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I'm a Barry Eisler fan. But...
Every writer has his strengths and weaknesses. Unfortunately, this book highlights Eisler's weaknesses. He's very good at the action part, the suspense, the logic. He's not so good at characters. John Rain is/was a perfect vehicle for Eisler, as there isn't much deep thought involved.
That's the first problem with this story. The characters are one-dimensional. Maybe one and a half.
The second problem is the NSA/technology piece. I understand the overall premise. Maybe even agree with it a little. But when he gets down to describing the nitty-gritty details, it's all wrong. He didn't do his research.
Eisler needs a good friend (or a good editor) to tell him when he's riding his personal hobbyhorse too much, instead of writing fiction.
Overall, I'd say the book is okay for burning time, maybe a little bit entertaining. But if someone asked me for a Barry Eisler book, this is not the one I'd recommend.
77 of 81 people found this review helpful
Was The God's Eye View worth the listening time?
No, not really. Eisler typically does pretty decent characters, but the characters in this book seemed stereotypical and hollow. The whole "person knows too much" + "will do whatever it takes to protect my kid" + "crazy NSA/CIA/Other TLA director bent on having all the power" + "2 dimensional bad guy who has redemption story at the end" adds up to a book that I don't feel is worthy of a credit.
I don't mind violence in books when it helps the plot, but Eisler graphically describes brutal killings in several places as a lazy replacement for taking the time to establish that the antagonist is a bad person - on top of that, because it's so clumsily done, you can see the redemption story coming a mile away.
I also don't mind sex in a book when it helps the plot. This book has 2 lengthy and graphic sex scenes that sound like they were written by a 12 year old boy describing what he thinks sex is like. It's awful. I endured the first one, but the second one had me hitting the 30 second skip button over and over until it was done. Scott Brick could probably pull off these scenes, but the author just sounded excited which was a little disturbing.
On to the technology - the NSA can suddenly use any camera attached to the internet to watch people. Can use the microphone of any device that has an internet connection, can track any person instantly as long as their phone is turned on, blah blah blah. Whether or not this is something that can be done on demand is questionable, but the plot reminds me of the movie Enemy of the State that came out 18 year ago.
If you want something pulpy and that you can ignore entire chapters and not be lost at the end, this is the listen for you. If not, there are much better ways to spend a credit.
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
Thoroughly believable. references to Snowden and current terrorist threats add to the tension. A gripping thriller
I've long enjoyed Barry Eisler's work - I like John Rain - but this stand alone novel is simply breathtaking! It's so incredible that it's very credible. It's so entertaining that you don't realise how factual it could actually be!
I can't think of anything to liken this to other than that Will Smith movie where 'they' were able to cyber track him and make his life a misery! Well this novel has bought that story bang up to date! I look forward to seeing this made into its own movie - as long as they don't change a word!
Barry Eisler is not only a talented author, but he is a fabulous narrator too! So much to enjoy about this novel!