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Rick

Toronto, ON, Canada | Listener Since 2009

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 ratings
  • 91 titles in library
  • 2 purchased in 2014
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  • FREE Ender's Game Alive: Chapter 1

    • ORIGINAL (21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Full Cast Recording
    Overall
    (225)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (199)

    Experience Ender’s Game as you’ve never heard it before! With an all-new, original script written by Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game Alive is a full-cast audio drama that re-imagines the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great preview for a great story"
    "Bizarre casting choice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No.

    I'm a big fan of Ender's Game and of radio plays, so I was excited to listen to this. But the voice acting kept drawing me out of the scenes.

    Radio drama is all about sound - we use it to build the scene in our minds and watch it play out in real time, in a way that's even more direct and immediate than listening to an audiobook. Every sound effect, every voice, helps build the picture of what's happening. And in my picture of what's happening, I had to STRAIN to see Ender as a child of any age, let alone a 6 year old. That's just not good radio drama.

    Kirby Heyborne did a very good job with what he was given. His take on Ender is admirable. But the man is THIRTY-SEVEN YEARS OLD. The listener should be picturing a child, and Heyborne sounds, inescapably, like an adult.

    The director has explained elsewhere that he made his choice based on acting talent, needing someone with the maturity to tackle a very complex and unique character. Fair enough. But surely it's more than that. Surely with a bigger budget for casting and a little more patience and care taken with the Ender character in the studio, they could have had a child or teenage actor to play the role. Or a female, who could get closer to the voice of a child.

    If I spoke German, I'd check out the German recording - apparently they did use child actors, though I don't know how the tradeoff worked for them.

    As for the rest of the cast, Stefan Rudnicki delivers the wonderful voice-like-a-silk-sack-of-bricks performance for which we know and love him from the audiobooks. Ditto Scott Brick (voice-like-a-silk-sack-of-rudnickis?). And the voices of Valentine and Peter (Susan Hanfield and Paul Boehmer) can be reasonably fit to Ender's older siblings, and they do a good job.

    I admit, I listened to all the free chapters (fully expecting to purchase the full audio play), but was so disappointed with the casting of the main character, and so consistently thrown off by imagining an adult in Ender's scenes, that I'm not likely to go any further. The full radio play has been getting excellent reviews. So perhaps there's gold beyond these initial chapters?


    What other book might you compare FREE Ender's Game Alive: Chapter 1 to and why?

    Ender's Game - unabridged audiobook

    The same casting hits, without the jarring casting misses.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Full Cast Recording?

    Find a precocious child actor to play Ender. Or an adult female. Not Nancy Cartwright per se, but a similar concept.


    Was FREE Ender's Game Alive: Chapter 1 worth the listening time?

    It was free, and it took me into that wonderful world, even though it did keep spitting me back out again. So yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm looking forward to seeing how young Asa Butterfield (age 16) does with Ender Wiggin in the upcoming (as of right now) film.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5994)
    Performance
    (5584)
    Story
    (5584)

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "Fun and surprising"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Redshirts in three words, what would they be?

    Fun, geeky, surprising


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed and I cried, both in good measure. I'm a Star Trek geek, and hearing Wil Wheaton deliver the self-deprecating sci-fi references and everyday-tone reactions to absurd situations was especially hilarious. I was smiling and laughing out loud throughout.

    But like any good sci-fi, this book has depth and drama beyond its goofy premise. Scalzi understands the importance of the audience genuinely caring about his characters, becoming invested in their lives... the whole thing is pretty meta that way.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're a fan of sci-fi TV, get this. It's right up your alley.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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