Enter the spell-binding worlds of best-selling author Robert Stanek and dream a new dream. The book contains two novellas, two short stories and a special feature exclusive:
©2005 Robert Stanek; (P)2005 Reagent Press
Hands down, the best written and best narrated Audible book I've heard yet. I found the writing clean and precise and thoroughly enjoyable. The books has four well told and well written stories.
The stories have something for everyone whether you like mystery, action, scifi, adventure. "Magic Lands" is a fun adventure. "August Rains" is sad and haunting in its own way. "Silence is Golden" really makes you think. "Absolutes" had me on the edge of my seat.
I had trouble getting out of the car. I think this might be at the top of my list at the moment for favorite audiobooks. Enjoy!
After the very first story, I was hooked. OUTSTANDING book. Great writing, great stories. Truly worthy of high praise. If this book doesn't recieve an Emmy or an Audie (preferably both), it will only reaffirm my belief that the people in charge of running those awards things suck moose balls.
Not a single weak story; this is one of those story collections that is good from start to finish. There's a scene with Ev from Silence is Golden that brought goosebumps up and down my skin. Not because it was scary but because it was so real, so dead on. I mention this because it's the hardest I've focussed on anything in years. One of many gold moments.
I cannot get enough of Robert Stanek?s work - my wife and I have already converted both sets of parents, several friends, and I'm working on my co-workers. The narrators are amazing, the writing brilliant - you won't be disappointed. Actually, you'll probably come back here to order more of his work!
I don't know what the other readers saw in these stories. I thought they were very shallow (despite aspiring to depth) and completely boring. This was my 53rd book "read" on Audible.com and it was by far the worst. The funny thing is, I am really enjoying Robert Stanek's "The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches" series and am eagerly awaiting the next.
These stories were so dull it was pure torture to listen to them. The narration in "Silence is Golden" in particular was so bad I wanted to choke the narrator. The only thing that kept me listening was boredom during my long commute to work. The best way I can describe these stories is that they sounded like someone picked up and then published a cocktail napkin upon which Mr. Stanek had written notes to later develop into real stories. My advice: stick to the Kingdoms and Elves of the Reaches series and save your money.
The Robert Stanek Short Story collection begins with an introduction to the author and the stories in the collection, and includes 4 stories plus several bonus materials. I'm an avid reader and listener, and for me this was a good choice. The collection has several different readers.
The first story in the collection is Magic Lands Journey Beyond the Beyond, the longest and best selection. This is the story of a young man named Ray who sets out to prove himself to his village by journeying to the "place lost and deep." This journey is a rite of passage for his people, and like any rite of passage there are things Ray must do on his journey. Ray's encounters with strange creatures, an outsider girl, and an old man shape his journey.
Magic Lands Journey Beyond the Beyond is followed by a bonus excerpt from The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches. This excerpt introduces the story of Vilmos. The narrator for both of these selections is very, very good.
Silence is Golden is the next story. This is the story of Ev who must make a terrible dark choice. While this is selection is fairly short, it is thoughtprovoking and interesting. I didn't like the narrator for this selection very much, but the story made up for it.
Silence is Golden is followed by August Rains. This is the story of John Anderson who is reminscing his past through a visit to the schoolhouse where he taught. This story is sentimental and moving in many ways, and I story I listened to a second time immediately to catch all the nuances.
Absolutes is the final story in the collection. Like Magic Lands, it is fairly long and quite well done. I liked how the story twists around back on itself and the science behind the fiction is interesting.
I thought this was a good collection. I wish the second narrator had been as good as the first, but the stories make up for it. I had to adjust the EQ settings on my iPod for the second narrator.
I am a long time Audible customer. I purchased this audio book, and enjoyed it greatly which is why I give it strong rating. I've been reading and listening to the works of Robert Stanek for several years now. He has an intelligent pen, and a solid style. This story collection contains an introduction to the author and his works, followed by four well-written, well-voiced stories. Other bonuses include a guide to his world of Ruin Mist, and an sample from The Kingdoms and the Elves books.
What I like most about Stanek's writing is he doesn't let the story get bogged down in too many details, the stories move at a fast pace. The story collection has three different narrators, and the stories cover a wide selection of genres from the contempory and more literary "August Rains" to the coming-of-age fantasy "Journey Beyond the Beyond" to the science fiction stories "Silence is Golden" and "Absolutes." As a fan of Philip K. Dick, the underlying subtext of Stanek's scifi stories was clear to me. I loved these cautionary tales and the alternate futures they create.
As far as the narration, I had no issues with it. The voicing is good, the pacing is sometimes a bit fast, but still good.
Between my brother, son, uncle, and I, we've bought and listened to hundreds of audio books. We have all of Robert Stanek's books in audio too. My favorites of his books are The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches. Once you get to the Elves of the Reaches #2 and beyond its all pure gold, and in many ways even more enjoyable to listen to a 2nd or 3rd time. This collection of Stanek's stories, I got especially for me. The audio includes more than is listed. It starts with an introduction to the author, which is well done and informative, then it goes into the four main stories. There are several bonus inserts as well, one extra is an excerpt from The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches. Another extra is a guide to the world of the kingdoms and reaches. All three are good additions for both new and long-time readers of this amazing author.
The collected stories are all different, and there's something for avid readers of just about any genre. August Rains is my sentimental favorite, it reads more like literary fiction, and I enjoyed getting to know the story's protagonist, John Anderson. In the story, John is returning to a place rich in his thoughts and memories, and it's simply a wonderful story you can listen to over and over. Silence is Golden also touched a deep part of me because the underlying premise is of the very real problem with the death of language and culture. Stanek's story is a precautionary tale about the devastion caused by the loss of language, heritage, and culture. Absolutes is pure science fiction. On the surface like the other stories it is about one thing--the quest for the final absolute--but under the surface there's a much deeper subtext about the danger of obsessiveness and the danger of being driven the point of needing absolute absolution to salvage one's self. Those three stories are my favorites, and the depth of emotion Stanek evokes reminds me of Philip K. Dick. The final story is Journey Beyond, a coming of age story.
Such a good collection of stories, all different but with similarly haunting themes. I can't see how anyone regardless of tastes wouldn't like at least one or more of the stories. I've been listening to audio books on tape for the better part of twenty years, and I know a good book when I hear it. This is a varied collection with multiple narrators and with something for all tastes.
This audio includes Stanek's Magic Lands book which is a fantasy, Silence is Golden which is scifi, Absolutes which is part science fact and part scifi, and August Rains which is more contempary fiction. enjoyed all four stories and the characters in the stories from Ev in "Silence is Golden" to "Krys" in "Absolutes." The extra "Exploring Ruin Mist" section I could take or leave, but this was added as a bonus anyway. I'll definitely listen to this one again.
I, too, am confused by these reviews. Honestly the best audible book? I find all the vocal talent incomprehensible. The first seems to be trying to speak in some sort of welsh, lyrical cadence that completely mismatches the text. Applied to a fantasy work full of new words and terms, it made no sense to me. The other talent sounds like a speaker for promotional audio -- radio commercials, maybe.
I'm very disappointed with the content and can't finish it. I feel cheated and annoyed.
I'm confused by the hugely positive reviews. Is it a case of 'love it or hate it'??
Don't be fooled!!!!! When I first listened to the "sample" voice I thought it would be great. But the author reads too quickly and in a monotone - that makes it hard to follow. Also since it is a compilation the first story is never finished! The other stories are read by a HORRIBLE voice - sounds like an advertisment - AND IT IS! because they are excerpts of other books. AUDIBLE _ I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
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