Monday, June 30, 2008

The Collectors by David Baldacci

Publisher: Hachette Audio
Audiobook (Unabridged): 12 hours and 46 minutes
Narrator: LJ Gasner, with Aimee Jolson and Richard Mover
Author Website:
First Line: Roger Seagraves walked out of the U.S. Capitol after an interesting meeting that, surprisingly, had little to do with politics.
One Word Review: Witty

Right on the heels of the assassination of the U.S. Speaker of the House, a reclusive librarian dies mysteriously in the rare book room of the Library of Congress. "Oliver Stone" and the other members of the Camel Club set out to discover the truth about both events all the while trying to keep out of harms way.

After having read and loved The Camel Club, I was eager to read the sequel, The Collectors. While it is still quite good, unfortunately, it doesn't quite measure up to its incredibly clever predecessor. The main story line is interesting enough, and the 'bookish' plot is something most bibliophiles will appreciate. But Baldacci has basically created two separate stories here and fused them together via one character, turning it into one somewhat disjointed novel. There is a subplot surrounding an ambitious scheme to con a dangerous casino owner that doesn't fit well enough with the Camel Club cohorts, in my opinion.

Aside from that, though, The Collectors is pretty flawless. Eccentric and quirky characters along with clever dialogue and exciting action sequences combine to create a really entertaining reading experience.

As this is a review based on the audio book, I feel I should mention that I found the narration to be unpleasant. The secondary 'players' were adequate, though annoying at times, but the main narrator, LJ Gasner, has a voice that just did not work for me. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what the problem was, but I struggled throughout the book. And, I feel that I would have enjoyed the experience more had I read the book myself.

One final note. Although The Collectors is certainly sufficient to stand on its own, I would suggest reading The Camel Club first to familiarize yourself with the cast.


J. Kaye Oldner said...

STONE COLD is to die for. It's the best of all three!