The Reverb Brothers Live @ The White Eagle
posted by Gil T. @ 11:11 PM
Batman - The Stone King by Alan Grant
Batman - The Stone KingJustice League of America
By Alan Grant
Audiobook produced by Graphic Audio
Approx. 6 Hours
I'm a huge comic book fan and only recently took to reading novelizations of comics and have found it a pretty good experience. Now, how do you put a comic book turned novel into an audiobook? Well let me tell you, get Graphic Audio to do the production. Reading a comic book you get to look at all the cool graphics and while reading the text your eyes are treated to some visual storytelling. When a comic is then turned into a novel you lose the visual stimulation, and the author has to completely tell the story with words. Alan Grant wrote Batman - The Stone King
novel and told a great story. Now that Graphic Audio has produced the book into a "Movie for Your Mind," comic book lovers can hear the novel and fully experience the action. Not a single detail is missed.
The use of a multicast is pretty much needed and is extremely well done in this audiobook. The voices of all the superheroes (Superman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, The Flash, The Green Lantern and of course Batman) are very well cast and sound exactly like you would expect and want them to sound like. The sound effects and music create a great atmosphere for great listening. When Graphic Audio says they produce a "Movie for your Mind," they aren't kidding. In one scene in the book Wonder Woman is attacked by zombies arising from a nearby cemetery and the sounds of the bones crushing and zombies digging themselves out of the grave are so realistic that you would swear the special effects person actually made the undead rise from the grave and fight each other just so the sounds could be recorded. Unreal realism in the sounds.
The story behind Batman - The Stone King
is this; a dam near Gotham City is about to burst and Batman has determined the dam cannot be saved but the citizens of Gotham city must be protected. Batman calls for the help from Justice League members to create a "safe dam break." After the turmoil and all the Justice League members are getting their breath and looking over the destruction created by the rushing waters The Green Lantern notices a strange object. Uncovered by the erosion of the sudden rushing waters is a pyramid, not unlike those in Egypt. Soon an archaology team takes over and the Justice League go their separate ways.
The pyramid is found to be aligned with all the other sacred sites around the globe (the Pyramids in Giza, Stonehenge, Easter Island, et. al.) and the home of The Stone King. The Stone King is awakened and come Halloween night will destroy the world and rule over the remnants of humanity. When the Justice League tries to battle the Stone King, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and The Green Lantern are trapped within stone and it is up to Batman to save them and the Earth.
The story is one of constant excitement and with the extra oomph of Graphic Audio's sound effects, music and great voice casting the excitement is even higher. And as is true with all good comic books there is some great comic relief moments so you can ease up the tension, such as when The Flash goes to save Batman after the Dark Knight is thrown by the Stone King, he puts himself into position to ease the impact of Batman. After Batman lands on him The Flash says, I will never do that again. Now in the audiobook the acting is so great that you feel the impact and the wry humor intended by this statement.
Get ready for some great entertainment and some great comic to novel action in Batman - The Stone King
. I will warn you, if you listen to this audiobook in a public place or where people can see you make sure you explain why you are white knuckled or cheering on an unseen hero. Graphic Audio really puts you into the middle of the action.
Listen to the audio review below:Click here to get the MP3 podcast file from sfsite.com
Or click on the graphic below for other sci-fi audiobook reviews...some by me..some not.
Labels: batman, comic books, dc, dc comics, justice league of america
posted by Gil T. @ 7:48 PM
Captain's Fury Book Four of the Codex Alera By Jim Butcher
Captain's Fury Book Four of the Codex Alera
By Jim Butcher
Audiobook produced by Penguin Audio
Read by Kate Reading
Approx. 20.5 Hours.
Jim Butcher has created a Lord of the Rings series for today’s generation. The Codex Alera series takes place in a mythical/mystical land called Alera. The Alerans are humans who have a special ability known as fury crafting. In fury crafting the Alerans manifest the spirits of the elements to create magic and maintain life. From simple fury lamps, which use fire furies to provide light, to earth furies which can create shelter and gain extra strength in battle, all Alerans control their elements. All Alerans except for Tavi (a.k.a.Gaius Octavian/Captain Rufus Scipio). Tavi is forced to live with his "disability" by using his wits. Later in the series (about book 3) Tavi learns some limited fury crafting, but nowhere near the abilities of the regular Alerans.
