One good narrator for the whole book. Or one narrator for the female parts, one for the male.
Number of the Beast is for hardcore Heinlein fans. It's my favorite Heinlein book -- which is probably why this narration bugs me so much -- but it's not for everyone. If you haven't read Heinlein, get something else first. Tunnel in the Sky is a good juvenile and fun for readers of any age. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is one of his best, period, and listening to the audio is even more fun than reading the book. Time Enough for Love is a good later novel, as is its sequel To Sail Beyond the Sunset. (The latter has has a stellar performance by Bernadette Dunne who narrates Hilda here in this book).
Five of the narrators are fine: I especially like Bernadette Dunne (Hilda) and Malcolm Hillgartner (Jake). But unless you keep your finger on the fast forward button, Emily Durante can spoil the whole experience. She sounds young and whiny, and her narration does not convey Deety's intelligence and vivacity. It's just not FUN listening to her, and if this book works for you (tastes vary, see reviews on Amazon), it's a FUN book. Listening to Dunne is like babysitting a spoiled toddler. She has apparently done some science fiction, but she is NOT right for this part. She has the range of one of those ornithopters on Mars-10. Someone else should have been chosen for the role of Deety. It's not too late -- get those chapters rerecorded and I'll buy the book a second time!
If you have a copy of the book and dislike one narrator, you can skip his or her sections by using the lists below. The audio is divided into three parts. Each audio chapter contains one chapter from the book. In the book, the chapters are numbered consecutively across all four parts, albeit with Roman numbers.
---AUDIO (Parts 1-3)---
* Sean Runnette (Zeb) Part 1: 1,2,3,10,11,13,20. Part 2: 9,14. Part 3: 2,5,10,12,15.
* Emily Durante (Deety): Part 1: 4,7,9,14,17. Part 2: 2,6,8,10,13. Part 3: 8,14.
* Malcolm Hillgartner (Jake) Part 1: 5,16. Part 2: 4,7,11. Part 3: 3,6,9,13.
* Bernadette Dunne (Hilda) Part 1: 6,8,12,15,19. Part 2: 3,5,12. Part 3: 4,7.
* Paul Michael Garcia (Smith) Part 3: 11.
* Tom Weiner (Narrator): 16
---BOOK (Arabic numerals substituted for Roman)---
* Zeb: 1,2,3,10,11,13,20,28,33,34,37,42,44,47
* Deety: 4,7,9,14,17,21,25,27,29,32,40.46
* Jake: 5,16,23,26,30,35,38,41,45
* Hilda: 6,8,12,15,19,22,24,31,36,39
* Smith: 43
* Narrator: 48
The author has no use, he says, for the art, music, or culture of today. That's fine, but if the past is THAT interesting, one need not condemn the present. This material could have been so interesting, had anyone but a grouchy old man with an attitude conveyed it.
It has certainly made me more cautious.
Perhaps another narrator would have been more sympathetic, but that would have been misleading.
Donald Fagen. Seriously.
I will certainly listen to it again. Scalzi's stories are enjoyable to reread, and Dufris hits all the notes perfectly. I might just go listen to it again when I finish this review. The nice thing about Scalzi is that the story is fun even when you know exactly what is going to happen. Speaking of which, as Scalzi has warned, this series does contain spoilers for the Old Man's War books. If you already know Scalzi, it's moot. You've already read that series and you've probably already purchased this audiobook because Scalzi just rocks. But if you don't know Scalzi and don't want to risk a credit on Old Man's War, my advice would be to buy this audiobook (I mean, 99 cents) and listen to chapter 1 (about 15 minutes) which doesn't give away any major prior events and/or characters. If you like it, you are going to like the Old Man's War books, so go ahead and beg, borrow or steal three credits and listen to the following: Old Man's War/The Ghost Brigades and The Lost Colony before finishing the rest of The B Team. (And if you got so engrossed in the story that you forgot to stop listening after fifteen minutes, never mind. Spoilers aren't so bad.)
