For my drive across the country, I took several books on CD:
The first was A Cat o' NIne Tales, short stories from Jeffery Archer. They were okay, but not great.
The second was The Afghan, by Frederick Forsyth. It was both educational and exciting. The main character, Mike Martin, is an Elmore Leonard-style, taciturn, no frills kind of action hero. He never speaks when he doesn't need to, never boasts, is cool under pressure, and gets the job done. The book reminded me of why Forsyth has always been one of my heroes.
The third was The Thin Man, by Dashiell Hammett. I hadn't read Hammett in at least 30 years, and wanted to reacquaint myself. But the actor who read the book was a nasal tenor who sounded like a self-satisfied preppie trying to evoke W.C. Fields, and obviously felt that he, not Hammett, was the star of the show. I could only take about two minutes of his voice.
The fourth book was The Corrections, by Jonathan Franzen, which had come highly recommended. But the subject (an elderly woman trying to cope with a husband who's suffering from the early stages of dementia) was just too depressing. It was very well written, but I feel the same way about such books that I feel about well done but depressing movies: no thanks.
So I listened to The Afghan for a second time.