Tuesday, September 9, 2008 By: Suzanne

Book of the Dead

I listened to this book by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child on my way to and from work (it's a long drive) as well as any other time I was briefly in the car. Each time I got back in, I felt as if the time between listening had been simply the intermission for the story. I was instantly drawn back in the crazy lives of these characters. I was a little confused at times when story from the characters past was brought up. It was done in such a way that made me feel I was missing a book in a series, which I realize now that I am. I had read Relic several years and vaguely recognized some of the character names from that story but it's been so long that I pretty much only remember that it was a book about a plant that turns people into monsters when they become addicted to it. Oh, yeah, I also remember that the movie changed some very important parts of the story but aside from the fact that the cop in the movie was actually two people in the book I don't remember that either! hehe, so I'm not writing about that one!

Apparently Book of the Dead and it's two previous "chapters" involve many of the same characters I first became acquainted with in Relic. I am surprised that I genuinely like these novels. For the most part they mysteries in the Sherlock Holmes style, something that generally bores more. Even though I now realize that I missed two books in this series and I will probably go back and read them, I don't feel like I was left out of the loop. The writing in this book is very well done. The authors have filled in people like me on the storyline while not boring those who probably read the others books. I've read authors who go on for pages describing back story to the point that you want to rip those pages out and just GET ON WITH IT. This is not done that way. So while I was little confused at first, by the end of the story I knew all that was important without the story getting bogged down.

The storyline itself is fascinating. It's like a modern day Set and Osiris, except this isn't dismembered and brought back by his wife. Or I guess you could argue that Pendergast's time in prison is a death and he is reborn when he is free. He's certainly not the same person he when he emerges. All around the struggle between brothers is the subplot (so we think at first) of the re-opening of an old exhibit at the Museum of Natural History: The tomb of Senef. This tomb is supposedly cursed and people begin dying in very strange ways...What will happen?

If you're interested in listening to an audiobook, like I did, I highly recommend this one. The narrator, Rene Auberjonois, reminded me of being read to as a child. He did different voices for the characters (without getting hokey). The constant tension in the story was heightened by his reading style. There were times when I had extra time between classes and stayed in my car instead of going into the school early just so I could hear the next two minutes of story. It was simply that good.