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Mudville

Narrated by: Randy Anderson
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: Kids, Ages 8-10
3.5 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Welcome to Moundville, where it's been raining for longer than Roy McGuire has been alive. Most people say the town is cursed - right in the middle of their big baseball game against rival town Sinister Bend, black clouds crept across the sky and it started to rain. That was 22 years ago... and it's still pouring.

Baseball camp is over, and Roy knows he's in for a dreary, soggy summer. But when he returns home, he finds a foster kid named Sturgis sprawled out on his couch. As if this isn't weird enough, just a few days after Sturgis's arrival, the sun comes out. No one can explain why the rain has finally stopped, but as far as Roy's concerned, it's time to play some baseball. It's time to get a Moundville team together and finish what was started 22 years ago. It's time for a rematch.

©2009 Kurtis Scaletta (P)2012 Kurtis Scaletta

Critic Reviews

"Readers will cheer Roy on as he struggles to get his team in shape, clicks with a girl who is new to the game but turns out to have an unhittable natural screwball, and weathers some rough waters with moody Sturgis on the way to a rousing climax and a fitting resolution." ( School Library Journal)
"Sports nuts, including reluctant readers, will sense they are in good hands with this one. Grades 4-8." ( Booklist)

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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator ruined the listening experience

What would have made Mudville better?

Consistent volume levels

Would you recommend Mudville to your friends? Why or why not?

Not to listen to, perhaps to read.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Randy Anderson?

He was fine for all but two characters

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Mudville?

Wouldn't delete scene(s) but would listen to the finished product prior to releasing it. Virtually impossible to listen to with headphones on, because of wide variance of character voice fluctuations.

Any additional comments?

I'm not sure the age group the story was aimed at, but the father was portrayed (and sounded) like an idiot cartoon dad. The absolute worst part was the adopted cousin character. The narrator virtually shouted every thing this kid said. The narrator would talk quietly and smoothly throughout the book, but then would shout any line the cousin said. He sounded like a retarded boy with a hearing problem (ie., talks way louder than everyone else). It was close to impossible to finish listening to the book. When ever I anticipated the boy talking I would have to turn my volume way down. It actually hurt my ears.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

There Is Some Joy in Mudville

For an adult listening to a middle grade book, Mudville provides a variety of themes, complex characters, and good messages for the young listeners in the car. The plot is built upon a baseball showdown between Moundville (Mudville) and a rival town. Woven into that are themes of friendship, family, loyalty, dedication, selflessness, defining moments, first crushes, and even race relations. Baseball always makes for a good metaphor -- Mudville effectively uses baseball statistics as a recurring metaphor. Well written, thought out, and surprisingly (but not overly) complex for its target audience.

But the narration... I'm going to blame the director rather than the performer. Randy Anderson is good most of the time, when he's the voice of Roy, the character who narrates. Most of the other voices are so awful that the book is almost unlistenable. Roy's father and mother and the girl he's crushing on are all given unfortunate voices. Sturgis, especially because he is so central to the story, is way too far over the top. Roy's voice is so low, while Sturgis practically shouts (speaking in caps lock, as he does when he writes on the internet).

It's jarring -- in a car, with the high level of ambient noise, the contrast makes it impossible to listen to, having to choose between not hearing Roy or having Sturgis make you jump out of your seat every time he talks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Couldn't Finish

Would you try another book from Kurtis Scaletta and/or Randy Anderson?

The story was a nice one and I'd like to one day find out how it ends. I couldn't finish this narrated version because of the way the story was being told. Most narrators keep an even volume throughout the story, however this narrator used different levels of loudness along with the different personalities and Sturgis’s voice was just too annoyingly LOUD and grating!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Reader needs lessons

Would you try another book from Kurtis Scaletta and/or Randy Anderson?

The book could be good, but the reader is SO awful it was painful to listen. Reader sounds like he IS reading the text instead of 'telling a story'. The volume he expresses between main character (and some others) is soft, which is o.k. except the 'foster brother's' voice come abruptly ABRASIVELY BOOMING into your ears you immediately reach for the volume control to turn it down and then can't hear the others. VERY ANNOYING! Suggest this reader get lessons from a professional at the Analytical Reading Institute.

What was most disappointing about Kurtis Scaletta’s story?

Very slow to get going and boring in parts... non related material that does not add to the story.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The reader was the total distraction. The book isn't horrible and has some interesting "catches" to the story.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed the story.

Worth reading.

The narrator has a pleasant voice, but he varies the volume too much! You turn up to hear the dialogue at times. Then, when in character, the narrator nearly yells. It definitely took away from the experience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Seriously Good Story!

From my son: The story was great and the narrator was good, too. I highly recommend this book for kids 9 & up who love baseball!