New York Times best-selling author Michael Gruber, a member of the elite ranks of those who can both “chill the blood and challenge the mind” (Denver Post), delivers a taut, multilayered, riveting novel of suspense.
Somewhere in Pakistan, Sonia Laghari and eight fellow members of a symposium on peace are being held captive by armed terrorists. Laghari, a deeply religious woman as well as a Jungian psychologist, has become the de facto leader of the kidnapped group. While her son, Theo, an ex-Delta soldier, uses his military connections to find and free the victims, Sonia Laghari tries to keep them all alive by working her way into the kidnappers’ psyches and interpreting their dreams. With her knowledge of their language, her familiarity with their religion, and her Jungian training, she confounds her captors with her insights and beliefs. When the kidnappers decide to kill their captives one by one, in retaliation for perceived crimes against their country, Theo races against the clock to try and save their lives.
©2010 Michael Gruber (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Superb….the brilliant character development and labyrinthine plot line, not to mention the absorbing history of modern jihadism and the U.S. war on terrorism, make this a provocative thriller that readers won't soon forget.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Gruber leaves his own mark on the thriller scene.” (New York Times)
“Gruber weaves the threads together masterfully while successfully exploring themes of family, duty, loyalty, cultural identity and more, without ever slowing the momentum. Smart, tense and vastly entertaining.” (Kirkus Reviews)
... the first 17, not so much. I found no sympathy for the two principal characters. Only Cynthia, the NSA employee, was interesting because she introduced some tension into the story. Add to that - Mr. Shah read the story as one would deliver a parable or fairy tale, rendering each description and dialogue broad and sweeping. A poor reading can ruin a good book; perhaps I would have enjoyed the story more had the delivery been more straightforward. Another of Mr. Gruber's books I read in hard copy was very good. But that's beside the point. *This* product was long, tiring, and boring.
A lot of this story dragged slowly on and on for me. There was too much discussion of religion, poetry and peace; and too much analyzing of the Muslim psyche. Furthermore, there were too many dream interpretations by one of the main characters, Sonia. I did not particularly like her, or her son Theo. Theo is not a very realistic character, and in fact, neither is his mother Sonia.
The story is way too long but does have an exciting ending. If you can drag yourself to the end, it may be worth it. To me it was not.
It is going to be hard for me to pick up another book written by Michael Gruber because I was so disappointed in this one. I definitely would not recommend this book.
if you are a fan of Michael Gruber he has a way of bringing a different land, culture and people into his books. the detail on the Koran and the practices of Islam is incredible. the characters have depth and you can relate to them even if you have nothing in common. A great book.
I listen to and have recently started to write reviews. I've found the reviews have helped me to select books.
Theo, the son of Sona Laghari, learned that his mother and fellow passengers who were traveling by bus to a conference on peace, had been captured by several jihadists of Pakistan.
Theo did not remember his mother because other family members did not agree with her political or religious beliefs. She had been forced to flee and did so with the help of an old man. She dressed to emulate a boy and made it to freedom after a long and arduous journey. She became a pro and able to slip in and out of countries without problems. However, Sona knew that Pakistan was where she wanted to be.
Theo's father was living in the United States and it was while Theo lived with him that he found out the truth of why his mother had not been able to raise him. Therefore, when he became aware that his mother was now a Pakistani prisoner, Theo had to try and rescue her and the other's.
Theo was an ex-Delta soldier and was familiar with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Theo was able to learn where they were being held because of his familiarity and ties with Delta force.
The novel was quite a thriller. The narrator, Neil Shah, was excellent. His characterizations were very well done. He made you able to become a part of the story. The author, Michael Gruber, provided the reader with such descriptive language that you were able to visualize and encapsulate what you read.
You will not be disappointed if you decide to purchase this book. The Good Son was a great listen. The characters played their roles well. There was never a dull moment.
This author is creating unrest in my book listening habits! He is blending the thriller and a philosophical treatise into one pleasurable experience. And although I wish to listen to other books and change the pace, I cannot. Try ANY of his books...creative, imaginative, thought provoking, suspenseful, easy to listen to...listen to these stories and watch the hours fly by!
The mother, she was multi-layered, multi-cultural, I loved hating her.
When that key piece of information fell into place--right before the story pointed it out. I love it when the suspense is timed and fed so well!
Some of the characters were expendable and did not really serve any purpose. The plot was good but could have been crisper and faster moving if the redundant portions were edited.
Bit abrupt. It all happened too quickly. No build up. Absolute opposite of the whole book which was a huge build up leading to a specific event.
Yes I will give it another shot as his narration had nothing to do with the minus points of the story or the drag at some places.
I think so because of the abrupt ending and two such volatile individuals coming together raises the question - what next?
This was my first audio book and the fact that it kept my interest alive was enough to give it a thumbs up.
Came across this book on a list of recommended summer reads, suggested it to my book club, and it was selected as this month's book. I finished the book only as penance for having recommended it to friends. The book has a ham-handed narrative that uses lame excuses for protracted narrative of one aspect of this convoluted story line or another. The extended telling of the protagonist's life story is only interrupted by occasional questions to his patience girl friend asking if she is bored yet. I wanted to shout that I was, indeed, very, very bored. My favorite moment in this endless life story is when the girl friends says she has to go pee...
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