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Publisher's Summary

The White House is the home of the president of the United States, the most guarded, monitored, closely watched person in the world. So how could a US president vanish without a trace? And why would he choose to do so?  

An unprecedented collaboration between President Bill Clinton and the world's best-selling novelist, James Patterson, The President Is Missing is a breathtaking story from the pinnacle of power. Full of what it truly feels like to be the person in the Oval Office - the mind-boggling pressure, the heartbreaking decisions, the exhilarating opportunities, the soul-wrenching power - this is the thriller of the decade, confronting the darkest threats that face the world today, with the highest stakes conceivable. 

©2018 James Patterson and Bill Clinton (P)2018 Hachette Audio

What listeners say about The President Is Missing

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Narration Dismal

This book had two major flaws. The story concept was not bad but the telling it was disjointed, painful and mean at times. Think back to the playground "I know something you don't know" It was also preachy and bragging. Those issues between me and the authors.
The second problem was the narration. That was unforgivable and that is all on the producers. That is why I returned it. Definitely not worth a credit.

11 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Completely wrong narrator

Dennis Quaid’s voice is so annoying I doubt I’ll finish this story. He’s an awful reader and his attempt at various voices should embarrass him.

16 people found this helpful

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Dennis Quaid should stick to acting

The gravelly, marbles in mouth diction of Dennis Quaid was really distracting. I found it relieving when he wasn’t reading/speaking certain chapters.

5 people found this helpful

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Terrible narration!! Unlistenable.

I ended up buying the paperback book and reading it that way. I liked the story but could not deal with the bad accents, bad acting, and the gravelly voices on this version.

3 people found this helpful

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Narrative horrible. Storyline not bad.

The main character’s voice was too rough to play the lead role. It took me a while to get past his voice.

3 people found this helpful

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Denis Quaid was awful narrating this book

The story is good but Denis Quaid absolutely spoilt it for me. I can't think of anything positive to say about his narration of the story and how he interpreted it.

1 person found this helpful

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really could not finish this

I still have not finished this. Neither the story nor the narrative was compelling. I tried but have given up.

1 person found this helpful

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A bubble escape story

I wanted to read this book simply because I thought it was so interesting that a former President of the United States had written a mystery with one of the best authors of the day. Who else would know about that secret passage, or could describe the details of a famed room in so much detail? So the book was fascinating in that regard. The story was pretty good, but what I came away with most was a sense of what it must be like to live in the POTUS bubble, and the freedom of driving away from the White House, all alone, in a disguise, and entering a cafe or ball park and not being recognized. The current occupant aside, I imagine its a fantasy of any President, so it was intriguing to hear how he must have imagined such an escape unfolding. Lots of drama follows, but it was less entertaining to me than the disappearance itself.

1 person found this helpful

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Dennis Quaid was the best reader for this book.

captivating story. well written. believable.thoroughly enjoyed every chapter. kudos to Clinton, Patterson, and Denis Quaid.

1 person found this helpful

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Recommend reading versus listening

The story is interesting but Dennis Quaid narration is horrible. He sounds like he has gravel in his throat and his attempts at accents and voices is ridiculous.
There are many points where the book repeats the same things. If reading could skip over that.
The third last chapter is 20 minutes of self serving political blather.
I wouldn’t spend your money on this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2018-06-18

Wanted it to be so much better

Other reviews will give you a sense of the low quality narration but that wasn't the worst problem for me. There were a number of points in the book that were, quite simply, utterly unbelievable. There was not much surprise and by the time I got close to the end, I just wanted it to be done. The long, final "speech" was overly long, although I can say I got work done waiting for it to end. I am a fan of DC-based suspense, political books but feel I wasted my credit on this ONE HUNDRED THIRTY CHAPTER book. Patterson's penchant for (what could be considered a shameless attempt to make the book seem more substantive) beginning a new chapter every couple of pages is so frustrating. He starts a new chapter even when there is no change in setting, point of view, or timeline. It totally interrupts the flow of a scene and the overall book. I thought the book's underlying premise was truly frightening to think about but did not have the payoff. And like many later Patterson books, too often secondary characters were not given the attention and respect they deserve.

447 people found this helpful

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  • LizzieL
  • 2018-07-25

Not Awesome

This narration seemed challenging for Dennis Quaid and it was definitely challenging for us to listen to. I am a James Patterson fan, but this book veered too far off into political red herrings with nothing tying those asides back to the actual story. Would not recommend. We did listen to the whole thing - the underlying premise was good and we wanted to see what happened.

133 people found this helpful

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  • Miss L
  • 2018-06-07

Dreadful Narration!

Dennis Quaid's narration of this is absolutely appalling! It sounds like its being narrated by an army drill sergeant!
I love James Patterson's writing and I'm intrigued by Bill Clinton's input so I will buy the print edition, but honestly, don't waste your time with the audio version.

480 people found this helpful

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  • Eva Gannon
  • 2018-06-24

Like Putting a Cheese Grater In Your Ear

The best I can say about this book is that it's boring. Not at all what one would expect from James Patterson & Bill Clinton. I got half way through, and just can't force myself to finish the book, since that would involve more hours of Dennis Quaid's voice...

...which is like a cheese grater in your ear. He has absolutely no sense of timing, no sense of when to emphasize and when to back off, and he can't do characters at all. But it's the sound of his voice that I just can't stand. Since the book is boring, there's no point to tormenting my ears anymore.

I preordered this book with great anticipation. What a terrible disappointment.

139 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Petersen
  • 2019-02-16

Great potential was squandered

What a great idea! Write a fictional story based around the experiences of a president. I bought this book with the hopes that I’d get an idea of how some things worked behind the scene at the White House. There’s so much potential here! Unfortunately that potential was not realized. This is one of the few Audible books I never finished.

