Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010
This book is worth listening to… much of it. George Guidall will help with all of it, but particularly the, um, "look-I-really-now-about-this-stuff" parts. See this is all about what's riding on the Watson and Crick double helix. So, be prepared to go eye-glazed as Mr. Bear's scientists show off their knowledge so we will suspend disbelief.
When the lectures start… let your mind wander. Don't try to follow… and don't try to look for a lot of plot in these monologues. Instead, give the author credit for his research and push on. It's a cool story and very Crichton-ish. If you liked Michael Crichton and like Robin Cook, you'll enjoy this. I did.
Maybe I'm still reeling from Michael Kramer's disappointing reading of Perry's mediocre "Dead Aim", but I'm a little more critical of him than in the past. Especially since I listened to Shelly Frasier exciting read of Perry's 'Nightlife' since I heard the disappointing 'Dead Aim'. Okay, I'll recover, and really, this Kramer reading keeps him within the top ten talents I've enjoyed at Audio Books.
'Silence' is serious, but very serious. fun. No, it's not comedic tromp by any imagination. It's about killers, blood, baseball bat beatings, and all of the other good stuff we live for in current mysteries (!) And Perry's characters are each solid links in this story's chain.
You are lucky if you've not heard a Thomas Perry novel… Why? Because so far, except for 'Strip' and 'Dead Aim' I've heavily enjoyed the other ten novels of his I've listened to so far and look forward to more. Perry is one of the best mystery writers today and in spite of the "secrets" that the distressed damsel holds back, almost implausibly, until the novel's end (hence my 4 rather than 5 stars for the story…
This tale of killers versus a riddled-with-ethical-angst, big shouldered P.I. is old school fine. Overall it is more than the sum of its parts.
Sometimes a good listen is hits us with the chick/egg riddle. Is a terrific novel what makes an audio artist terrific or is the verse visa? Well, anyway… Nightlife has married a compelling Perry novel with the perfect reader.
Perry likes the theme of darkness and light in intense and sustained babble. Two smart, tough, and driven protagonists who sustain a macabre dance over time. And he's such a powerful builder of character that the struggle always seems epic.
He's done that here in Nightlife with a master detective tracking a master criminal. Two women whose motivations are almost as note perfect as Shelly Frazier's creation of their struggle.
Nightlife is Thomas Perry at his best and I'm looking forward to hearing Shelly Frazier tell me other stories.Nightlife is why many of us read mysteries.
I hate to write it… but this is NOT a good book and it's not well read. I hate to write it because I am a serious Thomas Perry fan… I'm used to giving him FIVE… count 'em…. FIVE STARS. But this thing, no way.
Perry is a master plotter… But you'd not know it from this flaccid string of implausible coincidences. And the characters, which Perry is famous for creating… none of them came to this mess. Oh well, since Perry doesn't return to the same cast twice, at least we won't read about this gang any more. One thing though… the basic motivation of that ignites the book around a distressed damsel is Perry-Clever… Unfortunately the ignition ran out of gas.
And Michael Kramer… who I normally can't over-praise… Where was his talent? For example, the villain of this muddle is supposed to be Afrikaner. So why does he talk like Dr. No? Like an escapee from some central European castle town? Was Kramer trying to create a story with characterization that might save the book he was paid to read? Dunno…
What I do know is… learn from my experience… SKIP DEAD AIM. But keep buying Perry. I've listened to 12 of his novels and except for Strip and Fidelity, they've all earned over five stars from me (and Fidelity got 4). Everyone has a bad day… Dead Aim is Thomas Perry's.
Harry's self inflicting wounds again, driven by his pesky sense of ethics.Connelly is such a competent technician that once more the plot is complex yet accessible. The characters while each drawn with limited brushstrokes, are competently formed to create tension, feed momentum, and buckle me in right to the darkly satisfying ending among the burning streets of Las Angeles.
I took a rest from Harry for some months, but Angels Flight's made me wonder why. Regardless, Connelly spent time on this tale, it shows. He's a pro and fortunate to have Peter Giles interpret his ensemble so effectively. Thing is though, I'd recommend not stating the Harry Bosch novels with this one. Nope, go on back to the beginning so you'll enjoy the tales that have led up to Angels Flight. But if you must start here, well this story can stand alone pretty effectively.
I have not been so bored since I tried to listen to, Flaubert's Parrot. I'm thinking that this is perhaps a masterpiece of post-decontructionism. Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault along with their academic fan-boys will be proud that like Jullian Barnes, Stephenson has written a book about nothing.
Hell is a place with infinite facts that lack connection, which is exactly what deconstructionism is about - ferreting out and eliminating all connections. After hours of listening to Quicksilver try to start its engine… I finally concluded that it either lacks fuel.. or AN ENGINE AT ALL! Okay, maybe by the thirtieth book in this epic, I'll discover that there is a there, there somewhere. Unfortunately… As I concluded after simultaneously listening to Stephenson's Snow Crash… The guy wants not so much to be read… As to be studied.
Yeah, I get it, Stephenson's smart. He does a bunch of research. But look, I don't want to study a science fiction novel… I want to ride it. This one doesn't ignite.
I'm going to return Quicksilver.
Daniel Suarez and Neil Stephenson are two master fishers in the same sociological pond. They both are masters of social science as well as hard science fiction. They effortlessly toss-off ideas about the post-tech world with a scary competence. Their nonchalant attitude toward the inevitability of whole lines of tech and cultural evolution are wonderful.
While they each detest capitalism, neither seem confident about its evolutionary successor. In other words, they swim in the deluge that they predict will follow our moment in time.
