This had been a book I'd gotten awhile back knowing I'd listen to it later.
And later came as I was watching the 1980s COSMOS again before the new version was aired and wanted to learn more about this aspect of the show. I am glad I got this book!
It is well written and very understandable to the non scientist who's curious about evolution. To me, it gave a fresh perspective of the time involved to make evolution happen. Something very hard to put ones mind around, time. A very, very long time.
My only gripe early on in the book was the reader referring to illustrations that appear in the printed version, I thought those could have been omitted from the audio version with no contextual loss at all, but as the book went on I came to overlook that to a degree, but it still was annoying to me.
I thought the reader was overall very good with this book.
It was very interesting to hear not only things my mother used to tell me as I was growing up, but all the other stories of real and imagined hazards I'd never heard before.
I enjoyed this book and I like hearing books read by their authors, and Jennings was a good reader of his work.
It was interesting to hear this short story, I had been curious with the new version of the story coming out as an updated film to hear the source of now two movies.
I can say that even though the story is short, in my opinion, the 1940s Danny Kaye movie holds more true to this short story with the elements used.
Ben Stiller is a good reader but his film version of the story, while visually beautiful in its many location shots, is telling what story exactly? To me the new film is too much, too long! Especially after hearing the story for the first time.
I have to admit that when this arrived on the Audible site with the first 4 chapters free for preview, I quickly got them, listened, and then purchased the entire play because I was interested in the outcome with the movie then opening soon. After listening I know that I'll just wait for the movie DVD/Blu-Ray release in a few months.
I gave it 4 stars across the board because while yes I liked it, I didn't love it and had a few gripes with it.
Gripe 1- The biggest problem I had with this version and the same that I've read the movie deals with too, Ender being 6 years old! The actor playing him in this version sounded to me like late teens to mid twenties, and while the original book may have the Ender character speaking the way he does, a 6 year old WOULD NOT speak in that manner, genius or not!
Gripe 2- Many of the voice actors for the 'students' sounded like they were played by female voice actors, even if they were male, and I often lost track of was the interaction being talked about between two boys or a boy and a girl, only to find it was supposed to be between to males.
Gripe 3- The background story sound effects were too quiet! If I was listening while driving I couldn't hear them at all!
Gripe 4- And the one that I've read hurt the movie version, this is NOT a kids story! The cruelty and physiological cruelty towards supposed little kids and teens is excessive. Having the 'hero' considerably older than 6 would have made it more palatable in my opinion, worked more reasonably with the written dialog and the overall outcome could easily have been the same in the book with Ender about 17 to 20. But then that was the writers choice, and my gripes or similar ones may even have been voiced back in 1986.
And I do like full cast audio plays too! I listen to old time radio shows and used to enjoy and get ideas of Audible purchases from "Book Radio" before it was ripped from the air, although I liked the old name of 'Sonic Theater' better! I even used to listen to many of Orson Scott Card based Sci-Fi programs on that channel.
I bought this book because I retired a few years ago from a 25 year career in Animal Control.
Our job was most often dealing with people but the 'mission' of the department was disease control and Rabies eradication in our County. In our area the animal with the highest 'positive' tests was the Bat and in being so ANY bat caught or found was tested.
In other Counties it was, and probably still is, Skunks and in others Raccoons. I never saw a Rabid dog but we tested probably hundreds over the years on that suspicion. But rabid dogs were a problem down south as you get closer to the Mexican border.
I was forever hearing about the "22 shots in the stomach" legend that most people seemed to still believe if the concern was of exposure.
Before I retired the last pet to come back positive was a families cat that had caught and eaten a bat out in the desert and then ultimately began to act sick. They tested the cat itself and all the kittens too, only the mom cat was positive.
I really enjoyed learning more about the history of a disease that was my job to know, but didn't really.
So NEVER underestimate the bite or scratch you may get from that strange unknown animal, and NEVER attempt to catch an animal acting sick or abnormal, like a bat crawling on the ground or flying around in the daytime!
I'm not sure of this books appeal to the general public, but if in a field, like animal control, or another Public Health field, it should be read or heard!
I had started out getting the Kindle version and was part way through it and when I discovered it was available on Audible I got it quick! Audio books work out so much better for me that I was glad I could switch to the Audible format to hear the rest of the book.
I really enjoyed the story of the author's adventures in Japan. I thought it was an often funny story and would recommend it!
The Audible version is also a great example of how the right reader can really make the story great! He sounds a lot like Mathew McConaughey to me and does great with his accents when he's describing some of the other foreign characters in the story.
I think it's really worth the 'credit'!
I thought that the story was pretty good overall, but as my headline says, in my opinion it really is written in the format of the movie I fully expect will be made, if it's not being worked on right now, from this book.
That said, the first person account of the actual event in finding Bin Laden towards the end of the book, is very intense and very interesting.
I can't see why the stories coming out about the military being concerned over secrets being told about this mission, if you read just about any of the real good spy or military authors books, you'll read very similar actions described, and those are novels!
The reader was OK, he sounded a bit too much like a "Surfer Dude" for me but it didn't detract from the story as much as it could have.
I actually had not heard this since it was first out on Books on Tape a looooong time ago and wanted to hear it again! To me it was actually fun to hear the old Books on Tape stuff at the very start of the book.
Although still a good story the second time through, I can really see (hear) why so many reviewers were not very happy with the early books just because of the reader Ms. Peiffer.
Although she reads the story fine, as with several other readers of various books, she just doesn't seem to have the correct or expected 'tonal quality' for the character in this story, in my opinion!!!
If you're just discovering the "Alphabet" series, I'd still recommend giving it a listen, or, especially in the early stages of this series, get the abridged version and hear the reader that now has become the ONLY reader of the series for the most part, abridged or unabridged, Judy Kaye!
She IS Kinsey Millhone!
Overall a very good book, I was impressed by the detail of available information presented in the book. Part 2 has the story most might know about the actual events at Donner Lake. But listening to the buildup, the wrong decisions, the just plain bad luck, as well as all the 'back story' to the other families involved in this was very interesting to me.
The performance was ok, not bad but not too great either. He reads the story well, what detracted it for me was the numerous 'voice overs' where corrections were made in the reading. They were annoying to me because they're so obvious! Changes in sound quality and sometimes volume in the voice overs just got to be a bit bothersome to me. I've heard many books were the voice overs are seamless or almost totally undetectable. This isn't one of those!
Again a very good story! If interested in the story of the Donner Party, I'd recommend this version especially due to the detail of the story told.
When looking around Audible for the availability of programing pertaining to and about the recent anniversary if the Rodney King event, I was surprised to see that this book was available.
As I'd never read or heard it before I gave it a try as I had lived in Southern California during all the happenings then and remember much of Daryl Gates in the news from back then.
I actually must say I was disappointed in this book and wished there was the unabridged version available too, as while much was discussed, not too much was gone into in any real depth.
He talks about his career in law enforcement, working through the ranks, intermixed with the problems his own son had dealing with drug addiction and having to deal with that as well as all the civil unrest during that era. I am just glad I never lived in the L.A. area!
Overall though the book is good, I think especially if you lived in the Southern Calif area during that time to give his story some foundation. Gates is a pretty good reader of his own book and as I said earlier, if it had been more in depth and told more of the story I would have liked it better.
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