With works such as Swan Song and the historical thriller Mister Slaughter, best-selling author Robert McCammon has proven himself an extraordinarily accomplished storyteller. The Five features a rock band skirting the margins of success while touring the American Southwest. Life on the road, however, takes a strange turn when they encounter an Iraq War veteran. Soon thereafter, violence descends on the group, and their lives are tuned to a terrifying pitch.
©2011 The McCammon Corporation (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC
"Not as good as his other stuff"
I am quite a fan of Robert McCammon's "Matthew Corbett" series and when I listened to "Swan Song" I was hugely impressed and thought he could be an alternative to Stephen King. It was with this in mind that I eagerly downloaded "The Five", expecting great things but this one turned out to be a huge disappointment. I found it to be overly long and often rambling in his descriptions but even worse, the book never really seemed to get anywhere.
The story is quite linear and when McCammon does tempt us with a juicy morsel it just dries up and goes nowhere. Even the climax of the book is incredibly weak because one feels no real affinity with any of the characters, unlike Swan Song where every single character was a story in itself.
I must admit to being a bit of a masochist in that I don't give up on books and movies easily. I'm one of those people who hang on in there waiting for the story to change and suddenly get better but sadly more often than not they don't and I was bored with this book after about hour 2 and it never got any better.
I still rate McCammon quite highly as a writer and storyteller but The Five was a real drudge for me.
"Not for musos"
If you work in a rock-band then avoid this novel. While the author has tried to research the "technical" side of gigging he makes some dreadful goofs as far as the gigging vibe goes and the practicality of fullfilling a tour with a decreasing number of bandmates. It just wouldn't work like he says. The first guy to get killed is the bass player but they carry on happily with the keys guy "playing his part" - in a rock band! - get real. I gave up on it ,but if you are not in the business then you may find this a decent serial killer yarn.
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