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It's Superman! | [Tom De Haven]

It's Superman!

Opening with the young Clark Kent on a date, this novel takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across America to Hollywood in its golden age and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving political boss Lex Luthor, and begins his battles against criminal masterminds, mad scientists, and super villains inspired by fascists.
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Publisher's Summary

Acclaimed novelist Tom De Haven recreates the early years of the Man of Steel - the world's most popular and enduring superhero.

Opening with the young Clark Kent on a date, the novel takes an entirely fresh approach to the emergence of his superpowers and the start of his newspaper career, following him from rural 1930s Kansas across America to Hollywood in its golden age and then to New York City. He meets a worldly Lois Lane and conniving political boss Lex Luthor, and begins his battles against criminal masterminds, mad scientists, and super villains inspired by fascists.

This fun and fast-paced novel of thrilling invention, heroic escapes, ill-fitting costumes, and super-sized, coming-of-age angst is sure to appeal to devoted fans.

©2005 DC Comics; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Comic noir with a super-keen edge, in De Haven's best book yet." (Kirkus Reviews)
"One of the finest interpretations of Superman in any medium." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"Delightful....De Haven's cartoon world will entertain readers for a long time to come." (New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (208 )
5 star
 (75)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (37)
2 star
 (18)
1 star
 (10)
Overall
3.9 (92 )
5 star
 (41)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.1 (91 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
 (26)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Jeremiah 08-14-14
    Jeremiah 08-14-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good not Great"
    What did you like best about It's Superman!? What did you like least?

    Coming from a big superman fan, the story is well written. I own a version on CD and now this one.
    Unfortunately my CD version has actors and music which was awesome, but this one is simply a man reading it. It was a let down but maybe I had too much hope from my previous experience.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Adding actors, sound effects and music made a different version of this story unforgettable. I wish I could find that version through Audible.com.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes, it is a great start to having fun with "RE-imagining" the story of Superman.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott McClellan Birmingham, AL USA 04-13-13
    Scott McClellan Birmingham, AL USA 04-13-13 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    72
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The narrator redeems this audiobook experience"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    This listening experience of this audiobook was the best part of reading this book. If it had not been for Scott Brick's charming performance of this novel, I would have put the novel down almost halfway through it.


    Which character – as performed by Scott Brick – was your favorite?

    Scott Brick did a fantastic job with the Midwestern voice given to most of the characters from Smallville, but Brick really shined with the one character I felt the author got right: Lex Luthor.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was very disappointed in a novel called "It's Superman!" that barely had the titular character in the story. The supposedly major characters felt like underdeveloped supporting characters while De Haven spent much of his time developing the original "supporting" cast, who felt more like the main characters.


    Any additional comments?

    This is definitely a novel to avoid if you are hoping to read a novel about Superman. I would rather recommend "The Last Days of Krypton" by Kevin J. Anderson.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harry Moscow, Russia 07-27-11
    Harry Moscow, Russia 07-27-11 Member Since 2015

    Pseudo-Writer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "O.K."

    This book was OK but definitely not anything special. The narrator did a good job for the most part, but sometimes his inflection or rhythm would bring you out of the story and focused on him. These are the times when he keeps repeating the word 'said' and while this is normal an unemphasized word he felt the need to overemphasise it.
    The story really doesn't go anywhere and while I did care about the characters it wasn't because of this story but rather because I knew them from before. I guess it really did add anything to the characters and before listening to this book, all the reviews seemed to point that this book would change the story we knew and add to the excitement.
    Well it changed the story but not in a memorable way at all.
    With that said I did enjoy the 1930's setting and think the author and narrator did a good job sticking to the 30's, but it could have been great and not merely OK.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-01-11
    06-01-11

    emmacrabtree

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    45
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore"

    It's Superman in ways we might have imagined, but never before read or saw. This Superman has sex, has to learn to fly, has to go through umpteen costumes before being given (from an unlikely terrestrial source) an indestructible one, and has wounds that bleed literally and metaphorically. The novel is absolutely empathetic to the original story and yet leaps out of bounds with inventive twists and turns. It's Clark Kent's Bildungsroman as he leaves Kansas on the road to self-discovery and, ultimately, his place in the universe. His place, by the way is a very specific, richly detailed and textured metropolis: New York City in the late 1930s. Lex and Lois are there, but far more interesting than they have ever been before in comics, films, or television. One probably has to have a fondness (but not a compulsive fanaticism) for the mythology of Superman to love this novel. I do love It's Superman and I love its astonishingly stylish reading on audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rip Baltimore, Maryland, United States 08-21-10
    Rip Baltimore, Maryland, United States 08-21-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Kudos to Scott Brick"

    This is only the second audiobook I've listened to. The first, a novel by one of my favorite authors, was horrendous. The narrator droned monotonously and inserted enough "he said" and "she said"s to last a lifetime. Maybe the story was poorly written. Whatever the case, it wasn't a pleasurable listening experience.

