In A Sound of Thunder, a safari company promises to transport adventurers back in time, to hunt any animal that ever existed. The animals are selected according to their natural time of death: nothing else may be altered, because it might change the course of the future. When one foolish hunter comes face to face with a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the carefully constructed safari goes awry, and the future is up for grabs.
Something Wicked This Way Comes ©1962 Ray Bradbury
A Sound of Thunder ©1962 Ray Bradbury; (P)2005 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"With his deep, gentle voice, Stefan Rudnicki lures the listener into this audiobook like the sirens of old. His vocal range and well-paced narration leave listeners trapped in a hypnotic trance as he juggles the dark mood of the story with the light and youthful vigor of protagonists Will Holloway and Jim Nightshade." (AudioFile)
"Bradbury is an authentic original." (Time)
"A master...Bradbury has a style all his own, much imitated but never matched." (The Oregonian)
I picked up this audiobook on a halloween special--I'd loved Farenheit 451 as a child and so decided to try this. I was honestly riveted. I couldn't put it down (my mp3 player down). I not only listened to it out running (when I usually do) but also had to snap on my player for short walks with the dogs and often just while doing household chores. Bradbury builds up the suspense effortlessly and allows this book to cross generations and decades. Whether you are 10 or 80 this story is as refreshing now as it was no doubt when it was first published. The narration is excellent and I can honestly find no fault. It is one of the few books that I will 'read' again. I recommend it highly.
Say something about yourself!
How fitting: this week, during a rare astronomical phenomenon, the solar system aligned, Venus slipped quietly between the Earth and the Sun, and Ray Bradbury, an American master of Speculative Fiction, passed away. (I read that Mr. Bradbury disliked very much being called a writer of science fiction.) The agony he caused me in junior high--trying to make sense of the dystopian world of Fahrenheit 451, and how much I resented having to read The Martian Chronicles in high school. Steven King pays tribute to Bradbury in 3 of his novels (can you figure them out?); Steven Spielberg called Bradbury his muse; many authors acknowledge Bradbury as a powerful influence in their own style, notably Neil Gaiman (you can read his moving journal entry, "The Man Who Forgot Ray Bradbury" on his blog site). But it was while reading The Denver News comment..."if rational beings had created the 100 Best Books of the Century list, this one would surely have been on it,"...with a feeling of nostalgia and respect, that I decided to read/listen to Bradbury's SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES.
The Disney film version was frighteningly fun--spooky, dark and atmospheric (Bradbury himself wrote the screenplay). But, listening to the actual book, without the light and hopeful touch of Disney, was an altogether different experience--chilling and memorable. The allegorical battle between good and evil, the expression of basic human fears (classic but so loaded with meaning): Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade, the two young friends born a minute apart on Halloween ("one dark, one light"), the purely evil Mr. Dark, his body tattoed with faces of captured souls, the eerie night carnival and its mysterious carousel (be careful what you wish for), the Dust Witch, the deadly Mirror Maze, and the fantastical carnival parade down mainstreet--more threatening and funerial than festive! Bradbury did to carnivals, what Steven King would later do to clowns with IT.
Something Wicked is a perfect balance, that line that runs between dark and light, terror and fantasy, reason and supernatural, all the while threatening to tip the scale and send you tumbling into a dark abyss. Listening, I felt like a citizen of this little beseiged town, tense and eager. With childlike relish, I imagined the smell of sticky sweet cotton candy on the electrically charged night air, and the carousel's calliope music tinkling over a lurking summer storm. Stefan Rudnicki does a good job of narrating; I sampled all versions offered by Audible and preferred his voice and the production on this version. A wonderfully chilling listen, like a nightmarish visit to a small town carnival, and a great reminder of Ray Bradbury's unique vision and talent.
I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
I'd read this one in high school, and was a bit wary coming back to it because I was worried my enjoyment was based on some kind of nostalgia. But this book is every bit as good as I remembered it being. A Halloween coming of age story about friendship, family, good and evil, mortality, all spun with Bradbury's poetic use of language. It's easily one of his best works, and a classic for every season of people and year.
I'm a big fan of Rudnicki's voice work, but I wasn't sure how his gravelly voice would mesh with Bradbury's lush prose and young heroes. It took a while for it to work, but once the carnival and its cast of terrors appear, it's pure magic.
Good show all around.
Stefan Rudnicki makes a chilling Mr. Dark...
I loved this book. I haven't had a book that kept me up til 5am for a long time. I couldn't put this one down (and I've read the book so I knew what happened). The writing is exquisite, the reader is excellent, the experience of listening to it is haunting.
Now I have finally read (listened to) this book its impact on sooo many other stories and ideas can not be denied. This is a cornerstone piece of fiction in my mind.
By today's standards the story itself has probably lost some of its impact (purely because we expect more horror in our thrills) but this story delivers a great idea combined with valuable life lessons.
The novel is good. The descriptions of the carnival and its characters are wonderfully atmospheric and the dialogue with Mr Dark is very well rendered. The notion of an evil carnival peopled by freaks whose physical defects emulate their moral failings, led by an immortal psychic vampire whose power is to give people their heart's desire is brilliant. Harmless objects like a mirror maze or a carousel corruscate with mystical darkness. Even the pleasurable smells of popcorn and cotton candy become ominous. The ending is not as good as the rest of the novel, but I've found this is a common feature of gothic horror novels. It's still a good read. Listening to it as narrated by Stefan Rudnicki improves the experience. His clear, slightly sardonic enunciation captures what in my mind would have been the author's preferred reading voice. I enjoyed it very much.
Very interesting listen, however, for me at times the long descriptions filled with poetic images got in the way of the story.
A Sound of Thunder was superb.
Very interesting listen, however, for me at times the long descriptions filled with poetic images got in the way of the story. as far as the audio book, His voice drones on and on making what should be an exciting story seem very tedious. I don't find it a good fit for a book that focuses mainly around two young boys.
The best thing is the insightful and poetic nature or Ray Bradbury's writing. It shines through even under stilted narration.
No. His attempts to render the voices of women and children are comical at best ... unintentional parody at worst. The voice of Miss Foley is just ridiculous. I didn't know whether to laugh or be offended by the mocking quality of it.
A different narrator
His voice drones on and on making what should be an exciting story seem very tedious. I don't find it a good fit for a book that focuses mainly around two young boys.
The story is great! I highly recommend the actual story if you can handle the narrator.
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