Overall the narration and story were entertaining although not enthralling. But the most noticeable problem with the audio was the huge spikes and drops in volume. Whoever edited this recording did not check the levels and some segments are quite loud while others are very quiet. I can't tell if the narrator is contributing to this problem because he does seem to speak softer and more pronounced at different parts as the narrator.
Kafer narrates this books as if he's recording a piece for Nightline. Every word has a phony breathy affectation that is obviously beyond his natural range. Perhaps Mr. Kafer has been watching too much Twilight Zone episodes as he sounds like a pale imitation of Rod Serling. More importantly, he has taken the central character of Andrew Ryan and turned him into a boring and uninteresting dullard with the exuberance of a signpost instead of the stern and impactful 1930's newsreel voice that we have all come to know from the games. His accents are god awful as Bill McDonough sounds like the spawn of a beleaguered cockney Brit that mated with a hillbilly Irishman. Then to make matters worse, he takes the tortured character of Sander Cohen and turns him into a 21st century joy boy instead of the early 20th century dark eccentric that he was intended to be. His sexuality was never discussed and it should remain ambiguous, but Mr. Kafer's voice work has left no doubt that Sander is floating a solid foot off the ground, quite contrary to the character's intended presence.
Did this narrator consult any of the source material before recording this? There are literally hours of voice recordings available online for free that he could have used as reference for this project. It's this type of lazy work that gives me pause before buying audiobooks from new narrators. I would give the narration 0 stars if that were possible.
To some the idea of yet another zombie book might be a bit daunting. I mean, how many ways can you tell a story about emotionless and unreasonable corpse(s) trying to kill you? That's why I'm happy to say that Mountain Man isn't a zombie story, but more a human story with zombies as supporting players. I really didn't care much for the scenes where the zombies were attacking...but the scenes between characters and the motivations and interactions amongst them was quite riveting, even during the slower paced moments of the book. Sadly the audiobooks ended after this publication. We need to lean on Mr. Blackmore to hire R.C. Bray to finish up the next two books. I know he went Indie, but I'm sure there is something we as fans can do to encourage this endeavor.
I suggest using Twitter to get their attention
@KeithCB1 @RCBray12 @PodiumAudio
I just recently started listening to audiobooks on my long commute and while I've tried a few here and there in various genres, it was difficult to find the pacing from most narrators and some were just downright grating. On the contrary, R.C. Bray got my attention immediately. His intonation felt as if I was watching a film with the actors playing out before me in my cinema of the mind. He convincingly portrayed not only the main protagonist Mark Watney, but also a supporting cast of various ethnicities and sexes.
To be fair, I could not imagine reading this book in print form because so much of the scientific babble was seemingly monotonous in nature, yet Bray manages to invoke just enough humor and enthusiasm during these recitations that I didn't mind it at all....and I think I may have even learned something in the process (assuming the science was correct....on second thought maybe I should check before experimenting.)
I'm forming an unofficial R.C. Bray Fan Club after listening to this one.
This review will be short and sweet. Through Walter Dixon, I felt as if I got to know Jim Kukral and I was interested to see what he had to say. This is precisely how a good technical audio book needs to be narrated. There is only one other book which surpassed this one in terms of conveying sincereity and a sense of urgency to the reader, and that is The Ultimate Sales Machine. Of course it's a rather unfair comparison seeing that the narrator of that book was Anthony Heald (the actor that portrayed the psychiatrist in Silence of the Lambs) Anyway, back to the subject at hand. This book was engaging and informative and I felt as if Jim was truly trying to teach me to follow his lead and do as he has done. I have never heard of Jim before, and even so, I am convinced that his success story is true and it's only a matter of time before I start seeing his name everywhere, just as one is apt to see the same model of car everywhere they turn after purchasing one themselves.
I would definitely pick up another book by Jim. Although I do hope he doesn't fall into the same trap as some other technical writers and just rehash the same topics. Hopefully Jim's story has more lessons in store for us.
I listen to most of my audio books while driving to and from work. I find that my attention to the audio is a great gauge for the interaction provided from the narrator. Unforunately, Ms. Handley is a dreadful narrator. I found myself tuning her out numerous times regardless of the value of what she was saying, which is unfortunate. Ms. Handley really needs some coaching to perfect her narration, otherwise the next book is going to suffer equally. I felt as if she was reading from a book in a 12th grade English class. Very few inflections, and when they were present, they were very obviously over the top as if the text on the page read (read with intent here.) Mr. Chapman was average in terms of holding my attention, but he did manage to bring some life to the recording. His speech was a bit more conversational, which helps to keep the listener interested and engaged.
In terms of information, I have to say this was one of the more desireable aspects of the book. They covered a diverse number of topics and gave great detail as to how one might endeavor to put these plans into action. Unfrotunately, once again I need to focus on Ms. Handley, as her portion of the book had some rather inane concepts. For example, there was an entire section devoted to word substitutions. At the risk of sounding arrogant, who are YOU to tell me what words my audience will appreciate? Several buzz words that you suggested were just as aggregious, if not more offensive than the originals. It seems to me that this was wasted filler material that is highly subjective and serves no benefit but to prop up the authors as some sort of authorities on what will or will not fly. Let's be clear, this book is just another in a series of social marketing tools, and the fact that it exists only goes to show that you're trying. Let's not take ourselves too seriously and assume that we know for a fact what will and will not work. This is a dangerous precedent to set.
All in all, it's not a bad book. There were some good nuggets of information, some filler and minor repetition. And by the way, I think I'm noticing a trend here. Much like websites work to get backlinks from other sites, it appears that books (or audio books) function much the same way, with authors often mentioning other authors in their readings....and those other authors just happen to have books for sale during the same period of time. Coincidence? I'll leave you to figure it out.
Perhaps it's not the fault of the author, but more specifically Audible. This book has almost nothing to offer people in the business world. The author seems fascinated with disease and seems only mildly interested in product trends...and even then there's nothing really useful about his conclusions. The entire book is essentially mental beating on how trends get started without any ideas as to how you can contribute or help create trends of your own for business. Again, perhaps it's not the author's fault, as I'm not sure what he had in mind when he wrote this...but it's DEFINITELY not for business minded individuals.
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