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This is the first in what I hope to be a set of reviews/impressions of media I've consumed...I figure if I'm going to spend so much time on audiobooks, paper books, and movies, other people might as well know what I thought of them.

I just finished listening to The Cold Moon by Jeffrey Deaver, narrated by Joe Mantegna. I enjoyed it a lot.

I believe Deaver is best known for his series featuring a quadriplegic forensics detective named Lincoln Rhyme, which The Cold Moon is part of. It's the fourth one I've listened to; I've managed to listen to them in the proper chronological order, but I've missed a few. I also enjoyed his Garden of Beasts, which is set in 1936 Berlin.

Deaver researches his topics pretty well and puts a fair bit of effort into get his facts right or at least plausible, to the point where one of the fun bits about listening is catching him in an error. (Whereas if I catch an author in endless sloppy errors I get frustrated.)

His plots are very twisty. If I pay close attention to the point of view in which a particular section is written, I can figure out many of the minor plot twists (another game I like playing with the books). I also get surprised sometimes, but mostly in a way that feels like he's playing fair.

The books have some gruesome parts since they're about murders, but Deaver avoids cheap shocks via gratuitous gore and torture. He is more likely to suggest and hint.

Most of his female characters are reasonably strong, smart, and independent.

A few criticisms: Deaver's characters are a little more sketchily drawn than is my preference; the books tend to get excessively sentimental toward the end; and there's a certain amount of fat phobia. (If a Deaver character is fat, he or she is usually depicted as eating all the time and being stupid and unreasonably trusting.)

One thing that annoyed me about The Cold Moon specifically was how the terrorism theme was treated - the book is set several years after 9-11 but people are depicted as thinking about a terrorist attack all the time. I have the impression that's not how New Yorkers have responded to 9-11, especially a few years later. I probably don't know a lot of average New Yorkers though.

Despite the criticisms, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book.

Joe Mantegna did a superb low-key job of narration. I don't watch The Simpsons so for me there was no chance of hearing Fat Tony overtones in his narration; I don't know whether that would be true for people who do watch the Simpsons.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
bastette_joyce
Mar. 24th, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Joe Mantegna did a superb low-key job of narration. I don't watch The Simpsons so for me there was no chance of hearing Fat Tony overtones in his narration; I don't know whether that would be true for people who do watch the Simpsons.

LOL! Joe Mantegna has had many other roles besides Fat Tony, so one could hear many different characters in his voice, I suppose. I forgot that he was a character on the Simpsons, actually. I really like his voice. He's not hard on the eyes, either. :)

(Sorry, this comment has nothing to do with the book.)
firecat
Mar. 24th, 2007 11:47 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think he's really hot.
jennyaxe
Mar. 25th, 2007 04:55 pm (UTC)
I'm also a fan of Jeffery Deaver, and especially the Lincoln Rhyme books. His female characters are one thing I like a lot about them. I especially like it that Sachs has endometriosis and rheumatism - given his mostly meticulous research, I'd imagine he's aware of the fact that endo women often have joint problems as well (I do). And I really like it that she's determined to do her job and do it well despite her pain. I can identify with her. (Well, except for the supermodel beauty part, which is a bit Mary Sueish.)
firecat
Mar. 25th, 2007 06:00 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to know he's dealing with those conditions accurately. I had some suspension of disbelief problems in The Twelfth Card because the condition seemed to cause her pain but not particularly prevent her from doing anything (especially running after suspects). If my arthritis acts up, I really can't move those joints or put weight on them at all. But mine isn't rheumatoid as far as I know, nor is it endo-related, so it's probably different.
jennyaxe
Mar. 25th, 2007 06:14 pm (UTC)
I don't have that much joint pain normally, but when I do I can still use the joints, it just hurts a lot. I tend to fall down because when the knee hurts it buckles - but that's when the pain is unexpected; when I know it's going to hurt I can handle it and keep going. So I suppose that's yet another item of "every person is different".

As for dealing with endo accurately - Sachs seems to be one of the women who doesn't have severe pain from it (or else the pain is covered up by whatever she takes for her arthritis). She got diagnosed when being checked up for infertility. That's quite different from my own experience, but it's definitely not uncommon.
firecat
Mar. 25th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, I'm glad to know this. I'm lucky that my condition so far only affects my hands for a little while in the morning. It's daunting to anticipate that it might get worse, though.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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