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The Steel of Raithskar

Gandalara, Book 1
Narrated by: Paul Boehmer
Series: Gandalara, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (81 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When the fireball hit the cruise ship, Ricardo Carillo was already on his way out - a terminally ill language professor. He regained consciousness as a well man in the desert...only it wasn't a desert on Earth, and he was called Markasset, a master swordsman, son of a powerful leader, and a man on the run, accused of murder and the theft of a precious, sacred jewel. With the aid of Keeshah, a great war-cat with which he shared a telepathic link, he set out to clear his newfound name....

©1981 Randall Garrett and Vicki Ann Heydron (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

So glad these have come to audio books

I bought this series when they first came out in paperback. I just loved them, and when I saw that they had come to audible, I couldn't wait till they all were available. This first one sets the stage and introduces the characters to you. The story is good, but you can tell that there is more to come. I don't want to spoil it, but I do love the big cats. I'll take one when they are available. I think they story improves with each book. Of course when they came out in paperback, it was only once a year. Really glad I didn't have to wait that long again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great Story Hampered by Vocal Performance

Read all of these books as a pre-teen and loved them. Read them a couple more times since. An audiobook seemed like the perfect way to revisit the world.

The story itself has lost none of its appeal, and it was interesting to observe how middle-aged me responded to different elements. I highly recommend picking up the books and reading them.

The performance is the reason I'm stopping at book 1 instead of going through all 7. With non-fiction, the narrator is generally not trying to impress you with how artfully he can deliver the material. It's about clarity and continuity.

Too many performances of fictional works overly dramatize the material. Obviously some dramatic inflection is a good thing and adds to the experience. That's not what I'm talking about. Here's where I think this performance goes wrong, over and over again:

* Pronunciation of names, places. In a fantasy/sci-fi novel, there are going to be a lot of made up names, and everyone is going to have a different pronunciation in their head when they read it. Those pronunciations aren't necessarily going to match up with the way a narrator delivers them in an audiobook. The problem here is not the the pronunciations are different than what is already in my head. (I've dealt with that many times over and I'm fine with it) The problem is that the chosen pronunciations seem almost deliberately awkward, as if the voice actor were trying to demonstrate....something. And it's not as if he appears to be following any consistent linguistic rules or cues in the choices he makes. It comes off as pretentious.

* Patronizing voicing of female characters. Like, really patronizing.

* Grandiose vocal affectations. You know how sketch comedy shows make fun of people who speak with a slightly British accent when they're trying to borrow a little gravitas? This is the guy they're mocking.

In the end, the vocal performance becomes a distraction. For me, it's the difference between Audible making one sale instead of seven.

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So happy!

I love this series! I have it in print and can't tell you how many times I've read it. I was excited to see it in the audible version so had to buy it. Other than the narrator pronounces the names differently than I did while reading, I very much enjoyed listening to it. I will definitely be buying the rest of them. The story of how human Ricardo becomes someone else in another time and place still enthralls me.

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  • JR
  • 09-12-18

Captivating

I've read the series twice but I am entranced by the audio version. Boehmer makes it come alive just as I imagined it. The characters are fleshed out and landscapes brought to lushness or bleakness in well chosen words and phrases.

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ILoveThis series!

I have read the series of books so many times! It’s a place to go it’s fun and entertaining and so well written. I would recommend this book to anyone! It’s a great read fun place great characters and a great story.

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Still great after 31 years!

This book was published the year I was born in 1983, I read it twice years and years ago and now that I have heard it in audio format I can see that it is a story that keeps on giving. Every journey into this world paints an ever more vibrant and intricate picture. 5 stars!!!

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Excellent reading

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read all three of these books when originally published. The seven reading are excellent and I learned more from the audio books than I do from reading. I read way to fast.
My only gripe is that all of these readings were in three very fat books ( I like fat books!)
There was no need to stretch out the recordings so that it was necessary to buy all seven!

What about Paul Boehmer’s performance did you like?

Very enjoyable.

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Edgar Rice Burrows meet Quantum Leap

That's pretty much it. Sounds like a Barsoom novel except not on mars. An earthling wakes up as someone else on another planet.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful