Welcome to Gramayre - where witches, warlocks, elves, and gnomes are real; where a spoiled girl-queen and an army of teenage witches and ragtag beggars battle an overwhelming force of rebel knights and time-travelling anarchists for the future of the most unique, and perhaps most important, planet in the galaxy.
This is what cynical, hard-bitten intergalactic spy Rod Gallowglass faces when he and his robot horse, Fess, try to bring peace and democracy to this magic-ridden Renaissance-age society. Rod's mission is threatened at every turn by anarchists, communists, and double-dealing royalists playing vicious political power games. Things are made even worse when Rod's advanced technology gets him labeled a warlock in spite of his constant denials. Help comes from the most unexpected sources when he meets an ancient ghost, the King of the Elves, and the most powerful witch on the planet.
This is sword-and-sorcery with a witty, edgy, wry twist.
This classic science-fantasy novel by Christopher Stasheff comes to life in 11 hours of dramatic audio, featuring well-known narrator Dennis Regan and a full cast.
©1969 Christopher Stasheff (P)2012 Geoffrey T. Williams
The production of this audiobook was awful. The narrator was so much louder than some of the character voices that I had to adjust the volume. In some places the sound effects were so loud that I couldn't understand the dialog and some of the voices were so over done that, once again they were not understandable. A straight reading of the story would have been an improvement.
I did enjoy the story. It was not great literature but it was entertaining, the parts I could hear.
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
The Narration and production of this book was incredibly bad. Unlike some of the five star reviews that lured me to buy this book I did not read this title when I was a teen and I am not a fan boy of the author. The story may be decent if it were not for the production. But I have my doubts. Here are the problems. The voices are extremely over dramatized to a very distracting point where some of the story is lost and becomes painful to listen through. I didn't care for the narrator voices of most of the characters. In fact, I would rather have heard a monotone narration of events instead of this performance. There was a variation in volume level. There is an extra sound track of background noises such as loud talking and clinking of glasses in a bar setting or cackling talk with laughter in scenes with witches. This is extremely distracting and adds to the inaudibility of certain characters. Those things aside. There is a lot of phases like "thou art" in an Old English style speak. This is something I hated. I might find the blending of medieval society and fantasy intriguing but only in certain parts. The story seemed to be a bit chaotic. Everything was very strange and truly earns its place in the fantasy genre (this is coming from someone who loves fantasy books such as those in the Landover series). From space ships and space travel, to cackling witches, elves and were wolfs, there is a lot to be confused about. With the aid of poor narration and production the story had lost my interest by the half way mark from the bits that I could follow.
I couldn't listen to this book, there are different levels of volume for each individual character, the robot is inaudilble at times and some of the voices are indecipherable. Characterisation of character voices is so amateurish. I struggled through the first half then gave up.
Dont try to listen to it in the car it will drive you nuts trying to hear the slurred voices above the normal road noise and in some cases even with normal background room noise I can't understand what some characters are saying.
Eclectic mixer of books of my youth and ones I always meant to read, but didn't.
If you like Mel Brooks and Get Smart, you will probably like Rod Gallowglass and his cohorts. I do and I have. I particularly loved the voice of Tuan (very Gene Wilder in Sliver Streak) and the high farce of the sound effects (like the Goons meet Holy Grail) that was brought to life by this production. Sure, the sound quality is not great at times (it drops out like someone recording stereo from one speaker), but this is such a small defect in an otherwise great fun production it would be wrong to over blow it. Regan provided great continuity, but Rod's voice stole the show (as it should). Big Tom was great too, as was Fess. Gwen was as fruity and spicy as the author intended. I thought this a great piece of radio theatre. It reminded me of sitting by the radio on Sunday evening with my Dad laughing out loud at the antics of Hancock, Milligan, Sellers and Co. It's not for those inclined to literature, or when you want something deep, but just fine any other wise or time. I only hope they do a few more in the Series.
I'm travel alot and auido books are my moble home. I seem to be hooked on them and there is rarely a time that there not on for me.
I love the subject matter. Its a view of Old School Idealism that are in some ways noble (for there time) and complete tripe. But just remember while reading it, that the hero and heroins do "grow up" eventually in the series. But in this story they're very cookie cutter. The men are "MEN" heroic, smart, stoic, etc,,,, and the women are "women" Submissive and emotional, despite how much I like the series and its kinda blunt that the author thinks that men should be dominate and the women submissive. It gets kind of rubbed in your face a lot. I would note that the series is a long one that follows Rod Gallowglass and family for at least the next 2 generations and all the characters grow and flesh out into believable and likeable people and with a lot less male chauvinism.
