Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
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27-06-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
“The Innocent,” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing, April 2012), is a fast-paced, if not terribly exciting, action thriller about an assassin (Will Robie) who is regularly contracted by the U.S. Government to perform hits on people whose existences are politically inconvenient for one reason or another.

He’s a calculating, cold, and ruthless mercenary until he’s given an assignment to kill a woman and her child but ends up refusing to do so. This refusal angers the powers that hired him, so he becomes a target, himself. But just who wants him dead is anyone’s guess after the most likely suspects all end up dead, themselves.

If you’re wondering why I don’t mention the fourteen-year-old girl who’s featured on the cover with Robie, it’s because she seems to have no real reason for being in the book in the first place. Her name is Julie, and she and Robie run into each other as they are both trying to escape their would-be killers.

Robie decides it’s his job to protect her from the men who took out her parents and are now trying to assassinate her. And, yes, ultimately there's a connection between her parents death and the reason Robie is being hunted, but that whole part comes across as contrived and needless to the plot. You could remove Julie’s character and the death of her parents, and the entire story would remain exactly the same.

In fact, many of the events that take place in the story seem random and needless to the plot. It’s as if the book were written by a software program where general parameters like, male main character, taboo relationship, action, homicide, reading grade level 6, , etc., were plugged in and then processed.

Of course, without Julie’s character you’d lose the prurient suspense of finding out whether or not Robie is going to molest her. After all, she does sleep in his apartment and the two have a great deal in common. In the end, what this conscienceless killer is going to do with her soon becomes the only reason for continuing to read this otherwise boring action thriller.

In my opinion, the story should have centered more on a woman Robie meets, named Annie Lambert and the relationship that ensues forthwith, but her part becomes almost a side note. I won’t go into more detail about it, because she ultimately plays a critical role in the story. Nevertheless, Annie is underplayed, and the adolescent Julie is overplayed.

The writing is competent, I suppose, but it’s low-level stuff obviously written for those who make movies out of low-level stuff. If it’s made into a movie, you can expect one of those forgettable CG action flicks intended to keep big name stars employed long beyond their usefulness.

“The Innocent” is not a strong story, and it can get a little confusing with all the different directions it takes, directions that ultimately don’t add up to much. But if you do get confused, don’t worry; the final chapters, themselves, turn into a highly improbable short story that wraps up all the details far too neatly.

Would I recommend this book? No. Baldacci is famous, and this being his latest effort at typing practice you may want to read it to stay on top of what’s new, but it certainly didn’t move me.



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27-06-2012, 12:59 PM
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
Wow is that you Egor?

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27-06-2012, 01:04 PM
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
See whatever else you have going on in thet thar noggin of yours, you clearly know your writing. I like your reviews. To a guy who just reads books and has vague feelings like "wow, that was great" or "meh, boring", to see it analyzed has actually been rather fascinating.
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27-06-2012, 01:52 PM
 
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
(27-06-2012 12:59 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Wow is that you Egor?

Why, yes it is, Fstratzero. Yes

(27-06-2012 01:04 PM)morondog Wrote:  See whatever else you have going on in thet thar noggin of yours, you clearly know your writing. I like your reviews. To a guy who just reads books and has vague feelings like "wow, that was great" or "meh, boring", to see it analyzed has actually been rather fascinating.

Oh good. Well, I try to keep it more entertaining than academic, but I'm glad you seem to think it was in-depth enough. Thanks for the review of my review. Girl_nails
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27-06-2012, 03:04 PM (This post was last modified: 27-06-2012 05:09 PM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
See. All that prophet shit was just "part-time". Clearly you have found your "full time", sir.
Wuz thinkin hmmm....
"If he could only see that in having the ability to ask the question, he's already got his answer", and maybe won't be so impatient with us.

The pieces of the puzzle, (in the answer) will assemble themselves, who cares when..just "do" your books !
Great job. I'm rather seriously impressed.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

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27-06-2012, 04:35 PM
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
(27-06-2012 01:52 PM)Egor Wrote:  
(27-06-2012 12:59 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  Wow is that you Egor?

Why, yes it is, Fstratzero. Yes

(27-06-2012 01:04 PM)morondog Wrote:  See whatever else you have going on in thet thar noggin of yours, you clearly know your writing. I like your reviews. To a guy who just reads books and has vague feelings like "wow, that was great" or "meh, boring", to see it analyzed has actually been rather fascinating.

Oh good. Well, I try to keep it more entertaining than academic, but I'm glad you seem to think it was in-depth enough. Thanks for the review of my review. Girl_nails
I'm glad to see productive things from you. That to me is what makes life interesting. The things people create.

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The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
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27-06-2012, 11:24 PM
 
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
(27-06-2012 03:04 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  See. All that prophet shit was just "part-time". Clearly you have found your "full time", sir.
Wuz thinkin hmmm....
"If he could only see that in having the ability to ask the question, he's already got his answer", and maybe won't be so impatient with us.

The pieces of the puzzle, (in the answer) will assemble themselves, who cares when..just "do" your books !
Great job. I'm rather seriously impressed.

Thank you, Bucky Ball. That's encouraging.

(27-06-2012 04:35 PM)fstratzero Wrote:  I'm glad to see productive things from you. That to me is what makes life interesting. The things people create.

I would agree; it is what makes life interesting. In fact, you will notice if you visit my site, that the next book I'm reviewing is by a brand new author with some interesting young adult ideas.
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28-06-2012, 07:16 AM
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
Am I the only one who hears stuff primarily on the left speaker side?

Good review though man.
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28-06-2012, 08:58 AM
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
Quote: Filled me with the urge to deficate.
Thumbsup My favorite line from your review. It would make a great blurb on the back cover of a book! Thumbsup

"All that is necessary for the triumph of Calvinism is that good Atheists do nothing." ~Eric Oh My
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28-06-2012, 11:45 AM
 
RE: Not Too Moved by "The Innocent"
(28-06-2012 07:16 AM)Logisch Wrote:  Am I the only one who hears stuff primarily on the left speaker side?

Good review though man.

I don't know what to do, for Christ sake! Weeping


At least this time the recording level was higher.

Either the mic I am using is not stereo, or the external mic port on my camera does not capture in stereo. The regular mic on the camera captures in stereo, but it's not good sound quality. I'm heading back to Radio Shack to see if I can engineer a solution.

One day, you'll be able to say to your grand kids, "I remember back in the day when you couldn't even get him in stereo!"
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