Jim's Reviews > Simple Genius

Simple Genius by David Baldacci
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's review
Apr 10, 2008

it was ok
Recommended to Jim by: found in a hotel lobby, probably discarded by a previous unsatis
Recommended for: nobody!
Read in March, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Baldacci has enough ideas here for 2, 3, maybe 4 books and squanders them. A riveting opening sequence grabs reader attention right away. A disaster looms for the character, just after we've met her. Tantalisingly, the disaster is possibly not from outside, but may come from within her. Then, great ... she's not alone, someone cares, someone who she cares about, too. for the character, an opportunity to get back to her life, and for the reader the feeling of a good read ahead. A challenging assignment for these two former secret service people, to get behind the scenes in a major institute with a mysterious mission, deeply hidden in the Virginia countryside. But after that promising beginning, and despite a profusion of ideas from Baldacci, the plot meanders directionless, and even stalls at times. Fascinating characters are introduced and are well drawn. New plot themes open up, but there are too many characters, too many sub-plots for the thin, almost predictable but agonisingly slow and multistranded flow of the main narrative. In the end sequence, an abrupt change of pace. The book morphs into a kind of "Enemy-of-the-State" type movie script, with twists and turns of plot occurring in quick sharp succession. Too late. The book annoys me mainly because the writer failed to leverage his assets of character and plot ideas into a coherent well-paced narrative.

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