Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Good Father; Noah Hawley

Author:  Noah Hawley
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Random House Audio
Readers:  (3): Bruce Turk, Arthur Morey and Ryan Gesell (very good)
Edition: eGalley and audiobook
Source: Net Galley and Library
Date Completed: 4/23/2012
Rating: 3.5/5
Recommend: yes

The Good Father, by Noah Hawley, reminded me of another book I just finished called Defending Jacob.  It is another story, a father who questions what constitutes one being a "good father", and whether he could have prevented his son from doing what he did.

The story is told from the POV of the father, Paul Allen,  successful Chief of Rheumatology at a prestigious NYC hospital. Paul is happily married to his second wife Fran, and the couple has young twin sons.   His first marriage took place when he was much younger when Ellen had become pregnant with their son Daniel.  Ellen was somewhat of a ditz, and the marriage ended when Daniel was just starting school.  Although he tried to stay involved in Daniel's life, Daniel felt like he never fit into Paul's new life and new family, and as a result, they began seeing less and less of one another.

Paul's peaceful life, begins to fall apart when one evening over dinner, he learns that his son Daniel (a.k.a. Carter Allen Cash) has been accused of shooting and killing a leading presidential candidate. A candidate that Daniel had once worked for.  Paul cannot believe that his son could be capable of such a thing and is experiencing a deep sense of denial.

The remainder of the novel has Paul trying to understand what might have made his son possibly become another name like other political assassins who have been in the news over the years. Paul sets out to understand what has happened in Daniel's childhood, teen years and young adulthood that could have attributed to what he has been accused of.  Of course, he questions his lack of involvement in his life, and even wonders about whether genetics have played a part in the person Daniel has become.

Although I enjoyed the audio book, the (3) readers: Bruce Turk, Arthur Morey and Ryan Gesell were all good, the story itself did not wow me.  Where as Defending Jacob, by William Landay, kept me guessing from beginning to end, this book did not.  I also did not enjoy the detailed analysis into the background of other political assassins in US history. Despite these criticisms, The Good Father is still a decent book, because it is an interesting examination of  father and son relationships.  It is also a story that makes the reader realize that no matter how smoothly things seem to be going in our lives for us at times,  all that can change, for any one of us in an instant.

22 comments:

  1. This one sounds interesting to me even if parts of it weren't compelling.

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  2. Thanks for the review. I hate to think of kids gone bad...especially while I'm still trying to get my kids through high school.

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    1. We can only do our best and the rest is up to them...right?

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  3. I started reading this a while back because the premise had some potential, but I ended up not finishing it. It wasn't bad, but I felt like I could see everything that was coming (and I skimmed ahead a bit to confirm), and the writing wasn't impressing me enough to spend more time with it. In a different mood, I might have continued, and I think it is the kind of book I'm more likely to enjoy on audio.

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  4. Teresa, I can understand why you felt like that, as there were certain parts like when the went on and on about the bad seeds in US history that I got a bit bored.

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  5. Hmmmmmmm, not sure I would care for that one.

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  6. I really enjoyed this one and found the backfill on other assassins quite interesting. I do want to read Defending Jacob to see how they compare. Great thorough review.

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  7. I really enjoyed this one and found the backfill on other assassins quite interesting. I do want to read Defending Jacob to see how they compare. Great thorough review.

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  8. Having just read Defending Jacob I don't think I am up for another book that explores the same issues at this time. Also, I am a little ambivalent about all the assassination information as well. This might be something that I would listen to another time, but right now, I think I will pass. Very wonderful review today!

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  9. I also read Defending Jacob loved it passed it on to family.This one was ok found parts boring and others interesting good read not great.

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  10. An audiobook with 3 readers is quite rare isn't it? Too bad the story isn't much worth their while. Have you read/listened to Guernsey's Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? There are five readers for the audiobook, which is quite delightful.

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  11. I liked this one a lot. Something about the psychological conflict the father was going through kept my interest even though I was pretty sure I knew how it would end. Others have also said they didn't like the parts about the background on the political assassins but I found it interesting. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I've always had an interest in psychology. Now I'll have to read Defending Jacob.

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  12. I have Defending Jacob on my list, but hadn't heard of this book. You always find the most interesting things to read! Sounds like maybe I should just stick with Defending Jacob and pass on this one.

    Thanks for the review.

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  13. Sounds like it suffered by comparison to the other book.

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  14. This one does sound like something I might like...coincidentally, The Good Father is the title of a book I just downloaded, by Diane Chamberlain. Quite a different storyline, though.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  15. I've never listened to an audio book that had 3 readers, or even 2 for that matter. I'll have to check into Defending Jacob.

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  16. Just to let you know, I just clicked on your Defending Jacob link but it took me to The Good Father by Noah Hawley.

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  17. I have had this book recommended to me, reading your post I'm not sure if this is a book for me. I'm sure it's really good, but I have to be in the right mood for books like this one.

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  18. This book has some serious themes. Great review, Diane.

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  19. This is sat in my TBR pile. I don't think I've read a review for it before though. I'll have to give it a go :)

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  20. I like how you compared the two...I'm going to add Defending jacob to my list. Thanks for the excellent review of this one!

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  21. I'm on the fence about this one but I definitely want to read Defending Jacob and already have it on my list.

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