Her name is Lucinda. Like Charles, she is married. Like Charles, she takes the train every day to work in New York City. Her train is the 9:05, and tomorrow she will be on it again, and so will Charles. For there is something about Lucinda, the flash of thigh beneath her short skirt, the way every man on the train is eyeing her, something about this time of the morning that will make Charles take a chance he shouldn't take, break a vow he shouldn't break, and enter a room he should never enter.
In a matter of days, a flirtation turns to a passion, and Charles and Lucinda are drawn into the dark side of the American Dream. In a matter of weeks, Charles's life is in shambles. A man is dead. A small fortune is stolen. Charles's home is violated and everything violently spirals out of control.
But Charles is about to discover that once you leave the straight and narrow, getting back on track is the most perilous journey of all. And for Charles, that journey - of lies, terror, and deception - has just begun.
©2003 James Siegel. All Rights Reserved; (P)2003 Time Warner Audiobooks
"The buzz is warranted: this story of a middle-class professional whose life goes incredibly, criminally awry is one of the most exciting thrillers in years. With its clean prose, high-velocity plotting and just the right amount of emotional shading darkening its sharply drawn characters, this novel is the bomb." (Publishers Weekly)
The first few chapters and setup are great, but the book goes downhill quickly and then into the downright unbelieveable and stupid and finally into the just plain absurd. Also, the turning point in the book early on, is described in far too much graphic detail. More detail than is used through the rest of the book's writing style. Not worth a selection. As in the other comments, I don't knon where the hype came from..except from the publisher's own PR department.
I don't understand the "buzz" about this book that is touted on the website review. The initial premise is interesting, but once the dilemma is set up, the hero's choices are increasingly absurd and frankly, unbelievable! A frustrating and unsatisfying read.
I liked this book - there was enough suspense to keep my interest and I didn't have to suspend disbelief to accept the plausibility of the plot. The reader was excellent - he added to my enjoyment of the book. Note to author and editor, however: be sure you know the meaning of police radio calls - receiving a "10-4" is not an emergency call, but an acknowledgement of message received.
When I came across this book (I think it was one of audible's recommended books), and saw the comments from Publisher's Weekly, etc..., I couldn't wait to read it. It started well enough...great really. The author and narrator do a great job setting up the story, bringing you into the character's life, and showing why he got caught up in this nightmare. They do a great job describing the nightmare. The main character's response is frustratingly weak, but that's just the character, right? So why only one star...?
As a reviewer on amazon said "imagine the space shuttle falling out of the sky and hitting the bad guys on the head...". This describes the major plot twist that saves the main character. If you read "Derailed" now, you'll likely be waiting for this twist. Sorry about that, but if you're likely to get disappointed by a really good setup, that takes a far-fetched turn then limps weakly to the ending, better not to bother with it.
I've read (and listened to) books that i liked less than derailed, but few that I thought so highly of halfway through.
The writer's style wins the day for this book. I was really caught up in the story. When I had to leave it, I could hardly wait to get back to it to find out what happened. And that's just what this kind of book is supposed to do, right?
If you want to listen to a book about a guy that by all accounts gets his ass kicked multiple times then download. I half expected to find out that he had a sign taped to his back that said 'kick me alot'. I found the book so frustrating that I had to stop listening. If the author wanted us to feel sorry for the main character, then he failed. This book wasn't a gripping, exciting tale, but rather one about a mouse of a man that didn't roar.
Say something about yourself!
I can understand some of the earlier reviewers' comments about the main character in this book. Charles is not strong! He is not clearly focussed! He makes some really stupid choices! Is that all that unrealistic a description of many people in the real world -- maybe even some of us?
I found "Derailed" to be generally fascinating. It was often frustrating when Charles did something that I could not agree with but I had little problem in seeing his own changing motivations. The greatest book ever written? Hardly! An excellent and fun (often disturbing) read? Absolutely.
I would be remiss if I did not comment favorably on Gregory Harrison's reading. Excellent! He made me really hate that bad guy. I myself might even have . . . Well, we'll skip that.
This is the second time that I listened to it. The first time was about 8 years ago. Really a good read. Major suspenseful twist that I never saw coming the first time. One of the reasons I reread it was because I kept thinking about that twist and I wanted to listen again to how it was developed.
The big twist mentioned above.
Charles. The story was told from his perspective. Gregory Harrison is an excellent narrator. Did a fabulous job.
Yeah....I also saw the movie about ten years ago. Guess I really like the story. Oh...Jennifer Aniston starred as Lucinda, so I was seeing her as I listened to the book. Made it even better. I think it is one of her best movies.
I don't give up on a book often but this one soon left me dry. It is so contrived that I wanted to yell at the author to get real; but if it had reality, this would been a very short story.
The story is very interesting.
The only unprovable event is the explosion in the hotel, and its timing.
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