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The Nature of the Beast: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Audio CD – Unabridged, August 25, 2015
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About the Author
LOUISE PENNY is the #1 New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of ten previous Chief Inspector Armand Gamache novels. She has won numerous awards, including a CWA Dagger and the Agatha Award (five times) and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for Best Novel. She lives in a small village south of Montréal.
- Item Weight : 9.9 ounces
- ISBN-10 : 1427263868
- ISBN-13 : 978-1427263865
- Dimensions : 5.1 x 1.07 x 5.99 inches
- Publisher : Macmillan Audio; Unabridged edition (August 25, 2015)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #764,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Background: In the 1980's, a Canadian artillery expert named Gerald Bull proposed designs for 'super guns'. Saddam Hussein was interested, and started an effort known as ' Project Babylon'. Bull's involvement was not too clear, at least from what I've read, but in any case he was assassinated. Whether by Israel, who was afraid Saddam would get the gun, or on orders of Hussein, because Bull ether did not or could not produce what Hussein wanted, only those involved know.
At any rate, this much of the book is factual.
More background: There were at least two initial versions, 'Baby Babylon', which was actually built, and 'Big Babylon'. From the description in Penny's book, the gun found is clearly 'Big Babylon', based on the size of the loading chamber and bore.
Now here begin the problems: 'Big Babylon' had a barrel length of 512 feet - no, not a typo, '512' and a weight of 2100 'tonnes' - given the spelling, I assume the Wikipedia article is using British 'tonnes'.
So we have two choices: Either the gun is real, with the absurdities noted below, or what is being related is someone's nightmare or psychotic episode. Confession: I've not finished the book, nor do I intend too, but I assume that Penny is too good a writer to resort to such a weak plot device of 'none of this was real'.
So that leaves us with a real gun. There are only three ways it could have gotten there: 1) It was built in place; 2) The components were built somewhere else, and assembled in the forest; 3) It was completed somewhere else and moved there.
I don't think I need to point out how absurd any of these scenarios are. Any one of them would have been noticed by everyone in Three Pines. Remember that the reason they were able to find Laurent's stick was because, as a 9-year old, he hadn't gone 'too far' into the forest. So the gun was close to the village. A 2100 ton, 512' - and more, that was just the barrel - gun put there, and no one noticed?
A reviewer of the last Penny book, "The Long Way Home" observed that it was sad when a writer as good as Penny didn't know 'when to hang it up.' Sad indeed.
Top reviews from other countries
And that is The Nature of the Beast. Penny has done the little village of Three Pines to death, and she’s flogged the life out of all of the main characters, too. I believe that another book is scheduled. I won’t read it, and I hope with all the warmth I feel towards Louise Penny as a writer who has given me immense pleasure that she will realise that her hero’s time is done and that she should write no more about him.
Two stars. Failure. In the name of God, desist.
Enough has been said by previous reviewers regarding the basic plot of the story, so I shan't dwell on that here - except to say that it was a plot that had me intrigued and riveted all through the book.
As others have mentioned, the fact that Gamache has retired surely means that the whole storyline in this series has to take a detour, with Lacoste now in charge, seconded by Beauvoir. I shall be reading the next book as I have read them all up to now and am really very interested to see how the retirement of Gamache is handled by the author - although there are murmurings about him maybe returning to policing/investigating in some capacity.......
That said, I enjoyed the continuing stories of the villagers, and also the discussion of the aftermath of the story of Surete corruption - nothing is ever simply cut and dried with Penny. The various possibilities which were mentioned for Gamache's future were also intriguing - clearly he won't be buried in Three Pines for too long.