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Virginia Booklover

Alexandria, VA USA
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  • Redshirts

  • A Novel with Three Codas
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 17,181
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 16,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 16,077

Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Disappointing, but somehow still worth a listen.

  • By Bradford on 03-06-13

Starts off pure satire - then gets REAL

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-21-18

As a Trekkie from the beginning, and a lover of humorous SF, this book was tailor-made for me. The fact that it won a Hugo was added incentive to devour it. The premise is, of course, that "Redshirts" (the throwaway characters from Star Trek, whose main purpose was to die dramatically) are real in the story's universe - and that those Redshirts are aware that for whatever reason, they are going to die horribly if anything exciting is going on (especially if it involves certain long-term officers).

The main characters determine (with the help of a leftover character from a previous season) that the best explanation for what's going on is that they are characters in a TV series; as absurd as that sounds to them, it's the "best" explanation anyone can come up with. And they are gonna fix it

And here's where the story gets "real". Not just "they step out of the show and into our reality", but that it's done so tremendously well and so tremendously believably. There are points where, if you aren't sniffling a bit, you aren't human (and no, there are no Vulcans).

What I didn't like: Wil Wheaton's narration. Don't get me wrong: Wil's a very competent actor - and scenes where he has to emote (e.g. Kerensky being drunk) are done perfectly. HOWEVER: an audiobook narration requires that there be some effort to differentiate between characters' speaking voices. Accent, register, rhythm - SOMETHING. but Wheaton does none of this. Maya sounds exactly like Kerensky sounds exactly like Hester sounds exactly like Dahl.

Oh yeah: Scalzi's choice of character names doesn't work too well in audiobook format. Duvall/Dahl tended to blur in my mnd, as did Hanson/Hester, and I was baffled to the characters referring to the science offer as "his majesty" because his name sounds like "King" (it's spelled "Q'eeng" in the book).

  • Good Omens

  • By: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Martin Jarvis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23,843
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,773
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,800

The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • You'll laugh yourself silly

  • By goddess_of_pipework on 11-28-15

Why haven't you read (listened to) this already!!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-13-17

Would you listen to Good Omens again? Why?

It's a rare audiobook that I'll bother listening to more than once, but Good Omens makes that short list. A hysterical tale, well-read, that had my grumpy teenage daughter chuckling within 2 minutes of my forcing her to listen to a bit on a drive. It kept both teenagers riveted during a long driving vacation.

What did you like best about this story?

The angel and the demon are best buddies!

Which character – as performed by Martin Jarvis – was your favorite?

Shadwell was the most distinctive voice. Adam sounded too uptight and stuffy. Crowley and Azirophale were well done but Shadwell stole every scene.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Adam realizes that fulfulling his destiny will going to destroy everything he loves.

Any additional comments?

If you haven't already read this book, what are you waiting for?????

  • Anansi Boys

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Lenny Henry
  • Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15,637
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,717
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,709

Returning to the territory he so brilliantly explored in his masterful New York Times best seller American Gods, the incomparable Neil Gaiman offers up a work of dazzling ingenuity, a kaleidoscopic journey deep into myth that is at once startling, terrifying, exhilarating, and fiercely funny, a true wonder of a novel that confirms Stephen King's glowing assessment of the author as "a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully narrated

  • By A. Hawley on 11-23-07

Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry can't be beat

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-06-08

I buy very very few audiobooks. I almost never listen to them more than once and why pay several times the paperback price for something you won't enjoy again and again?. It's much cheaper to simply borrow them from the library, listen to them, then return them. Win-win situation: I enjoy the book, and save anywhere from 15-40 dollars by not purchasing the audio.

HOWEVER: The terrific combination of Neil Gaiman's writing - alternately funny and terrifying but always riveting - and Lenny Henry's spot-on delivery, make this an audiobook well worth owning. Neil Gaiman is one of the finest writers out there and we have never been disappointed. Lenny Henry has been a favorite of ours since we became addicted to his TV series Chef!, and he *is* Charlie Nancy to me now. I have listened to it at least twice now and fully expect my whole family to enjoy it for years to come.

39 of 44 people found this review helpful