And each author is intoxicated with the space between illustrated novels and film. They are entirely visual in their technique. No surprise that their fans beg for novels like Influx to become BIG BIG BIG blockbuster summer tentpole flicks.
In an odd way, this book's a logical extension of Tom Clancy's techno thrillers. Suarez understands that lots of male readers are gear-heads like me. Maybe a lot of women are too, but it looks like they're a smaller part of this audience. And the tone-deaf way that Suarez deals with girl/boy relationships probably won't sweep a lot of female readers into his fandom.
Regardless, his two dimensional characters are fun vehicles to race us through books like Influx. While my recent boredom with Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and Quicksilver's kind of dashed my interest in his efforts: Influx, and it's totally competent interpretation by Jeff Gurner will keep me reading more Daniel Suarez.
Traber Burns is totally competent. He manages to stay invisible while bringing out the idiosyncrasies of each character in this ensemble… The guy has the spoken-artist chops for this Audible major league.
I don't know why it took me so long to try a Tanenbaum novel. If No Lesser Plea's typical… it's sure been my loss. This is a fine legal/thriller. The characters are sufficiently complex even when improbable. Even the toss-away folks in this book grabbed my attention. Tanenbaum has the pace of a NASCAR driver. He wails around the curves of internal action without losing traction.
How much did I like it? I'm off to download another Tannenbaum.
First off, Christian Rummel is terrific. While he does Emery's entire ensemble wonderfully, he's particularly effective in creating female characters.
But my problem wasn't in the presentation of these characters… who are quite fully created with resonant personalities… No, the problem I had was that I didn't like any of these people, particularly the lead priest. I know… I know… people are complex. And Father Brennan Burke kept getting complexer and complexer (!).. to a point that went beyond his annoyance to his attorney Monte Collins… To the point where he annoyed me. And Emery surrounded Burke with equally annoying colleagues. Grumble.
I don't like to pay to be annoyed. But maybe it takes a really talented writer to do that, huh? So, I'm not sure if I'll try another Anne Emery novel or not. At this point, probably not.
I read Reamde, gave Stephenson 4 stars. Read Cryptonomicon, gave him another 4 stars. I wasn't as impressed with The Cobweb, but figured it was a collaboration so perhaps the 3 stars were an aberration. So I listened to Snow Crash… Bad Decision!
This work is work… for the reader. Work as in TEXT-BOOK reading work. Stephenson wants us to study rather than listen to him. I listen to novels for pleasure, I read text books as a form of labor. Snow Crash is about speaking in tongues… appropriate because Stephenson's written it in tongues… Unintelligiblejabber, wrapped inside of a kind of comic-book/illustrated-novel tale… which lacks the illustrations.
Sooooo… Stephenson wants us to study them as he struggles to build them. Proving, that a picture is worth a thousand words - 'cause that's how many it takes for him to show each new scene to us. He's a very bright guy. He's having difficulty communicating. Snow Crash is his failure. How disappointing.
If you want to spend a lot of hours closely studying something… buy a copy of Marx, Samuelson's General Theory, or maybe read The Closing of The American Mind if you want to to swing from that side of life's ideology.
Even though there's a masterpiece of futurism in this book's creation of a dystopian culture evolving from our collapsing culture… Pass on Snow Crash… K? I guess this thing has snuffed my fascination with Stephenson… Pity.
Jonathan Davis, BTW, does his usually fine job. He almost made this string of fictional professional papers accessible.
“If y’wanna send ‘em a message, call Western Union.” That’s the way legendary movie producer Samual Goldwyn slapped down writers who tried to wrap sermons inside of movie scripts. Here’s the filling that’s inside Daniel Suarez tech-dazzling screenplay… Daemon/Freedom… “Capitalism is a dung encrusted delivery system for the kleptocracy’s herding of the masses.” I’ll tell ya’, Suarez delivers that message a lot more accessibly than Marx, Mao, or the lecture-blather that wafts from say, MSNBC.
And he does it with the bat-across-the-cranium bonking of his manic techno-literacy. This guy rocks! Subtle? Well that depends. Is Mylie Cyrus subtle? You think? But what’s it matter? Jeff Gurner plops the reader down inches away from an iMax screen, cranks up the color and mega-track volume to THROB! And then kicks into holographic hyper drive 3D. Warning: Your ears and eyes may bleed from the testosterone pressure.
Of course you’ll have to suspend disbelief. The is sci/fi…. Science FICTION… FICTION. And yeah, just like the first part of this book in Daemon, there are no multi-layered sensitive characters who’ll leave you clutching for your Kleenex. This is man-stuff. Hell, Suarez can’t come close to creating even an anorexic man/woman romantic moment. But: What’s it matter?
You want Bridges of Madison County? Watch a Meyrl Streep flick. This two-part book (Deamon is the first half) is for guys who crave a jolt of summer blockbuster, hero-saves-earth, CGI reality (not to be confused with any other reality). Okay, so Suarez loathes capitalism but seems insensible to human nature’s fangs and claws. Instead he substitutes kumbaya monks and monkettes living (without any loving… if you know what I mean) on utopian communes where everyone of every generation agrees in, and works joyously and effortlessly for the common good - without pot!!!! Yeah, he assumes away religious zealotry, cultural clashes, ancient ethnic animosities, and special interests who’ll chomp away the gonads of anyone that annoys ‘em.
If you crave a message to fire your anger, go read Marx, Mao, MSNBC or watch O’Reilly’s Spin Factor…. Instead, do this book for the way it snaps your head back when Suarez and Gurner stomp the techno accelerator.
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