• Trumps of Doom

  • The Chronicles of Amber, Book 6
  • By: Roger Zelazny
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,250 ratings)

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Trumps of Doom  By  cover art

Trumps of Doom

By: Roger Zelazny
Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
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Publisher's summary

Trumps of Doom is the sixth book of The Chronicles of Amber; an epic fantasy series written by six-time Hugo Award winning and three-time Nebula Award winning author Roger Zelazny.

The ten books that make up the series are told in two story arcs: The Corwin Cycle and the Merlin Cycle.

Trumps of Doom begins the Merlin Cycle, with Alessandro Juliani handing over his narration duties to customer favorite Wil Wheaton, who won the 2012 Audie Award for his engaging performance of Fuzzy Nation. Wheaton brings this classic series to a stunning close by giving voice to Merlin, Corwin’s son, for the final five audiobooks.

©1985 The Amber Corporation (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Trumps of Doom

Average customer ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good but not QUITE good enough for $130

I love the Zelazny Amber series and Wil Wheaton does a great job of brining it to live as Merlin.
The only catch is, while this series is excellent, it's just two expensive - 10 volumes as $12-$15 (members) and 6 hours each is an astronomical price, and there is no bulk discount. I bought the first 6, but will read the rest on paper in the library and save my credits for longer books.

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16 people found this helpful

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

Favorite Series - Good Narration - Great Storyline

I have read this series several times over the past 20+ years and never tire of it. Zelazny is imaginative and spices the dialog with just the right amount of reflective commentary and occasional humor. The only lulls in the story are the infrequent, but detailed, descriptions of passing through shadow. While this might be great for someone who jumps into the middle of the series and only reads one book, I didn't benefit from its repetition. They give the reader/listener a good feeling for what Zelazny was visualizing. But, for those who are progressing through the series, these periods of "shadow manipulation" dialog become a down-draft when you'd rather be soaring.

Regarding narration, I prefer Alessandro Juliani's performance to Wil Wheaton's. This is not to say Wheaton's performance detracts from the story; not at all. It's the comparison to Juliani's performance for the Corwin Chronicles that elicits my opinion. Juliani has a good command of voice specialization and identification for each character and manages these identities extremely well. Once you make the connection of the voice to the character you no longer need Corwin said, or Julian said, or Random said. Wheaton's voice is rich and easy to listen to; it's just not what I was used to after the Corwin Chronicles and Juliani' versatility.

I'm 60 now and I plan on listening to this series several more times before I pack it in. Over the years, when asked what I like to read and what my favorite books are, this series is always part of my response.

If you like fantasy, action and a good story-line you will find this series a pleasant escape from the more mundane activities of daily life.

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14 people found this helpful

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

Terrible Narrator

I loved the beginning of this series. The story was engaging and original. I was looking forward to enjoying the rest of these books when the narrator changed. I enjoy Wil as an actor but his narration was terrible. I couldn't make it past the first hour of the recording. There was no change in voice for different characters and everything was over-emphasized. I'll have to enjoy the rest of these as eBooks.

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12 people found this helpful

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

Great story, terrible narration

I love Roger Zelazny's Amber Chronicles. Alessandro Juliani's narration of the first 5 books is great, but when the torch passed to Wil Wheaton for the 6th book, Wil dropped it. Hard.

Inconsistent audio quality disrupts the experience regularly, and Wil can't be bothered to act at all, and it becomes hard to track who says what during the story's dialogue since Wil talks to himself with only one voice and tone.

Please bring back Alessandro!

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9 people found this helpful

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

Great story read by a C list Narrator.

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Absolutely recommend the book, the audio on the other hand.......I love the story, great series. The story of Amber continues with the son of Corwin having similar dry wit and the family as paranoid and ready for reacting to vendettas as ever. The Merlin character is great and really does feel like a younger Corwin in many ways.
Now the hard part....
It is VERY hard to get past the sophomoric performance of Wil Wheaton. I now know why he hasn't gotten my attention with his acting in the past 20 years. Going from Alessandro Juliani to Wheaton is a real shock to ones system. I know he has his fans, but really anyone listening to must hear the poor attention to the tone of the characters and forced characterizations. Frankly to be a good narrator you need to be able to read, understand what's read, and then speak clearly neutrally as a narrator and inflected as characters. Wheaton simply lacks in being able to do all of this with a level of competence that this author and series deserves. Maybe its just a example of poor production or low production values? I don't think so, it just sounds like a younger, more pompous, even less talented Jim Shatner wannabe. If Wheaton isn't in anger management classes, this production shows he should be. His portrayal of emotions is poor at best and I swear I can hear spittle fly as he really gets going with his over acting.

