Larry Tye provides insight into not only the original creators of Superman but nearly all the major influences that have defined (or in some cases attempted to re-define) Superman. While Siegel and Shuster are featured prominently throughout the book, he looks at other comic, TV, newspaper comic, and movie writers, directors, producers, and actors who have helped to create the Superman mythos.
It is a great listen. Scott does a fine job, though admittedly this is not as difficult as an audiobook where multiple characters have to be distinguished audibly. He's clear and engaging. If he's not a fan of the subject matter, he does a good job of sounding as if he is.
The book does not present a one-sided view of the struggles of the Siegel and Shuster with DC comics over Superman. It fairly evenly presents the history, but is more concerned about the endurance of the character as a cultural icon. It posits some theories about why Superman is so loved, but never descends into a psychological study. It is primarily history, told from the view of someone enamored with his subject. Recommended listening for old and new fans of Superman.
Whether in audio or written form, John Sandford's novels are among my favorites and Silken Prey is one of his better works. Richard Ferrone does another excellent job in reading Silken Prey and listeners will not have a hard time distinguishing characters. The combination, story and reader, make another excellent entry into this series.
The plot focuses on a US Senate election and on the criminal activity that one side chooses to engage in order to win the election. Davenport is brought in by the Governor to sort through the accusations of child pornography that have been levied against the incumbent Senator without upsetting the political balance. Recognizing that this is the kind of case that could result in people losing jobs, Davenport looks outside his usual supporting cast (early in the book; favorites like Del, Shrake, and Jenkins are back later) which leads to a great fan service for long time Sandford fans. Kidd and LuEllen have fairly significant supporting roles in Silken Prey.
As with most Prey books, Early chapters switch between what the criminals are doing and what Davenport is doing. This helps provide tension as we see both sides making moves, one to protect their secrets and Davenport attempting to expose them.
If you've read/listened to other Prey novels and have not enjoyed them, there is little here to change your mind but for fans this is a great entry in the series.
Mad River is another great story from John Sandford. Virgil Flowers is trying to track down three young adults in rural Minnesota who are on a killing spree. In this case, Virgil has a pretty solid idea from the start who he is looking for, the problem is finding them. They were essentially homeless and largely friendless, so ideas as to where they might go or who might be their next victim are hard for Virgil to discover. This is close to Virgil's hometown as well, so we get to meet his parents and he runs into an old high school flame who has recently returned to the area after a divorce. These pieces all make for a enjoyable read that any fan of Sandford's novel will enjoy.
Ur is a great short story from Stephen King about a bookworm who decides to give e-readers (Kindle, specifically) a try. Only his Kindle is special delivery from the Twilight Zone. Book are available that authors never wrote, but it's when he realizes he can access more than books that the story turns. If you are a fan of King's work this is definitely worth a listen, especially for fans of The Dark Tower series. The best readers do not call attention to themselves and I can almost forget I'm listening and not reading. Holter Graham does this in reading Ur, so the overall experience is excellent.
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