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I cannot say that this is the worse book that I have ever read/listened to but I can say that it is the worse I can recall. Not to be beaten I persevered to the end, believing that it could not get any worse and could only get better. I was wrong.
The best to be said is that it must a been a real hoot for the authors to write. I bet that they had a real laugh, they clearly enjoyed themselves; brutally obliterating the work of their predecessors; killing of characters that showed any promise; creating their own characters [only to have them removed by those coming after; reinventing key characters, assuming that they had allowed them to live; twisting what remained of any plot?? They were so busy destroying what had gone before and introducing their own cunning [not] twists that the story, what there was of it, had no continuity or validity. Characters that did survive to the end of the book where amalgams and contradictions, due to repeated rewriting, and lacked any real individuality, making empathy impossible. The plot line was a nonsense, from Dick Barton to Batman. Enough said.
I bought the book as I found the concept of multiple author interesting. Perhaps it was too much to expect that they would cooperate rather than compete, each trying to outdo the previous with ?clever? plot twist. The easy line was to destroy what and gone before and start again. At first I had some sympathy with the later authors, after all they also had to read the earlier chapters but as my brain screamed 'this is trite nonsenss' I quickly lost that sympathy.
I did not like the reading either but cannot criticise, the reader has my full sympathy. How do you read a book that swings from comic strip to English language primer?
I have enjoyed some of these authors in the past but here, well, least said the better.
I have never seen much purpose in writing book reviews and this is my first. This book has changed my mind.
32 of 32 people found this review helpful
I liked the IDEA of this book - all these great writers teaming together to write some amazing secretive masterpiece - but I felt the book turned out to be a bit disjointed. OK. Very disjointed.
And it was only until I listened to the bonus interview at the end of the audible recording that I learned that the authors did not work together ONE BIT!
They just sent the growing manuscript to the next person on the list after they had added their chapter. So there was very little vision here for how the whole story would turn out, because none of them actually had any clue whatsoever, and it really really would have been a FAR greater book if they did some planning.
It all felt like a bit of a muddle really. Enjoyable because of the concept, all these writers coming together, but I felt it could have been so much more given a little planning on their part.
31 of 31 people found this review helpful
This is an amazing story. It is fast paced, and really action-packed. The plot, to be put simply, is similar to the DaVinci Code. Harry Middleton holds a rare manuscript, and someone is out to get it from him. This someone will kill anyone who stands in the way, including Harry.
It has a really good plot and story behind it, but the only thing is that near the beginning they introduce so many different characters that it is difficult to keep everyone straight in your mind. Once you get down who the people are and their relationship to protagonist Harry Middleton, it flows nicely and is a really cool story.
Alfred Molina does a wonderful job bringing the story to life. I couldn't wait to get in my car after school knowing that I had this book waiting for me! Hope you enjoy!
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
American Harold Middleton is a music professor and former war crimes investigator who is called to Poland to assess whether or not a manuscript purported to be an original, previously undiscovered, Chopin is genuine or a fake. However, the man that Harold meets with is murdered soon after their meeting and it soon becomes clear that there is more to the manuscript than mere rarity.
For what is essentially a publishing gimmick the book is delightfully entertaining. The plot rollicks along with red herrings and shocking twists aplenty, just as a good thriller should. The only evidence that the story is written by 15 different people is that there are perhaps a few more characters than normal, but the upside to that is that there are more genuine surprises than you might expect with a book authored by a sole writer who has pet characters and plot threads. There are several themes which are carried throughout the book, such as the role of music, and these help to produce a surprisingly cohesive story.
None of the characters are particularly well developed, there are too many and the book too short for that, but as this is a book all about a fast paced plot that's not a huge turnoff on this occasion. There was enough information to glean about Harold, his daughter Charlie, the evil Faust and a few of the other characters to engage my interest and keep me listening.
The book is narrated by actor Alfred Molina who does a superb job of handling the dialogue-rich story which features a couple of dozen characters.
56 of 58 people found this review helpful