Member Since 2009
Well, first I would recommend reading the first three books or at least the first one. It is ble to be read as a stand alone book but seeing the characters develop across four decades of American history is really great and Arthur Morey really hits the nail on the head as narrator. His flat, Philadelphia accent isn't too far off from Updike's own (having listened to the John Updike Audio Collection I have had the joy of hearing the author's own voice) and the steady,unhurried way he narrates makes all of the deadpan comedy really come home. I'm also a native of Pennsylvania but from the Pittsburgh side and I can identify with so much of the places and characters.
Obviously the first three books are comparable but despite its length, it is much better paced that either the second or third novels (the latter of which I thought to be too long for its own good). I truly liked how the series came full circle at the end bringing in elements of the first novel back for good measure. A great finish to the series (with Rabbit living in any case. The extra novella is a bit unnecessary although it ends nicely).
His Philadelphia accent and the perfect deadpan comedy.
The basketball game at the end was moving in that it showed the series coming full circle.
Aside from Nelson's character for the first two thirds of the novel, this is the best book in the series. Rabbit finally can do all that he couldn't do in the first book. We have the feeling that he was finally able to run away for good and there was a safe place waiting for him unlike his run away into the scary unknown in the first book. I like how Nelson reforms however at the expense of everything and even Janice smartens up a bit. The adventures in Florida in the beginning are perfectly wonderful. It was nice not to have to put up with Ronnie until later in the book. The main problem is Nelson and even that is nicely handled.
The performance by Raul Esparza and the cautionary tale of Americans in crisis situations.
I would have edited the last two hours to match the (seemingly) suspenseful situation in took place in. Imminent life-threatening situations are NOT the time to have a slovenly snail paced chat peppered with tangential anecdotes. It's time to break out the plan and act on it.
This was my first experience with his excellent narrations. He does an exemplary job of juggling the plethora of character voices from lispy kids, to menacing police offers, to drawling Big Jim to the perfectly individually identifiable female characters, quite a feat for most male narrators whose women all sound the same.
At 34 hours, no but I did listen for 7 hours straight at one point. It was more thanks to Esparza's performance than to King's writing but the latter was a little better paced thanks (according to the author's afterword) to his daughter-in-law's advice while marking in the margins of the original manuscript "Faster Steph!"
I like Stephen King's non-horror books better than his horror ones. "It" was terribly overwritten and had dual unsatisfying ends for both of its timelines. The thing with horror is, you don't where the narration is leading until it gets to a death or a horrible revelation so you're more likely to listen along to tens of minutes of character background despite the fact that they die immediately after. 11/22/63 and Under the Dome are more what I would call suspense novels wreathed in whatever SciFi the dressing has. Will JFK's assassination be averted? Will the problem of the Dome be solved? These pressing themes carry the whole novels as long as they are and Mr. King would do well to continue getting his novels edited by that wonderful daughter-in-law of his mentioned above.
FASTER STEPH! It's suspense not a Fireside Chat!
It would depend on what they think of the 80's and of Video Games but YES! in most cases.
The discovery of the various places of the keys and gates and all of the geeky trivia entailed in it.
Ultraman Vs. MechaGodzilla! I know it sounds silly and geeky but it was such a satisfying scene for many reasons.
It made me feel the nostalgia of playing a good game over and over, the obsession, the times (80's) and the respective styles/movies/music/video games. There is plenty of explanation for the uninitiated so I think no one will really get too left behind.
I'll come right out and say it, the romance angle is not really well written. It is a bit of a major come down after the breathless beginning up to the first gate. Clumsily done with no real understanding of what the characters are feeling, it is a bit of a let down.
On another note, this book has a LOAD of replay value for me. It's impossible to pick out all of the many references in one go which makes each new listening experience a joy. I skip over the awkward relationship parts on these outings which makes it even more enjoyable.
The writing is so full of references to the Omen, Rosemary's Baby, and most other Biblical End of the World films and books as well as insights into modern belief and demoniacal/angelic intervention in late 20th Century life channeling everyone from C.S. Lewis to the silly Televangelists who get "Words of God" from their earpieces. I enjoyed Marvin Jarvis in his role as Rossi etc int he abridged version of the Historian and here, his talent is shown even further as he enacts demons, Satanic nuns, renegade angels, and English children with a sweeping range of voices.
The birth and mix-up in the beginning and the Witchfinder Corps were pretty amusing but mostly the many jokes scattered throughout the book are truly fun.
As mentioned above, his various accents and even his singing voice all lend themselves to the comedy. I feel there are a few references made clearer by his performance than I missed when I read the book beforehand. There's something about his voice for the AntiChrist boy that sounds like it was supposed to mean something but I couldn't catch it.
I was laughing for most of the time due to the many jokes and references to various films and general supernatural, angelic and demoniac behavior.
The ending is a bit underwhelming what with the big set-up and everything but it was a fun ride overall mostly thanks to Marvin Jarvis.
It's a nice retelling of Dracula but I just wished it could have made more of its full ensemble cast a la The Historian and His Dark Materials Trilogy i.e. each character's voice being performed by a different actor.
Jonathan Harker's account of Castle Dracula in the beginning. I was expecting MUCH MORE from Tim Curry as Van Helsing. He seemed to be a bit bored with the role. He read it quite slowly with none of the energy I have associated with the role.
