- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 44 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 12 Nov. 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GMA1S3A
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Fail-Safe Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
A plot line better suited to an early James Bond movie and the insufferable Susan Silverman testing your patience to the limit made this a tough read - the 1st Spenser book i've almost abandoned before the end.
In other books in the series i've tolerated the Spenser / Susan relationship but this time i was actually rooting for her to be killed.
If you, like me, find she is a distraction - avoid this at all costs............
Instead of an intriguing local Boston-based story with twists and turns and the usual humour, the plot is far too silly and belongs in a cheap James Bond imitation. This time Spenser has to find and kill a globally-dominant arms dealer / fraudster based in California (who has his own private army and fortresses, like Blofeld or Goldfinger) almost single-handedly.
The FBI and CIA are also on the scene (I won't give away too much detail)... but the overblown plot is basically about Spenser getting his girlfriend and soulmate Susan Silverman back from a highly unlikely affair she's been having with the arms dealer's spoilt son.
Of course it's fiction, but the previously established character of Silverman (an intelligent, sensible psychotherapist & "Harvard PhD" who happens to be drop-dead gorgeous) now turns out to be a bit flaky and unstable. I will never see her character in the same light again, or be as sympathetic!
Moreover, the book also breaks the pattern of Parker's storylines as being clever, entertaining and gripping reads which remained within the realms of credibility. This nonsense goes beyond all credibility, yet the story ends with a whimper, almost as if Parker had got fed up with it himself and decided to cut his losses.
Such a shame, as my view of the author has now been slightly tarnished.
OK, I know, it's only a book...!
Set in the late sixties 'Fail Safe' delivers a tale of computer error and misplaced human faith in machines to control our desires for war and peace. A tiny error in a non-descript machine, buried in a mountain leads to 'Group Six', a collection of US Air Force Vindicator bombers, progressing beyond their fail safe position and into Soviet territory to deliver 20 megaton bombs to Moscow. Desperate attempts by the US military and the President (heavily based on Kennedy but never directly implied) to counter act the aircraft leads to intense communications with Khrushchev and the Soviet military and, ultimately, to a decision being made which challenges the very sanity of all involved.
I read this book in about 24 hours and had difficulty putting it down, a Cold War classic which should be a standard text in all English Literature courses. Very easily readable and full of tension, I found my heart beating faster the nearer I got to the end. However, I especially enjoyed and liked the portrayal of several military personnel and their journeys through the psychological barriers which have been drilled into them through years of training.
One can only wonder how a sequel would have been.