Sunday, December 8, 2013

Book Review: The Cabinet of Curiosities, by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child


If you're familiar with the Broward County Library system (and who isn't?), about 70% of their entire book on CD collection is in Spanish, and the other 29% is Stephen King. That makes long commutes difficult when one is attempting to switch things up from their typical podcast fare.

Which is why it was lucky that I came across The Cabinet of Curiosities. Written by Douglas Preston, who wrote the previous excellent non-fiction crime book, The Monster of Florence, I recognized the author's name when browsing through the audio book section at the library (El Resplandor, Cementerio de Mascotas, and so on).

This is a fictional book about a serial killer from New York who may have inspired a new copycat killer in 2012. It's good! Not super good, but good enough to listen to for a million hours on my commute Mondays through Wednesdays down to Miami and back.

A few things to note: there is no main character. Not even a little bit. The closest thing to a main character is Agent Pendergast - a Southern gentleman FBI guy who has nearly supernatural powers of observation and memory. He's the most important character, I guess, but he's only in about 40% of the book. The rest of the time is split between various other people; a reporter, a female archaeologist (they're called 'femarchaeologists, I think), the killer, a developer guy, a guy at the museum, some other people. etc.

Things I liked about it: it was an interesting idea and was clearly written to be made into a thriller-type movie some day, likely starring Tommy Lee Jones, Scarlet Johannsson, and like the guy who plays Thor probably. But it had some good 'set pieces' that would translate into fun scenes in a movie. I also liked that it was very clean. Apart from the subject matter, you could almost make it PG.

Is it worth reading? Sure. The audio CD reader guy wasn't that great, in my opinion, although he did do a good job of having to take on a broad variety of styles of voices. For that, the guy who read Monster of Florence blew him away. But this was a fun diversion - definitely worth picking up if you're faced with reading a Dan Brown novel and need an emergency alternative.

1 comment:

Jessica Casey said...

You and Phil should swap audio book suggestions. He's commuted to work for years and loves audio books!