should cancel your Audible subscription and go back to your Kindle. Good narrator, good story, well written, well read. The complete package for audio books.
A good book to listen to. Nesbo does a nice job of keeping the reader guessing for the most part. Several clues are dropped along the way so that the alert reader can enjoy trying to figure out where the story is going. There are enough twists to keep if from getting boring.
The book starts slow but gets rolling in the second half. Part of the problem is the narrator, who has a wide range with regard to creating the characters through voices, but who reads the book in sort of a sad-sack manner otherwise. The main character just seems too maudlin. Perhaps that is what the author wanted.....a feeling of an impending doom. When we finally get to something approaching a plot, the book and the narrator seem to magically improve so that the end product is one worth listening to. Much of the plot is a bit fanciful, but if you can suspend disbelief for a few hours, some degree of pleasure is likely to land on you.
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