Professional, Variety, but Limited
It is a movie and I have seen it. Coppola's was the best if not for the unnecessary love story.
If only each letter had assistance from each characters voice when they had a line, it would be better. Also, I thought Mina and Lucy's voices should have been switched.
It's harmlessly comfortable. It's predictable but also very warmhearted with contrived plot lines all aimed at a warm and happy end. But I didn't care. I wanted something Christmasy and I got it.
Its characters and description of small town 1960s Ireland.
All the characters, with the exception of the rival Doctor had pleasant accents.
The name really suits the story. You get what you pay for.
As usual, Neville has action and well written, suspenseful passages but without Gerry Fagan, the series has really lost its steam.
If this is the last book of the series, I'm really going to be disappointed. However, I'm not sure if I'd want to continue the series unless something really unexpected happens.
He's always awesome in whatever he does. I've never had a complaint about him and I probably never will. His accents, inflections, and voice ranges are all magnificent.
Not really. It's a bit of a downer especially with the Christmas setting and all.
Neville should break free of his series and write something new and cool and original like Ghosts of Belfast.
The use of different voices for the reading of different letters. Each character is voiced by a separate actor or actress performing with a different accent. As I am a fan of all accents, it made the story very pleasant to listen to.
Rossi's missing letters meant to be sent from Romania. They reveal SO much about the historical Dracula as well as the story's plot.
As mentioned before, the accents. The best was the guy who did the man with a mixed Scottish/Romanian accent. It was superb and an excellent example of hard work and top-notch voice acting.
Perhaps Rossi himself but each plot line has its own quirks. The unnamed narrator's recounting of her trip to Italy and Slovenia has its own charms too.
I've listened to this recording many times. It is fitting when the Autumn chill fills the air and you want something intellectually satisfying yet a bit dark.
Yes but with guarded words. Prepare to commit to over 40 hours of intense mathematical and historical discourse told with a lot of wit but seemingly without any direction until the last 3 hours or so.
Not really. It's not that kind of book. In Stephenson's first two SciFi masterpieces he makes use of his creativity for imagining a possible technological dystopia but as the two time periods in this novel are the (then) present of the late 90's and WWII era America, The Philipines, Japan, China, Europe and all the seas in between, he has to rely on actual math and while some of it is over the head of most (or at least this) listener(s), he also makes use of his remarkable wit of which we have only heard snatches of up to this point. There's no real suspense although there are a few suspenseful situations. Stephenson's unique outlook on the world and his remarkably well-realized characters reminds me of John Updike for some reason, perhaps for the fact that they seem like real people who think about real things rather than just some made-up characters.I found myself laughing like crazy for seemingly no reason just for the "oh so ordinary but so true" way some of the characters talk. Stephenson is certainly one of the most versatile writers out there. There is so much here and , as someone who majored in East Asian Studies and lives in Japan, he hit the nail on the head at least as far as Japan is concerned but he steers away from just idolization/damnation of other cultures but sees them from a basic human standpoint without being either cynical or preachy. You don't really realize he is toeing this line but he is. I think the expression "Nips" was used a bit much but it gave a sense of period and albeit it a terrible slanderous word, it is marginally less grating on the ear than the more common slur "Japs." Interestingly enough, I don't think the German equivalents were used even once. Fancy that.
Probably Randy although his German accents are pretty interesting as he demonstrated in another book "The Murder of the Century." His Japanese accents sound strangely Native American and his Filipino accents sound Mexican but his basic dry wit narrator's voice is probably my favorite. The narrators for the audiobooks must be handpicked by Stephenson himself because after listening to each I couldn't imagine a better reader for either one. He has decent variations and his Douglas MacArthur and Ronald Reagan voices had me laughing with incredulity. His Shaftoe voice took a while to get used to because he sounds just like a mindless grunt which, although his behavior over most of the novel reflects as much, it cheapens him a bit.
I laughed at some of the asides such as General Mills calculation of making Cap'n Crunch nuggets the same size as teeth so as to be ergonomically eaten and Randy's ex-girlfriend's research on "shaving pornography" as a sort of indirect hint to get him to shave off his beard not to mention the absolutely batsh*t ridiculous handling of the furniture-to-be-bequeathed using an interactive x y graph in which hopeful relatives of Randy (all genius IQ mathematicians and scientists) lug the items they want all over the parking lot comparing monetary and emotional value with the x and y values. Basically, half the time, you're thinking, "Where the heck is he going with this?" It's a fun and geeky ride but a long one and there is a payoff but it doesn't come until about the 37 hour mark. For me, it was worth it but I can see how some might see it as a "too little, too late" sort of deal. On the bright side, without revealing any spoilers, the ending is the most clear cut of all the Stephenson SciFI novels so far.
Sure! You'll either love the narrator or not. He's probably not the best guy to read The Night Before Christmas but for all of the other stories, he does a pretty nice job. Especially in the L. Frank Baum and Wilder stories, his range of voice and the devious nature of his tone come to full bloom.
Maybe the Holiday Classics Collection that Audible gave away for free a couple of years ago. Each story fit, was short and left you in wonder at the end.
I liked the bite in his voice for the demons in Santa Claus Kidnapped and the childish snobbery of the little girl in the Christmas Dream Come True story.
The little Match girl's story was sad but really sweet.
He could have read the Night Before Christmas with a lighter tone but the other stories were great.
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