I have been a fan of Alan Alda for years, I have enjoyed his work and I have wanted to know more about his life. This book was all that I could hope for and more. I learned not only things about Alda, but things about myself! I saw myself in his life and for a time almost forgot that it was his life I was listening about!
The only flaw in this book is a major one though. Alan Alda DOESN'T read this book! Marc Cashman reads it instead. Cashman is a great reader, and I would be glad to hear him in another book, however, this is the story of Alan Alda and his life - he should read it! There were several spots in the book where Cashman almost becomes Alan Alda, but he never quite makes it. I don't think he quite understood what it meant to be Alan Alda and it shows through his performance.
I can't speculate why Alda doesn't read this book, however, it does clearly hurt it. If he had read it, it might have been one of my all-time favorite books that I have purchased on Audible. Sadly, as it stands, it is only a good book. Which saddens me because I can see the potential for greatness.
Superman Returns is better than the movie that it follows. I thought this novel started quite strong but petered out to a dull roar. I will provably listen again to Kal-Els journey to Earth and his journey back to Krypton. These are the only, truly original parts of the novel and they truly shine. The rest of it is a slightly-improved version of what you saw on the Silver Screen. It is sad, because I had hoped for a different ending over what happened in the movie. That is not what happened.
The novel improves to the movie in three ways: First, baby Kal-Els journey to Earth. Followed by Supermans Return to Krypton. Which explain what happened. Finally, you get right inside the heads of the major characters and can understand why things happened the way they did. They are nice additions to the story and make it more approachable for people who are not well versed in what happened in the Superman Movies.
However, there are some major flaws with this novel. These flaws are the same flaws that plagued the movie. First, Lex Luthor has all the knowledge of the known universes and all he thinks of to do with it is make land? This is not the Lex Luthor I love to hate. Was it necessary to bring him back like this? Why did Superman leave in the first place? The novel attempts to explain why, but just seems like a plot device over a true reason for him to leave. And why is Lois Lane NOT with Superman? It has become an integral part of the story of Superman. Its like not having Mary Jane end up with Peter Parker; it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If he loved her so much, why didnt he stay?
It is a shame that this novel is not better than it is. It is still worth a listen, but it will not be something you will cherish forever.
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