If you have read an "Oregon" book, you've read them all. Don't get me wrong, it's still enjoyable, the characters are the ones you know and like, but it's like watching any 1980-2010 James Bond movie. You can pretty much cut and paste plot/bad guy/love interest from one to the other and still have an enjoyable, if predictable, 007 experience. Which brings me back to Cussler's latest effort... Enjoyable, but very formulaic.
I really loved this book. Smart, funny, and well written. Plot is set in the near future, and I liked the grounding in real science and physics. It somehow made it more real. The story is gripping and I found myself holding my breath on more than one occasion!
I didn't know much about Jim Henson before reading this book. I do like biographies, though, and this one was great! The author weaves the many aspects of Jim's life into a seamless narrative of his life. You get the sense that the representation is fair, not overly biased to the positive as biographies sometimes tend to be. The book pulls you in, and you feel Jim's highs and lows, his conflicts and frustrations, and perhaps that is really what makes this a great read.
Take the Fargos, insert random bad guy, random plot, and random setting. Sprinkle some Cussler magic and you get an enjoyable book. Won't blow your socks off, but then if you have read any recent Cussler you knew that already....
I read SH original series, and thought this would be at least on the same level, perhaps a 3 out of 5. But no. It's a pretty poor effort and, for me, a waste of time. Plot is thin and predictable, characters are weak, and the story has so many holes it just gets annoying after a while.
I read "a mote I god's eye" in the days before e-readers and Audible and remembered enjoying it. So purely on the vague recollection I thought I'd give this a try. Yes it's a little dated... The commies are America's greatest enemy and calculators are referred to as "pocket computers" but that quickly fades into the irrelevant as the strength of the characters and the story takes the forefront. It sucks you in and keeps you engaged right to the last word.
I can't say that there was any particular depth to the story, or even that the idea was particularly original. However, as a child of the 80's I loved ever minute of it. It's this 80's nostalgia that really elevated this story from a good effort to a great read. I would be remiss not to mention that WW does a great job narrating this book.
So... If you ever played Atari, owned a Commodore 64, played AD&D, or watched Weird Science (obsessively), then I think you will find this book good fun.
Excellent biography. Felt honest and provided insight into a persona that I had mainly formed an impression on from Arnie movies.
Arnie narrates the first and last chapter in first person so it's a little weird when Stephen Lang takes over, but you soon get used to him speaking in first person without the Austrian accent!
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