Showing posts with label thriller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thriller. Show all posts

Saturday, July 27, 2019

The President is Missing Book Review


I am not an American nor am I particularly political. However, I do love some James Patterson novels and this book, The President is Missing, which is co-authored by Patterson and former President Bill Clinton, came to the top of my reading list for my book club recently. It is a fictional work, billed as a thriller and, as the tagline says, is one that only a president could write. Here's a short, engaging trailer for the book:


According to a USA Today interview on the video that follows, Patterson and Clinton sat down to create the best book about the presidency that has ever been written. I do not think they achieved that goal. They did write a sometimes entertaining fictional story in which the President of the United States struggles to deal with a potential cyber attack and the possible destruction of the American way of life when a terrorist sets out to destroy the internet, its servers and all the computers in the United States. The President attempts to do so with the help of a small handful of trusted staff members.

I found the book a bit hard to get into and at times drawn out. In particular, I found the last section, where the President’s address goes on for far too long, unnecessary.  However, the book does give us a look into the inner workings, though obviously no secrets, of the U.S. government and it includes some humorous moments and a very likable though not perfect President.

The Guardian calls Clinton’s involvement one of the great things about this book and says that it is almost a “guarantee of political authenticity.” They go on to say that it feels like the “outcome of a conversation between one writer with an unusual skill at thriller plotting and another with an exceptional grasp of global politics.” I agree and I believe that there is value to the reader who is interested in that authenticity.

On a more serious note, The President is Missing deals with our dependence on the internet. Take a moment and think about what we could or could not do without the internet and computers. You will come up with a long, long list that includes banking, healthcare, transportation and so much more. After reading this book, you may decide to keep some cash under your mattress.

Despite having a hard time starting the book and the sometimes drawn out parts, I did enjoy it. It was not a favorite though and I cannot give it my ‘Highly Recommended’ rating but I would recommend it if you are interested in a peek into the government, you enjoy reading thrillers and are willing to tolerate the slow parts.

What Did Others Think?


For starters, the book was a Number 1 New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and Amazon bestseller though that is I am sure in great part due to the two names on the cover.

You will find that Amazon customer reviews are all over the place with 77 percent of them being 5 or 4 star. I do not think that is great but nor is it really that bad.

The Washington Post calls the book an awkward duet and writer Ron Charles calls it our for the being the obvious marketing ploy that it is. Two big names, one book. True, I suppose.

To the detriment of the book, The Guardian says, "This novel is indeed missing several things, including a believable plot and even the remotest sense of narrative tension." I would counter with it is a fictional thriller.

The Independent calls it “absurdly boring.”  I think that is an extreme position though the book had its moments.

Despite the comments and reviews from those parties, I believe that the following interview from Today with both of the authors may help you decide you want to read the book despite the shortcomings.


Once again, I can and do recommend this book if you are interested in the inner workings of the government, you enjoy a thriller and James Patterson and you can tolerate the slow parts. You can find your copy of The President is Missing on Amazon by clicking right here. Of note, The President is Missing may soon become a movie or television mini-series.

If you do read this book, be sure to come back and let us know what you thought. Was it a good read? Was it interesting despite the issues mentioned above? Would you recommend it to a friend?

See you
at the book store!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The One Man Book Review

Set in Poland in 1944, Andrew Gross’ The One Man tells the story of a man and his family rounded up and sent to a Nazi concentration camp after a failed escape attempt. Alfred Mendl carries with him his important research but that work is promptly burned on his arrival at the camp.

You have likely guessed that Mendl is not just another prisoner. It turns out that his knowledge in the realm of physics is information that only two people in the world know. The other man with this knowledge currently works for the Nazis and the Americans are desperate to gain Mendl’s knowledge so that they can win this war.

Meanwhile, in the United States, Nathan Blum works steadily away at decoding messages from occupied Poland. Previously, he had escaped the Krakow ghetto. Because his entire family was executed after his departure from home, Blum wants to reap revenge for his family and eventually agrees to go back to Poland to break INTO the concentration camp with the end goal of helping Mendl escape and bring back his physics research. Of course, breaking into a concentration camp is unheard of but getting out is really the difficult part.

This book is part historical fiction and part thriller and it is definitely a page turner. It is emotional and it will take you on a horrifying journey. I don’t think it is a spoiler if I say that I finished reading this book with tears running down my face, which is pretty unusual for me. Yes, The One Man comes HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by me for anyone who enjoys World War II fiction and a gripping story.

Author Steve Berry says, “Haunting and thrilling…A masterful blend of family and duty laced with heroism and characters that are intriguing and richly drawn...You must read it!"  You can read more about The One Man on Amazon here.

Do you enjoy historical fiction? Will you be checking out The One Man?

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

More Book Reviews:

Steve Berry's Amber Room
John Sandford's Extreme Prey
Tarashea Nesbit's The Wives of Los Alamos 




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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Inferno Book Review

Dan Brown Inferno Book Review

A page turner. A real thriller. I absolutely could not put it down. Obviously, I was not alone in my appreciation for this book as it was number one on the New York Times bestseller list for eleven weeks.

Dan Brown InfernoDan Brown's Inferno is the fourth book in the Da Vinci Code series following The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol and Angels and Demons.  In the latest volume, character Robert Langdon awakens in hospital suffering from amnesia. He remembers nothing of the previous days but memory or not, the book erupts into chaos fairly quickly. Langdon is in possession of a special code and discovers hidden parts of Florence and ancient secrets as well as a scientific situation that may improve or devastate life on earth.

Inferno is set mostly in Florence with some time spent in Venice and Istanbul. The jacket says that it "is a sumptuously entertaining read - a novel that will captivate readers with the beauty of classical Italian art, history and literature while also posing provocative questions about the role of cutting edge science in our future." I agree.

If you are up for an exciting adventure, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book. If you are going to Florence, Italy, there is simply no choice. You HAVE to read this book. Inferno was but one of the Italy-themed books we read before we had the opportunity to travel to Italy in October and I am glad that we did read it. If you cannot travel to Italy in person, you can do some armchair travelling with the book, which brilliantly explores Florence's Palazzo Vecchio, the Boboli Gardens and the Duomo.

Personally, I would love to own the special edition book shown above, which is illustrated and includes more than 200 color images. It is the version that I would choose if I were gifting this book to a mystery reader, a Da Vinci Code fan or to someone travelling to Italy.  Here's a video peek at what to expect in the special edition version of the book:


Just watching the video makes me want to read the book again and, of course, go back to Italy! If you are interested, you can find all of the versions of Inferno on Amazon here.

On a final note, the movie version of Inferno was fine.  It was interesting to visit Italy again through the eyes of the movie camera but be warned that it paled in comparison to the book. I also found myself wondering how much one would enjoy the movie if they did not have the knowledge of the story that reading the book gave. This is definitely a situation where the book far surpassed the movie.

Please stay tuned for more Italy-themed book reviews.

Happy Reading!
Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

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