Customer Reviews for

The Five

Average Rating 3.5
( 22 )
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5 Star

(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Five Stars for The Five

I have always maintained that no book Robert McCammon could write would ever compete with my favorite of his works, Boy's Life. I read that when I was a teenager, a time when I very much needed to hear it's message. Well, I can't compare that novel to The Five, which, a...
I have always maintained that no book Robert McCammon could write would ever compete with my favorite of his works, Boy's Life. I read that when I was a teenager, a time when I very much needed to hear it's message. Well, I can't compare that novel to The Five, which, although there are definite similarities, are very different creatures, but I will say that The Five is a work of astonishing power and indeed had a similar effect on me as Boy's Life did, only twenty years later. The premise is deceptively simple: A struggling rock band, laboring along on the last few dates of their cross-country tour, in what will most likely be their last time together as a band, come to the attention of an unstable and murderous war veteran who believes the The Five's latest music video gleefully disrespects everything he, and his fellow soldiers, have fought and died for. Inspired by a strange encounter during a stop on the road, Nomad (John Charles), the angst-ridden and haunted lead singer of the band, decides that, as it's clear the band will be no more once the tour is done (thanks to the announcement by both their manager and keyboardist that they're moving on to other pursuits), they should write one final song together. Somewhat unenthusiastically, the band agrees, but it soon becomes apparent that the song-in-progress has a lot more significance than they realize, and that forces are amassing in an effort to prevent its completion. To label The Five a thriller is to do it an injustice, because it is so much more than that. And although it does contain the necessary elements of a chase story, the true power of the novel lies in its exploration of themes that are as old as time and as omnipresent in our lives as the air we breathe. It's a love letter to music, a study of faith and the human spirit, of darkness and light. It's an odyssey through life and all it would have us celebrate and endure. It's about friendship and fear, courage and cowardice. It's about magic, and destiny, the power of music, and the impact our choices may have on others, whether we realize it or not. It's about people, the good, the bad, and the lost. It's about us. And it is one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure to read. So, Kudos, Mr. McCammon. Just like The Five's "New Old World", I think this book was the song you were meant to write. And what an incredible song it is. Note: Special mention should go to Vincent Chong for the amazing artwork, which completely nails the tone and spirit of the book.

posted by Kealan_Patrick_Burke on June 27, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

The Five

I read THE FIVE after seeing it mentioned in "Entertainment Weekly." After researching Mr. McCammon's other books, this seemed like it would make for an excellent mystery/suspense read for a musician. I was disappointed in the amount of mystery and suspense in the novel...
I read THE FIVE after seeing it mentioned in "Entertainment Weekly." After researching Mr. McCammon's other books, this seemed like it would make for an excellent mystery/suspense read for a musician. I was disappointed in the amount of mystery and suspense in the novel as we are introduced to the antagonist early on. The plot brims with elements of the supernatural, war novels, rock and roll history and FBI-type thrillers. Unfortunately, the book never fully explores any of these genres and leaves the reader feeling a little let down, not knowing exactly what is supposed to be taken from the book. I found myself thinking the book was over at a certain point but Mr. McCammon attached
an extra two or three chapters to further explain the "message" of the book. THE FIVE is worth picking up, but don't expect too much from it.

posted by BritLit523 on June 20, 2011

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    A writer at teh top of his game

    In recent years, Robert McCammon has written some fine historical fiction. In the 1980s and early 1990s, his name was a staple of supernatural and suspense fiction. With The Five, he returns to what he was known for. Filled with rock and roll history, this is not your average fair from an excellent writer.

    The novel begins with The Five on a tour of the southwest of the United States. They are headed to an interview with a local celebrity named Felix Gogo, who runs a Public Access television show where people come to advertise their latest projects. Felix uses his program to advertise his own car dealership. While on the show, The Five debut the music video for their new song "When the Storm Breaks."

    Iraq War Veteran, Jeremy Pett is a Marine Sniper. When we meet him in Chapter Five (whether this was intentional on Mister McCammon's part or not, it's still really nifty), he is preparing to commit suicide. His spotter, Chris Montalvo is in the VA Hospital, and anyone who knows about the special relationship between those who serve knows that brothers-in-arms are closers than blood. Jeremy is mysteriously drawn to the television before he can kill himself at the exact moment that The Five's music video airs on television. Watching the video, he has a flashback to Iraq. After the video, it cuts to the band being interview by Felix Gogo. It is here that Jeremy is given purpose. He decides he will kill the band so that he can build his resume to become a Hitman-for-hire.

    Unlike with Mcammon's novel Mine, where the reader could only feel sympathy for Laura Clayborne, here, the reader is left with the feeling that you want the band to survive, but you also want Jeremy to get away. Very few storytellers can do this.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2012

    Not my favorite but still good

    I felt this book too high on pop culture and fictional pop culture references and too low on supernatural mystery. Not my favorite Robert McCammon book, but I still found it readable. Enjoyable characters got me through it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great book!

    For a book with over 1000 pages it felt like a fast read. Interesting characters and unique story line. It's my third book read from Mr McCammon and I'm now a big fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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