    "It's Superman", on the other hand, had me enthralled almost immediately. The story, to it's credit, doesn't rush "faster than a speeding bullet" to an obligatory action sequence. It takes it's time and develops the characters as the story evolves. Most extraordinary is narrator Scott Brick's interpretation of the novel. Once I adjusted to his style of reading, I began to appreciate how he distinguishes each and every character in the story. A marvelous performance!

    Finally, Tom De Haven breathes fresh energy into the Clark Kent character. Instead of the usual mild mannered, four-eyed buffoon...or the horrendous "Clark 90210", we meet a young man discovering his place in the world. This Clark Kent could very well be the person you went to school with, or sat beside on a bus...he just happens to have these amazing abilities. Unlike a previous reviewer who said the novel made him believe a man could fly, this characterization of Clark Kent is so unique that I don't really CARE that he can fly as much as care about the person that flies.

    Anyone looking for a big Superman presence will be greatly disappointed. I'm only in the 2nd chapter and Superman is nowhere to be seen. It doesn't look like he'll show up anytime soon either. In fact, the auxiliary characters get as much time, if not more, than Clark Kent himself. I thought this might be a problem for me, but the story is so well written and so well narrated, I don't mind at all.

    Can't wait to pick up where I left off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Raleigh, NC, USA 04-29-10
    Sam Raleigh, NC, USA 04-29-10 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Not so good"

    I love graphic novels--the action, the physical conflict, the over the top powers, etc. This book doesn't have that. What it does good is depict America in the 1930's and create a rounded Clark Kent. This is closer to a novelized season of Smallville than a Superman comic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey Laurinburg, NC, USA 07-28-09
    Joey Laurinburg, NC, USA 07-28-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Excellent! But not for Kids at All"

    Fantastic and very original retelling of the Superman origin and legend. Very modern and beleivable; I truly believe "a man can fly" after this novel. Lots of details in character's names and locations that only a true Superman Fan (like me) would understand and that really makes it fun. Be warned, however, this is NOT a kids book, but it has be placed in the Audible Kids section. It is a very adult novel with adult themes and frank sexuality and language, including references to homosexuality; don't think that this is something you can play for your children to entertain them. They will get more of an education than you anticipated! I find it sad that because it is a "Superman" book, it was automatically placed under Kids Section; shows you how little most people really know about comics and comics characters and that the medium has both youthful and adult audiences.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Hewitt, TX, United States 04-16-09
    David Hewitt, TX, United States 04-16-09 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    75
    3
    Overall
    "It IS Superman!"

    Wonderful retelling of the Superman legend. Set in the '30's, the story incorporates the original Superman comic stories within it's layered, detailed narrative. "Smallville meets the depression era".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calvin Guelph, ON, Canada 10-26-08
    Calvin Guelph, ON, Canada 10-26-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    18
    12
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    0
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    Overall
    "Super middle america"

    Shazam! (Sorry wrong hero)
    Interesting perspective, realistic but a trifle slow.
    Clark is a simple person but raised on a farm in the depression, would be accurate but having a superior intellect and an alien mind, maybe demonstrated more sophistication.
    Lois is written like she is a modern woman but it was refreshing that she was more realistic and not a cliche virgin. A meaner/uncleaner Rosaline Russell.
    Could of used a little more action overall but never-the-less enjoyed it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Treyka North Carolina 12-05-10
    Treyka North Carolina 12-05-10 Listener Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Disappointing"

    Too much rambling, too many random and unimportant characters, and too little action. It seemed the story was barely about Clark/Superman, and Clark was whiney and insecure. In summary, it was boring. I kept waiting for it to pick up, but it never did.

    Also, some established details about Clark's childhood/adolescence were changed, which would have been fine had there been some way to justify it through the story. But those arbitrary changes seemed purposeless.

    I was very disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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