What's going on here is very interesting. It seems Caleb Carr is writing each book in this series from a different one of the character's perspective. The first book was from the perspective of journalist John Schuyler Moore and the second from point of view of young Stevie, one of the many street kids that Dr. Laslo Kreizler has saved through is institute. There are strong hints in this, the second book of the series that the next book will be written in the words of Sarah Howard.
These books fit all the criteria that I look for - long, entertaining, great reader, and solid historical fiction. Both books feature Teddy Roosevelt as a character and lots of character development and detailed historical setting. I really like these books. If you like mysteries, court room dramas, investigation adventure books, and historical fiction these books are for you.
I loved the first two installments of this series and could not wait for the final chapter to be released. I pre-ordered the Edge of Eternity and dove in on the day it was released. The first two books made you deeply connected to a fantastic cast of characters and provided a history lesson wrapped in a captivating set of story lines.
Edge of Eternity unfortunately goes off the rails because of a clear and frustrating political bias. The agenda is so transparent and angry that it not only makes the book difficult to listen to at times but the anti-republican bias leads to a disjointed read. The author goes so far out of his way to take shots at conservatives and ignore any possible positives stemming from the actions of players like GW Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Richard Nixon that the book ignores relevant events. I don't enjoy overt bias from Republicans or Democrats. I feel that it takes away from the experience and, in my opinion, it all but destroys this book and spoils the series. I gave the first two books five stars. This installment will get one star from me.
As an example, the Berlin Wall plays a prominent part in the book but never once does the book mention Reagan's demand that Mikhail Gorbachev tear down the wall. As a matter of fact, as you read you will learn that not only did Reagan and Bush have nothing to do with the fall of communism (according to Follett's book it was the media and liberals in the US but the real hero was Gorbachev) but they had to be stage managed in order not to destroy the world and it is in spite of them and their foolishness that the iron curtain came down.
You will also hear Reagan referred to as a mass murderer several times while middle eastern terrorists are painted as reluctant men simply retaliating for American atrocities. Nixon at least is portrayed as a fumbling criminal (not completely untrue) but Reagan receives much harsher treatment.
The book has other flaws. The majority of the characters are rich and famous. Those that aren't rich and famous are powerful players on the international political scene. It reaches a point where you simply cannot suspend disbelief. The only characters that do not end up super successful are those with a conservative bent. They are miserable, bitter, petty and even evil. Every Vietnam era soldier written about is a criminal the commits rape and murder while the courageous actress who poses on a enemy tank is penned as a heroic figure.
It's all just a bit much. I don't bother reading books that vilify liberals and I dearly wish this book didn't go out the way to make devils of all conservatives. John Lee does a brilliant job as always. I gave him five stars. Sorry if this turned into a rant but I am deeply disappointed by a book I looked forward to for so long.
I found this book a bit harder to get into that most of King's work. Maybe it was lack of - or simply slow - character development. Normally, in my estimation, King does a very good job of making you care about the characters he crafts and ultimately you do with those in Cell as well, but it's slower and less intense. A good book but not a great one. If I could I would give it a 3.5. Campbell Scott does a very nice job of narration.
I write very few negative reviews but this book has earned one...I have absolutely no idea what the people who compared this to Stephen King's work were thinking. This book was just bad. Not only was there never a scare but there wasn't even tension - minus one or two brief spots where you thought maybe the book was going to take off. Unfortunately, it's stays grounded, boring, long, and painful to get through. If you are interested in learning about black history, black authors, and some black anger maybe it will appeal to you more.
Maybe I'm blind as a King fan but I don't think that any other writer could pull books with such far fetched premises and make me enjoy them this much. The writing is always so entertaining and I come get sucked in to a story that on the surface should be dismissed as ridiculous. This is a book Stephen King fans will enjoy very much. The book reintroduces Dan Torrence as a grown up struggling to get his life together. He's haunted by his past and what happened at the Overlook and how it destroyed his childhood.
It's set in a classic small town that King fans will recognize in spirit and feel. The bad guys are really bad, the good guys are kinda flawed, and the book is well worth a listen.
I have a new appreciation for French history, enough so that I am now listening to Paris by one of my favorite authors Edward Rutherfurd. Generally I'm not a fan of musicals, but the movie adaption of the stage musical left me wanting more and so, I downloaded the book. I'm extremely happy I did.
Hugo goes off on long tangents that have only a loose connection to what is actually happening in the book. He takes on the church, the government, various levels of society at the time, and provides a rather lengthy description of the events on the battlefield of Waterloo. As a history buff I enjoyed most of the diatribes but a couple did become tedious and left me longing for a return to the story, a fascinating, heart wrenching, amazing story. I've since learned some more about Victor Hugo and have a better understanding for who he was and his mind set at the time of the writing of this classic. It's given me an appreciation that I didn't have while listening to the book but that would have enriched the experience.
It's a five star story with five star narration for me, but it's not an easy listen. The author seems to want you to suffer at certain points. Hugo's protagonist and antagonist are much more complex in the book than could possibly be displayed on stage in the allotted time. This book is worth reading for those that are new to Les Miserables and lovers of the stage experience alike.
Endure the authors detours if you are not one who loves a history lesson, embrace them if you are, but take the time to listen and feel the emotions that Hugo forces upon you and you will love it.
Lyndsay Faye's books and Caleb Carr's period detective novels. It will be interesting to follow the characters in future books. This one did a very good job of setting up the series. The characters are enjoyable and the protagonist isn't so superior that he instantly figures everything out. It was a believable premise and book.
I loved New York by Rutherfurd and this book fell well short of that for me. Perhaps it's because as an American I identified more with New York and had a deeper interest in the history. However, I do think this was a harder "read" in that the story spans such a long time and so many families and characters. It's still a very interesting book that shed light on a lot of England's long and fascinating history for me. You may want to have another book that you listen to, as I did, during this one so that you can step back and take a breather.
Like the other books in this series this one starts slow before picking up and turning into an enjoyable read. It picks up right where the last book left off and we get to enjoy Matthew Corbett's continuing journey as a budding "problem solver". Unlike the other books this one isn't so much a mystery story (until the end at least) as it is an adventure. If you are reading this for the sleuth aspect then you may be disappointed but if you are reading because you enjoyed the characters and ongoing story line then you will like it. It's an adventure more than a mystery.
Toward the end it gets a little bit fantastical as too many things appeared to intersect for my taste. One of the strengths of the first two books to me was that they painted a generally believable cast of characters. The characters are still true but the story takes certain turns that feel forced. Having said that I will absolutely be downloading the fourth book shortly and am hoping for more - provided the installment #4 doesn't go too far.
These books start a bit slowly but the characters are enjoyable and you grow to know them. Edoardo Ballerini does a great job of reading. His accent is perfect for Matthew and his voice changes are excellent and easily distinguishable. The story line is entertaining and one of things I enjoy most is that while Matthew is extremely intelligent the author doesn't allow him to make absurd leaps to conclusions or seem too super intelligent. Even the heroes of the story have their flaws and I think too often in these books the main characters are too smart, too perfect, too unrealistic.
I am well over 125 audio books in at this point and have only recently discovered Robert McCammon. Starting with Swan Song and now this series - a much different kind of book from Swan Song - I am thoroughly enjoying his writing.
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