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Where does Cabal rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Both story and narration are in my top ten.
What did you like best about this story?
Zen has always skated on the edge of the corrupt Italian system, I was on tenterhooks following him as he descended deeper into it's murky waters. Deception on all sides with a satisfying conclusion.
What does Michael Kitchen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Michael Kitchen has an incredibly versatile voice. He largely uses vocal light and shade to distinguish the characters and speaks with absolute clarity. This adds another dimension to Michael Dibdin's wonderful writing.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
This book had me laughing and close to tears at times.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
"Nothing had changed. Nothing ever would. In sheer frustration he fired his pistol again and again, blasting away as though to punch new stars in the sky."
-- Michael Dibdin, Cabal
Dibdin writes tight little Italian mysteries that are blessed with one huge plus -- Aurelio Zen. He seems to be a direct descendent of both Father Brown and Inspector Montalbano (or Philip Marlowe).
Zen is an Italian anti-hero detective. A skilled and savvy investigator with a morality that seems at times to be just a bit fluid. He would prefer to be left alone but is often thrust into cases that require him to walk the delicate wire between the treachery of Italian bureaucracy and the mendacity of the Italian criminals and conspiracies he is tasked with solving (the detective trying to solve crimes while also dealing with an inept bureaucracy is also found and fascinatingly explore by James Church in his North Korean "Inspector O" novels).
Zen is a kind and likable weasel, a jaded fox, a middle-aged divorcee living with his mother. He is easy to identify and feel sympathetic with. Quite often he kind of deserves our sympathy.
This just isn't the strongest book I've read so far in the series (I've now read the first four). It ends too quick, and seems to fall too hard at both ends. There are moments of genius and movements of boredom, yet like Zen, the reader seems left at the end with very little payoff for all his/her efforts.
12 of 16 people found this review helpful
I love the sarcasm, irony and general jadedness of Zen's character; Kitchen reads him well.
Still enjoyed the book, but not as much as first two. Would Zen really go to the lengths of Blackmail? I always thought he was a honest cop? Very confusing at times and story didn't flow as well.
Still loving Michael Kitchen though!