The Old Man

Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6,068 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

To all appearances, Dan Chase is a harmless retiree in Vermont with two big mutts and a grown daughter he keeps in touch with by phone. But most 60-year-old widowers don't have multiple driver's licenses, savings stockpiled in banks across the country, and a bugout kit with two Beretta Nanos stashed in the spare bedroom closet. Most have not spent decades on the run.

Thirty-five years ago, as a young hotshot in army intelligence, Chase was sent to Libya to covertly assist a rebel army. When the plan turned sour, Chase reacted according to his own ideas of right and wrong, triggering consequences he could never have anticipated. And someone still wants him dead because of them. Just as he had begun to think himself finally safe, Chase must reawaken his survival instincts to contend with the history he has spent his adult life trying to escape. Armed mercenaries, spectacularly crashed cars, a precarious love interest, and an unforgettable chase scene through the snow - this is lethal plotting from one of the best in crime fiction.

©2017 Thomas Perry (P)2017 Tantor
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The 'old man' is not old!

The protagonist of The Old Man is 60 years old which is 10 years younger than the author and 14 years younger than me. Thomas Perry and I may be old men, but the protagonist is not! Now that that is out of the way, I can continue with my short review.

The Old Man is about a man who uses several names none of which are his own. He has been out of military intelligence for 30 years and has been on the run since. During almost all of that time he was safely at his home in New England where he and his wife raised a family (his wife died at age 45 approx. 15 years ago). Suddenly he was forced to run as he was found and trained men sent to kill him. His hunters consist of a rich Libyan and members of US military intelligence, an unlikely pairing.

This is a well researched and written suspense thriller that, in my opinion, is as good as anything that Thomas Perry has written including The Butcher's Boy trilogy. Perry is one of the best authors of his generation. He has released only 24 novels in 35 years. All of his work is of excellent quality. His novels are all must reads for those who like the suspense mystery/thriller genre. Peter Berkrot does an outstanding job of narration.

I strongly recommend all of Thomas Perry's novels including The Old Man.

125 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mr. Perry pulls another rabbit out of his hat!

If you could sum up The Old Man in three words, what would they be?

I hate this question. (Four words again.) Mr. Perry has no doubt spent over a year writing this amazing novel, and it is preposterous to even think that three words could do it justice. Enough of this stupid question! As above, Thomas Perry has once again demonstrated why he is the unquestioned master of this genre. In fact, as with the Butcher's Boy, Mr. Perry has created a genre of his own. We identify with a man who has a quite checkered past, to put it mildly. We come to care a great deal about him, even though he may have committed murder in the long-distance past. By the time the book ends, we understand that he is a true hero, a defender of his country, nothing like a criminal. But a very complicated man, to say the least.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes. I can't describe the plot at any length, because it is so rich, so detailed, with so many left turns, chases, changes of identity and changes of location. The "old man" has a history that is so rich, so full of fascinating detail, and the book makes the present equally entertaining. The plot is ingenious. It would take a hundred lesser writers in the aggregate to create a novel so variegated and so full of clever plot developments. Truly, if you haven't read Mr. Perry's work, you are in for a special treat. This kind of imagination and writing skill shows up very rarely, and I appreciate it in a way that I applaud almost no other authors. You just have to read him to get the picture.

Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favorite?

The old man is the obvious choice. Mr. Berkrot, though, is the perfect narrator for every character in the book. The textures in his voice are just wonderful to hear. His ability to change the pace of narration with the story, his ability to voice many characters, of both genders, young and old, of any race or nationality: I will search for Mr. Berkrot to hear his other work. I believe he reads Tim Hallinan's books, which is appropriate: Tim is almost at the level of Mr. Perry, and I know that he admires every book that Mr. Perry writes. I would not want to listen to any less talented narrator read a work of either of these two men.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not extreme. I did feel amazed and grateful at the end, which I will not spoil for you. The old man has jumped through so many hoops, with such degrees of difficulty, that I did fear that he would eventually drop dead from the exertion. But, maybe there will be a sequel! (I guess I have divulged one part of the end of the book, but in a marvelous cause.) The man may be old, but I hope he lives to be a hundred.

108 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really Good Fugitive Mystery

Hattip to my friend Ted from Lancaster, Pa, whose review nailed this one as the gem it is.

Imagine a former special forces soldier, turned Intelligence Officer being forced into exile in one of his first missions. Some 35 years later he is found. Now he is a hunted man, but by whom?

The characters are smart, talented and vulnerable. The writing is stellar. The pace is relentless. And unlike some, I found the narration top notch.

Be prepared to stay up late! This is a great listening experience.

83 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

One Of The Best

No flowery words sprinkled throughout endless pages or irritatingly sophomoric subplots to yawn by. Just a bare-bones writing technique by a terrific author plus superb narration combined to reveal one of the best action mysteries you'll ever come across and which will end long before you'll want it to.

55 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The narration was really distracting

This was my first Tom Perry book and unfortunately, because of the narrator, this will also be my last. I couldn't tell if the book was poor quality or if I was just completely annoyed and distracted by the narrator who makes each character sound like a sinister Lego Batman.

44 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Thriller

Any additional comments?

Book held my interest... could not stop listening, still awake til 4:00 am... Love Thomas Perry books!If you've read all of Thomas Perry's books I recommend the following audio books:

Killing Floor
Sharpe's Tiger
The Lion's Game
Shibumi
Satori
A clean Kill in Tokyo
The Hunter (Victor the Assassin #1)
Beat the Reaper
American Assassin
The Gray Man
Fear Nothing Dean Koontz
Rules of Prey
Absolute Power
The Whole Truth

113 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good not Great

After reading the reviews I expected a Great story and narration, I got good. The story certainly added new twists to the old story where an old employer goes after a former employee but sometimes it seemed like the old man was too perfect. Maybe not enough tension. The action scenes are quick and don't dominate the novel which is ok ... the characters are a bit superficial, we know things about them but we don't necessarily know them. This is a good story just not great.

58 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Like an old man.....Very slow moving.

I really was looking forward to listening to this, because it has good reviews, I like spy/thriller type stories, and I love a good book with dogs in it. Sadly, this was boring. Yes, I listened to the whole thing, but it was more like a chore I had to finish than an enjoyable time. It's not horrible, it just never goes anywhere. The main character is not very likable and his romance interest just never feels fleshed out. The dogs are the most exciting thing in this book. Unfortunately, about half way through the dogs are not a part of the story line. I won't be reading/listening to any more books by this author.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Slow and painful thought it would not end

Far fetched story seemed as if the author was making it up as he went along. Sorry but predictable lacking any mystery. I even hoped that Julian was a long lost son just to have some mystery.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth the credit, for sure

This book falls into the category of "I enjoyed it while listening, but not much stick with me." Can't really criticize much, except perhaps the loose ends. I would have liked a little more about Julian at the end, as well as Zoey. I guess the reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 is that the ending seemed to just come. It was almost as if Perry said, "I need to wrap this one up." Don't get me wrong, the plot was resolved, just not at the same level of finesse.

26 people found this helpful