Will I get the remainder of the series? Maybe. Will it be the treasured story I'll listen to occasionally again and again? Absolutely not. The high price (these stories should have been paired together to merit the price) for a short story, poorly acted makes this a real disappointment after waiting a very long time for a Audible production. If these went on sale for four ninety nine I would at least consider the rest of the series. Half price for a half talent narrator would be almost fair.

Audible, what will it take to get this reproduced by a talented narrator instead of someone surfing on the wave of their nerd popularity?

What did you like best about this story?

Great story of the continuation of the Corwin of Amber saga through the eyes of his son. I have read this several times since it's publication. Zelazny had a great skill at growing a story and including his dry wit and deep philosophical ideas.

What three words best describe Wil Wheaton’s performance?

Poor, unskilled, inconsistent.

Any additional comments?

Audible, please reproduce with a narrator of the caliber of the Corwin books.

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9 people found this helpful

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

stop at the 5th book

this is a new story arc with the last series main character's son as the main character. The story is frustrating and will Wheaton does an awful job at narrating. stop at the 5th book

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6 people found this helpful

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

April 30'th starts the new direction.

Would you consider the audio edition of Trumps of Doom to be better than the print version?

I cannot consider any audio version of a book that I've read multiple times as better... a new way of hearing it in my head, yes, Better?

What other book might you compare Trumps of Doom to and why?

Anything in the Amber Chronicles stands out as a thing on it's own. A unique and above all CONSISTANT system of magics, answers that get more questions brought up... It's addicting.

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

Wil Wheaton brings to life Merlin, the son of Corwin of Amber. He brings the wry humor of the character in subtle ways. I manage to loose Wil and find Merlin within the performance.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

I'd have two separate choices.

1) "April Thirtieth will never be the same."

or

2) "Pick a card, any card."

Any additional comments?

The Amber Chronicles have been one of my favorite series for a LONG time. In the beginning we know just as much as the main character. By book five we have followed Cowrin through a long journey of change and discovery. Questions are raised, answered....and more questions come from the answers.
In this, the sixth book of the series we meet Merlin the son of Corwin of Amber, and Dara of Chaos. Merlin, it turns out, seems to have inherited his father's knack for troubles.
Who is behind the yearly attempts on his life? What is going on with his Ghost Wheel project? As he solves one problem another rises to take it's place... The Courts of Chaos, the Palace of Amber... Poles of reality of which everything else is but a reflection and shadow..between them lies the life of Merlin.

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5 people found this helpful

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

excellent performance

What made the experience of listening to Trumps of Doom the most enjoyable?

I know it by heart of course, and I have the audio of the first five books that Roger Zelazny recorded (the tapes were discovered a few years ago). Nothing can match Roger's recordings in sentimental value and in accuracy, but that doesn't detract from Wheaton's performance.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Trumps of Doom?

Roger Zelazny was a poet so the structure of all his work is subtle and delightful. Best of all, he can never resist a good, horrible pun. One of the best is here in Merlin's second hellrun: "It was just one damned thing after another."

What didn’t you like about Wil Wheaton’s performance?

I thought it was splendid throughout. However there is one punch edit that was not removed!

Any additional comments?

Thank you very much for bringing us these performances. Please do some more of Zelazny's books. Someone could have a lot of fun with "A Dark Traveling," the one voiced by a kid in a magical family who is just figuring out that he's a werewolf. Whatever happened to "Lord of Light?" Was there a rights problem? I thought Victor Bevine's performance was one of the best I have ever heard.

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5 people found this helpful

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

Alessandro Juliani did a better job

I wish Alessandro Juliani narrated this book as he did in the first five. Wil is alright if you want someone to just read the book to you but Alessandro Juliani acts all the parts. Alessandro Juliani did a great job.

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4 people found this helpful

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

Performance So-So

While I love the Amber Chronicles, this performance is middling. The Corwin cycle was great. The performer, Juliani, performed: different voices, different accents, really drew me in even though I knew the story. The Merlin cycle just seems to be Wheaton reading aloud. While it gets the job done for an audio book, it's not a performance. His pronunciation of Gerard drives me nuts (JAIR-ard instead of jur-ARD) and there's one punch-in that is jarring if only a few seconds.

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3 people found this helpful