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Publisher's Summary

Nora Kelly, a young archaeologist in Santa Fe, receives a letter written 16 years ago, yet mysteriously mailed only recently. In it, her father, long believed dead, hints at a fantastic discovery that will make him famous and rich - the lost city of an ancient civilization that suddenly vanished a thousand years ago.

Now Nora is leading an expedition into a harsh, remote corner of Utah's canyon country. Searching for her father and his glory, Nora begins to unravel the greatest riddle of American archeology. but what she unearths will be the newest of horrors.

©2000 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2010 Hachette

Critic Reviews

"Spellbinding as ever." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Thunderhead

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brain Candy

This story involves a search for the "Lost City of Gold" - it is situated in the desert areas of Utah. The writing evokes thrilling emotion, and stimulates the mind' eye with rich imagery. I've read several of the Preston Child novels; like the rest, this one is an action packed, fast-paced thriller. Unlike some of the rest, this one has a tight plot, that doesn't require overlooking little lapses of logic, or suspending disbelief in the face of wholly incredible plot elements. I started Thunderhead on a trip to Rochester MN, where I was scheduled to speak at a conference at the Mayo Clinic. This was a moment in my career, to be invited to speak at the Mayo. The best part: I was spared nervous anticipation - I could not tear myself away from the car, in fact. I had a presentation on Saturday, and one on Sunday; when I wasn't presenting, I was touring Rochester in my car, turning audible page after audible page. It struck me funny: you would think I would be back at the conference rubbing elbows; but no, I was right there with Nora in the deserts of Utah. (Okay, okay: this isn't War and Peace. Like I said, it's Brain Candy, the kind you can't stop popping, one after the other, into your head, until the box is empty. Then you upturn the box, shake it vigorously, and hope one more little treat rolls out, but alas, it's empty, over, finished. Bummer. There is cold-comfort in remembering that too much of this brain candy makes you intellectually fat. Still, a little of it after those protein-dense, peer-reviewed-journal-article-meals is good for what ails you. Click purchase, you won't be sorry.)

170 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh my god

This is one of the best books Ive ever read. It has very well developed characters and the storyline never faulters. Every chapter was thrilling and without a doubt some were frightening. Once again these authors managed to piece togther a masterpiece with an amazing ending that strings together the plot so well that I couldnt believe it. Every loose end it tied up so well. If you want to really enjoy the horror side of this book listen to it while going to sleep! You will definately have some fantastic nightmares, I did!!

50 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous Mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely!!! This book was absolutely fascinating from beginning to end. All the i's were dotted & the t's crossed when it came to all the characters & story line. Getting to the bottom of the disapearance of the ancient Indian culture all the way to the search for the massive treasure this book never disappointed me as a reader. All of the characters were strong in thier presence which always lends a special gift & the narrator just made my day. Kudos to the authors for giving the ending a nice closure I wasn't expecting that. Preston & Childs really did their homework on this book & included tons of historical details....love that!.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Thunderhead?

Finding the hidden city.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any of the meal preparations by the chef

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very beginning of the search & the ending

Any additional comments?

MORE!

28 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent listen!!

This book has more twists and turns than the canyons the characters have to travel through. A terrific adventure through our beautiful Southwest. Preston and Child are great together!! Enjoy!!

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very good read

Scott Brick is one of my favorite narrators and he did great justice to this book as well. From the first I was captured by this book. I can't believe I waited this long to 'read' it. I got caught up elsewhere but I loved this book ! You won't regret using a credit for this one !

20 people found this helpful

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

This is archaeology?!

Despite my negative sounding title (a quote from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) I actually quite enjoyed Thunderhead. Despite the implausible ending, the book is quite action packed and is a fun listen especially with the ever reliable Scott Brick.

It's also quite interesting to see some major characters from the Pendergast novels like Nora Kelly and Bill Smithback having their own stories.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Adventure novel

I love a good adventure story that takes you on a journey. It seems all good adventures do that like Treasure Island or Wizard of Oz. This is an interesting story that has enough action to keep you listening. My only problem with it is the narrator. I am not fond of the over emotive Scott Brick. He is so popular that if you don't put up with him, you will miss some good books. So when he starts chewing the scenery and hamming it up, I throw up in my mouth just a little bit but I have decided to grit my teeth and bear it. I am glad I did in this occasion for the book is worth it. Well worth the credit if you can take Brick.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Al
  • 11-13-10

Liked the Story

I liked the story . It moved along well and the ending isn't what I expected . I would have like the story much better I think if someone else was reading it . I would have liked it read as a mystery adventure. I really didn't like the way it was read.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great little entertainer

Loved it. Made my commute fly by.

