A reclusive computer programmer, Nathan Yirmorshy, pounds out ones and zeros in the quiet of his home while his landlord secretly watches from behind a two-way mirror. When an intercepted note connects the landlord to a secret society, and a detective ends up dead, Nathan must abandon his home and everything familiar to him, open his heart to a tarot reader he has never met, and trust her with his life - just as the ancient scriptures have foretold.
An appendix of essays by rabbis, doctors, and physicists discuss the themes of the book, specifically, the Bible codes and the Shekinah, the female aspect of God.
©2011 Ezra Barany (P)2014 Ezra Barany
I listened to this book in exchange for an honest review.
I am a fan of the mystery-thriller genre, but had not read the original book. However, I did thoroughly enjoy Bryan Reid's narration, which had a good deal of first-person narration by the main character, Nathan Yimorshi. I felt that his steady pacing and vocal tone suited the book well, and brought Yimorshi and the characters around him to life, so given the choice I would much rather have listened to than simply read the text.
I did like the protagonist, Yimorshi, very much. It was unusual to hear the story from the point of view of a main character affected by bipolar disorder. He was likeable and inventive (especially in his approach to shooing away the bad guy, which was a great, fun part of the book), and together with the performance, made for a character where I really wanted to know what he'd do/say next.
The Rabbi was superb, I thought. I'm afraid that I came to the book with very little first-hand knowledge of The Torah or Jewish culture, (which turned out not to be a problem as everything is explained well both in the book itself, and with further detail in the appendix).
All the characters were very distinct throughout the book, but the Rabbi was voiced beautifully, in his tone, his inflection, radiating warmth and guidance.
I did listen to this book in some long sittings, where time flew by as I got lost in it, but it's a little long, in my opinion, for one sitting. It is a compelling listen, the plot intriguing, the characters' conversations fun and nicely frank, and the tension doesn't drop - but by its nature, it's long.
It's impossible to explain without spoilers, but it has a very satisfyingly concluded end for the characters. Occasionally, with such long, dangerous adventure thrillers, endings can feel flimsy or there to shock, or simply tacked on. That's not the case here.
(Also, as a non-expert on some of the concepts surrounding The Torah Codes and MEG and so on, I did also enjoy finding out more in the appendix about what elements of the story are based in reality or realistic theory, and once more, the explanations were clear and concise.)
"Eat your heart out, Dan Brown"
It's very compelling. While the story of "codes hidden in scripture" has been done before with varying degrees of success, Ezra Barany puts a new twist on it that works quite well and keeps you listening! There's also a good deal of humor sprinkled in to what would be otherwise grim at times situations.
The main characters- Nathan and Sofia- are both very well done, as is his interpretation of the Rabbi. Bryan Reid definitely has a solid grasp of Jewish pronunciation and concepts and managed to get that across in his reading.
Two moments in particular are very well done, but to say what they are would be very spoilerriffic! Suffice it to say that there are some plans that take a while to come together, but when they do they are glorious!
There are a few essays at the end of the book that shed more light on some of the concepts presented in the book; while the book is perfectly enjoyable if you do not read them, they give an added depth to certain parts of the story that people might find interesting if they're so inclined.
For the most part, yes. The story was intricate enough, I had to listen carefully to catch the details. The author is skilled in developing the action and revealing details in the plot on an "as needed basis", therefore keeping the suspense alive. And adding in the red herring was a nice touch.
I really liked Mr. Reid's character voices. I was never in doubt which character was speaking and his delivery made the characters very real. I found his narration style a little confusing, though. I believe he was going for a dry delivery, such as in noir, but at times it came across as a little dehumanized and more like a computer. A storyteller will have an emotional reaction to the action of the story which helps guide the listener, and I believe this should come across even in a dry read. However, this was MINOR distraction and didn't detract from my overall enjoyment of the book..
I liked when Nathan realized that asymmetry can be beautiful, too.
I thought it was interesting the author included the essays about the real-life theory of the Bible Codes at the end. I listened to all. Some were very interesting and others didn't really hold much information that I was interested in, but they're there if you want to listen. I like having that option.
"Smart and thought provoking"
Yes. I first listened to the audio edition of the Torah Codes as I received the audiobook for free in exchange for an unbiased review and would definitely read the book as well. This is a book I will read again. I found it to be very eye-opening with many references to physics.
It challenged me which I really like and have backed up a few times because this is by far not a shallow book. I think there have been a few times where I've felt, okay, 'mind-blown'. The most memorable time or times were when the protagonist Nathan first realized he was being spied on by his landlord who belongs to a secret society. It only gets better from there.
When Nathan realizes that MEG isn't who or what he thought it was.
This is a very smart book. Yes a few times I felt as if 'mind blown' to some of the physics dynamics in this book. It was indeed phenomenal as far as the possibllities of various outcomes of the future of mankind.
I thought the narrator was fantastic as he has a wide range with various characters. My favorite was the Rabbi, although every single character was well defined with his or her own signature personalities. One last comment is that I would listen to this book again as well as Ezra Barany's other books as well as any books narrated by Bryan Reid! I even listened to the ending references which I found to be interesting.
It's a thought provoking story that moves pretty fast. I wanted to find out what happened for sure. interesting theories.
"The torah codes"
Flowed well and it was full of suspensel I couldn't pause it until I was almost finished. Lots of humor throughout the audiobook. This can be made into a movie, I would love to see how the characters on screen. Good narration too.
"Interesting and Entertaining"
No,but that is not to say that I did not find it interesting and compelling. I felt that the complex dissection of faith and science was fascinating and yet the the story moved forward. This story that would have been "so so" except for the complexity of the plot juxtaposed against fascinating theoretical research. All sides are presented but also this is a really great detective drama!
I loved the characters. They allowed the information and story line to evolve in a very entertaining way. At first I found Brian Reid's characterization of Nathan to be somewhat stilted but advise anyone listening to continue. He does in fact create the perfect foil for some great characters to follow. As soon as there is dialogue this narrator takes off!
I loved the scene with Captain Kors, the inventor of the MEG and also with the kid when Nathan broke into the high school. There are a lot of good moments in this book.
I laughed at the clever way the writer and also narrator humanized these really complicated people. The descriptions and details were really good. Interestingly enough the main character was often emotionless and stuck with the narrative but because of this the emotional qualities of a lot of the other characters shone through.
I really like Bryan Reid's narration. I felt he was really up to the task to deliver both great characters and religious theory (especially Hebrew pronunciations) really authentically. I was sorry that there were so many acknowledgements etc in the end. I would have gotten more by being left with the story.
Not at all what I expected. Lack any depth. character uninteresting.
Needs to develop characters to make them interesting. Not cut them.
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