15 thriller masters. 1 masterful thriller.
Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, locked within its handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to America to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat will come from a shadowy figure out of his past: the man known only as Faust.
The Chopin Manuscript is a unique collaboration by 15 of the world's greatest thriller writers. Jeffery Deaver conceived the characters and set the plot in motion; the other authors each wrote a chapter in turn. Deaver then completed what he started, bringing The Chopin Manuscript to its explosive conclusion.
The Chopin Manuscript was written by:
Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme series)
David Hewson (Nic Costa series)
James Grady (Six Days of the Condor)
S. J. Rozan (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series)
Erica Spindler (Last Known Victim)
John Ramsey Miller (Winter Massey series)
David Corbett (Blood of Paradise)
John Gilstrap (Scott Free)
Joseph Finder (Power Play)
Jim Fusilli (Terry Orr series)
Peter Spiegelman (John March series)
Ralph Pezzullo (Jawbreaker)
Lisa Scottoline (Daddy's Girl)
P.J. Parrish (Louis Kincaid, Joe Frye series)
Lee Child (Jack Reacher series)
© 2007 International Thriller Writers, Inc., Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, David Hewson, James Grady, S. J. Rozan, Erica Spindler, John Ramsey Miller, David Corbett, John Gilstrap, Joseph Finder, Jim Fusilli, Peter Spiegelman, Ralph Pezzullo, Lisa Scottoline, and P. J. Parrish (P) 2007 Audible, Inc.
"Innovative and unique, The Chopin Manuscript, written by masters in the field of thrillers, is far more than the sum of its parts. Here each author shines, blending individual skill and energy, into a riveting, crackling-paced tapestry of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Not to be missed!" (James Rollins, author of The Judas Strain)
"A GREAT story, written by one GREAT author after another, in one GREAT chapter after another. A stellar achievement of collectivity that blows from the starting gate at 100 mph and never slows down. A thrill-a-page from 15 GREAT thriller masters. Don't miss this one." (Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal)
American Harold Middleton is a music professor and former war crimes investigator who is called to Poland to assess whether or not a manuscript purported to be an original, previously undiscovered, Chopin is genuine or a fake. However, the man that Harold meets with is murdered soon after their meeting and it soon becomes clear that there is more to the manuscript than mere rarity.
For what is essentially a publishing gimmick the book is delightfully entertaining. The plot rollicks along with red herrings and shocking twists aplenty, just as a good thriller should. The only evidence that the story is written by 15 different people is that there are perhaps a few more characters than normal, but the upside to that is that there are more genuine surprises than you might expect with a book authored by a sole writer who has pet characters and plot threads. There are several themes which are carried throughout the book, such as the role of music, and these help to produce a surprisingly cohesive story.
None of the characters are particularly well developed, there are too many and the book too short for that, but as this is a book all about a fast paced plot that's not a huge turnoff on this occasion. There was enough information to glean about Harold, his daughter Charlie, the evil Faust and a few of the other characters to engage my interest and keep me listening.
The book is narrated by actor Alfred Molina who does a superb job of handling the dialogue-rich story which features a couple of dozen characters.
This was really an excellent book! It could have turned out to be awful with so many fingers in the pudding, but it was just the opposite. I found it unique and I couldn't wait to see where the next author took us. The two winner short stories were a nice addition. Thank you writers for such excellent work and story line. It was a real great read.
Each chapter of this book was written by a different author, the promise was to have a seamless story. And it is seamless, yet noting the difference in writing style, slightly different prose was fascinating. I READ books to enjoy the use of language and style; I usually listen to books that are just plain engrossing and fun. In this book I was able to experience both. Enjoyable, good listen!
I loved how each author made his/her chapter as exciting as possible and with its own arc that still fit into the arc of the overall story. The characters are fun. Well worth it.
This is an amazing story. It is fast paced, and really action-packed. The plot, to be put simply, is similar to the DaVinci Code. Harry Middleton holds a rare manuscript, and someone is out to get it from him. This someone will kill anyone who stands in the way, including Harry.
It has a really good plot and story behind it, but the only thing is that near the beginning they introduce so many different characters that it is difficult to keep everyone straight in your mind. Once you get down who the people are and their relationship to protagonist Harry Middleton, it flows nicely and is a really cool story.
