Not a very good collection of stories. Nick Hornsby writes wonderfully, but his plot is weak and derivative. Dave Eggers is the most over-rated writer of his generation. Elmore Leonard's story is well-written. Michael Crichton's story is pointless. It's good to fall asleep to, however. The reader performs the stories in a hushed and sleep-inducing fashion. The title is supposed to make anxiously hip readers feel ironically ok with reading despised genre tales. Poor tragically hip folks. Skip this book and purchase the audible recordings of Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine available on this site. The writing is infinitely better.
I would definitely read the print or ebook or listen to another book from her if it were read by someone else.
If she were not attempting English accents, perhaps.
Ms. Kowal's work was featured on online & John Scalzi's blog, so I purchased it without listening to a sample. My fault. As other readers have noted, her ability to perform an English accent is not good.
Please save your money and pass on this collection of plays. None are done very well and the production of Medea is particularly bad. When the director chooses to set the Chorus to music, he/she must emphasize diction and musical quality. Sadly, the director failed on both counts. The chanting is incomprehensible and the music is cheesy. It's hard to wreck Medea but the director succeeded admirably.
As to the rest: The Ibsen is weak and the Shaw is boring. The productions were produced in 1985. Perhaps 20 years of a renewed interest in audio literature require more sophisticated productions or, perhaps, these productions, produced under the auspices of the Hollywood Theater of the Ear, are simply the product of a consistently bad director.
David Levithan's novel Boy Meets Boy simply imagines what life would be like in an American suburb for high school students if there was no homophobia. It is a novel of heightened love, wonder, moral responsibility, grief,and transformation. In other words, it contains all the experiences that encompass the sentimental education of youth. The full cast audio family performs the novel with taste and style. As a theologian and Christian pastoral counselor, I didn't find any moral relativism in the text. The protagonist Paul, is a deeply moral young man, deeply concerned about right action and responsibility toward those he loves. If a reader has a problem with gay folks embracing their sexuality with joy, that person will have a problem with the book. But then, I've always seen a world without prejudice and unnecessary shame as the goal of divine immanence and true religion. A world in which we are accountable to God in our best selves, rather than to the shame and fear foisted on us by unnecessary fundamentalisms. David Levithan describes such a world, and one day, if we are blessed, we may find ourselves living in it. It was good, however, to visit it through such an excellent production. I unreservedly recommend it.
Stephen King is an amazing author: when he's good he's great and when he's bad, he's awful. Gunslinger is Stephen King at his worst. It's pointless, plotless and overwritten. In the Gunslinger, Stephen King never met an adjective he didn't like. Like so many successful authors, it seems no one is willing to edit him. He never uses 1 word when 50 or 150 will do. And it all adds up to an embarrassingly adolescent climax where third rate metaphysics is proclaimed. While Stephen King's authorial strength lies in his unabashed developmental arrest at the age of 12, sometimes it doesn't work in his favor. "From a Buick 8" didn't have a point, but it was wonderfully written so it didn't matter. Stephen King has never written a book that doesn't disappoint at the climax, but the Gunslinger has nothing to offer and delivers even less.
This book is terrible. Anne Rice's writing continues its decline into cliche and self-parody. Her neo-gothic style has, by this point, lost its assurance and believability. She was once a very good writer, then wrote many ok novels, but is now a hack. Celebrity status has destroyed what was once a potentially formidable talent. And while I am sure she is crying all the way to the bank, it's sad to see the ruinous state to which her writing has sunk.
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