An excellent, gripping, morally challenging novel.
I am reviewing Rising Phoenix as an abridged audiobook and will make specific comments on that aspect of it at the end of this review.
I have drudged and slogged my way through a number of books and books on tape lately and this one was like a bolt of lightning - it came out of nowhere and really was a welcome surprise for me. I won't go into many of the plot details - however, this is a great bit of writing. The premise is thought-provoking, to say the least. The main idea is that someone decides to poison the supply of illegal drugs in order to truly scare everyone straight. The idea of drugs killing you are no longer just an abstract possibility, it is an immediate reality.
In a nice twist, the antagonist is well-developed and the protagonists are not. The story is plot-driven and by that I mean we don't get bogged down in unnecessary details, such as focusing on weapons at great length, etc. - as can sometimes happen in a techno-thriller.
Really a top notch piece of work.
As for details concerning the book as an audiobook - it is read by Campbell Scott (known for his work in Dying Young). He does a first-rate job - he reads the characters so differently that you really don't notice that the same man is reading all of the different parts.
Good work all around.
I rate this audiobook 5 stars out of 5.
Reviewed on September 23, 2004.
Also referenced in this review:
"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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