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The Fifth Heart is both a rollicking historical mystery-adventure and a metaphysical meditation on each man's quest to give meaning to his life. Ultimately, it is yet another finely crafted Dan Simmons tale that will keep you up late at night and bleary eyed during the day, index finger itching for that moment it can finally hit the 'play' button.
Simmons' story, in which the unlikely duo of author Henry James and Sherlock Holmes team up to save the world from a plot that will plunge it into anarchy and war, is particularly well suited to this audible medium. While listening, I sometimes suspected Simmons intention was to write a great audiobook, then remembered that during the late Victorian era the story depicts, pot-boiler stories like this were meant to be read aloud of an evening.
This is an extraordinary production; even the narration is masterful. In other works, I have sometimes found David Pittu's narrative style too theatrical. The stylized and sometimes melodramatic The Fifth Heart showcases Pittu's great and myriad talents as a voice actor.
While other reviewers are not satisfied with the resolution of the many mysteries contained within The Fifth Heart, I am. Well, for the most part. The unresolved mystery is this; which melodramatic and self interjecting doctor wrote The Fifth Heart- Watson or Doyle?
If you're still with me, do yourself a favor: scroll up the page, click 'add to cart' and stick with it until they are aboard the ship.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
The concept for this novel is brilliant. The writing is magnificent. The story is engaging, but . . . readers need to settle in and be prepared for details, details, details. If you like Dickens, you might enjoy The Fifth Heart. It is rich in atmosphere and characters but it is a bit of a slog to get through. If you are prepared for that, it is an intriguing novel, worth the commitment to it. Just know what you are getting in to first.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful