When Reaver is captured by his nemesis Octagon, he is allowed a two-week stay of execution to get his life in order before he is to be killed. He decides to return to his old life - before the chemical spill that turned him into a superhero - as Steve Clarke, and back to the girl he has always loved. Paul Tobin creates a moving meditation on mortality and regret in Prepare to Die!, a powerful demystification of superhero myth. Ray Chase gives an indelible performance, augmenting the broken, yearning, and rueful emotion behind Steve Clarke's final days.
Nine years ago, Steve Clarke was just a teenage boy in love with the girl of his dreams. Then a freak chemical spill transformed him into Reaver, the man whose super-powerful fists can literally take a year off a bad guy’s life. Days ago, he found himself at the mercy of his archnemesis, Octagon, and a whole crew of fiendish super-villains, who gave him two weeks to settle his affairs - and prepare to die. Now, after years of extraordinary adventures and crushing tragedies, the world’s greatest hero is returning to where it all began in search of the boy he once was...and the girl he never forgot.
Exciting, scandalous, and ultimately moving, Prepare to Die! is a unique new look at the last days of a legend.
©2012 Paul Tobin (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
"This is something of a comic book without drawings, and Chase brings his A-game, further energizing the action scenes and making for a guilty pleasure of a listen." (AudioFile)
Cross-genre tastes, but a soft spot for great Science Fiction and Fantasy
Imagine if Wolverine from the X-Men had written a tell-all autobiography á la Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends or _The Kid Stays in the Picture_ by Robert Evans. You'll be pretty close to the overall flavor of _Prepare to Die!_. It dishes up action, existential ruminations, feel-good nostalgia, adolescent angst, and a few genuine surprises along the way.
Prepare to Die! imagines a superhero universe from the ground-up, replete with the internecine conflicts, epic battles, and agonizing betrayals that normally unfold over the run of a comic book series. The book is written in an in-universe, autobiographical voice. Its "author" is a superhero known as Reaver -- so-called because he can take a year off a person's life with each of his punches. Reaver is writing for an audience that already reads about superheroes in tabloids and watches them on TMZ. Superheroes are are as much a target of the paparazzi as they are of supervillains. The in-universe audience already knows the characters. They know their stories, but they don't know the _whole_ story.
The story starts off with our hero, Reaver, facing down his arch-nemesis Octagon. Reaver is losing badly. He's cornered, out of options, and has literally no fight left in him. As Octagon prepares to administer the coup de grâce, he delivers the bad guy boilerplate: "Prepare to Die!" Reaver ponders this and responds: "Ok. How long do I have to prepare?" Surprisingly, Octagon agrees to give him some time to prepare to die. This sets off an existential journey through Reaver's past. He examines the genesis of his superhero powers and persona. He takes a trip back to his childhood hometown to see the love he lost when he took up the superhero-ing life.
I'm not a comic book afficionado by any means. Case in point: I was completely unaware that Paul Tobin has a day job as a comic book writer, writing storylines for Spidey, the Fantastic Four, etc. He may be sticking to the writer's adage of "write what you know", but the book is much better for it. Tobin writes well, and uses the novel format to meander seamlessly from the present-day story through Reaver's past triumphs and tragedies.
Ray Chase's gravelly narration is a perfect fit for the world-weary Reaver. Great casting, and a great example of a book that should be listened to rather than read. Next story Chase narrates, I'm going to have a hard time separating him from the Reaver.
Criticisms? Well, the female characters tend towards the one-dimensional. Not entirely, and not in all cases, but more often than not. Also, the ending doesn't entirely make sense when you think about the book's intended in-universe audience. But, what the heck. This is a really, really fun book. By turns, it's thrilling, heartbreaking, and, above all, genuinely surprising. I came to it with no expectations, was hooked within a few chapters. By the end I was completely won over, and can't wait for Tobin's next book.
Yes. I would like to focus on some of the conversations between the main characters to see if I missed any clues that might have been given. There is so much revealed in the last two chapters that I found myself wondering if I had missed any hint of what was to come.
Rather than compare it to another book, I would compare the author to another author and that would be Ray Bradbury. Bradbury had the gift of making the unbelievable, believable, and that's the way I feel about Tobin's work.
Reaver. I finished the book about a week ago, and I have found myself missing his character. He is an endearing and complex hero.
