KOKO. Only four men knew what it meant. Now they must stop it. They are Vietnam vets — a doctor, a lawyer, a working stiff, and a writer. Very different from each other, they are nonetheless linked by a shared history and a single shattering secret. Now, they have been reunited and are about to embark on a quest that will take them from Washington, D.C., to the graveyards and fleshpots of the Far East to the human jungle of New York, hunting someone from the past who has risen from the darkness to kill and kill and kill.
©2011 Peter Straub (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
“A masterpiece of terror.” (Los Angeles Times)
“Complexly plotted, thickly layered evil. . . . The ultimate horror.” (The New York Times Book Review)
“A dead-center hit. . . . A gripping, enthralling, nonstop read.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
I almost stopped listening to this book a few chapters in, because it seemed to start out too slowly. Eventually, however, I was caught up in the story, which built to a high level of mystery and suspense, with a satisfactory conclusion. I'm not sure where the next book in the trilogy will take the story, but I will probably listen to it when it is added to audible.com.
I generally like Straub's work, although he has been known to lard on the back story far more than necessary. As some of the other reviewers have already pointed out, Straub does this in Koko as well, though I found the back story itself, much of which consists of flashbacks to the experiences of various characters in Vietnam, to be interesting in its own right. I did not find these flashbacks hard to follow, though I could see how some readers might. However, I hit the point about a third or so into the book when I started wondering whether there would ever be anything resembling suspense in it. There is some suspense, especially toward the end of the book, but Straub has done far better both by himself (Floating Dragon, for instance) and in collaboration with Stephen King. The narrator was solid, but he lacked gravitas, and his emphasis in reading certain sentenses simply did not fit the context very well. All in all, I would recommend this book with some reservations to those who can listen at double speed or faster, so that the first seven or so hours take closer to four.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
This should not be listed under Horror. Your in the book four hours before you even meet the bad guy and then only briefly. After about six hours the story starts to pick up, but not well enough for me to stick with it. I made it over seven hours. I am about five years to young for the Vietnam War. I remember it on the t.v. when I was in grade school and wondered why gorillas where fighting in Asia. There is a lot about gays and transvestites. The story probably moves to slow even for the groups it is meant for to enjoy.
The story was far too slow. I realize a 20+ hour book will most likely have a fairly lengthy "character building" time but, unfortunately, this book took that to new extremes. Patrick Lawlor did a great job of trying to give life to something that arrived DOA. Straub should be ashamed of himself. He is a much better writer than this....at least I thought he was.
No, just the author.
Mr. Lawlor has a very wide range and does a good job of giving the characters life.
Only the narrator.
After listening to this book I now know who did the lion's share of the writing in the Talisman, a book Mr. Straub co-authored with Stephen King. That was an excellent book; Koko was not! Don't waste your credit on this book and take to heart what others have said about it.
2 hours in and Im done and would love to return. I purchased on sale but not worth going any further the characters are disjointed story line difficult to follow. Too many good books out there to continue with this.
Back to Dick Hill as a reader or Divina Porter
I couldn't stick with this book. I finished about 7 hours which is about a third of the book today, finally had enough and went to shuffle music on my ipod. The story had a lot of potential in my opinion. I thought the Vietnam flashbacks were compelling, but at least in the audiobook it is extremely difficult to follow. I have a feeling in print some of the story is bouncing back and forth between passages written in italics or something. If that's the case it is just really hard to follow and confusing.
I was also frustrated that I'm seven hours into the book and the plot has hardly advanced at all. Let's get on with it already.
Honestly, the past year I've listened to a TON of really great audiobooks. Maybe its spoiled me, and I'm lacking the patience for something like this.
weird, intriguing, surreal. seriously strange book. not really sure how to classify it otherwise. really looking forward to the remaining two stories.
Men who like this author's work
The Trinity Game
That's what did me in. It took me ages to first, get the names straight then, to get the characters straight. Then he kept bringing in new characters.
Not for me.
The book felt very crowded and the narration was too fast. That is possibly what his readers like.
My personal reality exists in the many adventures from Audible
I honestly tried! Again and again, I would go back a chapter or so and try to pay more attention. Not sure how far I made it, since the narrator seems to be announcing random numbers from the local lotto, at the start of a section: "4 - 22 - 2 - 8 ." What??? The storyline is confusing enough; wait...I am not sure if there is a storyline.
I couldn't keep track of the character names, the present/past, nor even the gender of the character.
Unless, you enjoy LONG, painfully narrated stories, with gender neutral character voices, and no easy way to keep track of time (both in reality and in the story); do not buy this title.
Usually, Peter Straub is a superb writer; I'm not certain if it is one of Stephen King's pen names or a co-writer for certain titles. Either way, this book (the 6 hours I actually heard) is dreadful.
A better story would have made this a better listen.
It was tedious and too long.
Performance was good.
Overall, I was very disappointed in this book.
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