Corrupt constabulary, meth lab crackers, and deranged evangelicals rear their ugly heads and when Swagger picks up where Nikki left off, his swift sword of justice is let loose. All of it is set against the backdrop of the excitement and insanity that only a weeklong NASCAR event can bring to the backwoods of a town as seemingly sleepy as Bristol, VA. A master at the top of his game, Hunter provides a host of riveting new reasons to read as fast as we can. Stephen Hunter is the best-selling author of The 47th Samurai, Havana, and Pale Horse Coming, among other titles.
©2008 Stephen Hunter; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Hunter retired from the Washington Post last July. This book feels like it was dashed off from notes found in the bottom drawer while cleaning out his desk. There are glaring editorial mistakes (e.g., in the first paragraph, the gun is knocked from the bad guy's hand and lands several feet away; in the next paragraph, the officer takes the same gun out of the bad guy's hand). Since I do not have a hard copy of this book, I cannot tell for certain whether this reading is truly unabridged. At several points the plot skips, or characters disappear without explanation, never to return. As a result, the book sounds like a poor abridgement. Of course, it may just be poor editing. This book has none of the immediacy or sharply-drawn characters of Hunter's best work, "Point of Impact" and "Black Light." The Bob Lee Swagger of this book is but a faint, false apparition of the BLS in "Point of Impact." Read POI and see whether you can imagine that character hanging out at a NASCAR race. Hunter should have allowed BLS to retire after "Time to Hunt" and invented new characters or continued to flesh-out Earl Swagger instead of subjecting the noble BLS to such humiliation. Buck Shirner was the wrong choice to read this book. I do not know Shirner's ethnicity, but his voice has a distinctly Native American intonation and cadence inappropriate for southern good ol' boys like BLS and the Grumleys. This is not intended as a criticism of Shirner as a reader. His voice is mismatched to the material. (Imagine, say, Burt Reynolds reading Patrick O'Brian.) Will Patton or Jay O. Sanders would have improved the listening experience, but neither could have saved this book from itself. It pains me to criticize Hunter's work so harshly; he has been one of my favorite authors and I have all of his books. This one should never have been released.
read all of stephen hunter's earlier books and found this one unsatisfying. started off well, and the initial premise
kept me going, but the story diverted. i started tuning out
at the end. got tired of the reader. a little too folksy for me.
This book was horrible. I have enjoyed other Stephen Hunter novels, but I couldn't finish this one. I listen or read the Swagger series because I enjoy the sniper aspect, and have always seen Hunter as the Clancy of sniper novels, but this one was like watching the Silver Surfer on a boogie board. The narrator made me think he would break out at any moment and say "Looks like them Duke boys have gotten themselves into a mess again." Wow this book sucked.
Story is bad; characters are not believable; dialogue is third grade; protagonist is unrealistic
Not sure; I enjoyed some of his other books but this one was terrible. It is like he decided he could make money putting just any junk out and sell them just based on his reputation.
want my money back on this one
Yes, I had and I will again. I love the Lee Swagger character and the almost-Eastwood nature of Schirner's rendition, which is perfect for the role. However, I couldn't keep my attention on the story line and I was disappointed by the Hollywood style ending.
Yes, but I will select with caution.
Good as always.
Not at all.
This seems like a script for a cheesy blow-em-up movie, Hunter can do better.
We love Bob Lee Swagger. Despite his age, he still gets his man or should we say men. Devoted to his family - and tough as nails on top of it.
As a lifelong NASCAR fan I can attest, Hunter absolutely nailed piecing these two worlds together. His description and use of Bristol Motor Speedway couldn't be better. It made the reading/listening to this book much more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. Thusly, I'm grateful to Stephen Hunter. ...and 'Bob Lee Swagger'.
Well written, well narrated, very well received.
I have long since been a big fan of Bob Lee and his Father and look forward to every next book. After 47th Samari I was not sure if Hunter had anything else left (it was such a far stretch) but this book was fantastic. Bob Lee at his best and in his environment. Bob kicks butt even if he is getting old.
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