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I am quite a fan of Robert McCammon's "Matthew Corbett" series and when I listened to "Swan Song" I was hugely impressed and thought he could be an alternative to Stephen King. It was with this in mind that I eagerly downloaded "The Five", expecting great things but this one turned out to be a huge disappointment. I found it to be overly long and often rambling in his descriptions but even worse, the book never really seemed to get anywhere.
The story is quite linear and when McCammon does tempt us with a juicy morsel it just dries up and goes nowhere. Even the climax of the book is incredibly weak because one feels no real affinity with any of the characters, unlike Swan Song where every single character was a story in itself.
I must admit to being a bit of a masochist in that I don't give up on books and movies easily. I'm one of those people who hang on in there waiting for the story to change and suddenly get better but sadly more often than not they don't and I was bored with this book after about hour 2 and it never got any better.
I still rate McCammon quite highly as a writer and storyteller but The Five was a real drudge for me.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I agree with the review stating this was not as good as his other books. The last two hours in particular could have been done without.
The main story was great, a rock band misquoted incurs the wrath of a soldier suffering from PTSD; so he takes it upon himself to kill them. That was fine, but then there was this whole subplot about a random girl who offered them water and told them to write a healing song; and a rock venue having a haunted past, which was very wishy washy.
I'm onto his next book now, fingers crossed it's a good one.
With every word of this book, Robert McCammon builds an elaborate web that goes across the American southwest, an epic and yet still a personnel battle between good and evil, makes you question your decisions and lays the groundwork and the reasoning behind deeds done later. The heroes of this book are hugely flawed, and the villains even after doing horrible crimes, aren't beyond redemption. The book is magic but it's not quite a fantasy, there are magical elements. It's the magic of what lies under our perceptions and the movers that are behind the scene.
The book takes place from the viewpoints of the band members, their manager and a damaged Veteran of the Iraq war who was at the point of suicide at the beginning of the book and see's a music video that the band made protesting the war and it touched him.... but not in a good way.
Like most of McCammon's work, at the end of the day, you'll leave after grieving, laughing with joy, shivering in the shadows, saying, "Oh no!" and falling in love with the characters. Good job Sir!
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Robert McCammon and/or Nick Landrum?
I love Robert McCammon's as an author. I anxiously await the book "Baal" on audio. I read some of the review prior to ordering "The Five", and for the first time, didn't pay attention to some of the in depth comments.
McCammon rambles in this novel. On and on it seems. I always loved his turn of a phrase, but in this case, it was all filling and no turkey. But by far, the worst...and I mean what stopped me DEAD in my tracks, was the narrator SINGING...yes, singing in the worst voice you can imagine...some of the songs in story. If you want the listener to be drawn in by the dynamic rock group, and real buy into the persona...don't hire Uncle Larry to belt out the tunes. Total buzz kill. Literally made me snap the plugs for my ear and contemplate just deleting the story.
Onward to Baal. At least I know there is no music in that tome.
What do you think your next listen will be?
Stephen King - Joyland
What didn’t you like about Nick Landrum’s performance?
Zero. Zip. Nothing. Take singing lessons or just DON'T sing. Thanks for ruining what little was there.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I felt like someone just picked my pocket...or that feeling you get when you put twenty bucks in a slot machine and get nothing for the trouble.
Any additional comments?
Next time there is music involved, read the lyrics...or hire a band.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful