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Retired Olde Farte
1.0 out of 5 starsMajor Disappointment
Reviewed in the United States on October 25, 2011
Over the years, I have read Stuart Woods and enjoyed his novels, including the Stone Barrington Series. Just one man's opinion, but I think Mr. Woods is running out of story ideas. He has flogged the Barrington horse too long and the horse is tired. This latest book is a major disappointment - a ho hum, slow moving, uninteresting story about too-perfect rich people going through life. He gets a wife, and gets a son, who is so scary-smart he should run for President at the age of 18 (even though he's too young - he's already good at getting forged documents from his above-the-law, mega-lawyer dad!). There is no mystery, the plot is predictable, and I never reached a level of high interest - it took me over 2 weeks to read the book because I had no compelling desire to get back to it. Unlike Lee Child's books, which continue to be page turners, Woods seems to have run out of gas. Maybe it's time for Stone Barrington to retire and Dino to start earning his money in the Police Dept. instead of galavanting around the countryside on Stone's dime!
As a long time fan of Stuart Woods, I was excited to see the plot of this book turn to his first love, Arrington, and Stone's unacknowledged son, Peter. Stone would finally have a chance to meet and interact with his son - and have a second chance at the happiness he missed 16 years before when Arrington's head was turned by Vance Calder, a major movie star. Things don't work out as planned, although money and influence are exerted on every page to make things perfect for son Peter. Potential challenges which would allow the characters to strive and overcome obstacles are absent. Instead of letting us experience grief and loss with them, Woods blows past significant loss with nary a tear being shed. A pesky reporter gets a lot of attention for her prying expose of Stone's relationship with his son, but inexplicably this subplot fizzles out. An intriguing subplot about a death at the school which is the setting of son Peter's first film is hinted at and then left unexplored. The reader knows "who done it" from the first finding of the body. Plot, characters, and motivation are poorly done. A lazy effort and not fair to his fans, who paid top dollar only to read a disappointing book.
1.0 out of 5 starsSkip it, this was written so Woods could get a paycheck
Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2012
If I could rank less than one star I would. Simply put, this book was merely a paycheck for Stuart Woods. It's utter crap and servers to introduce several new characters that I am sure will get spin off books. Woods' writing has declined year after year and it seems like he has ceased putting any effort into it. There is no emotion in this book. Just a lot of polite conversation with everything wrapping up nicely. A major character is murdered, the killer killed, an abortion, wedding, Stone becoming a father and of course millions and billions in effortless deals and all done with no emotion whatsoever. But there is lots and lots of polite (always very polite) conversation.
I love Woods' characters and really liked his early books. Everytime I read one of his books now I tell myself that I will never buy another one. Then comes the day that I'm bored with nothing else to read and I download the latest to Kindle and remember how awful Woods has become. Son of Stone surpasses any previous awfulness. It was probably written in an afternoon simply for the paycheck.
2.0 out of 5 starsBoring, predictable, not the usual Stone Barrington book.
Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2018
Well I guess this had to be written eventually but what a boring and predictable book. Glad I've been reading the series in order, otherwise I would never have continued if this was where I started. My other reviews up to this book have been 4 or 5 stars and maybe one or two 3 stars. Hopefully the next one will be the "normal" Stone Barrington adventure.
5.0 out of 5 starsStuart Woods' Stone Barrington is the BEST EVER!!
Reviewed in the United States on October 10, 2020
Everyone of his books are great. It would be hard to choose just one, but I'm making sure that I have them all for when we start RVing. I'll be able to start from #1, and with my failing memory, it will be just like I'd never read it!! LOL!!!
1.0 out of 5 starsStuart Woods needs to hang up his pen
Reviewed in the United States on September 23, 2011
I have been reading the Stone Barrington series since the first one was published. I have accepted them for what they are which is a quick, light weight read good for a day at the pool. Unfortunately this latest attempt does not belong at the pool but more like in the pool. This does not even qualify as a "mystery" as there is no mystery about the identity or motive behind the murder that occurs. In addition the murder occurs more than half way through the book. THe story line (such as it is) revolves around Stone getting to know the son that he fathered with Arrington Calder 16 years before. And what a son he is! Perfection in every way! Smart, innovative, well-mannered, polite, a budding genius who has filmed and edited his first film at age 16. Peter (the son) is so perfect that he made me want to reach for a barf bag.
There is however one major fault with both Peter and Stone and that is there absolute lack of any real human emotion from either one of them. When the murder occurs neither one of them seems to spend any time at all grieving for the deceased. They just pick themselves off, dust themselves off and get along with the important matters such as the reading of the will and getting Peter accepted into the Yale Drama School.
If this is what Mr. Woods is turning out nowadays and calling it writing then perhaps he needs to consider retirement as his next option. Mr. Woods and his editor and publisher need to hang their collective heads in shame over this one.
I've read almost all the Stone Barrington books and could never get enough of them, but this one left me wanting the rest of the book. There seemed to be so much happening in the background (like, for instance, why was the Hattie pregnancy brought into it with no real reason, it wasn't developed; and it seemed there were several things that were not developed further. And, of course, we all knew something would happen to Arrington since Stone needs to be kept a bachelor; but there wasn't any buildup to her murder. I kept reading it on my kindle and seeing the percentage of the book that was being read and wondering how he was going to tie up all those loose ends in that amount of time. Well, he didn't really tie them up, he just kind of threw them into a dark hole. What a disappointment!
For years Woods has been one of my favourite writers but with Son of Stone he has literally "lost the plot ". It is a shallow story full of implausible events - a 16 year old boy who has made a film so brilliant that a major film studio has bought the rights for a huge sum ; an 18 year old schoolgirl who has written the music score for this film, again with great financial reward; the former ne'er-do-well Herbie Fisher studies law and in a very short time becomes qualified; and when a much loved family member is killed there seems to be very little grief . Throughout it all Stone Barrington incredibly keeps acquiring millions of dollars. I shall be reluctant to read the next novel.
This is my favourite of the Stone Barrington series, for personal father-son discovery reasons, though I enjoy all of them, some more than others. I look forward to each new release with anticipation ... I like Stuart Woods' writing style .. fluid and graceful, with the ability to have his characters laugh at themselves. I care about Stone and his life ... though I couldn't imagine living it. Woods introduces me to a dream-like escapist type of world which nonetheless rings true ... so THIS is how the "other half" lives. I like the humour in the writing; the life-long friendship with Dino, which is now carried on to the next generation with Peter and Ben; and the sheer whimsicality of much of what Stone experiences. Wonderful.
4.0 out of 5 starsAgainst the stream: Son of Stone delivers
Reviewed in Germany on September 12, 2012
All my predecessors gave it 1-star. Have we read the same book? This is book 21 of the Stone Barrington series. What had begun as a regular thriller series meanwhile has turned into something else. As a reader of the series you probably have to accept the turn that the series took over the last 7 or 8 books. Mr. Woods has managed to turn this series into sort of high paced multi-genre soap opera - and I mean that in the positive sense. The story lines are intermingled over various volumes like he best works of TV's Steven Bochio, Characters are developed over a long time, appearing, going away again and the only two writers having a higher speed in their storylines are Matthew Reilly and James Patterson. But again, you have to accept it as what it is: the perfect easy entertainment read in the tradition of a Sidney Sheldon or Harold Robbins. Go, Mr. Woods, you will have my sale also for the next 20 Stone adventures.