©2009 Blake Crouch; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
This should have been a good book. The idea of an entire town going missing on Christmas night over 100 years ago sounds great. A group entering the town in current time and uncovering what happened also sounds like a great read/listen.
Instead this overly lengthy book describes what happens to one-dimensional characters that I really didn't care about at all. At about the two thirds mark, its as if the author suddenly realized he needed to give some attention to character development instead of endlessly describing the landscape.
The perpetrators of the worst acts in this book aren't really explored at all. Their acts so heinous with no real context that I was laughing out loud. Ridiclious!! And the mirroring of events from the past/present just got tiring.
I listened to the end because I love listening to Luke Daniels but I really didn't care at all about the end of the story. This might be a first for me. And the end was so silly I wondered what the editor was thinking.
Seriously, this could have been half the length and twice as good with a bit more thought.
Oh well, it got me through a very long drive so I should be happy for that. Sorry Mr Crouch.
I cannot say that I enjoyed this book but I can say that I had trouble turning it off. The narrator was superb and the author had some very interesting and fascinating plot twists. This book was disturbing, dark and depressing. I've had nightmares about it all week and find myself thinking about it quite a bit. I don't necesarily enjoy flowery, happy books but this author will give you just a glimmer of hope and then dash it away in the most miserable way possible. There is nothing but death and suffering from page 1. Be warned, there is no light at the end of this story. If all the death and misery doesn't bother you then you'll actually enjoy it. The narrator is excellent and really brings the characters to life.
Crouch keeps the story moving and the plot twists coming in this dark-but-entertaining suspense novel. I purchased it after listening to his superior (and, if I'm not mistaken, more recent) book Pines, which I highly recommend. Abandon is less satisfying, in part because it's central mystery is solved long before it ends and there were a few too many twists and coincidences for my taste. However, that's nitpicking and if you're looking for an entertaining thriller with some old west flavor (the novel flips back and forth and tells the story of Abandon in two different times), this book is a good ride.
I thought the narration was a little stiff but Luke Daniels seemed to warm up as he read and he did a nice job with accents and dialects. His overall performance, like the book itself, is solid.
The highlight for me was an unexpected bonus, a related short story at the end, read by the author, who does a fine job. I actually enjoyed it more than the novel itself!
The story was mildly interesting; the collinear aspect between the 1890 and 2009 sections being the highpoint. The low point: anachronistic dialogue. The narration was well done, with one exception. I usually avoid audio-books where the narrator makes a habit of performing a sharp loud inhalation before every few sentences. This one slipped by me.
I loved this story. It seems like it is hard to fine something that is really unique and interesting but this story delivered! I thoroughly enjoyed it and the two storys between the different time periods was fantastic. I am sure it helped that I love a good horror and anything with a historical twist is a huge plus for me but it wasn't just that. The narrator was great. I did not notice the intake of breath that another reviewer mentioned but I was not listening to this on my headphones either. Maybe I was just too caught up in the suspense? Note to the author: if you write up a really amazing story I don't think continual use of the F-word is necessary - just sayin'. I still gave it 5 stars because it didn't ruin it for me but I think it would have been just as good without say 50 of those.
I love to read, fly and play tennis. I always have a book and an audible book going at the same time. I'm a mystery/thriller junky.
This story is terrible...not in the way it was written terrible but the content, the actions of these people, their deaths and lives....in that order since it was more about their dying then their living. I couldn't get somethings out of my mind. As I try to go to sleep it creeps in days after I've finished it and started listening to something else. What they did to one woman is particularly heinous. I still cringe. It makes you wonder if people can really be this bad? I guess they can which is a very sad and sickening idea. I can't imagine going through any of this torture...that's what it was....horrible torture. I don't know whether to recommend this book or to tell everyone to stay away. Luke Daniels was wonderful once again as the reader. I really like him. He probably made it so real it helped effect me as well as the storyline. Read at your own peril!
