The Mathematics of Magic was probably the greatest discovery of the ages - at least Professor Harold Shea thought so. With the proper equations, he could instantly transport himself back in time to all the wondrous lands of ancient legend. But slips in time were a hazard, and Shea's magic did not always work - at least, not quite as he expected....
This omnibus volume of all of the Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea contains The Incomplete Enchanter, The Wall of Serpents and Castle of Iron.
©1989 L. Sprague de Camp (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I've loved this book since I was a kid (which was a long time ago). Always hoped it would be turned into an audiobook. It's about nerds before the term was invented, who manage to find a way to travel to mythologies through mathematical and logical constructs. There, they encounter the Gods of Myths and have great adventures. Exciting! Wondrous!
Not with this narrator. He doesn't mumble, every word is clearly enunciated. But you get the feel that he thinks he's reading the phone book. They're words that he is reciting. Shea talking about the woman he's involved with, creating the syllogismobile, and fighting giants - and all in the same tone, the tone as in "I went to the market, got some eggs, got some bread".
No, unfortunately. Though The Compleat Enchanter books are fantastic to read they do not at all come off well under the reigns of Ray Chase. He has a habit of making whatever he reads sound like laundry detergent. His voice is boring, dull, gray and unimaginative. He killed this work. I wish someone like Jim Dale, Frank Mueller or Bronson Pinchot would re-record it as they would bring it to life. Bronson for his tongue in cheek timing, Frank for his truer than true voices and Jim for his believable portrayal of almost any storyline he reads.
How much I loathed Reed Chalmers in this reading of the book. He was a pompous, overspoken jerk who needed to be told to "Shut UP!" a lot. I've dealt with academics like him and he wasn't all that great from the get go.
Voice variability. Inflection. Tonality. Pace. Lose the melodrama, in his case it read like the stock pages. I listened to about five things which Ray Chase contributed to. Unlike previously mentioned readers who only get better over time he NEVER IMPROVES. He has the same flat, monotonous painful reading style. He has less variation in his voice work than Wil Wheaton and that's saying something. Wil is actually a pleasure to listen to in comparison to his man's irritating monotone.
Math can take you anywhere.
Please, god, get someone else to take this great classic read and re-record it. I don't like George Guidall but even he would do a better job than Ray Chase. Please stop using this reader, his voice is painful to listen too. I'm saddened that so many people miss the wonderful narrative of this story because of poorly executed reading.
After I've read the review on this compilation, I thought it would be a good read. I have to say that for me the characters make the book for me and this does not deliver. The main character is unlikable petty and stupid. After the first few minutes in all I want is for the character to meet some grizzly end.
"Great story, pity about the narration"
This book's status as a fantasy classic is well deserved, funny, entertaining but also a great fantasy. It is a little dated in parts; some of the language is endearingly old fashioned and knowledge of arms, armour and Western Martial Arts are well and truly stuck in the 1930ies, but it also contains more fantasy action than many modern fantasy epic series. I would have given 4 stars if it were not let down by the narration which is characterised by a slow, monotonous, plaintive delivery with some downright strange pronunciation totally out of keeping with the content. An lighthearted fantasy romp like this needed to be narrated by someone like Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs, the narrator, Ray Chase, doesn't seem to realise that this is a comic fantasy.
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