Before we get into the meat of this audiobook review let me first say I may be a little biased due to my huge fanship of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files books. I love his characterizations in those books and have declared myself an official Jim Butcher fanboy. I have read his other novel which is based on the Marvel Superhero Spiderman, another of my favorites, and have been interested in reading the Codex Alera series. I wanted to first finish the Dresden books but when the opportunity to review this book came up, I more than jumped on it. I did want to read the Codex Alera books in order, but the opportunity began with Book Four, so I did some quick research and got the gist of the series to prepare myself for book four. In retrospect the research helped, but I didn't really need it. Jim Butcher continues the series but when needed, he recaps what has happened enough to keep the reader in the know, but still enough to make you want to go back and read the series, which I will.
This review is for the audiobook version of the book and I'll tell you right off that I'm glad I started this series with an audiobook. First of all there's the convenience of an audiobook, you can listen while commuting, while exercising, while doing housework or heck, even while showering. Second, this audiobook was so well read by Kate Reading. (I think her last name is very fitting, but I should say it's pronounced RED-ing.) There are many characters throughout this book and series and Kate Reading makes the subtle changes in her reading that the voices of the different characters really stand out. Another aspect of her reading is the portrayal of emotions of the characters and the excitement of the action. The emotions and excitement are subtle enough for the listener to still maintain their own interpretations but also enough to capture the mood created by the author.
The audiobook production of Captain's Fury is very well done in that the pace of the reading is kept up with the pace of the written material, when needed the excitement is allowed to carry the action with a fast pace, while during times of the book when explanation of past events are needed the reader and the direction slow to allow the listener to absorb the information.
Okay, let's talk about the story.
In this book Tavi's mysterious origin is discovered. It seems Tavi has more in store for his future than simply being a captain of the First Aleran Legion. This book is the turnaround book where Tavi becomes more as well as many other characters in the series. The beginning of the book finds Tavi in charge of an attack on the invading Canim, a race of wolf-like humanoids that have invaded Alera by crossing the sea. This book also explains why the Canim came to "invade." It turns out not to be an invasion, but rather an escape from a force that is also a threat to the Alerans.
One of the reasons I referred to this book as, "Lord of the Rings series for today’s generation," is that the book is part of an ongoing series with mythical creatures that are battling separate wars but you can tell a central battle between good and evil is forthcoming. Also that the book covers characters that start out with one central mission and branch out into several side but related missions, and from what I can see will be regrouping to fight the main battle. However, Codex Alera has already gone more than Tolkien's 3 book series to this 4th book and more. And finally to justify my comparison, Jim Butcher's writing is not only fun and adventurous but also has a great literary feel that could easily be studied by scholar's for years to come.
On a final note, an interesting aspect of this book is the constant reference to the Roman Empire are great and not accidental. The most obvious references to Rome and its era is the use of terms like Legionare, Legion, patriserus, and other such terms. Also, the names of many characters are Latin styled. Maximus, Gaius, etc. Jim Butcher had this to say about his fascination with the Romans, "There's plenty of Lost Roman Legion stories out there. Mostly, the stories are about where they went, and what they did when they got there. This one just happens to be about the world they got lost on, and the society that developed there over the next couple of thousand years."
So do yourself a favor and pick up the Captain's Fury, by Jim Butcher, audiobook and jump ahead into the Aleran world. Good news comes via Jim Butcher's website that the other books will be released soon on audiobook so you can go back and listen to the history of Tavi.
Labels: codex alera, jim butcher
posted by Gil T. @ 9:44 PM
Conspiracy in Death by J. D. Robb (The Penguin Group 1999)
I'm continuing in my quest to read all the novels in this great series by J.D. Robb aka Nora Roberts. I've read several and jumped back and forth from the first few to the last few. This is number 9 in the series (if I have my books correct) and it delivers the same punch all the others in the series do. I can say this about the series; There is not a single bad book in it. Each book can be read independent of the series, but if I had it to do over again I think I would like to read them in order. At times it's fun to see what happens to the characters and then go back and revisit where they were introduced in the series, but J.D. Robb not only creates great characters from the start but knows how to develop them through the series and make them seem more than real.
In this book for instance we are introduced to the NYPSD Officer Troy Trueheart, in my interpretation he's a bit of a Jimmy Olsen type character, young, eager and good at his job. Later in the series he comes to the detective division and works under Detective Baxter and with this intro we get more of an understanding in his character. Basically any character in the series will come back as long as they are not killed. We are also introduced to Dr. Louise Dimatto who will later run a clinic/home for women that is funded by Roarke.
