- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 19 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: February 22, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004OWUFPK
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Night Vision Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
It is hard for long time Doc Ford readers to accept that he could fall so quickly in love for someone he barely knows or that such a thin plot could confuse Doc. Additionally, Tomlinson is relegated to a small role as a spectator and conscience tweaker for Doc, 40% of the novel does not even have Doc or Tomlinson in it, there is no Doc puzzling through thorny mysteries and dilemmas, no Doc struggling with his inner demons, and the whole book seems devoted to the spiritual mysticism of a 13 year-old girl who "talks" to her patron saint, Joan of Arc.
In summation, a young, apparently "gifted" illegal Guatemalan, Tula Choimha, who lives in the Red Citrus Mobile Home Park, sees the steroidal freak who runs the park, Harris Squires, disposing of a body in the lake where he keeps his pet 'gator. Squires and his girlfriend, Frankie, an-out-of-control steroidal slut manufacture and sell illegal steroids and make porn films using illegal females. They work closely with the V-man, Victorino, leader of the Latin Kings street gang. Soon, Harris kidnaps Tula with the intention of killing her to silence her and in short order, Frankie, Victorino, and assorted gang bangers show up to disrupt Harris' plans and to implement their own viscous plans. Enter Doc, who has been prompted by Tomlinson to help search for the missing girl. Doc discovers the entire group at an isolated camp and all hell breaks loose.
Doc will always be Doc and Tomlinson will always be his conscience and the barometer for his life. But in "Night Vision", neither has much to do and Doc, while becoming the deadly warrior that he futilely tries so hard to repress, is hardly challenged as mentally or physically as we have come to expect in past experiences. While the book is a decent read, it is not up to the bar that Randy Wayne White set so long ago for his signature character, Doc Ford.
The first task is to create characters the reader will care about, either positively or negatively. Well-crafted nasty villains, after all, can be a hoot to read about.
In Night Vision, Randy Wayne White not only fails that mission, but manages to diminish the presence of the series hero, Doc Ford and turn his usually intriguing supporting character, Tomlinson, into no more than a one-dimensional ride-along.
Bad guys must have substance. Just making them evil isn't enough. Evil is pretty banal when you think about it.
And banality describes the entire mid-section of Night Vision.
Even the young girl whose visions, and then kidnapping, sets the plot in motion is given far too much "screen time" for the little that's accomplished writing from her point of view.
A number of reviewers have asked what is going on with White's recent books, some speculating that ghostwriters have taken over the series. Rather, I suspect White has allowed his editors to run amok with helpful suggestions designed to win acclaim from the professional critics (and, indeed, Night Vision received a prestigious starred review from a respected magazine).
Such atta-boys allow authors to rise to the top of the charts but they don't help much if the work in question is so bad that the rest of us decide White isn't worth our future investment.
I took my uncle down to Sanibel for the Night Vision book signing at RWW's bar in order to meet Randy and get the book signed. My uncle is a big fan as well as myself. Randy was a great guy, spent time talking to us and seemed genuine and sincerely appreciative of our taking time to come to the signing.
That said, I bought 2 hard copies of Night Vision (one as a gift) as well as the kindle version. I held off on reading it for a few days in order to save it for a trip. I WAS BUMMED OUT by this book. Not just because I was disappointed by the story and for the first time it took real effort to finish a Doc Ford book. Truthfully, I am a bit embarassed for Randy that either his skills are slipping, or he is no longer inspired to write more Doc stories in the previous genre or I am a bit sad that perhaps the series is just out of gas.
I would have rated this one or no stars if I had not met Randy and had he not been such a good guy.
Here is hoping for a trend reversal next March.....if it is another clunker, I will start waiting for used paperbacks rather than buying the new hardcover Doc Ford books.
(BTW, does the guy even age any more? I thought he referred to himself as late 40s....he is in suspended animation with aging).
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