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By Cletus van Damme on 10-16-08
Let Bob Lee Swagger Retire
Hunter retired from the Washington Post last July. This book feels like it was dashed off from notes found in the bottom drawer while cleaning out his desk. There are glaring editorial mistakes (e.g., in the first paragraph, the gun is knocked from the bad guy's hand and lands several feet away; in the next paragraph, the officer takes the same gun out of the bad guy's hand). Since I do not have a hard copy of this book, I cannot tell for certain whether this reading is truly unabridged. At several points the plot skips, or characters disappear without explanation, never to return. As a result, the book sounds like a poor abridgement. Of course, it may just be poor editing. This book has none of the immediacy or sharply-drawn characters of Hunter's best work, "Point of Impact" and "Black Light." The Bob Lee Swagger of this book is but a faint, false apparition of the BLS in "Point of Impact." Read POI and see whether you can imagine that character hanging out at a NASCAR race. Hunter should have allowed BLS to retire after "Time to Hunt" and invented new characters or continued to flesh-out Earl Swagger instead of subjecting the noble BLS to such humiliation. Buck Shirner was the wrong choice to read this book. I do not know Shirner's ethnicity, but his voice has a distinctly Native American intonation and cadence inappropriate for southern good ol' boys like BLS and the Grumleys. This is not intended as a criticism of Shirner as a reader. His voice is mismatched to the material. (Imagine, say, Burt Reynolds reading Patrick O'Brian.) Will Patton or Jay O. Sanders would have improved the listening experience, but neither could have saved this book from itself. It pains me to criticize Hunter's work so harshly; he has been one of my favorite authors and I have all of his books. This one should never have been released.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
By joseph on 10-08-08
earlier books were better
read all of stephen hunter's earlier books and found this one unsatisfying. started off well, and the initial premise
kept me going, but the story diverted. i started tuning out
at the end. got tired of the reader. a little too folksy for me.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful