- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 31 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: January 6, 2015
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00QL8X3G8
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Descent Audiobook – Unabridged
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It fumbles around. I kept doing mental etch a sketch to figure whose story is being told now because he gives NO indication until four paragraphs into it. I like to imagine settings, people's feelings, experience. Can't really do that when I don't know who you're TALKING ABOUTNOT. And bouncing, constant bouncing, from the past to the present. WTF? Tell the damn story.
I'm 58% through the book and I doubt I'll finish it. I hope they all die, honestly. NONE of the characters have any redeeming qualities. Not one of them. Well, ok, maybe the dog.
This. Book. Sucks.
Caitlin and Sean go for an early morning run/bike ride in the mountains. A few hours later, Grant gets a phone call from the county sheriff that Sean has been found badly injured on the side of a road, probably hit by a car, and Caitlin is nowhere to be found. All too quickly the idyllic vacation turns into a family's worst nightmare—what could have happened to Caitlin? Where is she? Is she alive? Will they ever see her again?
Descent follows Grant, Angela, and Sean as they try to make sense of Caitlin's disappearance. Already deeply affected by another tragedy earlier in her life, Angela's grasp on reality becomes ever more tenuous, and she tries to reconcile her feelings for her husband and her son. Grant and Sean each try to deal with their feelings of guilt and anger in very different ways, while navigating the tension that has grown between them.
I felt as if this was, in essence, two books in one. There was the exploration of family dynamics in the wake of a cataclysmic event, and then the tension-filled, heart-pounding conclusion. Tim Johnston is a terrific writer, and his use of language and imagery was almost poetic at times. I could have done with less introspection, because while I understand it was necessary to show just how vastly each individual was affected, I felt as if the same things happened over and over again. But once the action and suspense ratchets up, despite containing elements you've seen many times before, the book stepped itself up a notch or two.
This is a well-written book that definitely gets your heart pounding at the end. But the quiet moments in the book are just as powerful, and prove Johnston's strengths as a writer.
Now Tim Johnston takes his turn at the plate and man oh man, can he ever write. In a nutshell, the plot goes like this: a dysfunctional family – husband, wife, college-bound track star daughter and younger son – are on vacation in the Rocky Mountains. The sister and brother go for a run in the mountains; a car strikes the brother. The daughter, Caitlin, takes the driver up on his offer to take her to fetch help but instead, he kidnaps her. And from that foundation, the novel takes off.
This is not just a thriller; it’s a LITERARY thriller. As a result, the reader cannot expect a plot twist a minute or an emphasis on plot at the expense of character development. The question is never about “who took Caitlin” or even “why did he take her”, but rather how such a heinous act can mentally and emotionally destroy each member of a family. That being said, I read the last 75 pages with my heart in my mouth.
The prose is luscious. It’s obvious that Tim Johnston knows the Colorado Rockies and the sense of place is quite magnificent. The characters are never black-and-white but rather flawed people with their own issues, many of which are illuminated after the abduction. The randomness of life is often highlighted. (The kidnapper says, “People don’t want to give dumb luck any credit for the turns in their lives, good or bad. People want to believe in some plan, or design, when all around them is the evidence that the whole world is nothing but dumb luck. Going back to the first cells of the ocean. Going back to the stars.”
Descent is a thriller. It is literary. And it combines the two genres together to create a book that truly does work without being in the least manipulative in its plotting.
Most recent customer reviews
The one thing I didn't like, was a scene with a huge coincidence.