Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Stranger; Harlan Coben

The Stranger; Harlan Coben
Brilliance Audio - 2015
(George Newborn - narrator)

We listened to this audio book on a recent road trip and, although we've enjoyed this author in the past, this thriller left us really disappointed after the first few hours.

Adam Price is a family man from New Jersey with an attractive wife and two teenaged sons.  Adam's life has been happy. One day a "stranger" approaches him and whispers a few words in his ear indicating that his wife Corrine might have faked her pregnancy.  Who is this "stranger" and what is his motive for dropping this bombshell? Could what he's been told be true?  

Adam does a little digging and finds some troubling concealed business expenses of Corrines that need explaining.  When he confronts his wife, his happy life soon begins to spiral out of control.

The story then veers off with other people getting similar visits from the "stranger". They are also told defamatory things about a loved one.  This departure from the original story caused our interest to wane. In addition, the narrative droned on and on with insignificant fillers about the Prices teenaged sons -- info about their sports gear, practices, homework, the fact they took too many showers, what types of pizza and junk food they liked and on and on.

It almost felt like Coben didn't write this novel himself, his thrillers are generally very good. Perhaps if the story was focused just on the Price family and the motives behind the "stranger" it might have been more enjoyable.  The ending was disappointing as well. The narrator, George Newborn was good but not great so I'm sorry to say we just can't recommend this one.

1.5/5 stars
(library audio)


21 comments:

  1. Sorry this was a stinker for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Big time disappointing. We should have brought 2 audios on the trip:)

      Delete
  2. Too bad this was not a great road trip read!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I hear great things about Harlan Coben but have not read his books yet. I suppose I will skip this one :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's written so many good ones so this left me very disappointed.

      Delete
  4. This was my First Selection for 2016. I rated it 3 stars. It was a quick, easy read. I think, at the time, that is what I liked most about it. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it more.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If I had read it in print, I would have skipped over the minutia. LOL

      Delete
  5. I will be skipping this one then.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a shame. It's been several years since I've read Coben.

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's too bad. The premise of this definitely sounds intriguing but it sounds like the plot got seriously lost. When I'm reading a thriller I want to be holding my breath to find out what happens next - not learning what brand of cleats someone buys!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It sounds like it would be a good story but I think I'll pass on it since it fizzled out on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He's written so many better thrillers Vicki - pick a different one.

      Delete
  9. I have really enjoyed Harlan Coban, and I thought this one was great, too. He has a way of drawing me in to his thrillers, and making them more believable than contrived (here I reference Gone Girl, not one of my favorites). Maybe I especially liked this one because it was such a relief after the heavy, heavy Man Booker Translated long list. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh wow, I am very surprised to read this. You tend to read more literary fiction so I'm trying to figure our how you even got through this one LOL

      Delete
  10. I went back and looked at what I thought about this one and this was my conclusion..."I liked the idea of this one, but it went in so many different directions that it really felt pretty flimsy when it all came together. Even Adam felt flimsy to me and he was supposed to be a sympathetic character! The end was a surprise that I mostly liked so that helped end on a high note. With all of the possibilities of the Stranger I was expecting more."
    You weren't alone in being disappointed!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for taking the time to visit and double thanks for any comments. If you ask a question in your comments, I will try to reply to it here, or by email if your settings allow me to do so. Thank again for visiting.

(I apologize for the word verification, spammers spoil it for all sadly.)