Fans of Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead will definitely want to hear First Meetings: Four Stories from the Enderverse. As I have stated with most of my short story reviews, audio books and short stories are made for each other and for fans of Ender, these four short stories construct a beautiful bridge between Ender's past before Ender's Game and between Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead.
The original novelette format of Ender's Game is the third story in this four part collection and it is a great story, even in this pared down format. It just proves that Ender's Game is a terrific story that re-engages listeners everytime they play it. The remaining three stories are the best part of this collection though and my favorite is Teacher's Pest.
Teacher's Pest is the story of the meeting and very brief courtship of John Paul Wiggin and Theresa Brown. The very intriguing couple who become the parents of Peter, Valentine, and Andrew Wiggin.
The Polish Boy introduces us to the "non-compliant" Wieczorek family and the brilliant John Paul, whose genius will alter the course of the future, for both his family and the entire Enderverse. John Paul Wieczorek of course becomes John Paul Wiggin in Teacher's Pest.
This is a great collection of stories that is spectacularly narrated, as usual, by the Fantastic Audio crew. My only criticism of the audio production is the bumper music used at the beginning and ending of each story. I do believe my ears started bleeding at some point and the bumpers overlap the narration too far so that it is very hard to hear for several seconds at the beginning and ending of these stories.
Again, I can't recommend any group of short stories enough but these are terrific, especially for Ender fans. Enjoy!
Yes, the alternate views of several of the characters and the excellent backstory on Stealth's life before the zombocalypse were great additions.
Jay is great but where are Khristine Hvam and Mark Boyett, not to mention Elisabeth Rodgers? I really missed the already established voices of Stealth and Captain Freedom.
Can't wait for the next one.
King Short Story
Yes. Most Stephen King novels are sprawling works that span over a dozen hours or more. At 7 1/2 hours, this is a very concise effort and I didn't find that it ever languished; it just keeps moving you forward to its conclusion.
He manages, while narrating as an older verison of the main character, to convey the voice of the youthful Devin Jones.
It made me laugh several times but anyone who reads Stephen King knows that laughs are part of the deal. Put that on a sampler and hang it in your kitchen. :)
I really missed the lack of a forward or afterward from the author with this one.
The ending - without spoiling, the book's conclusion is, for me, a let down.
Yes - I will listen to his next novel and in the meantime, may find time for his old novel Deception Point again, still his best in my opinion.
Excellent narration by Paul Michael.
What does Dan Brown have against Langdon hooking up with his costars anyway? :)
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.
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