©2008 W.E.B. Griffin; (P)2008 Penguin
This fourth book in the Presidential Agent series is another fantastic "read" from WEB Griffin. These are books that are definitely best read in the right order (although not absolutely critical). Dick Hill does a great job of keeping himself "in character" with his voice variations. These are easy books to listen to, with very interesting, albeit not totally unpredictable plots for WEB. The genre of novels featuring independently wealthy public servants who use their independent wealth in the prosecution of their duty has become something of a hallmark for this writer, going all the way back to his brilliant Brotherhood of War series..but if you liked that, you will find equal listening pleasure in the Presidential Agent series. Not 100% believable but definitely 100% entertaining. These books make commuting a pleasure. I would give this book a solid 8 out of 10 and recommend it to my friends without hesitation.
This book should have been titled The Talkers. There is no real action to speak of. WEB was very lazy a spent a large portion of the book recounting the plots of previous books in the series. Then we are reintroduced to characters that have no real role in the current plot. Finally, we have a whole predictable plot that is simplistic and unrealistic at the same time. I only finished the book because after dedicating 20 hours to some of the most contrived dialog ever written, I thought I would be rewarded with a decent action sequence…but it was not to be.
If you have not read the previous books in the series, you may find this mildly interesting. If you are looking for an action/thriller, you will feel cheated. I am a big WEB fan and I feel he cheated me. I am unlikely to purchase any more books in this series.
I am a person who reads (listens) to many books. The books I enjoy most are those where the author creates a series of books and really builds on the characters. I have now sampled all of the WEB series and read, or listened to all of the Presents Man series.
All of the books have their special set of characters and the characters are built betwen each book. Yes, the books are slow reading. You need to really appreciate and "live" the characters lives. However, if you enjoy a great suspense read and really enjoy getting to know a character inside and out this is the author for you.
Bachelor Chef and Mathematician. I don't bother with books shorter than 20 hours, not worth the effort.
Though the author is obviously a civilian and never had any military experience (a Lieutenant in the US Army has two gold bars not silver, a Lt Col has silver oak leaf and a "bird colonel" has silver eagle) the story is a good yarn.
If you overlook the glaring mistakes in the technical details the story is good and keeps the listener interested. If you love Tom Clancey stay away from Griffin as the two do not compare. However, if you have an afternoon and the credits, the story is worth a listen.
For the Author, do some research before beginning a story it could save some embarassment.
Simple things like latitude and LONGITUDE. Rank insignia and Army society could help as well. Also a brief study of the sciences could help with the distance a satellite is from earth.
The previous books in the series were great. This one was a little slow although the characters are still great. The real let down though was the ending. Can't say much and not give it away but basically the main character misses the entire fire fight at the end. And there is no real explanation as to what happened.
In the past books in this series there was great action fire fights in garages, kidnappings, storming building, etc. So this was somewhat of a let down. Not sure if I'm going to continue on to Black Ops with this series or not.
If you enjoyed the other Presidential Agent Novels then you will like this one. It is long, like the others, so if you are not into getting to know each and everyone of the many characters then you might not like this book. Great narrator!
I am a huge fan of W.E.B. Griffin's work; but this one was awful. I lost track of the plot during during one of the many "back stories." This was way to long on history and short on action. I truly how "Black Ops" is better.
I like Web but the more books he writes the slower they get. listen to 16 hours of audio book to get one hour of action. So much time wasted on detales that dont have anything to do with the plot.
This book is the slowest paced book of any action thriller that I have ever read. It is not until the last 45 minutes that anything actually happens. Unless you're looking for somethng to help you fall asleep at night, I would save my money and pass this one by.
This book has 19+ hours of building up to 15 minutes of action. Darn - I could have spent the time listening to a book that had some action in it. However, once you're into a book 8 or 10 hours you have to gut it out.
I'm worried that Griffin is turning into a Clancy i.e. paid by the word count and not the story line. This book could have been trimmed in half and not lost a thing. Assuming you've read the first books in the series, you get to read them again in this book. My theory is if someone hasn't read them, then they miss out on part of the background. That beats a loyal reader going over old turf now and again.
Hill is a fine narrator but you have to play the hand you're dealt.
I'll keep listening to Griffin. Everyone has a bad day at work. Hopefully, this is Griffin's bad day.
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