Much of the story doesn’t actually happen in the Oval Office. A number of implausible events occur that result in the President not returning to the White House after he commits to a meeting with a potential terrorist at a public event. It was a difficult listen for me because of the many things happened that were so far beyond the realm of possibility. In a work of fiction, the author should be allowed to make a number of assumptions, but in this story one implausible scenario occurred after another.

A good story should have good character development. In this book that was lacking. We have quick snapshots of the various members of the President’s inner circle, but we never get to know any of them beyond a rough stereotype.

What ended it for me was a clear lack of understanding by the author of cyber security. The story suffered from seemingly impossible cyber attacks that the U. S. government, its agencies, and its allies were unable to even detect, let alone do something about them – save for a single super hacker individual. This is simply not how this stuff works. I really wish the author had employed a cyber security expert to consult with on this book. Making more reasonable assumptions about security would have probably resulted in a better story.

We have the action of the president having to deal with a crisis that may result severe harm to the United States with the corresponding deaths of millions of people. As one might expect his political opponents are attacking his administration. But he’s also dealing with the death of his wife and a serious medical problem. Really?

I think the problem is that Bill Clinton teamed up with the wrong author. It’s like Patterson wanted to make the president into a super hero that amazingly accomplishes what no one else can do while dealing with attacks and handicaps that would cripple anyone else. It just wasn’t even close to realistic, but it produced some fancy buzzwords to help sell the book.

Here’s what should have happened: David Baldacci. A good story about the president would play better as a legal thriller. If Bill Clinton had partnered with Baldacci, we would have had a book called “The Cabinet” and it would have been a fascinating page-turner with the unique perspective of a president. Instead we have a book that feels like a mass produced story with the goal of getting a catchy title to a publisher with a given number of words by a certain date, with a president’s name on the cover with a well-known author. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good story.

A note on the audio production. When the scene switched to a female character, I knew it had changed even before the female reader spoke because high background hiss was introduced. This hiss is a noise we haven’t heard in the recording industry since they gave up analog recording to magnetic tape. I don’t get it because the recording engineer had to hear this hiss when the recording was being made. I haven’t heard an issue like this on an audio book since, er, never. A decent publisher would have required a retake. Other than that, the readers did a good job with the material they had.

In summary, I was hoping to get a good story mixed in with some insight as to what it is like in the Oval Office. I didn’t get the first, and I got very little of the second.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Bettina Hamilton
  • 2018-06-05

Don't get this book.

Unless you want your ears to bleed, don't get this book. I have never written a bad review like this and am a long time customer. I usually like Dennis Quaid, but audible narrator he is not. It's even worse when he tries other voices and accents. It gave me a panic attack listening to it. I have never returned an audio book but this will be my first. I think the story would be ok if someone else narrated it. I really wanted to like it.

294 people found this helpful

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  • M. Thompson
  • 2018-06-11

please re-narrate and re-release.

horrible narration! men sound like women, eomen sound like men and all sound drunk or concussed. strong story line and plot

178 people found this helpful

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  • Julie
  • 2018-07-10

Hooked

I was never a James Patterson fan. His books never appealed to me. I watched him and the President do the late night circuit and figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.

Boy am I glad that I did! What a fantastic story! Sometimes it was obvious where the story was going, but there were plenty of “oh my God they didn’t!” moments. Great listen!

10 people found this helpful

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  • Ramon
  • 2018-06-24

Horrible Horrible Horrible! DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME.

Horrible preachy story. The basic storyline was ok, but those monologues had absolutely no place in the story. They overpowered the story. Horrible narration. Are you serious? It sounded like a little kid was doing impersonations. I usually like when there is an ensemble doing the story, but this just bad. Whomever casted Quaid in this role, has to do some soul-searching. Quaid seems like a nice guy, but not suited for multiple voices. It sounded as immature as you would expect from a little kid trying to do imitations. Horrible overall. I usually like James Patterson stories, but this one was a true misstep. I’m asking for a refund on this one. I really wanted an ex-President to be successful. He was an excellent politician, but the Teflon isn’t working for the fiction writer. Sorry.

113 people found this helpful

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  • BookReader
  • 2018-06-12

The President Is Missing

The President Is Missing is a cyber-crime story. There is an unknown entity with the power to plummet America into the dark ages leaving the country vulnerable in a multitude of ways. There is a small circle of people surrounding the President, and one of them is a traitor. The President, a recent widower, isn’t healthy; he is battling a serious blood illness.

Liked: It’s a decent who-done-it; the plot is timely given the modern threat to US infrastructure. There is a significant element of tension; things happen quickly. Life-threatening situations traverse the pages.

Didn’t like: narration of Dennis Quaid. I like his acting, so was intrigued by the idea of listening to his reading. Quaid sounds like a lifetime smoker that needs to cough. Further, the author presents events that make the reader jump back a few chapters to see what they missed. Nothing was missed. Circumstances are tough to grasp until clarified in a later chapter … a strange writing style that is difficult to follow on occasion.

The book is an opportunity for Bill Clinton to voice his opinion about the viciousness of today’s politics in the United States – mentioning no names. The current social media world, press bias to both left and right, and how it is jeopardizing the fundamental fibre of America. The country is changing, and not in a good direction in the opinion of the author. The book is a platform for his views. A platform unavailable without writing this book with the exception of commencement speeches. So …. take it for what it’s worth. The book isn’t liberal or conservative but conveys observations that can come across preachy at times.

Listen to the free audio sample. If you can handle several hours of Dennis Quaid’s need to clear his throat, have at it. It is not great literature, by any stretch. But, a good story.

The unabridged audiobook is thirteen hours of listening and released by Hachette Audio in June of 2018.

104 people found this helpful