©2007 Clive Cussler; (P)2007 Penguin
"Cussler takes a breather from his several ongoing series with this historical thriller set in the western states, circa 1906. The U.S. government hires the renowned Van Dorn Detective Agency and its equally renowned lead agent, Isaac Bell, to capture the bank robber known as the Butcher Bandit....Once San Francisco gets hit by the 1906 earthquake and the principals climb aboard a pair of fire-breathing locomotives, the novel cranks up a head of steam and some high-speed thrills." (Publishers Weekly)
I love Clive Cussler but never ventured to try this series because I generally do not enjoy books set in the early 1900's, particularily in the Western US. Boy was I surprised. This book has all of the fast paced adventures of his other thrillers. I love Isaac Bell just as much as I love all of his other heros beginning with Dirk Pit. If you like the NUMA adventures, or the Oregon adventures you will love the Chase and Isaac Bell.
anyone but him
I will be more careful to choose books with a less boring/irritating reader
Scott Brick must be one of the worst narrators ever. This is the second book of his I have listened to and I have disliked both. His style is very over-the-top. He is too dramatic and his sentences too often reach an unneeded crescendo. Half the time he cannot keep his voices and accents straight and in one instance a French accent slowly turns into a badly done Irish accent. When he isn't whipping himself into a frenzy or botching the voices, he sounds just plain haughty.
The book itself is just ok. Period references are good if they are done correctly. This book just squeaks by in that department. It starts to get a little annoying with the references (yes, we know 85 miles an hour was fast in 1906), but then backs off before it gets TOO bad. The ending cannot be described as anything but cheesy.
I know this book had a lot of positive reviews, but it just was not compelling in the least for me. I gave it a couple of hours and then I was so disinterested I had to turn it off. The narration was good, but the story was flat. Villain is super-evil and supremely competent. Hero is oh-so-handsome with beautiful blue eyes and lighting-quick reflexes. Oh, did I mention he has beautiful blue eyes? Cussler does many times in the first couple of hours. The villain seemed boring even when killing people before jumping in his super-fancy undercover boxcar for his escape. Oh well, on to the next book...
This was a fun adventure which takes place in the American west in the early 20th century. I enjoyed the characters and thought Scott Brick did a good job with the material. I plan on getting the next book in the series.
I've read and listened to a lot of Clive Cussler's works. I'm a huge Dirk Pitt fan. With Isaac Bell we get a glimpse of what Drik Pitt might have been if he came of age 100 years ago. The series takes you from coast to coast, but while the books are fast paced and full of twists, Bell has to travel by train for cross-country trips.
The Chase is a good foundation for the Isaac Bell series. I recommend reading them in order because just like Cussler's other books, these build on each other as well.
I loved getting a glimpse into life 100 years ago. So many of the conveniences we take for granted weren't even enjoyed by the most wealthy individuals of the day. As with any Cussler book, he describes the means of transportation in great detail so you get a real of being in the train or early automobile.
Clive Cussler's solo entry (without a co-author) into the Bell series is fraught with peril, the badest of the bad guys, a lovely heroine and evil woman and Scott Brick brings it all together. Some say Brick's delivery is "over the top," -- for something like this, not in the least. His delivery is spot-on with accents, wonderful women impersonations without going into faux castrati falsettos. Because I so like Scott Bricks work, I'll tend to simply purchase an audio book if he's the reader. An audio book can be made or broken by the reader and so far, I have never been disappointed by Scott Brick's readings.
Usually I find Clive Cussler's books a strong 3-star listen, a combination of adventure and legend, but all this one amounted to was a very drawn-out history lesson. It didn't help that all the characters were terribly flat and that way too much time was spent on detailing automobiles and trains (obviously a passion of the authors.) The narrator, Scott Brick, didn't have much to work with here. He usually adds to the audio experience but came off just as dull as the book in this one.
Liked how it started and came to a full circle and left you ready for the next turn
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content