©1959 by Richard Condon; (P)1995 by Blackstone Audiobooks
"A psychoanalytic horror tale...and an irate sociopolitical satire." (The New York Times)
"Filled with that 'un-put-downable' element which makes this sort of [listening] a great deal of fun indeed." (San Francisco Chronicle)
Both the author and the narrator of this book are truly skilled and make this title a genuine treat. The speed of both the plot and narration are perfectly excecuted and the characterization is superb. What is an excellent plot is made even better by this narration!
Forget Rosemary's baby, cousin Kevin and Norman Bates' mom, Raymond's mother makes them pale into insignificance! An excellent tale of mind manipulation and cold war hysteria. Not for those who want car chases and regular explosions, although action addicts are catered for in the final chapters.
The Manchurian Candidate, published in 1959 is as relevant as it was than as it is now. Dealing with political manipulation and spy thriller, Richard Condon weaves a tight human drama against the backdrop of political espionage and intrigue. The characters are developed in three dimensions, even Raymond’s mother, who is in competition as the worst mother of all time, has sympathetic moments. You also get the sense of Greek tragedy and a psychological study through Raymond’s 9 year ordeal during the political rise of his family. Condon also does something very smart and mentions no political affiliation of any character (although it is somewhat alluded to) and although his allusion to McCarthyism was a main focal point and quite apparent, it still has scary similarities to today’s world of talking heads in the media and political world. Like “1984” before it, “The Manchurian Candidate” will always serve as a warning about the trust we put in our elected officials and to whom their true motivation lies.
The narration is strong and keeps your interest throughout.
Highly recommended as one of the best political thrillers of the past 60 years.
Gripping, fantastic. Great narration, great story. Had me hooked from the start, with its twisted mind games and slowly unraveling power struggles.
If you like your books with espionage, politics, military manipulation, and mind control, this will not disappoint.
Condon's novel is a classic that will surely stand the test of time and enter the annals of American Literature as one of the definitive examples that reflects the culture of the United States during the epoch of technological advance and sociopolitical unrest known as the Cold War. On top of that, Christopher Hurt's expressive and engaging narration style only adds to this magnificent production.
On a personal note, I found myself sneaking off with my iPod, unable to limit myself to listening only during my commute. My only complaint is that I wish the novel had been longer so that I could have drawn out the pleasure of the experience a bit longer. I'm already looking forward to revisiting The Manchurian Candidate, and with so many audio books at my disposal, I rarely listen to any more than once.
... all over the place, but all over the place in a highly implausible way. The original movie's much better. I actually believed what happened in the film could happen. Well, that wasn't the case at all here. Didn't find the characters or the situations they were in remotely believable. To top it off, the audio has an annoying "fuzziness" to it. This is not a clear listen.
The premise is great, of course, but if you don't believe it's possible, then it's hard, if not impossible, to get involved in the story. I know I didn't.
I loved this book and now have to pull out my copy of the movie so I can see how much they missed (don't recall the special relationship with Raymond and his Mother so much). I always liked the movie but sometimes find it confusing. The book was pretty easy to follow. Such a good story, especially for you MK Ultra junkies. Narration was good but it's the same reader who reads Stranger in a Strange Land and I had to listen a couple of times to get Valentine Smith out of my head. But all in all, well performed and I'll probably listen a third time.
Was difficult to start because I could hear the narrator breathing and the narration seemed hasty. Eventually got used to the pace and was immersed in the story, breathing was not as noticeable. Did not expect incest, be warned.
I'm a retired professor of geography. A few years ago my health deteriorated and I had to give up reading. Audiobooks are my life-saver.
I've known about this book for close to fifty years, but have never read it. This is a classic thriller that kept me on the edge of my dear for the whole book
The narrator is excellent but I had to deduct a star because of poor sound recording. It comes through just as if it were being played on a cheap transistor radio.
"An entertaining read"
A couple of Richard Condon's books (this one (original version not the rather lame recent re-make) and "Prizzi's Honour" with Jack Nicholson) have been turned into excellent films, and you can see why. Tight and intriguing plots, a well balanced mix of thrills, satire and humour, likeable characters and splendid villains and tremendous momentum. I particularly enjoyed the mix of satire and thriller in the Manchurian Candidate - puts you in mind of present day political shenanigans!
I've docked a star because of the variability in the narration. The narration itself is really excellent - the satire is splendidly brought out, for example - but the way in which the narrative has been edited together is sometimes a bit disjointed, with overlong gaps between paragraphs and sentences, which I found mildly off-putting.
Overall, though warmly recommended.
An excellent recording of a fascinating novel. You can tell it's a few decades old, but it doesn't detract from the enjoyment and the narrator does a great job.
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