• Koko

  • Blue Rose Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: Peter Straub
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 22 hrs and 56 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (318 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

KOKO. Only four men knew what it meant. Now they must stop it. They are Vietnam vets — a doctor, a lawyer, a working stiff, and a writer. Very different from each other, they are nonetheless linked by a shared history and a single shattering secret. Now, they have been reunited and are about to embark on a quest that will take them from Washington, D.C., to the graveyards and fleshpots of the Far East to the human jungle of New York, hunting someone from the past who has risen from the darkness to kill and kill and kill.

©2011 Peter Straub (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A masterpiece of terror.” ( Los Angeles Times)
“Complexly plotted, thickly layered evil. . . . The ultimate horror.” ( The New York Times Book Review)
“A dead-center hit. . . . A gripping, enthralling, nonstop read.” ( San Francisco Chronicle)

What listeners say about Koko

Average Customer Ratings
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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

awful disjointed

What disappointed you about Koko?

2 hours in and Im done and would love to return. I purchased on sale but not worth going any further the characters are disjointed story line difficult to follow. Too many good books out there to continue with this.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Back to Dick Hill as a reader or Divina Porter

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

A Decent Book In Need of a Much Harsher Editor

I generally like Straub's work, although he has been known to lard on the back story far more than necessary. As some of the other reviewers have already pointed out, Straub does this in Koko as well, though I found the back story itself, much of which consists of flashbacks to the experiences of various characters in Vietnam, to be interesting in its own right. I did not find these flashbacks hard to follow, though I could see how some readers might. However, I hit the point about a third or so into the book when I started wondering whether there would ever be anything resembling suspense in it. There is some suspense, especially toward the end of the book, but Straub has done far better both by himself (Floating Dragon, for instance) and in collaboration with Stephen King. The narrator was solid, but he lacked gravitas, and his emphasis in reading certain sentenses simply did not fit the context very well. All in all, I would recommend this book with some reservations to those who can listen at double speed or faster, so that the first seven or so hours take closer to four.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I couldn't finish it.

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Men who like this author's work

What do you think your next listen will be?

The Trinity Game

Did Patrick Lawlor do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

That's what did me in. It took me ages to first, get the names straight then, to get the characters straight. Then he kept bringing in new characters.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not for me.

Any additional comments?

The book felt very crowded and the narration was too fast. That is possibly what his readers like.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

7 hours in and I am done

I couldn't stick with this book. I finished about 7 hours which is about a third of the book today, finally had enough and went to shuffle music on my ipod. The story had a lot of potential in my opinion. I thought the Vietnam flashbacks were compelling, but at least in the audiobook it is extremely difficult to follow. I have a feeling in print some of the story is bouncing back and forth between passages written in italics or something. If that's the case it is just really hard to follow and confusing.

I was also frustrated that I'm seven hours into the book and the plot has hardly advanced at all. Let's get on with it already.

Honestly, the past year I've listened to a TON of really great audiobooks. Maybe its spoiled me, and I'm lacking the patience for something like this.

17 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

I would rather be reading old textbooks...

I honestly tried! Again and again, I would go back a chapter or so and try to pay more attention. Not sure how far I made it, since the narrator seems to be announcing random numbers from the local lotto, at the start of a section: "4 - 22 - 2 - 8 ." What??? The storyline is confusing enough; wait...I am not sure if there is a storyline.

I couldn't keep track of the character names, the present/past, nor even the gender of the character.

Unless, you enjoy LONG, painfully narrated stories, with gender neutral character voices, and no easy way to keep track of time (both in reality and in the story); do not buy this title.

Usually, Peter Straub is a superb writer; I'm not certain if it is one of Stephen King's pen names or a co-writer for certain titles. Either way, this book (the 6 hours I actually heard) is dreadful.

Mike

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Starts out slow, but builds suspense.

I almost stopped listening to this book a few chapters in, because it seemed to start out too slowly. Eventually, however, I was caught up in the story, which built to a high level of mystery and suspense, with a satisfactory conclusion. I'm not sure where the next book in the trilogy will take the story, but I will probably listen to it when it is added to audible.com.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Read

Best Straub novel by far! Great narration! Characters were solid and vivid, hard to put down.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story - great narration!

Read this book 30 years ago as part of a “Book of the Month” club selection, sent to me. I remembered how the sights, sounds and other feelings resonated with me, back then. The book made a lasting impression that prompted me to revisit a second time all these years later. I was not disappointed - it was as fresh as discovering a new favorite. Highly recommend - for first timers and those revisiting the past!
On to the second book in the Blue Rose trilogy.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Peter Straub at his best

Koko kicked off the so-called Blue Rose Trilogy, perhaps the pinnacle of Straub’s writing. He has always been an detail oriented writer with intricate themes and fully fleshed character descriptions.

What separates the trilogy from his earlier works are the characters who are actually likable and relatable. I think it makes for a much more satisfying reading than his earlier works like Floating Dragon or Ghost Story.

The performance of the reading is first rate. Well worth the purchase.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Straub is on his game with this one.

When Straub is on his game there are few writers that can pen a story like he can.

Koko, while meandering in several places with a few dead-end story lines, still manages to be a skillfully written and engaging thriller.

The boys are getting back together to go after one of their own who has slid off the rails and gone on a killing spree. They need to find him and get him some help. Well…cash in on the story of how they caught him is more like it. Either way, he is one of their own and they need to take care of it.

They’ll just need to find him first.

Ping pong ball puddy party, the wisdom of the elephant, butcher shop preaching, sniping Elvis, the devil’s *hole and the one that got away.

“Now the Drac goes back to church.”

1 person found this helpful