In this book Lt. Eve Dallas and her assistant Delia Peabody, are called to a crime scene by Officer Ellen Bowers, and Officer Troy Trueheart. A homeless man, that goes by the name "Snooks" is killed, his heart removed. The heart is removed with the skill of an extremely talented surgeon. Dallas and Peabody both know a serial killer is preying on the city sidewalk sleepers. With all of the cities resources, and Eve's billionaire husband Roarke, Eve develops solid leads, but the puzzle is a free clinic run by a saintly doctor, Dr. Louise Dimatto. Soon though, three are dead, and Eve is running out of time.
Unfortunately for Eve, trouble is also coming from within the police force. Officer Ellen Bowers is deranged, and obsessed with Eve. She obsessively writes a journal about all the terrible things that, she believes, Eve has done. One night, going home to her apartment, still obsessing, Bowers is attacked, and killed. The blame is quickly placed on Eve, who is stripped of her badge, and goes into a deep depression because her badge and her job define who she is. Only her husband Roarke can bring her back, and help her figure out why four people are dead, why someone wanted her off the force, and why this is all being done.
Labels: book review, books, conspiracy in death, eve dallas, in death, j. d. robb, lt. eve dallas, nora roberts, nypsd, roarke, thriller
posted by Gil T. @ 7:07 PM
"Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" by David Sedaris (Publisher:Little, Brown and Company, 2004)
This book is collection of 22 autobiographical essays by American humorist David Sedaris, and a fun joyride through they eyes of David looking at his family members and his own experiences. The essays run the gamut of family topics from David wanting to be a hippie and panhandling to purchase a suede vest in the 70s to his "redneck" brother's marriage day to uncomfortable situations in which an openly gay man should not get into with a young boy.
I think the best way to break this review down would be essay by essay. But first I want to say that David Sedaris has a great way of finding humor in the most interesting places. It could be that funny situations hit us everyday, and from some of these stories, they do, and we just don't take the time to enjoy them. David Sedaris now allows you to laugh at some of those moments from his life and possibly enjoy your own just a little more. Most of these stories are really something that happen on a day to day basis but Sedaris' use of language and ability to describe the situations, makes them funny and with some just poignant enough to make you feel good.
I'm not going to go recap all 22 essays, I'll leave some of the fun for you, but I will recap some of my favorites."Us and Them"
- childhood memories of a family "who don't believe in TV"
Young David takes upon himself to defend and pity a neighborhood family that have no television and may not understand some pop culture references, at least until, they go trick or treating the day after Halloween, and the only candy available is his "hard earned" stash."Full House"
- a childhood game of strip poker gives the young Sedaris a touching moment
Have you ever wondered how growing up a homosexual affects the normal everyday things a young boy goes through? Take for example slumber parties.
"The Change in Me"
- the 13-year-old Sedaris wants to act like a hippie.
Seeing a hippie girl get free money by panhandling David decides that's the way to be cool, and after eyeing a suede vest in the department store he now knows how to earn the money.
- a case of mistaken identity while cleaning houses
So what would happen if you worked cleaning houses and a customer mistook your company for an erotic housecleaning service?"The End of the Affair"
- Sedaris and Hugh's different reactions to a love story
This story had one of the funniest lines. David is explaining that his sister is one to talk through a whole movie and at times the following may happen; While watching an actor spread mayonnaise on a chicken sandwich she would lean over and say, "One time I was doing that and the knife slipped and landed in the toilet." Leaving David wondering, who would make a chicken sandwich in the bathroom?
"Repeat After Me"
- Sedaris's visit to his sister Lisa, and his family's feelings about being the subject of his essays
I always wondered what his family thought about being the subject of his stories and in this story we find out and at the end left with a little tender moment where David apologizes, not directly but through a parrot."Six to Eight Black Men"
- thoughts about the traditional Dutch Christmas story, among other cultural oddities
This has got to be one of the funniest stories in the book. David likes to compare different cultures and this comparison of the Dutch Christmas and that St. Nicholas doesn't have 8 tiny reindeer but 6 to 8 black men accompanying him is some great laughs.
"Nuit of the Living Dead"
- a late night encounter at home in rural France
In this story David points out how the mundane things in life can be viewed by the average person much different than what is actually going on. The story starts with David drowning a mouse in a bucket when some lost tourists stop by to ask for directions. Many hilarious details in this one.
And those are just the highlights. I would highly recommend the audiobook on this one because hearing the words read by the author makes them that much more hilarious.
Labels: book review, books, comedy, david sedaris, humor
posted by Gil T. @ 7:44 PM