©1994 John Dunning; (P)1995 Recorded Books
This intelligent and entertaining novel seems to be the start of a great new series - new to me, at least. Glad to find it! And, as usual, George Guidall is outstanding as a reader. He could read the phone book and I would listen.
This and Bookman's Wake are great mysteries by a wonderful author. Great characters, great plot, great writing.
I was unsure about this book when I purchsed the audio. I was not only surprised but extremely glad I had. This book was well written, has a few twists, and engaging plat, and believable characters. I read alot of books and many are from certain writers I follow, but I love to pick up something I have never heard of before and read. I am sometimes dissappointed but this book was an enlightenment. I will now add this author to my list that I buy everything they write, and I mean hard copies also.
I will listen to anything that George Guidall reads and he reads the best of them. This was my first Janway mystery and I plan on doing all of them. great story and of course terrific narrator. One should listen to Craig Johnson's books read by Guidal, another great writer and series of books.
I really enjoyed looking at the world of rare books from this author's perspective. I found the mystery good, with just the right twists and turns. I would recommend reading this book before the others in the series. It makes more sense that way.
This book can't decide if it wants to be a murder mystery or a story about the book trade -- I ended up not caring about either. However, the worst sin is the waste of George Guidall's golden voice. Mr. Guidall is one of the most talented folks in the business but his voice is not right for this book. The protagonist is supposed to be 36 y/o. Mr. Guidall can do a lot of things but he does not sound like a convincing 36 y/o.
I did learn a lot about the book trade though and I liked that part
I enjoyed this book very much, and was anxious to read every time I picked it up. One of the things that makes a good book for me is the degree that the characters have been cultivated and whether or not I develop an affinity for them. In this case I was able to enjoy just about all of the players. What kept me from giving it another star was the fact that the female character was described as having been paralyzed with fear and paranoia after suffering a brutal attack, and not gradually, but instantly was able to overcome it. The fact that her son was in trouble was a great motivator, but her degree of recovery was just a little over the top for me. I understand the author's purpose in writing about the computer sex... that it was a way to communicate the fact that in spite of her history she still had needs and desires, but I don't think that they were required to be graphic and I therefore found it objectionable. Otherwise, I liked this story.
It's a good thing I didn't read the Janeway series in sequence because if I'd started with this I'd never have read another. And that would be a shame, because his writing gets better as the years go by.
At this stage, Janeway is a pompous, opinionated blowhard, an antique "tough guy" who would suit an old Shell Scott fan. He's self-important, self-congratulating, and self-absorbed. In his own mind, he's a liberal but, if he said that out loud at a dinner party, all the genuine liberals would roll their eyes. They wouldn't say anything, though, because they'd know in advance that Janeway would dismiss any argument.
The story isn't that good, either, filled with tired, overworked stuff about vulnerability, "the lone cowboy," and the agonies of commitment.
On the plus, there's a good depiction of the dilemma of "helping" a battered woman. But the portrayal of the love-interest's personality is a flop, albeit unconventional.
At one point, Janeway says that there's nothing wrong with writing mysteries provided you do it well, and fortunately the author puts this into practice in later novels.
The reader sounds too elderly for the part (Janeway is 36 at this time). He turns reading into pompous pronouncements, over-emphasizing nearly all words. He sounds like the kind of guy who would dominate a group conversation, or tell his date how she ought to dress. This multiplies the offensiveness of the protaganist's personality.
George is the best the best reader in the world. End of discussion. John Downing rights amazingly interesting and well plotted books about books just great!
I'd recommend it to a friend who was interested in books. For one who is not, the plot itself might seem a bit thin.
The amount one learns about books, book lore, book collecting, how bookstores make money, and so forth. It's a rich brew for booklovers.
The protagonist's visit to the reclusive, female book collector in the mountains.
The plot is a bit rambling. There are red herrings and an ultimately logical conclusion, but if you aren't a booklover you might find it tedious in places. You do want to hear more about the characters, which the subsequent books in the series will provide.
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