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The protagonist of The Old Man is 60 years old which is 10 years younger than the author and 14 years younger than me. Thomas Perry and I may be old men, but the protagonist is not! Now that that is out of the way, I can continue with my short review.
The Old Man is about a man who uses several names none of which are his own. He has been out of military intelligence for 30 years and has been on the run since. During almost all of that time he was safely at his home in New England where he and his wife raised a family (his wife died at age 45 approx. 15 years ago). Suddenly he was forced to run as he was found and trained men sent to kill him. His hunters consist of a rich Libyan and members of US military intelligence, an unlikely pairing.
This is a well researched and written suspense thriller that, in my opinion, is as good as anything that Thomas Perry has written including The Butcher's Boy trilogy. Perry is one of the best authors of his generation. He has released only 24 novels in 35 years. All of his work is of excellent quality. His novels are all must reads for those who like the suspense mystery/thriller genre. Peter Berkrot does an outstanding job of narration.
I strongly recommend all of Thomas Perry's novels including The Old Man.
47 of 47 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Old Man in three words, what would they be?
I hate this question. (Four words again.) Mr. Perry has no doubt spent over a year writing this amazing novel, and it is preposterous to even think that three words could do it justice. Enough of this stupid question! As above, Thomas Perry has once again demonstrated why he is the unquestioned master of this genre. In fact, as with the Butcher's Boy, Mr. Perry has created a genre of his own. We identify with a man who has a quite checkered past, to put it mildly. We come to care a great deal about him, even though he may have committed murder in the long-distance past. By the time the book ends, we understand that he is a true hero, a defender of his country, nothing like a criminal. But a very complicated man, to say the least.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
Yes. I can't describe the plot at any length, because it is so rich, so detailed, with so many left turns, chases, changes of identity and changes of location. The "old man" has a history that is so rich, so full of fascinating detail, and the book makes the present equally entertaining. The plot is ingenious. It would take a hundred lesser writers in the aggregate to create a novel so variegated and so full of clever plot developments. Truly, if you haven't read Mr. Perry's work, you are in for a special treat. This kind of imagination and writing skill shows up very rarely, and I appreciate it in a way that I applaud almost no other authors. You just have to read him to get the picture.
Which character – as performed by Peter Berkrot – was your favorite?
The old man is the obvious choice. Mr. Berkrot, though, is the perfect narrator for every character in the book. The textures in his voice are just wonderful to hear. His ability to change the pace of narration with the story, his ability to voice many characters, of both genders, young and old, of any race or nationality: I will search for Mr. Berkrot to hear his other work. I believe he reads Tim Hallinan's books, which is appropriate: Tim is almost at the level of Mr. Perry, and I know that he admires every book that Mr. Perry writes. I would not want to listen to any less talented narrator read a work of either of these two men.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Not extreme. I did feel amazed and grateful at the end, which I will not spoil for you. The old man has jumped through so many hoops, with such degrees of difficulty, that I did fear that he would eventually drop dead from the exertion. But, maybe there will be a sequel! (I guess I have divulged one part of the end of the book, but in a marvelous cause.) The man may be old, but I hope he lives to be a hundred.
78 of 81 people found this review helpful