But as for comparing it to say The Game of Thrones or the like... Its about a fifth of the length. Of course the characters are shallow in comparison. Its more or less a romance novel for young adults with odd bits of political activism thrown in. (Or more accurately a young adult political novel with bits of romance thrown in)
But in the end if your looking for a good swashbuckling hero with snarky wit who is chivalrous and 'manly'. Where the good guy wins and the bad guy loses. The damsel may not be in distress but shes worth rescuing anyway. The goals are noble. The villains are evil . The futuristic Science is some times old school. The philosophizing is thick. The inside jokes are in Iambic Pentameter, and you don't mind that this was written as in the mindset of typical non-hippie male in the late 1960's. This Is a good book for you.
And if you don't like this book don't give up on the author altogether he has a couple of other series that are all really good and less confusing. And to top it off you can normally find a used amazon copy for most of them for less then a dollar.
They are quite frankly Dime store paperbacks.
Love speculative fiction so I am always watching for great sci-fi or fantasy. But since I'm a book addict, any good writing works for me - mystery, historical fiction, classics, even great kids' books. Tend to steer clear of YA and romance, but sample some here and there since you never know where great stories or authors may be hiding :)
Dennis Regan isn't terrible but this audio book is set up sort of like a radio play. It isn't all bad once you get used to it other than that Dennis Regan sometimes uses voices that are so low you can't quite understand what he is saying. However, the dialog is SO incredibly SCHLOCKY - I mean really bad - that no narrator can save this awful book.
Disgust! The book seemed promising from the reviews and the beginning was OK. It is part farce and part medieval fantasy so the "radio play" drama worked alright with the farcical side of this. However, none of the women characters are well developed - they are all whores with a great heart or proud women who need to be knocked down a peg and the men are mostly cardboard cutouts running around with swords. The sex scenes are a yawn and the romance is laughable. Even the political intrigue suffers from lack of depth. This might all be acceptable in a farce, but hey, it's not that funny.
I'll admit that my thoughts about The Warlock In Spite of Himself may be lower because I recently listened to the First Law Series by Joe Abercrombie. And in spite of the fact that that series didn't have as conclusive an ending as I thought it deserved it was a stunning example of this genre of medieval fantasy - intriguing plot, fabulous characters, and a stellar narrator. This cartoon version of the genre didn't even serve as light entertainment. This is just a bad book.
The story really comes alive when done as a full cast producion.
The narrators and actors does a great job putting the correct feeling into their voices.
The voices really lead to a more enjoyable experience and you can do other things while listening...
Wizard or science - determine for yourself.
I love this series, and Stasheff's sister series' as well. The writing, storytelling, etc was the most enjoyable for me.
I suppose there are some similarities to the Dresden Files, for a modern choice. The same premises abide in both, lead character thrust into dangerous situations partly of their own devising.
I was a bit surprised that this was done in a multi person/radio drama sort of style when it wasn't billed that way. Dennis Regan isn't a bad narrator, but it lacked some of the depth that the old cassette recordings had. I think probably crediting the other voice actors would be nice unless Regan really does do a soprano.
I was a 'readaholic' for most of my life. I started crochet and other hobbies. That took away from my reading time. I discovered audio books at the library. That set me off. now, that I am older my eyes make it too difficult to read. So I now am a very diligent audio book listener!
I read this book when I was in high school. I enjoyed it very much. Since I love to read, I kept a look out for Mr. Stasheff's books. I accidentally found this book while browsing. I liked the way a little drama was done. The time I spent listening to this book and the many, many others is time well spent. Depending what I listen too, I can relax, turn my mind off, plan things, and more.
I have lived Sci & Fantasy since I discovered them in the 6th grade. This author is one who has reenforced my decision. Fess the artificial intelligent brain disguised as a horse was my favorite character.
Fess, the artificial intelligent brain is my favorite.
I hope to see more of this author's books audio.
The audio continually fluctuates and the narrator is always louder than the other actors. This makes it very difficult to listen to the great story. I would have been more satisfied with a straight narrative.
the blending of medieval and science fiction
It is not the performance as much as it is the variation in volume between the narrator and the other actors. I blame the editor/mixer who put the final approval on the audio production
I have thought for decades that this would make a great movie. I would go to see it
I look forward to the rest of the series being put to audio. Just be a little better on the quality control
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