The Dark Tower: The Dark Tower VII concludes a journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed for over 15 years. The writing of this tale, which began June 19, 1970, has weaved its way through Stephen King's life and all of his stories. I have never read more than a few words of this long tale. I have, whether on tape or on CD or on download from audible, listened to these wonderful stories over countless hours of my life. In that time, as did the author, I got married, have started a family; have lived my life. I count none of that time as wasted and listening to The Dark Tower was always a pleasure; even the time between volumes was a pleasure as I waited once again to rejoin my old friends. With the journey at an end, I will not miss them but will continue to revisit them, as I have all these years past.
I invite you to begin at the beginning if you are new to the tower, as other reviews have and as the author himself has implored. In a previous review, I suggested the third volume as an alternative starting point, and I still think that a good place to start as well, as I consider The Waste Lands to be the most exciting volume. It is, after all, the place where Roland's final Ka-Tet comes together.
With regard to this final volume and more specifically, its narration, George Guidall comes into form. His reading of the last days of Roland's quest is impeccable in its voice and his knowledge of the characters is complete. If you begin reading this tale from the start, you will hear him in The Gunslinger and, I suspect, be happy to hear his return with Wolves of the Calla.
If there is anything that I could say is missing from this final tale, it is a true "Afterword" from the author but in truth, what more could he have had to say, that hasn't been said already, both in previous forwards and afterwords, as well as within the narrative itself, especially the words of this final and revealing volume. Thankee Sai King.
This is a bleak picture of our possible future wherein the bonds of love between a father and son still remain. Listening to this book, I often thought of The Gunslinger by Stephen King. There is that same relentlessness of pushing on into a desperate future; pushing on down the road, or the path of a beam, that leads to a kind of end for one and a new beginning for the other.
I found the narration by Tom Stechschulte to be excellent and am looking forward to listening to the other unabridged recordings of McCarthy's works from audible.
What a great little short story about our choices, even if well meaning, and their consequences. Stephen King brings us into contact with the Dark Tower once again and it is always nice to go back there along a new path of the beam.
Very good narration. Left me wanting more.
This was a great recap of one of the most exciting general election campaigns in history; certainly of my lifetime. The insights from behind the curtains of each campaign say a lot about who these people really are and why we may or may not be happy for whom we voted for in November 2008.
When I heard that Stephen R. Donaldson, who I completely abandoned during the awful Gap series had revisted "the land" I was quick to snap up this title from audible.com. I loved the first two Thomas Covenant series. Even if I had discerned these mixed reviews for myself, the phosphene glow in my mind that were the land, the white gold fire, and the Staff of Law, I would still have given this book a try. Either way, my discernment was flawed, clouded, "covered with dirt" if you will, dirt on the much abused and worn out Arch of Time if you will indulge me a bit further on...
What a horrible disappointment. Linden Avery is simply the weakest lead character I have ever seen - period. If I hear the words discernment or any variation of phosphorous/phosphenes again, I can't be held responsible for what I might do.
Repetitive, redundant, rehashed, ridiculous - take your pick for which of the above you want to substitute for the "R" in Stephen R. Donaldson on this one.
Dan Brown's Angels and Demons is an enjoyable, if frequently unbelievable story that simply goes on far too long. It is one of those rare cases where I wish I had taken the abridged version.
There are 137 Chapters in this book and I think it could have safely been ended somewhere around 123 and it would still have been too long. In addition to it's gross length, Angels and Demon's asked this listener to suspend belief far too often. There is actually one passage that refers to the heroine as having to "buy" one of Langdon's explanations for one of his conclusions and I can't help but feel that Brown was staring his readers in the face daring us to do the same.
However, for all that is bad in this book (it is, I suppose "bad trash" as Stephen King's mother might have said), I still found it to be worth a listen. This is the type of book that would fit perfectly into a new Audible Listener Rental program...
Richard Poe does an okay job reading this but it sounded like he frequently was reading with throat lozenges in his mouth. Also, Poe's accent at the beginning of the book for Maximillian Kohler is really hard to accept.
I hoped it was going to be better than The DaVinci Code but I can only give this one 3 stars. I recommend you try the abridgement.
