Ok, as jdef suggested I went back and looked at the prints again with a more "open mind" IOW trying to find something of value instead of just first impression. I just could not find anything that really was that "special"
But I did manage to pinpoint why I dislike these prints. Aside from the "dark" prints, I realized that the selective focus did not have a special feature to isolate. My eye wandered all over the prints and I could not find a reason why the specific part was singled out to be in focus. This was more apparent in the nudes where the parts in focus were just like any other part, to me they had no special meaning or reason to be singled out. All that eye wandering was pretty annoying to me!
I realize that digitized images do not do justice to the "real" thing, but well done scans of beautiful prints make you want to get off the pc and go look at them. I too, have books from many photographers, and I realize that the duo tones are not as good as the prints, but I have to say, some come pretty damm close!