I am a big fan of the Nathan Heller series written by Max Allan Collins. I thought that I would enjoy reading other books he wrote as well and had the opportunity to get this one inexpensively because of the Amazon Whispersync deal. (If you buy a Kindle version on Amazon of a book that has Whispersync you get a deal on the audio book.) Since my wife loves audio books I went ahead and got the book in audio as well.
In my opinion this book is a better read on the Kindle than it is as an audio performance. Part of the reason is the narrator. Mr. Miller does a fine job with everything but the female voice performances.
I would recommend the Kindle or the paper version of the book over the audio.
The best, most fleshed out character is the main character Mallory. Like the Nathan Heller books, you need to read more than one to get a real good 'feel' for this character though.
His female character voices are really hard to listen to. I wish he had done a better job with them.
I could see the series made into a television show, not unlike Murder, She Wrote. It may be difficult to do that without the comparisons although it may have been a long enough time since MSW was on for it to work.
This is not a hard boiled detective series like the Nathan Heller stories. There also is no well known crimes in this series like in the Heller or Disaster series. I still recommend the books, just wouldn't recommend the audio unless you get them very inexpensively.
I have recommended it to many friends. The story is well written and engaging. The characters are believable and well developed. The numerous references to the 1980's was a trip down memory lane for me.
I think the dance sequence was my favorite scene. No one in their right mind would have attended the dance under the circumstances which is why it is completely believable that a gamer would jump at the chance. (What true gamer believes he can't handle any situation in a game?)
There is no line between the game and life.
I highly recommend this to anyone that is a gamer or a nerd. Wil Wheaton does and excellent job narrating, in fact listening to him for hours is also a huge draw for nerds like me.
I think what strikes me as most memorable is the group's first visit to the All Powerful Oz. I was surprised that Oz saw each character individually and in a way that was completely different from the movie.
I think I enjoyed the Wicked Witch of the West the best. Ms. Hathaway seemed to revel in the witches nastiness.
Without giving anything away the book is definitely worth reading. The basic plot is the same, but there are a lot of differences. The differences make the story fresh, especially if you are only familiar with the Judy Garland movie.
I think what I loved best about the book is the moral implications that Asimov brings up. Without giving the plot away, the idea that cultures can and will change as humanity gets older and hopefully moves into the stars is very compelling.
The mystery kept me guessing until the end. I also liked how Asimov managed to make me angry about the prejudices almost all of the characters displayed. It is a brave thing to intentionally make your audience uncomfortable.
I have not read any of his other performances. I thought Mr. Dufris' understated reading of the book was spot on. I would love to hear him read a different type of story to see how his performance might change.
The biggest compliment I can give to a book is in regards to character development. The second is that the book makes me examine my thoughts and beliefs. While I felt the character development was good, it wasn't great. (I think I needed to read the first Elijah Bailey book for that.) The book did make me think though, something that Asimov and Heinlein seem to do consistently.
I have been reading Hatchet to my students for years (the truth is I have been attempting to read it to my students for years.) I have always had difficulty getting through it, it is not an easy read aloud. That being said, Mr. Coyote does an excellent job making the story work in audio.
The scene with the tornado is great. Through his reading of that scene, Mr. Coyote did a great job making me anxious as to what would happen to Brian.
I have not listened to another book read by Mr. Coyote. If I saw his name on another audio book it would definitely be something that would make it a more attractive choice.
Having read the book I was expecting a lot of the emotional twists of the story. That being said, I did have some emotions when it came to Brian's memories of his mother and father.
The best thing about this audiobook is the performance of Jim Dale. I could listen to him read the phone book and find it interesting.
I enjoyed the story, especially waiting to see how the elements of the original Peter and Wendy book would be incorporated into it.
I would recommend reading Peter and Wendy (also known as Peter Pan) because it is good to be able to compare the two different stories. Also, I think that you can compare favorably the performance by Jim Dale in this story with his excellent job with the Harry Potter series.
The early scenes setting up the story were my favorite. I really enjoyed how the character Peter became a much more three dimensional person in this version compared to Peter and Wendy. He is not the one dimensional character of the original story.
Yes, although I think it is too long to do so. Again, Jim Dale's excellent reading of the story makes it a joy to listen to.
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