Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Point and Shoot - Duane Swierczynski

My review of the audiobook of Point and Shoot first appeared in Shelf Awareness. I am reprinting it here with their permission. And tomorrow I will have an interview with the narrator, Pete Larkin. If you missed his Five on Friday last week, you can check it out here.

First line: "A twenty-three-year-old hungover intern with a broken heart saved the day."

Pete Larkin returns to narrate Point and Shoot, the final segment of Duane Swierczynski’s Charlie Hardie trilogy. From the very onset, Larkin’s reading grabs the readers up and takes them along on Swierczynski’s wacky sci-fi/crime/comic ride.

The degree to which Swierczynski builds on each book is such that this trilogy is best read or listened to in order. Doing so on audio will not only help readers to understand the plot fully, but they also will understand the overall excellence in Larkin’s portrayal of it.

This third outing opens with Charlie in a satellite in space. His job is to guard the satellite for a year and the trade-off is his family’s safety. So when a man who looks exactly like Charlie and claims to be there to rescue him breaches the satellite, Charlie has to decide if he should chance teaming up with this doppelganger or “point and shoot.”

Swierczynski created a delicate balance with his Charlie Hardie series. Tipped one direction or the other, the blend of science fiction, crime fiction and comedy would come across as utterly absurd. Instead it’s engaging and entertaining even while the readers and listeners know it’s completely impossible. That in turn creates a thin tightrope for Pete Larkin to walk. Simply emphasizing something differently or missing humor could upset that balance. But Larkin walks that rope with style and panache, maybe even juggling flaming batons.

Down to the smallest details, like Swierczynski’s choice of movie quotes to open each chapter, Pete Larkin connects with the story, so his listeners can, too.

Point and Shoot is available as an unabridged download from Hachette Audio. It's also available to libraries through AudioGo, so you may be able to find a copy through your library.  The trade paperback (ISBN: 978-0316133302) is available from Mulholland Books.


bermudaonion July 17, 2013 at 9:27 AM  

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and really need to make the time to get to book 2.

le0pard13 July 17, 2013 at 9:28 AM  

One of my favorites this year!

Jen Forbus July 18, 2013 at 6:03 PM  

Kathy, you do!! This is just such a great trilogy on audio. I thought (as you already know) that Pete Larkin pegged Hardie.

Jen Forbus July 18, 2013 at 6:04 PM  


I'm in agreement with you. This is such a great one!! Hope you are well my friend!

theguildedearlobe August 30, 2013 at 12:20 AM  


I keep forgetting about this series. I haven;'t read any of it, and I meant to a while ago. You must keep bugging me until I do. I love cross genre novels, particularly thrillers with SF elements, so it's basically unforgivable that I haven't read this. The only work of his I have read was his Zombie short in the 21st Century Dead anthology.


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