This book was a favorite of my youth that I returned to in audio form. I was not disappointed by the story--although all the works of Dean Koontz begin to sound the same after a while--and Dick Hill was a fantastic voice for the male characters in the book. His slightly squeaky, falsetto attempts at the women's voices, however, were a trifle hard to take seriously. This was an enjoyable audiobook, but I yearned for a female reader to lend her talents to Mr. Hill's otherwise great skill.
First the book: This is a great addition to the set of Heinlein's works for those who loved Lazarus Long and wanted more in that vein. The book is largely character driven, plot is uncomplicated, but enjoyable if you can come to enjoy the people in it.
Next the reading: This could have been stunning. An ensemble cast reading of this book... the idea took my breath away. That is not, precisely, what this is. The book is, with an exception or two, written from the perspective of the four major characters, each one voicing a chapter at a time. One reader takes each chapter, so you have Hilda's voice... and Hilda's reader doing Zeb's voice... anyone familiar with audiobooks is accustomed to that, but it was a strange choice. One voice is a bit grating as other reviewers have indicated. The two main male voices are pleasing, but were mis-cast, they should have been reversed.
I am a great lover of this book, so I still enjoyed this reading, but I couldn't help but reflect regularly as it went on that it could have been so much better than it is. If a flawed choice in reader or readers ruins an audiobook for you, I do not recommend this recording.
I have gone out of my way to recommend this audiobook to anyone I know who enjoys zombie stories and is at least passingly familiar with "A Prairie Home Companion" even to friends who do not normally listed to audiobooks.
The story here is just what you would imagine, a zombie-filled, dark-humor parody of the must loved radio program. That is enjoyable enough, but in addition to delicious humor, this tale serves up some surprisingly interesting characters and a fun plot that holds your interest.
Phil Gigante does an admirable job imitating what I would have previously called the inimitable voice and style of Garrison Keillor, which makes this audiobook that much more enjoyable.
If you happen to appreciation APHC as well as dark humor and zombie/horror stories, you owe it to yourself to give this a try.
If you were fascinated by Lord Soth in the Dragonlance books and are interested in his transfer to the Ravenloft setting and further fate therein, this book does the trick. The story is not surprising or impressively artful, but experiencing Soth's point of view lends extra interest and it is mostly well-paced and engaging.
Danny Campbell has a very long list of audio-book credits to his name. I am forced to guess from this that perhaps a poor producer or director pushed him in unfortunate directions for this reading. The voice he gives to the principle character, Lord Soth, is excellent, and other characters are passable, and his overall timbre is pleasing.
However, Mr. Campbell mispronounces such an array of words that his reading rattles and jangles. The possessive of the name Soth, Mr. Campbell, "Soth's" would be pronounced Soths, just like a plural, not "Soth-ez" Sharp teeth intended for tearing meat are in-size-ors, not in-scissors. Those missteps alone could easily be ignored, but the list goes on and on which made it difficult to enjoy the book.
I am usually very devoted to completing a series once begun, but I am unsure if I will purchase audio versions of the further novels concerning Lord Soth with Mr. Campbell as the reader.
These are simply great. Fangoria has given us lean and mean horror that gives you everything you want in intensity, curious twists, and spine-tingles. The performance is first rate and the stories range from classic feels with contemporary edges to unique and fresh ideas. I would eagerly buy ten more volumes at twice the price.
I had forgotten how limp the story is in this book since reading it as a youth. Unlike the other Meetings books, the characters so many of us grew to love do not become further illuminated in this work. Instead, we see wan child versions of them, believable perhaps, but sadly not at all interesting. It's not terrible, but worth hearing/reading only for the sake of completion of the series.
The reader is okay, but a few too many times comes across as if she were delivering story time to a group of small children. The text isn't very mature, so that almost fits, but occasionally I found myself picturing felt puppets.
Overall this was not what I was looking for, which I might have expected had I remembered the story better from its original release.
Re-envision the Hardy Boys as a young, gay male married couple. Give them enough power & money to make Solomon blush. Throw in some James Bond and some good humor and you've got Glen & Tyler.
