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Adventure read - David Gibbin's "The Last Gospel"
The Last Gospel - David Gibbins
Member Name: julwhite
The Last Gospel - David Gibbins
Advantages: Very well researched
Disadvantages: Not very readable and too long
This review is of the paperback book "The Last Gospel" by David Gibbins, a book similar to the books by Dan Brown and the other conspiracy theory authors. Gibbins has written three other fiction titles which are similar, these are "Atlantis", "Crusader Gold" and "the Tiger Warrior". I've only read the former, but it was a good adventure story, which was put together well and very readable.
In basic plot terms, and without giving too much away, Jack Howard gets access to a library which has been covered up for over 2,000 years. The information that he discovers in one of those documents is of huge significance, and when certain people discover that Jack Howard has this information, they want him gone, and the secret left unknown.
The reason that Dan Brown's books worked is that they appeared to be believeable, and readers would ask themselves "could this have possibly have happened?". Inevitably the reader knows that they likely didn't, but it's important to be sucked into that realm of what might have happened. Unfortunately, with this book, it starts slow and never really engages the reader in my view.
The author comes from the field of archaeology, and has been a published author and teacher in the subject. This technical and historical knowledge does show in the book, which does seem genuine and authentic. Unfortunately, it doesn't necessarily mean that his writing style is of a high quality, and although it's not bad, it's not the best that I've read.
The book is long, the paperback book weighs in at 576 pages. This might just be a little too long, and there isn't enough action in the book in my view to keep the reader interested and believing in the story. The book is also really just a bit formulaic, which does detract from the reading somewhat, rather than you picturing Jack Howard's adventures, you become aware of what is likely to happen, and it then becomes predictable and a little drab.
When I was reading the book the author's interest in diving and archaeology did make its way into the text rather frequently, and in some bizarre places. It was almost as though the book was very heavily researched, and the plot almost fitted around the copious amounts of research that the author had done. That's why it felt at times more like a history book than a fiction title with a well developed plot.
The hardback edition of this book, which was published in February 2008, now seems to be out of print. However you can buy second hand copies of this book for around four to five pounds including postage on sites such as eBay and Amazon. The paperback version is still in print, and at the time of writing, retailed for 6.99 pounds, but is available new on Amazon for 5.49 pounds. If you're happy with a second hand copy, these are available for around three pounds including postage.
The book isn't a bad read, and I finished it, so it was enjoyable enough. There is an element of Dan Brown and Clive Cussler, but in my mind, this book wasn't as good as say the works of Clive Cussler. It's definitely worth a read though, as it can be picked up cheaply second hand, but there are limitations, and it's a bit long and predictable for me. Unfortunately just not as good as his first fiction title, and not as good as some other similar authors.
Summary: Worth a look, but there are many other better authors out there