I couldn't have enjoyed this more... I collected comics for many years from the late '60's until the mid-90's when the blatant commercialism of multiple foil covers for the same book and horrible new art style (Yes, I mean you Liefeld) finally drove me away.
I was therefore already very familiar with all the names and events described herein, but having never read the fanzines or trade mags, was quite unfamiliar with the behind-the-scenes stories of WHY certain things happened the way they did.
This book covers that in a comprehensive and interesting way. It begins with the formation of the company in the early 1930's and progresses chronologically with the bulk of the narrative focusing on the 60's-80's. Narrator does a great job, and is very easy to listen to.
Some of the questions I received answers to are:
Why did Captain America, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner suddenly all get solo titles in 1968?
Whose dumb idea was it to give Spider-Man a "Spider-Mobile" in the 70's? and
Why was Secret Wars such a terribly written story?
I lost a night of sleep because I couldn't stop listening to this book. If you've read Marvel comics, I give this my highest recommendation. If you haven't, I can see how it might be too esoteric for the uninitiated.
Forgive me for editorializing, but it's absolutely criminal what was done to Jack Kirby.
One thing you need to know about this audio version of Wraith. It is not a reading of the book as originally published in 2010. It has been rewritten by the author to tighten and polish the work and to bring it in line with his current series. This Brilliance Audio version is a direct prequel to Shadow Catcher. It is about Nick Baron and the origin of the revived Triple Seven Chase Squadron and tells the story of how that B2 bomber in the beginning of Shadow Catcher came to be underwater. So if you, like me, are a fan of reading series in chronological order, you should consider this Book 0.5 of the Nick Baron series and start here. Btw, this revised prequel version is only available on audio.
So how's the book? Well, I enjoyed it. There is a lot of air action as expected, the pacing was pretty solid, no over-abundance of gear-glee, and no romance, thank you. It was also surprisingly funny. Some of the banter and ribbing between team members had me laughing out loud.
Luke Daniels does his usual good job narrating. I liked it enough that I've already downloaded and started the next book.
Being in the mood for a post-apocalypse story, I was soon considering Alas, Babylon. After seeing it classified as an Audible Essential and reading many 5 star reviews, I thought this must be good, right? Hmmm.
Easily one of the most boring stories I have ever forced myself to endure. The narrator did a fine job with the material, it's only that the material was so tame and obvious. Absolutely nothing happens for the first 4 hours, then suddenly it's nukes raining down on the USA.
No electricity. Duh.
No water. Duh.
The only thing I found interesting in the whole book was how less racist and sexist modern American society has become in only 50 years. But as a survivalist adventure story this is sorely lacking.
In the end though, I did find a good use for this audiobook... I listen to it in bed at night and am asleep in minutes.
I wish I had heeded other reviewers warnings. This audiobook was not only not enjoyable, it actually irritated me immensely as I listened.
The narrator is overblown and a little ridiculous, but can be gotten used to. What cannot be excused is the complete lack of plot or comprehensible narrative. The protagonist, of whom two hours into the book I know very little about (and care even less) other than seeming to be a physician of some sort, is constantly mentioning unexplained events and unknown people as if reading the Table of Contents of a history book. He personally jumps from one event to the next with no explanation and no apparent reason. Perhaps that's reflective of the life of a mercenary soldier, but it doesn't make for a good story. About half-way through Chapter 2, I was so confused and frustrated that I re-listened to Chapter 1 thinking I just hadn't paid enough attention, but after doing so I realized I still had no idea what was going on and what's more I didn't care.
Having read/listened to hundreds of Fantasy books, this one is actually a first for me: the first time I cannot bear to finish. Maybe, as some have said, things improve towards the end, but I don't have that kind of pain tolerance.
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