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JA Konrath is the author of ten novels in the Jack Daniels thriller series. They do not have to be read in chronologically to be enjoyed, but for those who want to know the order is: Whiskey Sour, Bloody Mary, Rusty Nail, Dirty Martini, Fuzzy Navel, Cherry Bomb, Shaken, Stirred, Rum Runner, and Last Call.
Jack also appears in the novels Shot of Tequila, Flee, Spree, Three, Timecaster Supersymmetry, Banana Hammock, and Serial Killers Uncut, as well as the short story collection Jack Daniels Stories, and the novellas Floaters and Burners.
Other novels include the thrillers Origin, The List, Shot of Tequila, Disturb, and Timecaster.
Konrath writes horror under the name Jack Kilborn, including the bestsellers Afraid, Trapped, Endurance, and Haunted House.
I too am hooked on Konrath. I might have put it on my wishlist but the price was so good I purchased it. It was a great move to make it so inexpensive as I am willing to pay full Amazon price for other works by the author. Story line is somewhat different than other medical thrillers and I can see this would be a good movie. The action was written so well that I could visualize the actual movement.
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I came to find JA Konrath after enjoying reading Afraid. Because he uses another name for that novel (Jack Kilborn), I decided to look at his website, where I found that he was allowing (and even encouraging) the FREE downloads of 4 of the best of his unpublished novels (Disturb, Origin, The List, and 55 Proof). I snatched them up and easily converted them to be able to go on my kindle using mobipocket. I am so glad that I did! Now looking at Amazon, I see they are going for a very cheap prize, but how can you beat free?! Plus, they were actually really good! I think the idea of allowing a reader to try an author's previous work for free is an ingenious idea because, at least for me, once I enjoy a work of an author I will then search for more. Now I will be moving on to Konrath's Jack Daniels series because of his style of writing and entertainment value.
For this novel, Disturb, I really enjoyed it because it mixed several genres without losing its humor. The initial premise of the book is really interesting and relevant, as everyone would love to be able to sleep less while feeling better.
J.A. Kontrah/Jack Kilborn is one of the reasons I love the Kindle -- I would never have discovered this author if it wasn't for this amazing little device. That said, this is not one of Kontrah's best. The Jack Daniels series are all very good (shot of tequila, whiskey sour, etc.) Origin is great. Truck Stop is horrifying. Disturb is, well, kind of, meh. Better than most, but it doesn't compare to the other Konrath works! Interesting premise (a drug to render sleep obsolete) but the characters, and the plot itself, was a little too formulaic. This is some of Konrath's EARLY work (says he!) and you would be much better served checking out the Jack Daniels series.
The premise of this book is really interesting... what if you could take a little pill, a 20 minute nap every day and skip the whole 8 hours per night thing? What if you could do it for 7 weeks? What if you never had to sleep again?
It's a pretty screwed up book. There are tons and tons of twists and turns. I figured out a few of the twists, so at least one you could see coming a mile away. I will say the big twist at the end... totally didn't see that. This is a great thriller book, perfect to read when life is hectic and you just need something to get away. It's not perfectly written, it's a little over the top at times, BUT the writing is really great and the premise, well, the premise rocks.
The author's website says, "DISTURB is a medical thriller in the same vein as Robin Cook and Michael Palmer, but with the horror of Stephen King." Yup, that about sums it up.
I almost stopped at the end of this book. Don't do that. There's a short story at the end of it that started out so bizzare and then totally screwed with my head. A definitely "WTF" moment and then a bigger one. Umm... you'll see :)
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I loved "Origin" and other books by Konrath, but this story...well, not up to other medical thrillers. Konrath did not do his homework and the research necessary to make this a credible story. MD FDA medical reviewers do not visit companies, read submissions and tell sponsors whether products will be approved face-to-face. The premise of the treatment, no sleep due due special neurotransmitter cocktail, interesting. Additional medical details are off and I would doubt, despite what TV says, that an internist could do successful abdominal surgery. So, for the medical professionals looking for a credible, suspenseful read, look somewhere else. Furthermore, one also has to ask what kind of message is this sending about the drug development process in America. Could this happen? Not likely given the checks and balances, but if they were not there, one can only guess. From the fiction thriller standpoint, there was a lot of action, tension, and a surprise ending. If Konrath decides to go down the medical thriller path again, would suggest he get the facts straight, so all of his fans can enjoy the next ride.
This is fine for a quick beach read and it will definitely help if you can suspend all logic while progressing through the story. The writing wasn't that great and the typos really started piling up toward the end, distracting me, who can't help but to notice such things. In fairness, the author states that the book was never properly edited, but still ...
Imagine being able to take a pill and not have to spend eight hours sleeping? It's an intriguing concept and the author clearly has taken chops from the likes of Robin Cook to roll out this sleep-depriving, fast-paced read. The pacing isn't fast, it's frenetic, and there is little time spent getting to know the characters.
Not enough time.
It is intentionally plot-driven, not character-driven, I think to a detriment. I'm the kind of reader who likes to get to know characters a bit before (and after through the eyes of others) they are killed. If I don't know enough (pertinent information about) the characters, it's difficult for me to become fully immersed in the story and care what happens to them.
In the afterword which I found enlightening, the author says DISTURB was rejected from all the major publishing houses and his agent "hated it." Bummer. If the agent had worked with the author and gotten him an enthusiastic editor to help work out the characterization flaws this book could have been better. Unfortunately, it reads like what it really is: an 'almost there' trunk novel. I loved the idea, liked the pacing, found the descriptions sparse in spots (I like medical thrillers that spend more time talking about the medicine), and disliked the characterization. Average all that out to 2.5 stars, rounded up. Recommended only for J.A. Konrath completists.
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