Better research by the author and a more careful review by the editors, more plausible plot and fewer unbelievable "coincidences" were painfully needed. More even volume by the narrator on the voices of the characters so that the book could be understood by people while driving in ordinary automobiles without having to constantly adjust the volume would have been a great benefit!
The main problem with the book is these coincidences. The opening scenes present so many incredible connections with virtually all the characters that one must only assume that the author is too lazy to come up with a more believable way of interconnecting them. I'd give an example of one whopper that almost made me drop the listening right at the beginning, but it might spoil the experience for a more credulous listener. I'll admit that I kept listening to see if Van Lustbader could salvage something from the lame beginning, but was rewarded with even more and more unbelievable coincidental connections among the characters.
The book is filled with many fundamental errors that should have been prevented by better research and/or editing. Many scenes involved containers full of $1000 and $500 notes as contemporary currency. In fact, these are now collectors items only, as the Federal Reserve began taking them out of circulation in 1969. In one scene, a character was brandishing a "911" pistol. I'm a gun buff, and have never heard of a "911." Possibly the author meant a "1911 Colt" pistol. The only "911" of which I'm aware is a Kimar non-firing 1911 replica! In yet another boo-boo, a character is shot twice with a ".32 ACP Walther PPK/S," the power of which "slammed him against the wall." A .32 ACP is a barely OK personal defense round (and was even once a standard issue pistol of the Danish police), but it's only slightly more potent than a .22 rimfire magnum, and certainly isn't going to slam anyone against the wall!
No. Virtually all the women's voices and "confidential" communications were inaudible to me while driving without constantly having to adjust the volume. Very annoying!
Listening to it was slightly better than staring out the windshield at 600 miles of Interstate Highway with nothing else to do!
It should have been identified as the first part of a series, not as a complete book!
Yes. This volume was incomplete.
The narrator's fast, choppy and clipped speech pattern made it impossible to understand all the words while listening in the car. Our USB-connected iPod doesn't allow the use of the Audible app and it wasn[t possible to slow down the presentation to where it could be understood.
I'm about two-thirds through with this lengthy work, and am becoming impressed how well the individual stories integrate. I watched the first episode of the HBO series, and found that the book substantially enhanced my enjoyment of the installment, which would otherwise already been quite high!
I thought: "Well, even an abriged WEB is better than none." After listening, I'm not so sure. There are gaping holes in the plot, and I'd like to have found out how the final chapter of the adventure came out.
Also, there were some surprising research errors (like having a character carrying a .357 revolver--I believe this pistol was a creature of the '50s and not a WW II weapon).
The loud music overlaid upon the narration at the beginning of many chapters drove me nuts. I had to turn my car stereo up to "boom box" levels to hear the narration over the music and road noise.
Still . . . It was a W E B Griffin (& Son) novel, and that can't be all bad.
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