But only an hour into the trip, they're already falling apart. The teenage daughter plans to drown herself, and the teenage boy is high on drugs. Ten-year-old Ernie is near catatonic. Still, their mother, Anne, with the help of her brother-in-law, Jeff, is insistent on pulling everyone together, once and for all.
Just when things start to take a turn for the better, disaster strikes. Stuart is left to pick up the pieces and find his family - but he is eager to start a brand new life.
Maybe he's a little too eager.
©2008 James Patterson; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
This is Swiss family Robinson meets unbelievably stupid high powered bad people. It wrecked my "willing suspension of disbelief" from chapter 3, and there were 115 or so chapters.
If you recall Swiss Family Robinson, it portrayed adventure on the high seas and described survival in the wild in naiive terms that appeal to young boys. It is a classic, but it is a children's book from another time and we excuse it for its flaws.
SAIL is written for adults who are savvy to the ways of the world, and it disappoints them. It lacks understanding of processes within biology, physics, psychology, sociology and social systems. From the outset, there are questionable characters who have way too much money and way too much education to behave as they do. I lost interest in any motivation they might have because they are just way out of their own leagues to be believable.
The events in the book give me a headache. Details of sailing, ocean currents, shark behavior, hypothermia, floatation devices, boxes floating on the sea, Coast Guard searches, all of these made me wince. The characters should have been dead within 10 minutes of their big "disaster". The snake scene with the constrictor is laughable, as the author obviously never watched a snake take down prey. That scene still irks me.
The bad guys end up being inconceivably naiive, for an attorney and a CIA man. The good guys are way too lucky for the events that transpire. The only thing that keeps any of them alive is the author who employs Deus ex Machina not on purpose, but simply through ignorance that he killed them already.
At some point, I came to the conclusion that nobody helped this author at all with his story. He had no editorial input, no Devil's Advocate, no foil. When I read the cover summary of the book, I burst out laughing; the summary is written with the wrong details--whoever wrote it didn't even read the book! What a shame that Patterson had his name on the cover.
I don't write many reviews, but after throwing out the last three downloaded books, I thought this one should be rated. This book held my interest and I listened to the whole thing. You must suspend your disbelief in some parts, but it is fiction and literary license comes into play. I think this book is a little jewel and is the reason I continue on at audible.com. Finding one that holds your interest and makes you want to turn off the tv and listen to it is too rare. Worth the credit.
It's my 2nd audiobook from James Patterson and I must admit, I've read a number of his regular paper books, so you can call me his fan. I like his books for fast pace, actions, nice plots and also the easy language, since I'm not a native English speaker.
Although 'Sail' is not part of my favorite series such as Alex Cross or Women's Murder Club, it has some of the nice features of JamesP's books: interesting plot, unexpected turns, good mix of hopes and disillusions. Both Dylan Baker and Jennifer van Dyke did a great job as narrators, and although I slightly prefers Carolyn McCormick, when it comes to JamesP books, it's refreshing to listen to 2 voices. Both narrators play male/females roles.
The weakness and the reason why I didn't give 5 stars to that book is the main character. She didn't seem to be very realistic and it kind of frustrated me. On one hand, she was supposed to be a role model for her whole family, but she didn't want to tell them her little secrets and she also wanted to 'saved' them by giving them false hopes. Too pedagogical, I'd say.
There were also couple holes in the plot, like who was the pilot on the way back? Why the hearth attack was not examined? Why they didn't see the plane turning back to the island, etc.
Perhaps the author wanted to make us to think about it. Or, the deadline for printing the book came sooner than expected.
Anyway, despite of all these negative comments I just made, it's an excellent book for the 7h flight. Better than any movie you could see on the AMS->SFO flight. In case you haven't read any of the JamesP books, start with some of his earlier books though.
I've listened to many books from audible, and of those, quite a few have been from James Patterson singly or with a co-author. Some of the JP books have gotten trite, and predictable. This one, while there were some scenes that were expected and slightly contrived (shark scene), for the most part kept my attention and really had good character development and plot. The character of Ellen is a bit of a mystery to figure out at first, but then when you understand how she is involved in the story, it makes for an interesting sub-plot. This book is well worth the credit...go for it!
This book is a great listen, however I really could do without the dopey, soap opera type music every time there is an intense moment. It really detracts from a great story with lots of twists and turns and an unpredictable ending.
This was by far one of Patterson's best works I have listened to in awhile. I just loved how at the end of each chapter he left you hanging a little. Although I thought I figured out who dun it in the end I was wrong. A thriller that keeps you wanting to hear more.
OMG!!! I truly enjoyed this book! I found myself sneaking off to the ladies room at work just so I can listen more after lunch! I highly recommend this one!
I disagree with some of the criticisms of this book. It was a little unbelievable, but certainly entertaining. After "You've Been Warned" I was a little leary of this book. I was not disappointed. I liked the readers and very much enjoyed this audio book. Definitely felt that I got my money's worth.
Love books. Always reading a book at home, plus I listen on my MP3 every working day during breaks, lunch, and when alone, while driving.
This is one story that can be listened to over and over (read the book, too). Don't let the mellow beginning deceive. These authors have made the characters real - you are "sea swept" from the start.
Up Close and Dangerous is very comparable; a definite keeper to hear over and over. Read the book also.
I cannot choose - both were great; their voices and reading rhythm made an awesome combination, which turned the story into an "adventure."
The way the interaction was written between the family: mother's frustration, uncle's irritation, then the way he took charge. Attitude and dialog of the teen boy and girl - their reactions were believable. Laugh out loud funny; an absolute sad, crying part; a great "Yes!" ending.
I am a thriller addict and love anything with great dialog and edge of seat action...this had it all.
Once you start you don't want to put it down. Patterson has done it again, he reels you in from the beginning and just keeps you hanging until the very end.
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