I have been waiting for audio versions of the book for some time now. The fact that I have it is wonderful.
It is similar to the other Ring of Fire Books and Grantville Gazette. There are something like 13 novels and 46 editions of the Gazette, of which 10 or so are in paper. The first 6 novels were recorded for the blind. There is a lot of territory to make up and us fans are chomping at the bit.
Not my favorite narrator, If it sounded more detailed I’d like him a lot more. The first five volumes done by Eric Sandvold at NLS are the benchmark for this series for those who have been reading these on audio who are blind or otherwise impaired. The sound quality is rough, mildly distorted and oddly mastered, no resonance, like it was squeezed out. If he is recording in a proper studio, something is wrong. Sometimes a mic, a wire and a recorder is all you need.
Get over the idea that this is a 1633 sequel and enjoy these delightful stories. You will get to meet some important ongoing characters in this volume. The more of a fan you are, the more you will understand and like this read.
When this book was published the Grantville Gazette was not past it's 50th issue and many people thought the Ring of Fire series was a few glamorous novels with more of the same to follow. The idea of humble people from a small town assimilating into a big world in a known historical context is fertile ground for new and expanding approaches and with the big success of the Grantville Gazette, the ROF universe has expanded greatly into a number of serial adventures, articles and stories, some very small, some factual, some speculative and all organized around the Ring of fire.
Acculturation, opression, rebellion, irony, humor all with an allegorical eye to our current state is brought up in this book all the while under the subheading, 'This is all a bit of fun'. The bigger the fan of the Grantville Universe you are, the more you will like this book.
I wish there was more bandwidth in the recording, it sounds a little confined.
Nick Sullivan could do a real good job on this series, they should add him to the crew. There are a number of titles to go to catch up.
Of the Ring of Fire Books this is one of the most important. This is full novel written by the originators. It introduces and fleshes out key characters and events that set the scene for almost every ROF and Grantville Gazette story. Given the number of accents and settings these books are tough work for narrators, I overlooked that in my earlier critcism, although I stand behind my opinion, you can't buy better work than this commercially with this material.
Perhaps some some charitable souls will produce the Grantville Gazette for the Blind and Audible will pick it up.
The Grantville Gaette is and object of reverence anoung 1632 Ring of Fire fans. Although there are over 50 full electronic issues avaialble with up to 12 stories in each this is a single story that is abstracted from the Gazette for Amazon print sale. It is pricey and i hope that full issues become available so we get a real book credit worth of story.
Having said that, this is a good cultural juxaposition story set in the 1632 universe, very well written especially given it is from a fanzine. The narration and recording is par with all of the the other ROF titles not outstanding by any stretch, especially compared to the 5 recorded for the Library of Congress NLS program (of course unless you are blind you wont hear them), however the recordings are workmanlike and you can warm to initial and repeated listenings.
Audio books are still in their infancy compared to other recorded media, the best, most experienced producers and narrators toil in the non commerical world and haven't crossed over yet save for a few, that is something to hope for.
The fictional town of Grantville is the home of a great series of books and E-Zine / Journals that all begin here in a typical West Virginia town that lands in 1632 Germany. Outrageous, unlikely and wonderful.
I really enjoyed Papal Stakes. In the Ring of Fire series it is a wonderful addition and key story. Finally getting a good story with the Wrecking Crew is something every afficionado has been waiting for and we have gotten a very good answer to our wish.
George Guidall took a very difficult read and pulled it off with absolute aplomb. Though I was critical of his earlier performances, he took this story and made it his own. I suspended all disbelief and rode his reading of this tale like it was a magic carpet.
I hope that more books in the series and the Grantville Gazette come out. I am willing to pay for every bit of this series that comes to light.
Must Read Book
One of the best treatments of the stranger in strange land I’ve read.
If I must. To get the rest of this series I would. Although I would rather have Eric Sandvol or Charlotte Petsopoulis as narrator.
Come on with the rest of the series and Grantville Gazette please. This is the one thing I will go out of my way to buy.
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