This collection features Richard Matheson's story, "The Duel," and the first collaboration between Stephen King and Joe Hill, "Throttle," a tribute to Matheson. Both stories follow the desperate fortunes of characters who are targeted by anyone's highway nightmare - a crazy truck driver hell-bent on revenge. Stephen Lang narrates with an intensity faithful to the stories' mood. When the grille of the eighteen-wheeler fills the characters' rearview mirrors, he's breathless and angry. When the truck driver backs off, Lang brings across the characters' hope for an unlikely resolution to the madness. By the end of their ordeal, even these gritty road warriors seem sympathetic.
Duel, an unforgettable tale about a driver menaced by a semi truck, was the source for Stephen Spielberg's acclaimed first film of the same name. Throttle, by Stephen King and Joe Hill, is a duel of a different kind, pitting a faceless trucker against a tribe of motorcycle outlaws, in the simmering Nevada desert. Their battle is fought out on 20 miles of the most lonely road in the country, a place where the only thing worse than not knowing what you're up against is slowing down.
©2009 Joe Hill, Stephen King, and Richard Matheson; (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers
Both stories are great. The collaboration between father and son was enjoyable and I liked their twist on the original story. This is worth a listen. I enjoyed the narrator in Heart Shaped Box and these stories.
I downloaded a copy of "Road Rage" (2009) to listen to on a trip from Southern California to Arizona. If you want to make sure that you'll be hyper vigilant for semis and motorcycles, and in no danger of falling asleep on a long and lonely stretch of I-40 or 89A, this Audible will do it for you.
"Road Rage" is a themed collection of two novellas. The first story is Richard Matheson's "Duel" (1971), which pits a salesman with an appointment to keep against an ancient tanker truck with a mysterious driver. The salesman duels across the desert with a tanker driver intent on killing him. When I Googled "Duel" to get the original publication date, I learned it had been adapted into a 1971 Emmy award winning television movie - directed by Steven Speilberg. I plan to find it on line and watch.
"Throttle" (2012) by Stephen King and Joe Hill clearly was inspired by, and a tribute to Matheson's "Duel". It begins with, "They rode west from the slaughter, through the Painted Desert . . ." "They" are "The Tribe", a motorcycle gang of military veterans who handle a failed illegal business venture terribly. A vengeful semi with a wronged driver is involved in this story, too.
Stephen Lang's narration sounded gravelly, roughened by too many cigarettes, not enough sleep, and a tough day driving. He was an excellent choice for this listen.
I wanted to mention that when I researched "Duel", I found out Richard Matheson died on June 23, 2013. Audible, how about a featured obit for this influential writer?
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The first novel I ever read (that a teacher didn't make me read) was THE GUNSLINGER. I picked it up at a laundry mat and never put it down.
I do not feel sorry for purchasing this book and listening to it, but I probably won't remember listening to it 3 years from now. Two forgettable stories by some great authors. Still, it was a good way to waste a couple of afternoons.
Performance was very good. Narrator got the tone of both stories just right.
"Duel" is the rare case where the movie was actually better than the book. But don't hold it against Matheson: it's hard to compete with young Steven Speilberg.
I encourage all to find Matheson and read/listen to his stuff. Duel, included in this is excellent, as are many of his classic stories and novels. So many films and Twilight Zones etc from his stories. King on the other hand, again rips off source material. This is from a celebratory volume of "re-imaginings" of Matheson's work, and so, ok... but King once again misses the subtlety of tension and suspense. The King formula once again on display here: Find good source material, Ratchet up the blood and gore and mayhem and mindless destruction for the ADD MTV generation: and Collect Paycheck. The list of King rip offs continues to grow. And why it took King and his son to write this piece of drek is beyond me. Paycheck for son also I guess.
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