Not sure. This tale is a variation on M.R. James' "Casting the Runes," which may or may not be a spoiler depending on your familiarity with the horror genre. Because of this, I could see where the story was headed fairly early in the game although, to be fair, Grant was a good enough writer that a certain predictability isn't the major flaw it might be for a lesser craftsman.
None of Grant's stuff has been available on audio until very recently (thank you, Crossroads Press!), so this is the first I've heard. That said, I've been a big fan of his stuff since my days as a wee lad in the '80s and will definitely be downloading the others that just came out as well.
Ms. Denton does an admirable job here. She has a very pleasant voice and does a great job bringing the main character to life.
My only real complaint would be that her voicing of pretty much all of the male characters is a little... odd. She gives them all a strange, slow, almost stoned-sounding monotone that's a little distracting. She just doesn't seem comfortable "acting" the male parts. In cases like this I prefer the reader to simply narrate rather than perform -- much less annoying. Luckily, the story is told from the main (female) character's POV, so it's not that big of a deal.
Definitely. Anyone who enjoys "quiet" horror tales that rely on mounting dread and suspense rather than gory monster attacks will appreciate the works of Charles L. Grant. If you haven't read/heard anything by him before, I'd recommend starting with is short stories (the man was an absolute MASTER of the modern short horror story). Here's hoping some industrious soul records some (or all) of those soon.
Hard to say. I originally read the book more than 20 years ago and it made a big impression. Enough so that I have been meaning to re-read it ever since but just never got around to it. This was the perfect way to revisit the story. So, take your pick.
Having said that, Tom Weiner does a spectacular job. He has the perfect growling, gravelly voice for the tough-guy characters and really sells some of Steakley's more floridly 'macho' dialogue, which could easily have have sounded ludicrous coming from a less accomplished performer. I can't imagine anyone else doing a better job.
Cherry Cat, because I always identify with the smart-ass in any group.
Yes, I have also listened to Weiner's renditions of THE TOURIST by Olen Steinhauer and THE THREE STIGMATA OF PALMER ELDRITCH by Philip K. Dick. Both were of the same high calibre. You can't go wrong with Tom Weiner. Dude knows what he's doing.
Definitely. It's a crying shame John Steakley only wrote two novels because both of them are bonafide classics. FYI: The other is ARMOR, perhaps the best military science fiction novel ever written (and, not coincidentally, also performed by Tom Weiner, so I'll be getting that one soonest, as well).
One of the great vampire horror novels. No glittering Euro-trash fashion victims mooning over sulky emo jailbait here. The monsters in this sucker are pure black demonic evil with a capital "E", as they should be. The only things they want are domination, degradation and slaughter. This is strong stuff and very well written with absorbing, surprisingly deep and insightful characterizations and a ton of really terrific action and suspense. One of my all-time favorites.
Hyperbole aside, this may very well be the most enjoyable audiobook to which I've ever listened.
Tyrion Lannister. Of all the players he may be the most disadvantaged but he's also the smartest, wittiest and most enjoyable company. Everyone underestimates him simply because he's a dwarf but he's simply biding his time. I expect great things from him in the following books.
Mr. Dotrice truly PERFORMS the story. He doesn't simply read, he plays each character so well and so uniquely that it's almost like a radio drama. This was -- by far and away -- the best job of audiobook narration I've ever heard, bar none. Magnificent!
The novel is so sharply written, with amazing characters, action and political intrigue, that I couldn't wait to get back to it. Normally I only listen to audiobooks during my commute and while I'm running but this one had me so firmly in its grasp that I didn't want to remove my earbuds long enough even to shower or sleep. It's that good.
I normally have no patience whatsoever with fantasy novels. All the twee Tolkien-facsimilie 'elves 'n' fairies' balderdash makes me nauseous. This, though... this was COMPLETELY different. It couldn't be further from the sort of Terry Brooks-ish rip-off stupidity that seems to dominate the genre. Martin's world is hard and cynical and very, very adult. There's no ostentatious magic to get characters out of jams, no white knights rescuing virginal maidens from bridge trolls. None of that nonsense. Just white-knuckle storytelling and characters you won't want to leave once it's over. Luckily, you won't have to as there are four more volumes already written and more on the way. I can't wait to get started on Book 2!
Yes, I suppose I would recommend it, if only because it is a "classic" and, by and large, the performances are exemplary.
Two caveats, however:
1) I had forgotten just how tedious and repetitive much of the storyline is. Maybe it's simply an unavoidable fault/limitation of the epistolary format but Stoker has his characters making the same points over and over and over again throughout the story, reiterating plot and character points that have already been sufficiently made. There are only a certain number of times we need to be told about (and have demonstrated) Dracula's abilities before it starts to feel like padding. Likewise with much of the later plot, which is really drawn out well past the point of necessity or suspense and then ends with a truly startling abruptness. I was more enthralled by, and more forgiving of, all this when I originally read it as a child.
2) Tim Curry, though normally a fabulous performer, is really off in his portrayal of Van Helsing. He seems narcotized much of the time, with readings that are so languid and careful and sssllllooooooowwww, that I found it maddening to listen. There is no urgency to his portrayal, even during later passages of (supposedly) tense action and suspense. He reads much as you would expect if he were performing for a class of especially dense elementary school children. Thankfully, Van Helsing doesn't have many of his own passages in the book and the other actors portray him (second-hand) with far greater skill and interest.
Sure. DRACULA is still a good story even if a bit drawn-out by modern standards. I've always intended to read/listen to his other horror tales.
Alan Cumming's portrayal of Dr. Seward is fantastic. He was perfect for the part and really brought it to life. I will definitely be seeking out other audiobooks narrated by him.
Uh... note sure. Stoker never wrote a sequel but there have been hundreds of such pastiches over the last century or so. Most of the good ones (see Kim Newman's ANNO DRACULA series) seem already to be available on audiobook.
Overall this was quite enjoyable. With the exception of Tim Curry, all the other readers do splendid work. If the story and writing itself are not as good as my memory had misled me to believe, it was still an enjoyable listen.
Hilarious, honest, joyous
The New New Rules (Bill Maher), When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops? (George Carlin)
Jillette is a natural monologuist and champion rant-meister. It's the difference between just reading a stand-up set by Carlin (funny) and actually hearing it (gut-bustingly funny). It's all in the delivery.
Quite a few, actually. His tribute to Seigfried and Roy manages to be fall-down funny and really moving at the same time. Ditto the story of Schmoozleshnoo, King of the Ex-Jews. But the book is full of great moments.
I guess it should go without saying that anyone who takes religion seriously in any capacity will have no trouble finding offense, but there you are. Likewise anyone who has a problem with raw language and can't separate style from substance. You know who you are. For everyone else, this is seriously seriously funny (and true). One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to.
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