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Even though Harry Barnett seems a bit more oafish and bungling that he did when he was in Rhodes solving the unsolvable, he pulls this one out of the fire (literally) when the bigger brains could not. It is pure art to see the non-plot evolve into an intricate conspiracy that only the bungler can see or solve.
The only part that was a bit distracting was Goddard's lack of grasp on idiomatic American English. He imbues his Americans with a cruder accent, as would be expected, but they also employ Brit idioms, such as going "to university" or "to hospital", or get "sacked", and they "mean to have done", and "reckon" (when they're not from Texas). They also pronounce "been" like the Brit "bean", and often forget their "Rs". If Americans are really to relate to Goddard's Americans, they need to be more differentiated from the Brits than simply a gruffer and cruder accent.
But that aside, Goddard's books simply unwittingly involve and captivate the reader, much like the hapless Harry Barnett always seems to be drawn into things. This book has a few loose ends, like the ex-lover Iris who doesn't seem to care enough about her and Harry's comatose son and changes moods like most women change clothes. Some of the other characters seem just thrown in, and it is occasionally difficult to figure out why they're there and why we should care. The plot is a bit esoteric and takes a lot of listening closely to scientific theoretical mumbo jumbo, supposedly tied into history and historical figures, but never really fleshes it out in clearly relatable terms.
But, Goddard's books are all worthwhile--the man is a poet writing prose.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I kept listening because I wanted to know who called Harry to tell him he had a son. I got to the end and realized the caller must have been revealed during one of the many times I zoned out while listening to this book. I didn't bother rewinding to find out.
Definitely NOT one of RG'S best efforts. The storyline felt contrived, and the touch of Sci-Fi introduced felt forced.
Hmmm, when RG is good, he is SPOT ON, but now I'm up to 3 books written by him I felt were no where near as good as the previous ones, so I don't think I will be risking anymore points.
The narrator did ok, his accents were pretty good. I would listen to his narration again.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
i say "another fab goddard romp", but i should add that it ALMOST gets too clever. remember reading this in the 90's and loving the read. was well worth an audiobook re-visit.
exceeding all expectations again, including his own! twists and turns to the last page. can't wait to download the next one