Many times, while listening to this book, I thought to myself "This would be a fantastic movie!" So, while not terribly creative nor imaginative, my tag line would be "A Fantastic Movie!"
When will another book by Paul Tobin be available?
Story is very adult oriented for a super-hero theme. Almost tempted to say that it's more of a comedic drama with super-human elements. It's very grounded, in that some superhero themes are perceived as stupid by the characters, but they're forced to accept them since its reality for them.
This book has a lot of juvenile humor and adult themes. The main character, being a superhero, discovers online porn based on his super hero persona.
The narration is great. A little growly at first, but it really grows on you.
It wasn't particularly moving or dramatic, but overall it was an enjoyable and engaging read.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
So within the first hour I was hooked and hate to admit this but there was a line that really rang true to me and, hopefully, many other guys.
"I allowed myself a shower piss, one of man's greatest pleasures, if women could see us pissing in the showers the way we're not bothered by it running down our legs, I'm not sure if they'd ever sleep with us again."
After that line I was all in and had to find out more about Reaver and the circumstances of his impending death or execution. Also this line really sets the tone for the rest of the audiobook. Reaver is an "invincible" hero, many would say that isn't true and that he simply heals extremely fast, who has met his match. All of the other "good" supers have been killed off by the "bad" supers and he is the last one, a very heavy weight to carry. Finding himself caught by his nemesis Octagon, as a gun was being held to Reaver he was told "Prepare to Die", with the great response of "How long do I have?" Ultimately settling on two weeks before Reaver has to submit to execution he finds it necessary to finally do somethings he has been meaning to do yet couldn't find the time, being needed to save the population all the time. Prepare to Die was a very dark, gritty and melancholy story, defiantly not for the those who are looking for a PG Superman vs. Lex Luthor, please look elsewhere, as this audiobook is full of foul language, sexual situation and stories, love and loss, brutal graphic gore and violence. With much of the story telling back story of how Reaver became a super and what he has done with his power and the internal struggle of doing what he wants or doing the hero thing torments him to no end, almost to the point where I wanted to grab Reaver and shake and slap him to stop whining. Paul Tobin was able to create relatable characters that brought the heroes down to earth ans human beings that are full of their own issues that when left undealt with, starts to eat them up inside until they can find closure. With a few plot twists and turns I was left smiling in my cubicle while the end credits were being read and thinking to myself how much Reaver was like me and how I have to tell and show my wife how much I truly love her.
Audiobook provided for review by Audible.
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My only complaint is that this story needed an epilogue, because you can't have a great dinner then skip the dessert. There was great humor and the narrator making all the voices sound like the hero made it feel like he was telling the story, rather than reading a book. I love these hero books but good ones, written well are not always easy to find.
This had great humor , a relatable hero and just enough jokes to make me laugh every now and then. I don't necessarily want more books in this universe,however I would love to see a longer more detailed version of this one. This would a risky make a good movie or mini series. Not as finny as the Dresden files sometimes is, but good humor. The audio sample is a perfect example and actually is one of my favorite jokes in the book.
I can't quite place the voice. Maybe an old wolverine mixed with Orson Welles and Clint Eastwood? I enjoyed it no matter what. Even the relationship parts.
Better than average
Emperor mollusk vs the sinister brain
inflection and tone that promotes the proper mood
it was ok not top notch but it kept me listening
This book was the love child of Beat the Reaper and Soon I Will Be Invincible-- terrific fun, terribly naughty, total escape!
Our hero, the Reaver, was the flawed Super Hero that most of us would be . . .
There were many great scenes, but the fight between Reaver and Laser Beast in the strip club was worth a listen.
I listen before and after work and when I'm working out-- instead, I wanted to keep going to work . . .and I even worked out more often . . . so that I could have another excuse to listen. That's a pretty good endorsement right there!
If you're easily offended, don't bother. If you look at life with an (oft-inappropriate) sense of humor-- download and Prepare to Laugh!
An R rated super hero story with some unique characters, made me laugh numerous times. This book was meant for an audio book.
I really enjoyed the book and when I heard that last sentence, I wondered if it was leaving a door open for a sequel and immediately checked back here. Now I just have to wait for the rest of the trilogy and hope they are as engaging and entertaining!
"This was great!"
I was hesitant at first since i saw it had no rating and no reviews, but this audiobook is something i recommend to everyone. it will suck you inn and leave you wanting more.
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