This is a comment about Greg Iles's The Quiet Game. I'm making it here because Audible doesn't provide a way to comment on a book you haven't bought from them.
Why is Iles's best book to date, The Quiet Game, severely abridged?
Presumably the broad strokes of the story are true, but all the details beyond that ring false and self-aggrandizing. The dialog is cliche. The telling of the story is florid and melodramatic.
I'm talking about everything in the story, not picking on the dog parts -- I'm fine with getting a little mushy in the dog parts.
The author learned the story from a manuscript by the WWII Airman in the title, so it's not clear how to apportion responsibility between the two.
I bailed after about four chapters.
There's a case with incredibly weak circumstantial evidence, but for no apparent reason everybody acts as if it is decisive, damning evidence. No new evidence or insights come to light, and the defense lawyer wins the case by pointing out... that it's incredibly weak circumstantial evidence. And, oh yeah, we never learn the least hint of how the crime was actually committed! None!
On the side, there's a separation from the lawyer's wife, and a prospective new love interest. Fighting and winning this dumb case helps the lawyer recover from his separation.
The writing style is good, and Sean Barrett's performance is great, but there's no content of any interest or entertainment value! I cannot imagine who would like this!
This is my favorite Fesperman novel so far, and I've read most or all of them. Twisty plot, interesting context (Guantanamo), not excessively grim. For most of the book it's not clear who the good guys are, but they end up winning. Colacci's performance is on target.
Very good story and narrator. Of the first 6 John Rain audiobooks, I think this was both the best story and the best of the 4 narrators.
Not only does the story have the advantage of introducing us to Rain for the first time, but I think it has a more satisfying arc to it than the subsequent novels.
Rain has a controlled personality, and the narrator, Brian Nishii, has an understated delivery that is perfect for Rain's first-person narration.
Scott Brick's narration is over the top. He makes John Rain sound like Troy McClure.
This is the sixth of the John Rain novels, and there have been 4 different narrators. The series is told primarily by the John Rain character in the first person, so the narrator is essentially portraying Rain. I listened to all of them in order except that I can't finish this one due to the narration.
Of the various narrators, the only one that I liked is Brian Nishii. His understated delivery was a good fit for Rain's controlled personality.
Dick Hill's version of Rain had a kind of wise-cracking hard-boiled tone, wrong for Rain.
McConnohie's version of Rain wasn't on target -- it was kind of generic, but not terrible. I'd rate it better than Hill's.
I quit about half-way through this audiobook -- I couldn't take any more.
The story is overrun with tedious melodrama. I thought it was a great book when I first read it as an adolescent, but now that I don't find the cool things quite as mind-blowingly cool as I did the first time, all the crud is exposed. (I bumped my Story rating up to 4 stars to compensate for my being jaded.) Every time something cool happens or is revealed, the Fremen will have a ritual about it, and Jessica will remember Bene Gesserit sayings about it, and Paul will have a prescience about it, and some Atriedes dude will have a quote or a song or a lesson about it, and person X will stare at person Y, and everybody will do a lot of soul-searching... Puhlease, can't we just move on to something interesting? This book could be so great with a severe edit.
For some chapters, the narrator performs all the voices, and for other chapters, other people perform the voices. The narrator (I think that's Simon Vance) is fine and does a good job on the voices when he gets to do them -- I'd give his performance 4 stars. However, the other voice performances are terrible! They are laughably bad! Negative stars!
Devious plot that manages to hang together. Flawless voices by Dick Hill. Interesting set of characters.
Way too many implausible choices by various characters. Lots of very dumb or cliche dialog. I've liked all the previous Alex McKnight novels, but this one is lame.
I didn't want to get involved in a whole review, but Kirby Heyborne's narration (it's a first-person narrative) in particular was so outstanding I just had to say something.
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