I couldn't have enjoyed this more... I collected comics for many years from the late '60's until the mid-90's when the blatant commercialism of multiple foil covers for the same book and horrible new art style (Yes, I mean you Liefeld) finally drove me away.
I was therefore already very familiar with all the names and events described herein, but having never read the fanzines or trade mags, was quite unfamiliar with the behind-the-scenes stories of WHY certain things happened the way they did.
This book covers that in a comprehensive and interesting way. It begins with the formation of the company in the early 1930's and progresses chronologically with the bulk of the narrative focusing on the 60's-80's. Narrator does a great job, and is very easy to listen to.
Some of the questions I received answers to are:
Why did Captain America, Iron Man and Sub-Mariner suddenly all get solo titles in 1968?
Whose dumb idea was it to give Spider-Man a "Spider-Mobile" in the 70's? and
Why was Secret Wars such a terribly written story?
I lost a night of sleep because I couldn't stop listening to this book. If you've read Marvel comics, I give this my highest recommendation. If you haven't, I can see how it might be too esoteric for the uninitiated.
Forgive me for editorializing, but it's absolutely criminal what was done to Jack Kirby.
Being in the mood for a post-apocalypse story, I was soon considering Alas, Babylon. After seeing it classified as an Audible Essential and reading many 5 star reviews, I thought this must be good, right? Hmmm.
Easily one of the most boring stories I have ever forced myself to endure. The narrator did a fine job with the material, it's only that the material was so tame and obvious. Absolutely nothing happens for the first 4 hours, then suddenly it's nukes raining down on the USA.
No electricity. Duh.
No water. Duh.
The only thing I found interesting in the whole book was how less racist and sexist modern American society has become in only 50 years. But as a survivalist adventure story this is sorely lacking.
In the end though, I did find a good use for this audiobook... I listen to it in bed at night and am asleep in minutes.
I wish I had heeded other reviewers warnings. This audiobook was not only not enjoyable, it actually irritated me immensely as I listened.
The narrator is overblown and a little ridiculous, but can be gotten used to. What cannot be excused is the complete lack of plot or comprehensible narrative. The protagonist, of whom two hours into the book I know very little about (and care even less) other than seeming to be a physician of some sort, is constantly mentioning unexplained events and unknown people as if reading the Table of Contents of a history book. He personally jumps from one event to the next with no explanation and no apparent reason. Perhaps that's reflective of the life of a mercenary soldier, but it doesn't make for a good story. About half-way through Chapter 2, I was so confused and frustrated that I re-listened to Chapter 1 thinking I just hadn't paid enough attention, but after doing so I realized I still had no idea what was going on and what's more I didn't care.
Having read/listened to hundreds of Fantasy books, this one is actually a first for me: the first time I cannot bear to finish. Maybe, as some have said, things improve towards the end, but I don't have that kind of pain tolerance.
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