The story of how the fortunes of Marvel Comics unfolded is very interesting on a number of levels. After all, it is the story of real people and their struggles in a business that has changed radically in the last 50 years. Facing everything from changing markets to corporate takeover. However this book will be enjoyed most by Marvel Comics fans. I am one and have followed and collected Marvel Comics for perhaps too long. In the telling, many names of comics professional come up but the book does not have all that much time to duel on more than a handful. For me, that was not a problem because I knew the names and their work. But for someone who is not familiar with people like Roger Stern, John Buscema, Steve Ditko, John Byrne, Todd McFarlane and Joe Quesada as well as the superheroes they created and/or worked on it may get annoyingly hard to follow. (yes we all know Spider-man and the Avengers but how 'bout Captain Marvel and Howard the Duck?)
I loved the set up and extensive fictional history related to the "lock in" disease. Its a well fleshed out world for the story to take place.
No. I like Wil Wheaton's narration and he fits well with John Scalzi's work but the way he reads It, the characters all have very similar voices. This is not entirely his fault.. Scalzi doesn't differentiate them very well either. They all pretty much speak the same. Having said that, it didn't detract very much from the excellent story. I did have a couple of instances where I lost my place in conversations though.
The treatment of the Navajo is very smartly done. In particular in the relationship of a minor character who dies at the beginning to his family.
The Novella following the main story is a great plus. It tells the history of "Hayden's Syndrome" that is the prime mover of the book in a series of interviews. It is read by an ensemble cast and is very well done.
This is a collection of radio dramas. It is very long because it contains most of the episodes of the series. I found it generally fun and worth the listen especially while doing mindless drudgery. It was easy to listen to without getting lost since it is a collection of half-hour episodes.
Yes, and I have. I love re-discovering these old radio shows.
The shows are very old and in some cases not well preserved. Old Time Radio should spend some resources in restoring the sound. some episodes are unintelligible. Frankly with so many episodes, they could have left some of the worst preserved out. Also, the shows include the advertising in the original episodes. Its interesting to hear the commercials and sponsors of days gone by but not when they are in every single episode. I got really sick of hearing about Lipton Tea and Bromo Seltzer. Edit some out!
You can't beat the value: 60+ hours of content. With the understanding that some of the material is (very) dated; the sound quality is not great (in some cases terrible because of the age and lack of preservation of recordings in the 30's to 60's); and some of the episodes are actually repeated because they were remade for later shows. Regardless, for one credit there is plenty to love here if (big if) you're into radio shows.
Well written and well organized considering that is touches on many disparate events surrounding the life of the character. I enjoyed hearing about the History of DC Comics and how Superman became such an ubiquitous and iconic part of modern culture.
The author's affection for the character shows throughout the book.
I am not a fan of Scott Brick's work. But he was fine in this book. His usual cynical tone didn't drip as much on this one. He blended into the book the way a good narrator should.
I wouldn't make a film of this book. There are enough documentaries on Superman. The strength of this book is the in depth information about the lives of the creators and how the character passed through tst different phases, that would be lost to a great extent in a film.
I've been dying to read Edgal Allan Poe's work for some time. Before I had only read sporadically and mostly when I was in High School. The stories are great. Other reviewers have complained of the antiquated language but that didn't bother me at all. It sounds pretty modern to me. The reader on the other hand was hard to listen to. Its not that he has a bad voice but that he seems to pause in the wrong places, seems to stress the wrong things and seems, at every turn, to be reading with no practice or preparation. His reading of "The Raven" was horrendous. I would love to hear this same book read by Wayne June.
Fabric of the Cosmos is a long book detailing the current thinking in Physics. By necessity in order for the average layman (like myself - no background in physics here) to understand Brian Green presents the history and underlying concepts that led to the the theories of today. He discusses Quantum and Sting Theories as well as Cosmology. Toug htopics that he approaches very well allowing the reader to understand through analogies and examples. I actually read this book in print before listening to it. The printed version includes diagrams but I didn't really miss them in the Audio version.
Note that even though this book was written a short time ago, it is a little outdated. For example the Large Hadron Collider is already in operation and the Higgs Boson (Green calls it the Higgs Particle - I don't know when that changed) has been found. All in all it is a great introduction to Theoretical Physics. Just don't expect to digest it all in one read.
