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The Columbus Affair: A Novel Audible – Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 503 customer reviews

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By Frank J. Konopka VINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a stand alone novel from Mr. Berry that does not include his usual protagonist Cotton Malone, although there are some references to the organization involved with Mr. Malone. We have in this book a wrongly disgraced world famous reporter who is at the end of his rope when he discovers that his daughter has been kidnaped and he must help the kidnappers or she will be killed.

That's the beginning of a very suspenseful ride through history, and the story of Columbus and the "discovery' of the New World. The author postulate some really unusual wrinkles to the Columbus life story, including his supposed real name and what he really was doing sailing West Across the Atlantic in 1492. Red herrings abound in this book, and we get the usual world travelogue as the action goes from the United States, to Austria, the Czech Republic, and Jamaica. Along the way we meet many different characters, all of whom appear to be fully drawn, and with sufficient back story to make them believable.

There is great suspense, betrayal, lies, murders, and all of the other highlights that mark the Berry books. I miss Cotton Malone somewhat, but this protagonist and his angst is different and appealing as an everyman thrust into a situation beyond his imagining, and almost beyond his control. Read it; you'll like it.
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Format: Hardcover
The Columbus Affair, Steve Berry's latest novel, is an overwritten, tedious adventure, weighed down by ponderous historical details to justify a weak storyline. There is little excitement (save for a great deal of gratuitous and excessive violence) poorly developed characters, an almost unbelievable premise concerning Columbus, and an ending that is a major letdown as a payoff for the reader.

The writing style poses other problems as well. The 419-page novel consists of many short paragraphs consisting of a word or two, intended, one can assume, to add an element of urgency to the writing. Unfortunately, the effect is so overdone that it quickly loses its power to move the story along. The novel also contains numerous uses of pronouns with no specific reference, making it difficult to know who is speaking; some of the pronouns refer to speakers in previous paragraphs, slowing down the narrative as the reader has to decide who is saying what at any particular moment.

There are numerous other grammatical issues; spelling, and syntax errors which cry out for a detail-oriented editor to proofread the work. There are also the conspicuous sentence fragments, a trend in modern writing, which is really just an excuse for laziness. Unfortunately, Mr. Berry has achieved a bestselling author status, much as a Tom Clancy or James Patterson, and may believe that he doesn't need an editor to review his work; after all, he novels must be good because many people read them. Because of his commercial success as a writer, Mr. Berry should serve as a role model for other writers by working to create a literate work of fiction. When he doesn't, as has been evident in his much of his recent work, he must let his publisher take control of the work and make it the best available product.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Tom Sagan, previously a star reporter, is ready to blow his brains out. He knows he was betrayed by some of his sources who furnished invalid information. He ran with the story and lost his job and his standing as a prime reporter, but he can't find anyone to clear his name. Life no longer seems worth it. Suddenly, a man, Zachariah Simon, appears at his house holding a picture of his daughter, Alle. He shows Sagan a video of her tied to a bed being molested. Sagan and his daughter are estranged, but she is his daughter. He can't help but respond.

Simon is looking for a treasure related to the voyages of Columbus. He thinks Sagan has some clue to where it is. According to legend, Columbus brought a valuable treasure to the New World, but what was it? Indeed, who was Columbus? These questions are at the heart of the danger stalking Sagan and his daughter.

Berry does an excellent job of inserting historical detail into the fictional narrative. In fact, it is probably what keeps the story moving swiftly. We really want to find out about the Columbus mystery. The action moves between Europe, where Zachariah Simon tracks the history of Columbus' voyages and the people who were associated with him, and Jamaica where a delightful character named Bene Rowe is his sometime confederate. Rowe is a Maroon, early inhabitants of Jamaica. I learned a great deal about the fascinating history of Jamaica and the early inhabitants.

I highly recommend this book, if you like thrillers, particularly those with a historical background. The pace is fast, the history seems mostly factual, and the characters are well drawn. As a bonus, you'll get to experience the lush beauty of Jamaica.
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Format: Hardcover
I should get a major award for sticking with this book...not! It was such a disappointment with weak characters and a plot that wanted to go in different directions at the drop of a hat. Also, I was shocked at the grammatical, syntax and spelling errors. We have Tom driving through an orchard in Florida, kicking up a dust cloud which somehow changed to fog on the next page. Then in a face off in this same orchard, Zachariah, referring to a location in Vienna, asks "You are coming there?" instead of correctly referring to "going" there. And please learn the difference between lying and laying. I even wasted time trying to figure out who was being referred to due to incorrect use of a pronoun. Honestly, I am not even sure if Steve Berry wrote this book.

I recommend that if you want to read a good Steve Berry book, try The Jefferson Key.
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