Alfred Molina does a wonderful job bringing the story to life. I couldn't wait to get in my car after school knowing that I had this book waiting for me! Hope you enjoy!
I've only recently found this audio book and have enjoyed it so much I immediately bought The Copper Bracelet. Not only was I fascinated by the concept but all the threads opened up by each of the writers were immensely intriguing. The way Jeffery Deaver pulled it altogether in the last chapter was extraordinary. Kudos to all for taking up the challenge and participating in it so brilliantly.
Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child have always been favourites of mine and I can't wait for their new works to come out. Not only is The Chopin Manuscript a really, really good listen, but it's opened my eyes and ears to a whole other group of writers that I am now going to investigate as potential favourite authors too. Good going Gentlemen & Ladies!!
With so many authors, it is hard to believe that such a cohesive and engaging story. This book keeps you guessing until the end and the authors seemed to challenge each other by twisting the expected storyline into completely unforeseen directions.
I am not english native. I do buy english audiobooks to learn english and to get entertained at the sametime. :o)
About the book: I liked it very much, but: Plot has many twists, many characters do survive about 15 seconds :o) Characers are described only vaguely... Everybody is shooting everyone without hesitation. It is reminding me B action film. Entertainment only, do not look for something more. Anyway, I would buy that one again.
I was very reluctant to try this, hating the idea of multiple authors working in any which direction on the same story. But, it worked surprisingly well, perhaps thanks to the skill of the narrator. Anyway, I liked it.
The only negative about this audiobook is that the bonus short stories seem a bit lackluster after hearing the book itself.
The writing, performance, and overall presentation are nearly unmatched. No wonder this was the audiobook of the year. Why did I not listen to this sooner? Simply remarkable.
"NOT the way to write a book"
A big mistake, each author seems to vie with the other to outstrip his predecessor, the body count makes the final scene in Hamlet look like a storm in a tea-cup. A very unsatisfying listen, suspension of disbelief zero, you could not 'trust' the author because there was no 'direction'.
Narration was excellent.
I wouldn't usually buy books of this genre, but I thought it sounded like an interesting prospect so I decided to give it a try. It didn't win me over to the genre, though I did buy the sequel, 'The Copper Bracelet' (although I haven't actually had the inclination to listen to it yet!) So as you can see, I have mixed feelings about this book.
You have to take this book for what it is. If you're expecting a great thriller then you'll probably be disappointed. Of course the way it has been written doesn't lend itself to being a literary masterpiece. But if you accept that and take it as a bit of a novelty, an experiment, then it's reasonably enjoyable to listen to.
Yes, it doesn't always flow well. Yes, authors tend to do all the things you might expect - change the character's personalities, put in dubious twists, kill off some characters and invent other new ones. But in my view these issues are not as serious as some other reviewers suggest.
There were chapters I really enjoyed and chapters I didn't like at all.
All in all, take it for what it is. It's not a great novel, but it's an interesting experiment, different to most of the other books you read/listen to. If you're up for that, give this book a try.
"Really interesting concept."
I downloaded this out of curiosity more than a desire to hear a thriller and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it could be disjointed or confusing but it wasn't. The plot was tantalising, the characters developed through each chapter and the story flowed. Whilst you could tell the different styles of the authors and their way of writing this genre it made for a satisfying journey and insight in to their own writing. I liked this style a lot, it was stimulating. Will download another of this style.
I found there were a lot of twists, some predictable some not. Kept me interested and wanting to hear more
I listened in two sittings - only the need to sleep stopped me from doing it in one. The 'consequences' format ensured that there was tremendous energy and pace in as each author brought a fresh note to the evolving and involving tale. The choice of Alfred Molina for narrator was a master stroke.
Selected this for a long drive to Cornwall, love Deaver's work but not read much by any of the others. I was absolutely hooked in the first 5 minutes and was devastated just over 4 hours later when I arrived at my destination with no chance to hear the end for a couple of days. The story had so many twists that it really kept me guessing and just when you thought you had it worked out it headed in a different direction. Brilliant!!!!
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