Preston and Child write fun little techo-pop thrillers with enough background research to sound reasonably plausible but with enough wriggle room for some pulpy action-adventure.

Characters might be a little flat, and there are some plot twists that felt forced, but overall a very enjoyable read. Nothing terribly complicated or convoluted which made it easy to pick up where you left off.

Scott Brick.... well, he's decent, but he likes to make every character sounds like they're using a "half-whispered-husky-sexy voice."

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great Plot, Somewhat Annoying Characters

I loved the premise of this story, and I'm a big fan of archeological thrillers. This is a classic 'search for a lost city' plot. However, it is the precipitous drop of IQ in of some of its characters at the most predictable moments that is used to built much of the tension. I'm finding this an all too common way for thriller writers to make their plotting work for them. Preston and Child also indulge in the irritating habit of having their characters indulge in long, meandering observations or reminiscences just at the cresting of a crisis. I gather it's a device for building anticipation, but in an audio book, it's just annoying.

Finally, I'm not terribly keen on Scott Brick as a narrator. Although he's got a nice timbre to his voice, he reminds me of an funeral director, hell bent on communicating how deeply he feels your loss with the tone of his voice. It is artificial and, often, badly timed. It's not neutral enough to allow the writing to communicate emotion through the language itself, nor does it give the reader a chance to arrive at their own emotional reactions naturally.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelly
  • 11-04-10

Fast Paced Suspense!!

This suspense thriller written by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child jumped straight in with a fantastic beginning that made you realise this was going to be a rollercoaster ride of a story. It certainly didn?t leave you much time in between events to catch your breath at the begining!! Fast-paced and tense you felt you were right there with Nora and the rest of the expedition and felt the tension amongst the personalities rising as the expedition progressed. The arrogance and pettiness of some of the characters came across well and the naivety of Nora Kelly, the expedition leader, was painful to watch as you rooted for her to succeed.

I felt that some of the description of the landscape was too flowery and was unnecessary to the story line. You get that they were far from home and the rest of civilisation and you don?t need it pointed out continuously. However, although it annoyed me enough to contribute to the book losing one of it?s five starts it wasn?t enough to detract from the overall quality of the story. The narration from Scott Brick is always excellent! However, towards the end of the story I felt the actual storyline and narration started to slow down and was getting a bit monotone. If you are a Douglas Preston / Lincoln Child fan I would definitely recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mixed feelings
  • 09-22-19

Gripping

Great book from this due, fast paced storyline with many twists and turns, good addition to my library

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jam
  • 06-20-18

A Fabulous Yarn

I loved the descriptions of the landscape throughout the book; the character descriptions; the true history, subject matter and the story. Everything about this is 5 star. GREAT.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AJ, Preston
  • 09-30-12

Excellent nailbiter!

Superbly narrated by Scott Brick, who makes each chapter come alive. Exciting storyline and memorable characters. Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • The Purple Sunflower
  • 07-19-18

An very entertaining tale of an expedition...

The narrator, Scott Brick was excellent as usual. The actual story was a meandering trail into an archeological expedition that led into ancient ruins that revealed ancient rituals and unknown entities. As for the characters - most were interesting - believable, drew you in. But the main character, Nora I found quite irritating! Her fixation on "My Father this.." and "My Father did that/found that/wouldn't have gone that way/did this..." was just monotonous. Aside from that, it was a good story with just the right amount of suspense, slight tinges of horror and plenty of really great description of the environs they found themselves in. To sum up - I'd listen to another of this author-duos offerings :)

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark B Holbrook
  • 02-28-17

Not worth the time

Frankly a waste of time. Utterly predictable. Reasonably well read but a striggle to get to the all to obvious conclusion.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • JB
  • 01-14-17

Phew!!

Thrilling,moving, scary, engrossing - as Thriller AND Novel! Beautifully read - only needed Aloysius Pendergast!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • sianeflewog
  • 08-28-16

Exciting to the end.

Thoroughly enjoyable story line keeps you guessing to the end. Many twists and turns in the plot make this a story which is compulsive to listen to.

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  • R L
  • 11-11-18

Great Atmosphere

Loved the characters and thoroughly enjoyed the journey through the landscape and its history. The narration was spot on for me.

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