15 thriller masters. 1 masterful thriller.
Former war crimes investigator Harold Middleton possesses a previously unknown score by Frederic Chopin. But he is unaware that, locked within its handwritten notes, lies a secret that now threatens the lives of thousands of Americans. As he races from Poland to America to uncover the mystery of the manuscript, Middleton will be accused of murder, pursued by federal agents, and targeted by assassins. But the greatest threat will come from a shadowy figure out of his past: the man known only as Faust.
The Chopin Manuscript is a unique collaboration by 15 of the world's greatest thriller writers. Jeffery Deaver conceived the characters and set the plot in motion; the other authors each wrote a chapter in turn. Deaver then completed what he started, bringing The Chopin Manuscript to its explosive conclusion.
The Chopin Manuscript was written by:
Jeffery Deaver (Lincoln Rhyme series)
David Hewson (Nic Costa series)
James Grady (Six Days of the Condor)
S. J. Rozan (Bill Smith/Lydia Chin series)
Erica Spindler (Last Known Victim)
John Ramsey Miller (Winter Massey series)
David Corbett (Blood of Paradise)
John Gilstrap (Scott Free)
Joseph Finder (Power Play)
Jim Fusilli (Terry Orr series)
Peter Spiegelman (John March series)
Ralph Pezzullo (Jawbreaker)
Lisa Scottoline (Daddy's Girl)
P.J. Parrish (Louis Kincaid, Joe Frye series)
Lee Child (Jack Reacher series)
© 2007 International Thriller Writers, Inc., Jeffery Deaver, Lee Child, David Hewson, James Grady, S. J. Rozan, Erica Spindler, John Ramsey Miller, David Corbett, John Gilstrap, Joseph Finder, Jim Fusilli, Peter Spiegelman, Ralph Pezzullo, Lisa Scottoline, and P. J. Parrish (P) 2007 Audible, Inc.
"Innovative and unique, The Chopin Manuscript, written by masters in the field of thrillers, is far more than the sum of its parts. Here each author shines, blending individual skill and energy, into a riveting, crackling-paced tapestry of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Not to be missed!" (James Rollins, author of The Judas Strain)
"A GREAT story, written by one GREAT author after another, in one GREAT chapter after another. A stellar achievement of collectivity that blows from the starting gate at 100 mph and never slows down. A thrill-a-page from 15 GREAT thriller masters. Don't miss this one." (Steve Berry, author of The Venetian Betrayal)
I liked the IDEA of this book - all these great writers teaming together to write some amazing secretive masterpiece - but I felt the book turned out to be a bit disjointed. OK. Very disjointed.
And it was only until I listened to the bonus interview at the end of the audible recording that I learned that the authors did not work together ONE BIT!
They just sent the growing manuscript to the next person on the list after they had added their chapter. So there was very little vision here for how the whole story would turn out, because none of them actually had any clue whatsoever, and it really really would have been a FAR greater book if they did some planning.
It all felt like a bit of a muddle really. Enjoyable because of the concept, all these writers coming together, but I felt it could have been so much more given a little planning on their part.
"And lucky to get one star."
I cannot say that this is the worse book that I have ever read/listened to but I can say that it is the worse I can recall. Not to be beaten I persevered to the end, believing that it could not get any worse and could only get better. I was wrong.
The best to be said is that it must a been a real hoot for the authors to write. I bet that they had a real laugh, they clearly enjoyed themselves; brutally obliterating the work of their predecessors; killing of characters that showed any promise; creating their own characters [only to have them removed by those coming after; reinventing key characters, assuming that they had allowed them to live; twisting what remained of any plot?? They were so busy destroying what had gone before and introducing their own cunning [not] twists that the story, what there was of it, had no continuity or validity. Characters that did survive to the end of the book where amalgams and contradictions, due to repeated rewriting, and lacked any real individuality, making empathy impossible. The plot line was a nonsense, from Dick Barton to Batman. Enough said.
I bought the book as I found the concept of multiple author interesting. Perhaps it was too much to expect that they would cooperate rather than compete, each trying to outdo the previous with ?clever? plot twist. The easy line was to destroy what and gone before and start again. At first I had some sympathy with the later authors, after all they also had to read the earlier chapters but as my brain screamed 'this is trite nonsenss' I quickly lost that sympathy.
I did not like the reading either but cannot criticise, the reader has my full sympathy. How do you read a book that swings from comic strip to English language primer?
I have enjoyed some of these authors in the past but here, well, least said the better.
I have never seen much purpose in writing book reviews and this is my first. This book has changed my mind.
"This book simply does not flow"
Ultimately it disappoints due to lack of structure and continuity. It feels "wrong"
"Audio book of the year?"
This is a truely awful book. As previous reviewers have said, it is extremely disjointed. Each new author seemed to have wanted to make his or her mark by developing or introducing new character so that it had no cohesion. There are also a couple of glaring errors in characterisation - obviously they did not all read the previous chapters that carefully.
I found it extremely irritating although I had paid for it so I did listen all the way through. Goodies became baddies, characters ran round in ever descreasing circles and got nowhere.The ending is terrible.
Don't waste your money.
"An interesting experiment - doesn't quite work."
I was interested to read about the way that this had been written and was interested to listen to it. There were too many twists, turns and characters for my own liking but it was interesting to remember how it had been formulated.
I devoured this book. It's a unique creation, with the first and final two chapters written by Jeffrey Deaver, and every other by another author. Fantastic collaboration woven seamlessly despite each chapter being written by a different expert in the thriller genre. Looking forward to reading the next joint effort (just downloaded it from Audible.com - The Copper Bracelet!) from the International Thriller Writers. Great stuff, particularly if you spend a lot of time motorway travelling as I do. This book eats the miles away!
"Not bad but....."
This book promised so much within the first few pages but just totally failed to deliver. It becomes very cliche'd about halfway through and it really shows that there are a number of different authors involved as each chapter changes dramatically and there are several desparate attempts to bring the story back on track!
"NOT the way to write a book"
A big mistake, each author seems to vie with the other to outstrip his predecessor, the body count makes the final scene in Hamlet look like a storm in a tea-cup. A very unsatisfying listen, suspension of disbelief zero, you could not 'trust' the author because there was no 'direction'.
Narration was excellent.
I wouldn't usually buy books of this genre, but I thought it sounded like an interesting prospect so I decided to give it a try. It didn't win me over to the genre, though I did buy the sequel, 'The Copper Bracelet' (although I haven't actually had the inclination to listen to it yet!) So as you can see, I have mixed feelings about this book.
You have to take this book for what it is. If you're expecting a great thriller then you'll probably be disappointed. Of course the way it has been written doesn't lend itself to being a literary masterpiece. But if you accept that and take it as a bit of a novelty, an experiment, then it's reasonably enjoyable to listen to.
Yes, it doesn't always flow well. Yes, authors tend to do all the things you might expect - change the character's personalities, put in dubious twists, kill off some characters and invent other new ones. But in my view these issues are not as serious as some other reviewers suggest.
There were chapters I really enjoyed and chapters I didn't like at all.
All in all, take it for what it is. It's not a great novel, but it's an interesting experiment, different to most of the other books you read/listen to. If you're up for that, give this book a try.
"Really interesting concept."
I downloaded this out of curiosity more than a desire to hear a thriller and I was pleasantly surprised. I thought it could be disjointed or confusing but it wasn't. The plot was tantalising, the characters developed through each chapter and the story flowed. Whilst you could tell the different styles of the authors and their way of writing this genre it made for a satisfying journey and insight in to their own writing. I liked this style a lot, it was stimulating. Will download another of this style.
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