In a post-apocalyptic America that has shattered into 100 perpetually warring fiefdoms, anyone with a loud voice and a doomsday weapon can be king (and probably has been). Duncan Archer - con man, carpetbagger, survivor - has found a way to somehow successfully navigate the end of the world, with its giant killer robots, radioactive mutants, mad scientists, rampant nanotechnology, armed gangs, sea monsters, and 101 unpleasant ways to die.
But when he meets Captain James Barrow, a former OSS agent and the most wanted man in the world, Duncan finds himself a reluctant hero caught up in a whole new level of weird, rollicking adventure…
And the second most wanted man in the world.
Tales from the Radiation Age is a throwback to the pulp-origins of science fiction, painting a vision of the future that’s richly detailed, wildly imaginative - and altogether too easy to imagine.
©2013 Jason Sheehan (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved
On the road, but I wanted to take a moment to give a review on this fun romp of an audiobook.
It's an enjoyable listen, because it takes unusual liberties to create a delicious take on Armageddon that reminds me of the lingo and larceny of Firefly, with the adventure ride of Indiana Jones.
This is an antihero's recollection of a hero's journey. Almost like a 1940's Saturday night serial movie. It has interesting character development, good story lines with interesting twists and turns, descriptive writing, witty and original dialogue.
Is it perfect? NO, but by it's very nature, it's not supposed to be, and it works.
If you've read my reviews, you'll note that I've often targeted strong classic scifi and fantasy works, as well as groundbreaking writers of note. This is a bit different. It's lighthearted, smart, and unique. And FUN. If you're like me, once in a while, you need a break from the highbrow literature of note.
Think of this as a martini for your mind. And this particular martini is shaken AND stirred!
The combination of Sheehan's dialogue and Podehl's narration is truly an enjoyable experience. I can't imagine a better narrator for this than Podehl by the way. The dialogue is clever, the story is interesting and smart. For those that found this difficult to listen to, I imagine it is because a lot of the background is not explained until the last quarter of the book. Hang in there, just go with a suspension of disbelief until things are revealed.
Each character that Podehl acted was memorable. He is gifted for sure.
In the narrative of the main character, there is humor and wonder, punctuated by sadness and well earned cynicism. I loved both sides of it.
Some people don't seem to like the way the narrator rambles at times, going off on some side stories, but for me this really helped to fill in and illustrate the world Sheehan creates. And, it is not dissimilar to how Homer narrated his epics. If you stick with it, the story is enjoyable and memorable. Oh, and did I mention that Podehl is just fantastic?
While I found the writing and word choice excellent, the portrait of the post-governmental landscape imaginative, and the narration to be both well done and entertaining, I just could not force myself to care enough about the story to get more than halfway through the book. I think my biggest complaint was that practically every scene was done with a seriously heavy-handed foreshadowing that pretty much made the whole thing a series of flashbacks interrupting the story line.
True, the premise was presented as a kind of campfire telling of a legendary character which in its own right should make the reader suspect a certain amount of this, but I'm afraid I found the constant soliloquies about what had happened detracted significantly from the actual journey itself.
Like others' comments, I too found this audiobook too nuanced in detail to hold my attention. I often found my mind wandering to other thoughts, as seemingly every sentence of the book becomes increasingly more annoying than the last.
The story could have been an interesting one, but I wouldn't know, as I had to give up after four disappointing hours of listening. I wish I could get that time back.
Podehl's performance was suitable. No real notable feedback here.
As this is literally the only Audible post-apocalyptic audiobook incorporating a focus on radiation (which is how I came across this book originally), I am disappointed there is not a second-best alternative.
I look forward to Audible building out the library of available content going forward. While limited, there are some decent choices available now, but I worry I will quickly burn through some of my more favorite topics.
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