What a disappointment. This very long book was painful to get through. There are no likeable characters beyond Strike and Robin, and they weren't particularly appealing in this book. There's very little action other than Strike re-injuring himself time and again, and the bulk of the book is Strike talking to one weird book person after another. Dark and depressing--not the book to hear when stuck in rush-hour traffic! Glenister's gruff voicing for Strike may make him less appealing than Rowling had in mind; as it is, I can't believe Robin has hung in there this long. What else. . .why doesn't Strike have an income from the military? Surely he was medically retired and receives roughly half-pay plus all sorts of benefits and allowances? But I digress. I've been a big fan of Rowling's writing but this book was no pleasure to read. I bought it as soon as it was available--I won't rush to buy her next.
It's been a long time since I read a science-fiction novel that got everything right. This guy feels like a real engineer, which I know something about, and like what I'd expect an astronaut to be. Hey, most astronauts were ex-military pilots like me, so I think I can vouch for some authenticity. I like his sense of humor in the face of disaster, his ingenuity, his frustrations--all of it feels real. The tie-in to Earth and the help he gets (eventually)--all that feels real, too. Believable. I had trouble putting my iPhone down, I so enjoyed this book. Can't recommend it enough.
I had to return this. I made it through the first 2/3s, though I confess I was hitting the fast-forward button pretty frequently. This author has a weird idea of pacing--he's in the middle of some action, and suddenly he starts drifting off to describing the scenery. Or feelings, or whatever--but he loses the thread of the story. Speaking of the story. . .look, I know not everybody is a pilot, but could anybody be as stupid as this pilot? Let's see. . .apparently the last plane left on earth, and for nine years, all he can think to do with it is go retrieve Cokes? He sets off on his big adventure--without pre-positioning gas or other supplies--drills along at low altitude so that his fuel consumption goes way up? Let's see. . .other technical errors include getting blasted by a shotgun--just how frickin' low was he flying??? The hero just doesn't seem like a realistic representation of a person to me; not believable. I'm all for survival stories, but a world where you only shoot on sight and never attempt to gain allies or friends, is just not anything like the humans I've grown up with. I'm surprised this got as many good reviews as it did. Maybe I was expecting more--especially after reading The Martian, which was an outstanding story of a man struggling to survive. This story. . .is just stupid.
I've been a Nelson DeMille fan for years, but this series has peaked and I couldn't finish this one. Trite, dull, predictable. John's lines are tired and why he and Kate are together is more of a mystery than ever. The plot. . .yawn. A superhuman Middle Eastern terrorist. Haven't we seen this one before?
I've never liked Scott Brick as a narrator (I'm sure he's a swell person) and this book confirms it. Absolutely the wrong choice for a smart-aleck like John Corey--in every book he's read, he sounds like he's terminally depressed. He made some weird choices, too--like, why does the Arab terrorist sound like an Arab. . .when he was born and raised in New Jersey? Brick might be the right choice for a book about the end of the world. . .but not this one.
Well, I should add to that, "and if you like history in general". I've read quite a few histories of WWII and this was a great way to view an obscure and rarely told portion of the war. But even without that. . .Fraser writes with his usual dry wit; his own exploits are suitably modestly told, and each of his characters is well-developed and sometimes larger than life--as, I believe, soldiers are at times. Or maybe it only seems that way in our memories. Reading this twenty years after it was written, I found it interesting to hear Fraser's opinions on the war and the evolution of war, and of England, since.
David Case is brilliant, as always, at capturing the mood and the characters. One reviewer complained that the book should have been read by a Scot. . .sheesh, this Yank had a hard enough time with the accents as it was! So don't let that put you off; if you've enjoyed Case with Flashie or Sharpe, you'll love him here.
My only complaint is that Fraser stopped at the end of the war. I'll have to find an audio version of his North African novels to learn what happened to him next (sort of).
I bought this after the news broke that Galbraith was a pseudonym for JK Rowling. I'd loved all her Harry Potter books (despite my advanced years) and knew she'd write well in any genre. Not to brag. . .but I was dead on! This book is far from the standard murder mystery. The protagonist, Strike, is the usual strong, silent type (wish he was more of a wise-cracker!) but with a twist. His inner demons, his wreck of a private life, are more subtle, real and convincing than the usual. The second protagonist, the receptionist/apprentice, is a brilliant idea and allows the author a different perspective from which to develop Strike. The reader does a wonderful job with all the male voices. . .why are audiobooks never read by two readers, with a second for the voices of the other sex? Well, never mind. He does a great job with what he has. JK, keep 'em coming!
Others have written better reviews than I could ever create, so I'll only add a few cents worth here. Flashie considers himself a complete coward but. . .to us, he often seems to be doing the sensible thing. Or at least, the thing I'd be doing in that situation. I think the author has done an excellent job of capturing the standards of the time. A Victorian soldier must have felt incredible pressure to risk his life at the least opportunity, to live up to the standards he'd been taught. Flashie gives himself no credit for the many times he is brave or at least soldiers on despite his fear. So--for an anti-hero, he's often a pretty good guy. If you don't mind a little infidelity now and then. . .and now. . .and then. . .and now. . .and then.
OK, make that "most fun". Look, I love mysteries but most are dark and foreboding. This is a lark; a good mystery set in a satire of the British upper classes of the '30s. Georgie is a great heroine, naive but quick to learn. The narration is fantastic. Katherine Kellgren does an incredible job with all the different characters. Even her male voices are good; she doesn't try to drop her register like so many female narrators do. What else. . .start the series at the beginning and enjoy the ride!
Jeez, this book is tedious. Unattractive characters with problems. . .and it just goes on and on. I loved Christine Falls, and I like noir mysteries in general. But I couldn't get through this one. Dalton is a great reader but he goes a little far with the bitterness. I mean, I know Quirk's life is a mess but even the least sentences in the narration are delivered like the world is ending. It just gets to be too much.
I loved Connie's earlier books, and the way she weaves a story out of a confusion of current events. But it seems no one will edit her, now that she's successful, and no one will tell her she needs to cut back on the cranky, irritating and annoying side characters. Just get on with the story, girl! I couldn't take more than the first few hours. I love the narrator, Katherine Kellgren, and the way she brought Bloody Jack and Her Royal Spyness to life. But here, her excellent mimicry only makes the annoying characters worse--you can't just skim over their nonsense in an audiobook, you have to listen to every idiotic word. I think the subject matter is fascinating, but I couldn't get through the book.
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