This is a feel-good, brain-candy delight, and in a world of gay fiction that sometimes seems to be almost exclusively filled with drama, *drama*, and porn I find myself deeply grateful for it. Glen & Tyler are charming characters that you can't help but root for as the story unfolds. You know you're on a roller-coaster that's not going to go off the tracks, but it's still a fun ride. JB Sanders has done us a service by bringing us this story--and, I hope to discover, those that follow it--I laughed out loud repeatedly as I listened greedily. I earned rueful smiles from my husband and puzzled stares from guys the next treadmill over; I simply couldn't stop the story. It was light-hearted, fast paced, and fun.
Brian Rollins does an astonishing job as the narrator. Many readers are good, but Mr. Rollins succeeds in adding dimensions to a simple, fun story that elevated the whole experience, bringing every emotion and attitude very much to life. It was his performance, as much as the feel-good tale, that kept me grinning throughout this experience.
I will be looking both for more Glen & Tyler tales and checking out what other works Brian Rollins may have performed.
I loved this book in my late high school and early college years, when I was deeply involved in gaming in the same setting where the story takes place. It was then and is still my favorite of the Ravenloft novels of the time; Christie Golden does a nice job. Like most gaming-based fiction, it's not especially deep, sort of a Creole riverboat horror version of what would otherwise be termed a "fun romp." If that kind of accessible story is your cup of tea, I would recommend this one... in print form.
The reader is simply dreadful. On the positive side, she sounds as if she is enjoying the story herself, which is nice, but half the cast of characters come out sounding like Tiffany from Daria--slow and somehow breathy, but monotone and distracted.
A spark of talent shows when the reader gives a bit-part a rich French accent, but for some reason in this tale set against a Louisiana style Cajun/Creole backdrop this is the only time she makes use of this skill. I was left wishing repeatedly that a voice like that would return, and chuckling inappropriately whenever the Tiffany voice would return.
I was able to complete my listen because I knew the story and was looking forward to the poignantly satisfying big finish. If you are new to this story, I don't know how you take it seriously with this reader.
Libriomancer was recommended to me, but I was skeptical about heading into another variant on the paranormal-contemporary world theme. I quickly discovered that I couldn't stop listening and picked up the second volume minutes after finishing this one.
The heroes of this story, Isaac Vainio and Lena Greenwood, were refreshingly real and accessible while still being unique and multidimensional. If you're a fantasy & sci-fi geek or fanboy (or fangirl, for that matter) you can't help but like Isaac and want to be with him every step of the way.
Acting as a backdrop to the whole story is the tapestry of sci-fi and fantasy stories that so many of us have loved for so long, from the awful, guilty-pleasure pulps to the great works of speculative fiction. Hines manages to pay homage with a fine sense of humor that manages to make jokes without every allowing the story to become one, evoking nostalgic moments, eager anticipation, and shouts of delight as you see in your fanboy/fangirl heart exactly what's about to happen.
This was my first experience with David DeVries as a reader. I was immediately struck by his skillful rendition of character dialogue, but initially found his narration a bit stiff. That impression didn't last, however, as the story continued to be skillfully delivered.
This is a series I hope to see go far, and I doubt you'll be disappointed if you give it at try.
The Magic ex Libris books are great fun and a unique twist among many enjoyable paranormal adventures on the shelves today. Hines does a great job providing action and intrigue with a sense of humor. In Isaac Vainio, Jim Hines continues to build a hero that sci-fi and fantasy fans can not only relate to, but feel like they could hang out with on a Friday night and in this second volume, Isaac's brilliant co-staring character Lena Greenwood comes more and more to life with each chapter.
David DeVries is an able reader, versatile, engaging, and easy to follow.
If you enjoyed Libriomancer, you don't want to miss this continuation.
If you enjoy audio books, then you probably already know that a full cast recording is a great pleasure, and this production is no exception. American Gods is, of course, among Gaiman's great works, engaging and rich with full of emotion, surprises, moments of humor, horror, and provocative ideas.
The cast is phenomenal. Every character glitters with life and nuance and the addition of an intriguing introduction and interludes read by the author are a tasty icing on an already impressive cake.
This production is a fine example of the pinnacle of what an audio book can be. If you love this book, even if you've read this book countless times, you owe it to yourself to hear this recording. The story will live for you in whole new ways.
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