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Takedown (2006)

Takedown (2006)
4.25 of 5 Votes: 5
0743271181 (ISBN13: 9780743271189)
atria books
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Takedown (2006)
Takedown (2006)

About book: This book may have passed for a decent, somewhat badly written yet still entertaining, espionage thriller. However, any chance the book had was ruined by the fact that it functioned better as a piece of right wing propaganda than as a piece of entertainment.I don't really care what Brad Thor's political views are, I don't particularly care that he and I differ, and I don't even mind if he infuses those views into the novel. However, when there is more focus on said views than an actual story, then I get a little annoyed. Just about every character is an arrogant, judgemental, testosterone driven prick. Those that aren't exact clones of the others were either terrorists or made out to be idiots. The author spends most of his time whacking us over the head with his political views, rather than focussing on the story. He is condescending and insulting to the characters that hold different viewpoints, and by extension towards those readers that hold different viewpoints (myself being one of them).Mr. Thor takes the idea of patriotism to another level. I'm all for loving and fighting for one's country, but the message given by this book is that anyone who isn't out on the front lines, who isn't willing to torture prisoners, who shows even an ounce of pacifism (or even basic humanity towards one's enemies) is just as bad as the terrorists. The one major political opponent to the fictional president's policies, the one I frankly agree with, is laughed out of the room, by both Mr. Thor and his characters, and forced to resign. For showing a difference of opinion? Said fictional president later pretty much declares war on Islam as a whole, extremist or not, and we are still supposed to root for this guy? Wait, what?To top off my disdain for Brad Thor's overbearing political propaganda, there was also his lack of basic writing ability. The integration of Mr. Thor's messages was made all the more clunky by his apparent need to beat us over the head with words such as "America", "Patriot", and "Terrorist". He tells us over and over again how angry each and every character is, battering us with paragraphs and paragraphs about how pissed off they are at the terrorists and their attacks. There is no variation to this anger between characters. The wording is practically identical from chapter to chapter, character to character. Why? Because every character is a robot whose only purpose is to further convince us of why Brad Thor's view on the world is absolute, and anybody who disagrees is no better than the terrorists.It was interesting to here Mr. Thor's view on Canada. Paranoia is apparently so rampant in the U.S. intelligence services that they are convinced that even their allies are invading them, and that the American people need to "wake up".In conclusion, if you hold similar views to Brad Thor, or at least aren't bothered by his beating the reader around the head with them, then you will likely enjoy this. I can see a case being made for it being a decent espionage thriller. For me though, what little enjoyment I might have gotten from the book was lost in a sea of overbearing political ideologies.To me, this book represents everything wrong with the western world's views on Islam and the War on Terror. Individuals reacting out of anger, fear, and hatred simply perpetuate the problem and reinforce ingrained biases. Issuing sweeping, blanket condemnation on an entire religion for the actions of a few extremists is ignorance of the highest order, and plain racism.

This is book five of the series and by far one of my more favorite Brad Thor books, even with his over-the-top action sequences and improbable storyline. I’ve read the series out of order and was pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the back story on how Scot Harvath met his love interest in subsequent books, Tracy Hastings, the introduction of the “Troll” character, the acquisition of Scot’s Ovcharka, and his domicile Bishop Gates. I also appreciated missing is some of the political innuendo and commentary more prevalent in the newer books.What I find engaging about Brad Thor is the level of detail that his research is integrated and crafted into the story for the benefit of the reader, whether it’s the specifications and models of the weapons or description areas in which the sequences take place. You could almost smell the dank musty air of the Pig Whistle where Scot and his buddy Bob share a drink. I think this adds to the authenticity and counterbalances some of the hokiness in parts of the story. The other thing I like about Brad Thor is how he expounds upon the footnotes about a place or an event. Takedown brings up back several familiar characters including Scot Harvath, Gary Lawlor, and President Rutledge and his daughter Amanda. Scot Harvath thought he was going to kick back and enjoy a little downtime during the Fourth of July weekend but instead finds himself against insurmountable odds to find out who was behind the latest terrorist attack in New York City. Teaming up with a makeshift Spec Ops team they take up arms to track down those responsible and also the US Government itself to prevent a potential follow up event.One last tidbit, read the acknowledgements. There is a little back story about the character Brad Harper.
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How can one really outright enjoy the first Die Hard movie then absolutely hate the sequel(s)? How can one ignore the unlikely premise/s and focus on the truly senseless but highly entertaining onscreen mayhem? The answers to these questions are important, aren't they? They relate to how one will feel about this book by Brad Thor.This was my first Thor book. First, the aspects of it that I liked: the action, the armaments and , er, the action. Ok, this a short list, but there was a lot of it in various permutations and repetitions. The unlikables: war, unrepentant killing, skimpy character development, non-sequiturs. There's enough of that, too. Enough that the good and the bad balance out. What tips this to one side for me is the unrelenting world view espoused by the author through the characters and the story, that everything can be painted in black or white, that conflict can only be resolved by the mighty quashing everyone else. There was just too much of this for me to be ignored, and ultimately to truly enjoy this book.An important lesson for me as a writer is to understand how much of my own opinions to infuse into stories, another step on the road to understanding what true story-telling is about. Such a long road still ahead.
Steven Hummer
Wanted to give Brad Thor another try because "The First Commandment" was a good book.This was ok and not as good as "The Fist Commandment".Yes there are a bunch of things that get blown up and some good action packed parts but I still believe that Vince Flynn is the better thriller author.Something that really bugs me about Brad Thor is his writing style he has a bunch of characters and does a very poor job of describing what they look like or does not describe what the look like at all.This is bad for me as the listener to first form a picture in my mind of what is happening to the people in the story and second be able to keep track of each character in the story so I can keep up to speed with who is doing what.It is one of Brad Thoar's biggest flaws and a huge disapointment for me as a reader/listener I want to enjoy the story and have fun with it but Brad Thor shouldn't make it complicated for one to simply sit down and try to loose themselves in a book.This book takes place before "The First Commandment" and sets up the plot for that book in the last few chapters so if you want to read Brad Thor's Scot Harvath books start with this one.This is one of those audiobooks that I don't plan on re reading.If you are looking for a good solid thrller author who does a much better job than Brad Thor then I highly recommend anything by Vince Flynn.
William Crosby
This books seems to be primarily about anger and vengeance on all sides.Quite a bit of the the book is a rather mechanical and tedious chase of the "bad guys." The book is essentially a shoot-em-up.I almost gave this 2 stars. I like action adventures, but I prefer more about human relationships mixed in so that we can really get to know the characters. Except for anger and sex, there is not much to know about these characters.What led me to give it 3 stars was that it presented a U.S. government with diverse conflicting goals and differing rules of engagement so that different agencies of the government end up fighting/impeding each other. Sometimes this was confusing, but then that is what the main character felt so that I could identify with him on this point anyway.Parts of this book reminded me of the book "Top Secret America" with its non-fiction accounts of various ultra-secret government agencies sucking up billions of dollars and duplicating/contradicting each other and not overall accomplishing a whole lot for the U.S.There was some discussion about ethics and whether a "war on terrorism" means suspending human rights and just plain murder.
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