This book was a romance writing woman doing her attempt at writing an action thriller. At first I was a little put off but then I was reminded that Lee Childs' main character looks at a woman who looks at him; they make love and then it's the next day and they get back to business. Brockmann's book is about the spaces between the words in the second half of the previous sentence. Overall, a little bit sappy, however, I think she pulls it off; the good guys win in the end and everybody is happy. I didn't give it 5 stars because I like a little more blood and guts and shooting and that kind of stuff. But, the lovemaking scenes . . . . wow! They were right up there. And, yes, I am going to recommend it to my wife. :-)
I suspect this is my last James Lee Burke book. When my wife and I listened to the Alamo we both thought it was Will Patton reading like he was reading a dave robeshow story. He used the same voice for characters that sounded like it was Dave & Cletus. Now this book has the same 2 main characters that once again sound like Dave and Cletus. I think that James Lee Burke is a great writer for a variety of reasons but I think he does not know how to write a 'fresh' story. Or, perhaps his editor won't let him. Either way, I am done w/ James Lee Burke.
The setting is in Texas. That is the variety of this story that is different from Burke's other 'southern' stories.
Will Patton does a good job but he needs to stop reading the James Lee Burke stories. He reads them too much the same way..
I could not see this story going into film..
In the context of story telling when the writer discovered 'the secret' she did not dwell so much on what could appear as an obvious disappointment but immediately began a search to understand the meaning of the gift and the meaning of a life as looked at through both her eyes and her mothers' eyes.
I enjoyed the many pearls of wisdom dropped by the author along the story line. There are not many people who can write a short book and SLAM the reader with insightful revelations into the human condition and still make the reader want to continue the book to the end. This author did that very thing magnificently!
I always enjoy hearing an author read their own work. Her voice, the speed, emphasis, pauses these interpretations of her own work helped me 'hear' the voice in the story. I found, many times while going through this book, sheer wonderment that the voice I was hearing was the voice of the writer. She wrote this story very nicely and her voice brought out the 'shine' that lay within those words. She was great.
A film would detract from this story.
I have say that I am a Baldacci fanatic. I like his story telling. However, this one just never quite rose to the occasion. The performance was good. The writing ~ by a man telling a story totally from a female perspective was outstanding. Unfortunately, that was about the only fascinating part of this writing. The story took nearly 1/2 the book to get going; i.e., for the story to begin to be interesting - and then it was pretty good for about 3 hours and the last two hours (maybe 90 minutes) just petered out. I got the sense that the author never really knew where he was going or what he intended to do with this story.
I expected more from Baldacci. I think he went out on a limb here to try and cash in on the 'fantasy story' that is sucking up the interest of the youngsters presently. And, maybe a youngster will like this story but it just didn't carry the day for me. I cannot recommend that anyone spend the time or energy trying to get through this story.
The author starts out and gives the reader the basis of the story. Over time - he fills in the details. The "fill" does not make the underlying premise any more plausible & I think I just never quite 'bought in' to the story. Be that as it may, I liked the adventure of the story and the movement. It was, in essence, so well told that even though I thought the underlying premise was lame - I kept listening. It was entertaining through and through.
I still had Matthew McConaughey in my head when I started listening to this book. Despite the reader 'not quite' sounding like McConaughey that's the only 'real' voice I could hear on this entire book. I nearly had to say - I think Grisham wrote the book w/ one movie actor in mind for this main character. With that said, it is a great story and well told. And I hope McConaughey plays the role in the movie. I'd be disappointed if anyone else played it. To say that Grisham has the role of story teller down pat is sort of like saying the best description of water is that it is wet. But, the story develops and grabs your attention immediately. It only gets better with each passing moment. It was pretty obvious that the Alaska connection was gonna be the clincher but it was still a surprise on how it came out and it emphasized again, how quickly a jury can change (even in real life). I am so glad Grisham has devoted his time to writing. He simply does it so well. And, he has given me years of pleasure. I am sure that anyone who reads or listens to this book will not be disappointed. Grisham has brought so much pleasure. What more can one human do for so many others than that?
My wife and I both enjoy David Baldacci stories. I thought I would have read this one before but the story was unknown to me. And, it was great! Pure and simple - a great story! What was both intriguing and 'quaint' was the characters' use of telephone calling cards and tape answering machines. While listening to this it seemed incredible to me that it was "only 1995" that we still relied so heavily on land lines and telephone calling cards and tape machines. And, there was so much time taken in the story dealing with remembering telephone numbers (not actually mentioned but in there) and then running around and finding "pay phones" to use "the calling card" on. Incredible! The digital revolution has so over taken our society that to go back in time, even a decade, (a little more than less) and see how much time and energy land line communications took. And here, how much time and energy it took just to be part of the story - it was incredible! I think if the author rewrote this story - and without the land lines but with smart cell phones with apps - he'd cut 30 pages out of the story and an hour of reading.