This short (90 minute) history of Pompeii and it's destruction is very good. Pompeii: City Captured In Ash was perfect for my one day in and out commute. The ensemble cast recreates the life and death of these 1st century Romans using the still life casts and messages left behind as the last moments of their lives were captured forever.
This great little book will leave you wanting to know more. I have queued up Robert Harris' Pompeii: A Novel in "My Next Listen" so that I can keep exploring this facinating example of how our environment can turn on us without warning at any moment.
I listened to Faithful for one reason, probably the same reason you will hear this great chronicle of the 2004 Boston Red Sox. The reason: Stephen King is one of the authors. This and On Writing A Memoir of the Craft are two examples of my favorite Stephen King - unfiltered; pure King without the screen of fictional characters behind which he normally stands.
Faithful is funny, sad, and ultimately triumphant, as we knew that it must be. Knowing the outcome is part of the fun in reading this book as we look into the personal past of both Stewart O'Nan and King, who refers to his readers in the future knowing the outcome. King says that the format of the book, a series of journal-type entries and e-mail conversations between the authors, is the only way that it could possibly work. He is right, it works brilliantly. Listeners will be delighted by the frustrations of and observations made by these two inconsolable, long-suffering Sox fans as they head into an unknown future where their suffering will end in the miraculous eight game sweep that closed out the 2004 baseball season.
Not to be overlooked, Stewart O'Nan's writing is a wonderful compliment to King's, carrying much of the action in fine detail. His BP notes are great.
Narration is provided by Adam Grupper doing O'Nan and Ron McLarty speaking for King. Grupper is a terrific find and I hope to hear more from him soon. McLarty is a great author in his own right. His novel, The Memory of Running was revealed in King's Entertainment Weekly column and is a must own selection from audible.
Also recommended non-fiction with Stephen King on Audible: The Wavedancer Benefit, Bag of Bone's which includes a terrific inteview with the author, Building Bridges: Stephen King Live at the National Book Awards, and Writers Speak: A Collection of Interviews with Writers on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.
The Amateur is an engaging short story, by Littell's standards - see The Company - that is a predictable but enjoyable listen. Much of the action after Heller's plans are in motion is telegraphed during his extorted training from the CIA. If you are into vengance, there is plenty of it here, but not many surprises.
Impeccable narration is provided by Scott Brick as usual.
Catch Me If You Can, made into a movie a few years ago with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, was my first introduction to the story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. This is "truth is stranger than fiction" at its finest and one of my most enjoyable listens from audible. My only problem with it is the ending. Spoilled by the movie, which details his time with the FBI and then, in the ending credits, talks about his subsequent consulting work helping combat check fraud for banks and businesses, the audio book doesn't get into any of that, but ends very abruptly - like many of Abagnale's alter-ego lives. Still very enjoyable and highly recommended with very good narration.
Rather than simply give my opinion of this great collection of letters from troops and their families, I offer a paraphrased excerpt from the Appendix of Will They Ever Trust Us Again?
Ways you can support our troops:
Homes for Our Troops at homesforourtroops.org - their mission is to build specially adapted homes for our severely disabled soldiers and their families.
The Wounded Warrior Project at unitedspinal.org - seeks to assist those men and women of our armed forces who have been severely injured.
Fisher House at fisherhouse.org - the Fisher House program is a private/public partnership that supports America's military in their time of need.
Give the gift of groceries at commissaries.com.
Send books. If you would like to send books to soldiers yourself, check out booksforsoldiers.com, where soldiers will post requests for books they'd like to get their hands on and all you have to do is pick a soldier to send a book to.
Operation Uplink at operationuplink.org - you can donate calling cards, so military families can stay in touch during their extended separations.
Operation Hero Miles at heromiles.org - through Operation Hero Miles, you can donate your airline miles to American soldiers so they can get home to visit with their families.
United Services Organization (USO) Care Packages - (703) 696-2628 - at usometrodc.org - you can donate money to the USO to help sponsor care packages sent to the troops through their site.
Armed Forces Emergency Relief Funds at afrtrust.org - helps the soldiers and families with paying for food and rent, medical and dental expenses, personal needs when pay is delayed, and funeral expenses.
Red Cross - helping military families at redcross.org. Contact your local Red Cross chapter and find out how you can help with military families in your area who are struggling in this time of war.
Thank you to all men and women in uniform for their service.
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