Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd.
But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie. Whoever the mourning widow is, she’s been married to Todd for almost two decades, and with that fact, everything Jake thought he knew about the best time of his life - a time he has never gotten over - is turned completely inside out.
As Jake searches for the truth, his picture-perfect memories of Natalie begin to unravel. Mutual friends of the couple either can’t be found or don’t remember Jake. No one has seen Natalie in years. Jake’s search for the woman who broke his heart, who lied to him, soon puts his very life at risk as it dawns on him that the man he has become may be based on a carefully constructed fiction.
Harlan Coben once again delivers a shocking novel that deftly explores the power of past love and the secrets and lies that such love can hide.
©2013 Harlan Coben (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
We enjoyed this book, loved the premise, the plot twists and the characters, however the narration was too slow. We increased the narration speed up 2x and stuck with it. This is not classic literature, or heavy in any way; just a story my husband and I could agree on to kill time on the road.
Coben may as well have started out, "It was a dark and stormy night..." because "Six Years" is as close to a melodrama as anything I've had the misfortune to read (or listen to) in a very long time.
Actually, it starts out just fine -- for the first hour or so, I was interested, thinking I'd found a good one. But then alas, the love bug bites. On and on and on, big-guy Jake Fisher protagonist (literally, a big strapping linebacker kind of guy) shifts into serious moaning over his lost love, Natalie, who he'd dated for three months six years ago, but who had then ditched him and immediately married someone else. At her wedding -- to which he went, but of course! -- Natalie begged him to 'leave us alone', and for six years, Jake did. But then....
From that point on, it was surreal. I tried to play this 'theater of the mind' out in my head. It's so unseemly: Here's this big guy, a tenured professor of political science, well liked among students, who spends HOURS our of time moaning, whining, fantasizing and carrying on about his lost love Natalie, how it was so earthshakingly "special", how theirs was a once in a lifetime passion, no one else could ever understand, no other woman would ever do, how their love will last forever, even if they never see each other again... ta da, ta da....
You get the idea. If that had been a woman carrying on like that, we would have said, "Sheesh, girl! Get over it! He married someone else! Move on!" But since it's a guy weeping and emoting all over the pages like that, I guess we're supposed to believe that it's just a manly man, getting in touch with his feelings.. How sweet.
In fact, he goes on for so long, with no indication whatever of EVER quitting, I started to wonder if the Jake the protagonist was going to become a stalker. Was THAT the plot? Then I started to think: I suppose most of us women, at one time or another, had a relationship with a man who simply wouldn't give up, who kept on and on, to the point that we felt actual fear. For most of us, time was the cure. the guy went away, eventually. But here's Jake. Doesn't look like he'll ever move on --
Unfortunately, this is not a stalker book. That might have been more interesting. Suffice it to say that Jack Fisher is a lovesick mess, pure and simple. The plot is inherently incredible -- doesn't matter what it is, in the face of so much sloppy love talk the plot takes second place. Who cares?
And while I've greatly enjoyed many of Scott Brick's narrations -- especially Nelson DeMille's Jon Corey series -- this one is absolutely insufferable. Brick's overwrought reading -- literally groaning with unrequited love, now and then -- brings on barf-time. Lemme outta here, this is BAD. Save your credit and remember Harlan Coben when he wrote really good thrillers, not sloppy fourth-rate romance.
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As a rule I tend not to like thrillers because they’re all more or less the same; predictable, overdramatic, and nonsensical - you really have to suspend disbelief in order to go along with the almost always preposterous plot! This book followed right along those lines.
It came as no surprise to me that “the best friend had secrets and was not what he seemed” and that “the police won’t believe our hero’s story so he feels compelled to solve the mystery on his own”. Nevertheless, I found the story pretty good and I was genuinely interested in what would happen next. Unlike most thrillers, I could not guess the twists in advance.
Saccharine happily-ever-after ending aside, it was quite a compelling read!
Lauren Sanders-Jones, author
This book seems to have been written under a deadline. The storyline is contrived and predictable, and lacks Harlan Coben's usual verve.
The story line is contrived. Everything about it seems forced, and I found myself rolling my eyes at its predictability. There is nothing believable about this one and only love Jake Fisher professes for Natalie Avery. This is the first time I've ever been let down by a Harlan Coben novel, and I hope it is the last time.
(I can't limit it to three words; sorry.) Aside from Brick's annoying inability to say post-vocalic L (he says "sef" every time he pronounces the word "self," for example), Brick does the best he can with this book. He overplays the scenes in which Jake professes his undying love for Natalie.
Sometimes the real Coben shines forth with glimpses of his humor and clever turns of phrase.
No, I wouldn't listen to Six Years again because of Scott Brick's narration. Coben's writing style is good, really nice in fact, a genre I like. But I always avoid anything narrated by SB. This time I took the plunge..and was disappointed all over again. Sorry, I won't go that route again.
The six years of hope and love that never got lost.
Pick a different narrator!
No, small portions please.
No. People make fun of the teen series - Twilight - for the female character being so love sick. Well, to have the adult, male lead, (a professor at that) be so besotted be puts lives in danger is just nauseating.
Yes, I have really enjoyed the books of his I have read. This one was good in so many ways, but a love sick, educated male is off putting. I ended up despising the lead chapter.
Didn't really have one.
Yes, to watch TV and take a break from an overload of - you can't call this romance because that type of love is in no way romantic.
I usually really enjoy this author...but, this story was difficult to keep on reading. Very slow for the first half of the book then the story line moved along a bit faster. The story was just interesting enough to have to finish in order to see what happened. It felt like it took six years to read. As usual, Scott Brick read the character excellently but the story was just not satisfying.
All of it
Scott Brick is wonderful in all character parts, but even he could not have salvaged this mess !!
No editor in his/her right mind would have read past the first chapter/
Too many to count in this limited space.
My first Coben novel and I was disappointed by the story and the narrator, but because other reviewers indicate his earlier novels are superior to this I will try again.
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