14's plot is very engaging. It draws you into the mystery behind the building where the story takes place, giving it a real presence and character. The mystery unfolds in a very satisfying way and dragged me in chapter after chapter. Unfortunately, where the writer falls short is in dialogue and characterization. The protagonist is wooden and interchangeable. The supporting characters have more to them but they come across as types: The sex pot, the nerdy girl, the "dude", the man with a hidden past ... Clines does a good enough job that you do start to care about these people but the dialogue kills me. Think about the lines in any generic blockbuster film with forced humor, pointless sexual innuendo and repetitive expressions (how many times should the characters "...take a a hit..." off of something?)
I took a creative writing class once and was told to go to public places and listen to real conversations to develop a realistic reparte. This guy needs that. And I hope he gets there because the story in general was actually pretty good.
The narrator was spot on. He melded into the story and did a great job giving the characters distinctive voices.
The early books I have read by Stephen king ,especially the long ones, had the shortcoming of having lackluster, unsatisfying endings. This book unfortunately has just that. King is an amazing writer and can suck you into a story with good character development and an amazing knack for detail. This is a time travel story where the main character is sucked into a plot to save President Kennedy. Everything from the process of time travel to the feel of the 1950's is meticulously rendered. The Plot is solid and believable for a fantastic premise. But the end amounts to the simplistic message: "don't mess with time". I expected something more after the build up. We are forced to believe that if Kennedy has stayed president he basically would have wrecked the country as well as the idea that a mysterious "force" will punish us for even trying to change the time stream by dropping asteroids on our heads. Its a fun read, but King can and has done better than this. On the plus side, Craig Wasson is spot-on for the narrator.
Grant Morrison's Supergods is all that the summary describes and more. Unfortunately that is not always good. Being a Superhero/Comics fan I have read a lot of Morrison's work and I find it at best hit and miss. He has done some of the truly brilliant, seminal superhero stories but he has also written a lot of self-indulgent mediocrity. This book isn't entirely that, but parts of it are ultimately unneccessary. When I read the description I did not expect an autobiographical work but a history nd commentary on comics superheroes. Of course I figured on Morrison talking about himself since he has been so long in the field and has been a powerful influence on it, but there are whole chapters here devoted to his inner growth and inner demons that I did not expect nor was particularly interested in. This does not mean that the book is bad: it does deliver on its promised subject, but it has shortcomings. First of all there is the overly lyrical, arabesque language. Especially from the mouth of the narrator, who rfeads most every passage with a hint of sarcasm, it comes across as presumptuous. Also Morrison's insights are a bit miopic and self-serving. He duels entirely too long on his own work and ignores quality comics done by others. He postulates a theory of cycles of violent, materialistic "punk" comics and esoteric, pacifist "hippie" comics and gives plenty of examples that support his theory but ignores examples that don't. He dismisses important, influential creators because they do not fit into his ideas or because he simply does not like them. An example being "Hellboy" a comic that has been quite popular and influential and does not fit his cycles and is not mentioned at all. One can argue that Hellboy is not a superhero comic but then, the author spends several chapters talking about his own "Invisibles" which is even less so. The book works best, in my opinion, when Morrison is talking about the comics before his time as a professional; and later on when he concentrates on the product of others as well as himself. It is also interesting to hear him talk about events behind the scenes in the major comic companies because it goes directly to the influences for some of the comics stories that have appeared throughout the years. It does not work when he spends chapter after chapter prattling on about his drug addled vacations accross the world or his dubious achievements as a "Chaos Magician". All in all not a bad book and for any die-hard fan of Morrison, highly recommended. He takes you on something of a rollercoaster ride through the life of a famous Comics writer and the way is which his work formed. But for those of you looking for a scholarly account of the history of superheroes think on this: Early on in the book, the author mentions another book: "The Ten Cent Plague" by David Hajdu: A simpler prose book that very effectively describes the Golden Age of Comics and how culture and history influenced them. A book with far less personal commentary. Would that Grant Morrison had taken pointers from non-comics celebrity Hajdu.
This book gives a thorough survey of how violence has affected human history and the causes that brought about this violence and the reduction of it in recent decades. It answers the truism that "Society is worse now than ever and that it is falling apart" by showing that, in fact the quality fo life of most people today is better that ever. More importantly it delves into the reasons for this. Not only socially but also psychologically. Why do we commit violence? Why do we stop ourselves from being violent? It is at once optimistic and yet challenges the reader to confront those dark parts of our nature that result in everything from homicide to genocide to sadism.
The book is a tough read because it is long and meticulous but the author does a good job of keeping it engaging. As he states at the beginning: "This is a long book... but it has to be." The reader works very well for the material.
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