Wow. I can't believe how different the novel is from the 70s movie. It's incredible and deserves to be remade today to follow the original plot. The greatest aspect of this production is the narration -- Oliver Wyman -- who delivers a spectacular and captivating performance. Looking forward to getting the remainder of the series.
At times, Dixon was fairly monotone, but the performance was steady and still entertaining. Actually, it was humorous to hear him attempt some regional accents, which he didn't do particularly well.
The majority of the book, from the creation of the first settlements in North America through the end of the Civil War is terrific. Afterwards, the author begins to equate all things that most Americans currently find politically conservative or libertarian in aspect as a product of Deep Southern or "Borderlander" thought and is therefore lumped into the same categories as white supremacy and slavery. In fact, the author's fairly biased point of view becomes more pronounced as he attempts to stretch his thesis to current events, with multiple digs at institutions like the Tea Party and the present day incarnation of the Republican party, while professing a love of a strong centralized government as a means to unite all Americans and a need to put aside individual liberties for the sake of the nation and the "common good.: Garreau's Nine Nations of North America is a better book on the fractured cultural history of the United States without many of the biases that Woodard seems to harbor, but that's not available yet on Audible.
This was a terrific abridged version of Buchanan's original work that hits on almost every point that he writes about, with the exception of the anti-religious bent that he describes in the text. I've listened to it twice and both times felt extremely depressed about the future of America, which obviously was Buchanan's intention. Great narration by the author.
Actually, this was a pretty good short. In the future, the US and its allies are embroiled against China, which has been taken over by a nationalist general called "The Emperor" after the terrorist assassination of the Chinese premier. The story focuses on the pilots of the planes being used to wage the battle in the skies -- cyborgs due to the taxing demands that the aircraft take on the human body. I think the real downfall of this audiobook is its sound production quality. It is poorly mixed -- the sound levels jump up and down and conversations are sometimes audible, sometimes not, especially when intermixed with the booming sounds of air combat. If the producers of this book choose to make a second volume, I hope that they switch production studios.
This was a fairly run of the mill zombie apocalypse tale, but what really ruins it is the narrator, Brian Sutherland. He read the entire thing is a droll monotone which, at one point, almost put me to sleep. Apparently the other books have different narrators, but this was a terrible way to begin a series.
Top 20. I'm a big fan of the series.
Clines does a good job weaving together story arcs from the other two books to create an intriguing third entry in the series that is every bit as good as the other two books. Just a quick comment on the faulty narration -- I downloaded this audiobook in early September of 2013 and there are several scenes in the book where Jay Snyder "fills in" as the voices of Stealth and Captain Freedom for a few lines (Hvam would do the majority of a chapter, for example, and here and there Snyder [as Stealth] would be dubbed in for a few lines). I don't know how this compares to the original release, but it doesn't occur that often and doesn't throw off the pacing of the book.
"Swan Song" is the nuclear war version of "The Stand" -- a novel that pits the forces of good versus evil across the ruined landscape of a nuclear war devastated America. I've been waiting for the audiobook version for ten years and I joined Audible once I found out that it had been made. Needless to say, Stechschulte's performance of the source material is spot-on. I didn't think he could beat his reading of "The Road" until I heard this.
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