This book is great. A good story that goes between the 1800's and present. I wouldn't normally like that kind of thing but this was done seamlessly. Great characters, setting and plot.
The story of Abandon had so much potential; a great idea for a story that just went to waste. A small, remote mining town high in the mountains and dual mysteries regarding the fate of the residents who all disappeared without a trace on Christmas night 100 years ago and the modern day explorers who hike up there (at a really stupid, stupid time of year) to try to solve the mystery or at least explore a really tantalizing little slice of history that has been nearly untouched. As a historian, that aspect of the book was the hook that drew me in to my misfortune. The story was quite implausible but I am okay with that to a certain extent. The problem is it really did just seem to be an exercise in abandoning hope, little by little, that the author would do anything at all to redeem this story. A great idea that just devolved into an allegory for the greed and heartlessness of man.The book might have been at least a 3 star read for me with a different ending in either of the time periods. I actually might have recommended it to family or friends who just like books that are a little darker than my preference but the ending of the modern timeline was ridiculous and unbelievable and the ending of the 19th century timeline, especially Lana's story was just plain old hideous. The storyline for the little girl, Harriet, could have been really "good" in a gruesome kind of way but the author didn't really fully develop it or follow through with it. Character development, or the lack thereof, could have been a LOT better in this book as well. He would begin to bring dimension to a character but then go off to something else and never come back. The historical aspect of the book was a letdown as well. Probably the most cruel blow for me personally. It was similar to his character development style in that all he seemed to care about was creating a world as dark and hopeless as possible.
The performance wasn't the issue. Luke Daniels did a decent job although his accent for the "bad guys" of 100 years ago was a bit cheesy.
The concept and the setting. Too bad they weren't put to good use.
For the first time ever with a book from Audible, I wish I could get those hours back.
yes this book is disturbing, in a captivating way. that is to be expected by blake crouch in which his writing reminds me of Jack Kilborn pen name for J. A. Konrath. the detailed history in this book of the early 20th century is great, the author really did his home work. the story jumps back and forth from early 1900 hundreds to present time. in which crouch does a admirable job making the story network together. the narrator does a stupendous job making the correctors seem so heartfelt. i recommend this to anyone who is looking for a phenomenal story. HIGHLY RECOMAND.. warning not to listen with children around..this book is and stays mature
No I would not I did not find it kept my attention.
The piano player but I don't remember her name. She had a story to tell and it was told all through the book in separate pieces.
OH Lord that's not a fair question since it wasn't my cup of tea. I think it would be awfully hard though with the way he goes back and forth from time periods. Characters yuc can't even imagine. I didn't even like the heroine that much.
It just wasn't for me, I am not saying it's a bad book or story, I just did not find it appealing. However you may love it, Would I listen to another book by him? Yes I would, just because I don't like one doesn't mean another won't be fantastic! The author has talent and I thank him for the story.
"I liked the story.....but"
the second half was more interesting. it felt like the link to the past took too long to transpire and the hints to paranormal that I found exciting also didn't come to anything. my mind did wonder on a few occasions so it didn't grip me but I liked the last couple of hours as the story intensified.
"Crouch never disappoints"
You can almost feel the cold isolation in this story. The tale seamlessly switches between 1893 and 2009 bleeding the information as to why a whole town disappeared Christmas night 1893.
This is a true tale of claustrophobic horror that had me wondering what I might do in that situation. Crouch is a master of dark story telling, no character is safe in his novels.
I was not massively impressed by the narration. There is no vocal distinction between male and female voices and the tone took some getting used to, that said I would not let it put me off other Crouch novels as the story compensated for the (in my opinion) less than brilliant narration.
There is a 40 minute short story at the end that is linked to one of the characters and events prior to 1893.
"An interesting read"
If you think this book is aimed at horror fans your wrong. It is a decent thriller and a story line that captures the imagination, but there is no supernatural elements to it which the summery hints at.
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