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The Venom Business

Narrated by: Christopher Lane
Length: 11 hrs and 55 mins
3.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

As an expert handler of venomous snakes - and a smuggler of rare artifacts - Charles Raynaud is accustomed to danger. So the job body-guarding an old acquaintance about to come into a fortune shouldn't make him break a sweat.

But when the attempts on the man's life nearly get Raynaud killed, he's left wondering: is he the killers' real target…?

©1969 John Lange; Copyright renewed 2005 by CrichtonSun LLC. “John Lange” and “The Venom Business” are trademarks of CrichtonSun LLC, used under license (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

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Profile Image for Cindy Ware
  • Cindy Ware
  • 10-03-2018

Not my kind of book

It's certainly not like his books now. I finished it to see how it ended. But I wouldn't listen to it again like I have his recent books. The narrator was good.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dillon Burgess
  • 07-04-2019

Meh

Christopher Lane is an excellent narrator, but this story sort of drags along. It’s the fare you’d expect from Michael Crichton as John Lange...a James Bonde-esque romp with off-puttingly sexist undertones.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tyler
  • 18-03-2019

First Listen of Crichton as John Lange

As a huge fan of Michael Crichton, I was excited to find out that Audible had his early works available from when he was writing under the pseudonym of John Lange. I had heard rumors that these novels existed, but never actually did much research until recently to track them down. As I chose the Venom Business as my first listen from this time period, I have to say that I found myself riding an emotional rollercoaster whilst listening to the novel. The story itself did a great job of setting the mood of a pulp, 1960s era London (after researching things from that time, I can confirm this) and really gave me a visual image of how things were back then in my mind's eye. I also have to praise Christopher Lane as his performance of the various characters was both distinct enough that I could tell who was speaking before he read "character's name here said" as well as his use of accents were tastefully done. Speaking of characters, I have to say that each one present here gave me a sense of Crichton's progression as a writer in his later career. What I mean is that some of the characters felt a little one dimensional. I'm not sure if this was the intention because of the film noir style of the story, but that was just the impression I got while listening. Also, the story itself started out a very pulpy action / mystery with a little of bit of Crichton's now famous scientific discussion sprinkled in, only to in my opinion kind of fizzle out at the end. Again, I'm not sure if this was the intention, but I got the feeling of watching old black and white movies where the 'lesson' or 'message' learned is given in a paragraph of dialogue and then the credits appear suddenly. I in no way think this is a bad novel, and encourage fans of Crichton to give it a listen. I am going to continue to listen to the other novels from "John Lange' as their similar in plot, as well as the fact that Christopher Lane seems to narrate them all. These novels are truly an interesting insight into Crichton's early years, and I can't wait to listen to the next novel in this series.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-03-2018

Should be a movie!!

Awesome time capsule of 60's London, so glad these stories have emerged as Michael Crichton. I miss his work so much and really enjoyed this pulp version, with a little science mised in. Jon Hamm should play Charles in this great novel

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 28-08-2018

One of the early Crichton's better books

While Crichton's early works usually have extremely well endowed characters (financially, intellectually, and beautiful), this book had an engaging plot with many twists. Very enjoyable listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Adrian
  • 16-07-2016

Not his best one

A bit boring, didnt get into the story much at all. I heard it in pieces over a longer time than usual.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Admiralu
  • 25-04-2020

Complicated Convoluted Plot, Superb Narration

I am a big fan of Michael Crichton’s books and have been reading and listening to his early crime thrillers. This book completes the John Lange book cycle. I have enjoyed them all, save this one. None of the characters were particularly likeable. It was extremely long with a convoluted plot. A good third of this book could’ve been cut to tighten up the storyline. It started out ok, the snake man using his knowledge to cover his smuggling. He then is brought in by an old flame to be set up in a complicated plot regarding her stepson and his inheritance. Being manipulated by three different people, smuggler Raynaud struggles to figure out the plot. The middle section drags terribly and forced myself to continue. The last part was excellent as the grand plans all fell apart. Yet there was no happy ending. The saving grace of this was Christopher Lane’s superb performance on the audiobook as usual. His dialects are fabulous and he made even the dull sections interesting. Not a must read.