Harry Wilson! Who else? That guy is just fun to be around.
William Dufris has narrated three of the four books in Old Man's War. He was a great choice and I'm glad he is narrating this series as well.
As with all Scalzi, there's a moment when I settle back with a satisfied sigh. For Red Shirts, he had me at "The rich are different." This time it happened while the ship was readying itself for a skip drive & Scalzi was judiciously sharing enough backstory so newcomers could keep up. Though he never took his eyes off the dialogue, he had a small smile on his face that we old Scalzi fans knew was meant for us. It told us he knew we knew all this stuff and to just relax & enjoy the ride. :)
Scalzi wrote a short story called After the Coup which features these characters & which takes place shortly before the events in The B Team. The ebook version is on Amazon (http://amzn.com/B003V4B4PM) and I wish there were an audio version. Pretty please?
This is the sequel to Gingerbread by RACHEL (not Rachael) Cohn. In the past two years since I bought the book, I've called and written audible multiple times to ask them to correct the mistake. A third book, Cupcake, is available in print or ebook, but not as an audio version.
Great series. Much more fun than Holden Caulfield and better coffee. :)
Honestly, when I finish Part I, I'll probably stop listening. If you are thinking of buying this audio book, I recommend you buy a print or ebook version instead.
Won't spoil the plot but it involves the raelynx!
The original narrator, Jennifer van Dyck, should have been hired to narrate all five books. She does male voices just fine, whereas Joe Barrett makes Kirra sound like a 1980s drag queen. It is extremely offputting. I could not finish listening to Dark Moon Defender and I don't know if I'll be able to finish Reader and Raelynx. I do wish there was a new version of this book with Jennifer van Dyck. I would buy it, even though I've already purchased this version.
It has a followup book. Unfortunately, it has yet another narrator. Jennifer van Dyck should have been re-hired, especially after the fiasco with Joe Barrett.
Stick to Mystic and Rider, Thirteenth House, and Troubled Waters in audio version. Get the rest in print or ebook. And check out other titles narrated by Jennifer van Dyck, especially those by Jack McDevitt.
Just finished listening to this a second time and enjoyed it just as much. Jennifer Van Dyck is the perfect narrator for Chase Kolpath.
If you want non-stop action, you are probably best off watching an action movie while sitting on your couch instead of listening to an audiobook while operating a moving vehicle. The suspense in this book builds up slowly and with convincing detail so that by the time Chase is fending off the villains, you are right there with her. And while the narrow escapes keep you on the edge of your seat, the actual puzzle that Benedict is solving (with Chase's sometimes reluctant help) engages your attention.
***A note on listening order*** There are currently 5 books in this series. Jennifer Van Dyck is the audio narrator for three of them: Polaris, Seeker, and The Devil's Eye. The order doesn't matter for Polaris and Seeker, but you should listen to Seeker before starting The Devil's Eye. All three are good listens, as is Omega from the McDevitt's other series.
Also, while the last book, Echo, has another narrator, McDevitt's website has the following information:
"The Tantor audio edition of Echo was inadvertently recorded using a male voice. It will shortly be available with a female narrator from Audible.com."
amusing writer, who captures spirit of 20s and is scrupulous about historical research. Excellent narrator. Don't miss last five minutes of audiobook, which contain interview between narrator and Kerry Greenwood.
Heinlein once wrote (in _The Number of the Beast_ that Tolstoy's works gained from translation. That I cannot judge, but _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_ which is one of my favorate books and one I reread periodically, gains from Lloyd James's translation. In particular, his voice for Mannie sounds both authentic and more multi-dimentional than the voice I imagined when reading the book. His brief chuckles punctuate Mannie's sly humor beautifully.
I know this is an audio version I will be listening to again. In fact, I imagine I will pull it out every time I go back to reread the book.
As for the book itself -- if you only read one book of Heinlein's in your lifetime -- this is the book you should read. Seriously.
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