What was also amazing to me was the thought that the author could modify this story and use smart phones but not really change anything else about the plot or theme of the book. The truly an exciting concept in the late 90's as to the internet and organizing material - what a dream by the author - remains a dream, now, nearly 15 years later. We have different 'gadgets' but the dream is still there. I wonder how long it will so remain?
Overall, this story gets an A+.
My overwhelming sense with this book was that it was another Dave Robecheu novel transported back in time. First, I should say that I listened to any book I can find that Will Patton reads. I particularly like the Dave Robecheu novels. Second, I like the 'gum-shoe' cop books that Burke writes. But, Third, this one was simply and only the same two characters of Cleat or Pete and Dave. Unfortunately, I think Will Patton got caught up in the familiarity of the 'voice' of the book and by a quarter the way in he was using the same exact voice of Dave & Cleat.
In the end, the same voice, the same style, the same characters and just moving it to the Texas independence fight - it just didn't cut it for me. Basically, this book blew chunks.
Either Burke needs to take a vacation or he needs to try a little harder and create some new characters or . . . he could just write Dave Robecheu novels.
The short write up sounding appealing so I got this book. When I started listening the first two to four hours seemed quite tedious. I was nearly ready to give up but I kept pushing forward. Thank goodness I did! I can only go to the end and tell you this was one of the best told stories I have heard in some time. The main character is a little flighty but she is solidly grounded as to her family and is open to the new experiences. Because of my own reaction to her life choices I think I am probably not as open to new experiences as the main character and realizing that made me think I didn't like the opening section so much because of that.
I liked the "butterfly" doctor. The speech he gave to the "ZNN" reporter was the kind of speech we all wish we could spout off the top of our head. That portion of the story was so realistically told I wanted to go to UTUBE and see if there was an actual video. I do wonder how long it will be before some college art/acting class makes an actual mock video of this part of the book and really posts it on the web. I think that'd be kick @$$ and quite a tribute to Kingsolver.
All of the characters are most believable and this story made me feel like I was taking a very intimate peek into the lives of these people. At some point I was able to associate with the main character because she had this running dialog going on in her head that sounded very much like the running dialog that goes on in my head . . . . more often than I am sometimes comfortable with.
I loved the author reading her own work. She was great. I loved her voice. The pace was perfect and she complimented what is otherwise a well told story.
I did not give this book 5 stars for the story because I am so tired of the American story teller (we see it most often in movies) where at the end of the story everything is destroyed. The destruction seems only to be done for the benefit of the story teller and has little to do with the story itself. The symbol is 'okay, the story is over and now I am going to destroy the set." I don't think that is reflective of anything but our current culture and an inability to simply tell a story and then to let that be it and be over when it is over. But, to be over because the set is now destroyed is just . . . . blase. That said, even before I was finished I gave two copies of this book away as gifts to other family members. I really really liked this book.
This book never made it out of the classroom for me. It mostly sounded like an (ultra politically conservative) professor trying to imagine the worst about human behavior and then writing it down. It lacked any connection to realism for me. The problem is that my vision of human behavior, altruism, empathy and American behavior in a crisis is simply more positive than that which the author believes, thus, his book was filled with doom and gloom which could only be resolved favorably by the military or military action. His idea of hope for a catastrophe was to have the military come in and save the day.
I think that Americans have a history of altruistic and empathetic behavior when we are faced with adversity. If anyone looks back at our personal and national response to NY City on 9/11/01 they do not see people abandoning each other, the laws or morality. One can also look back at how we respond to catastrophes when hurricanes, tornadoes or fire destroy large areas. We group together and we help each other out. So, this storyline just never rose to the level of believability for me because this author would have the believe that we all run for our lives forsaking all those around us.
The only thing I could think about this author is that I hope I never have him, or someone like him, for a neighbor. That would not be my idea of a very good neighbor.
Overall, the story was flat; it was not compelling; the characters did not have enough depth and it was a struggle to get from one chapter to the next. I listen to a lot of audio books and I have a rule that if I buy it I will listen to the end. This was one of the few times I felt like my rule was punishing me.
I was ready for a nice compelling story. This was an Oprah book club book. But, basically, the storyline itself is somewhat offensive; the main character is unappealing; and the reader was nearly as unappealing as both the main character and the story overall. I stayed with it through part 1 & 2 but finally gave it up on part 3. I couldn't think of anything to keep me wanting to stay with it to the end. I suspected (but will never know) the end of the book was as crappy as the first part.
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