From the throne room of crime lords to the Vegas strip, from two-bit wiseguys with a genius for dangerous liasions to gangster's molls in jeopardy, from larceny to homicide, Spenser and Hawk soon discover that what's at stake in this game is not an ardent groom and her blushing bride, but control of gangland Boston. Against the bright lights and seamy side streets of Las Vegas, they find themselves dead center in a circus of violence whose shadowy ringmaster is all too familiar.
Crack another case with Spenser.
©1997 Robert B. Parker; (P)2009 Phoenix
This is a good story with a lot of action and mystery. Hawk and Susan are in the story, and that is alway a plus for me; however, the presentation is not at all good. Burt Reynolds does NOT do a good Spencer voice and the accents he uses for his other characters are just over the top. He also does NOT to a good Hawk. I really had a hard time listening to this audiobook - it was a chore to listen all the way through. The only reason it got a "2" instead of a "1" from me is because Robert Parker did his usual good writing job. Too bad Burt Reynolds ruined it.
I STILL enjoyed the book...Parker is a master at this sort of thing, and, like all Spenser novels, the book itself is a pleasure.
Burt Reynolds? That's more complicated. On the plus side, his voice has the sort of gravitas required to make a crime novel into a successful audiobook. Then there's the minus side; Reynolds continually, destroys the meaning of sentences by not understanding the syntax. He pronounces "moot", as in "it's a moot point", as "mute". All of this sort of stuff is annoying, especially in someone who is ostensibly an actor....but the voices are the worst...any blue collar character is invested with an accent that sounds straight from Alabama or Mississippi, which would be fine, except for the fact that the book is set in Boston. Occasionally, a character WILL start out with a Boston accent, but it always becomes a southern accent within 30 seconds or so. White collar characters all sound like the worst parody of an effete ivy leaguer. Hawk comes off okay, and Spenser, most erudite of PIs, is okay aside from often mispronouncing words.
In short, the reading is almost bad enough to destroy the enjoyment of the book, but not quite...still, given a choice, I'd much prefer listening to Joe Mantegna or Michael Pritchard, both of whom do Spenser justice.
AS soon as Burt Reynolds mispronounced the first word early in the listening, I knew it was going to be rough. And his rendition of Hawkis terrible. Joe Mantegna is the best narrator for this series.
Any of Spencer's wisecracking.
"Bernard J. FORTUNO"?"LiBERRY"?Makes Hawk sound like an idiot.Narration is so bad, it is difficult to listen to.
Won't listen to this one again.
Hire a different narrator. I read the hardback version of this book and was looking forward to listening to the audio version. I did not expect to be chronically irritated and distracted by Reynolds' phlegmy, gutteral, whiny versions of the voices...to the point that I removed my earplugs every time Jesse Ventura began to speak. Also, he mispronounced simple words in the text. What a shame. This is a terrific story that was ruined by a totally inept narrator.
Burt Reynolds was a charming actor, and I've heard him read one other Parker book. In the other novel, his voice didn't flummox me with its grating, unrealistic tone. In CHANCE the narration was so distracting that it was impossible to ignore its poor quality to listen to the story. It sounded as though he needed to clear his throat or nose. In addition, I resent the mispronunciation of words over and over again. Very unprofessional.
I would edit every scene in which Shirley Ventura appears. The scene between Spenser and Shirley in a restaurant was overly long and painful to read, and her drunken, loutish behavior didn't contribute to the story.
A Spencer Novel is always a welcome read. If you remember the TV program you can just see Robert Ulrich as Spencer. Miss those programs, but try to read all Spencer books.
Hawk is always my favorite, cool, no-nonsense character.
I buy audio books to listen to during my commute and for taking long walks.
Burt Reynolds was very good at the character voices. I was not expecting much, but was pleasantly surprised.
Good plot. I am currently addicted to listening to my pal Spenser when i go walking. This kept me entertained.
Did not have a favorite
These books are 'mind candy' for me. Fun, good writing, some suspense, entertaining. I laughed out loud at some of Spenser's cracks, but 'moved'?
Perhaps someday. Rarely listen twice.
I felt that the narrator made the book real for me - all the voices perfect. I could see the entire story unfold in my mind's eye.
I teach American Literature and am the proud daddy of a 2 year old.
Burt Reynolds performance. He seems to understand the cadence of Parker's writing in a way other audiobook readers don't.
What a pity the publisher decided to go with Joe M. as the reader on the majority of the series. Reynolds reading Parker is a true treat.
The characters were very well described but the story dragged in places. Burt Reynolds narration was good. A little more action would have been nice.
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