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  • gilwilson 1:35 PM on January 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Molly Sweeney” By Brian Friel 

    molly“Molly Sweeney”
    By Brian Friel
    Narrated by: Jenny Bacon, Robert Breuler, Rick Snyder
    Length: 3 hrs and 46 mins
    Release date: 02-16-10
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    This is the second story of a blind person regaining sight I’ve listened to in the past month.  Not sure why, but my reading list has led me down the path of disabilities.  The last one I read, “Love and First Sight,” was a YA novel following a young boy who regains his sight in modern times.  This time around it is a play that takes place in a remote Irish village, I’m not too sure of the time period, but it seems that it is during a time where restoring sight is just short of miraculous.

    The play is performed through a series of monologues from the three main characters, Molly, her husband, Frank, and Dr. Rice.    From what I gathered the two men have no real interest in how Molly feels about all this and judging from the tragic end, I would say Molly is not too happy about the promise of a sighted life.

    Dr. Rice seems to be only interested in gaining back his standing in the medical world.  Alcoholism has taken most of that away from him, but now he may be able to redeem himself.  So his interest is very selfish.

    Molly’s husband, Frank is pushing her to the surgery with no concern for her feelings or risks.  While Molly has led a happy life for 40 years, all while sightless.

    The two men never really care about how Molly would be able to handle the sudden influx of visual information.

    The complete lack of interaction between the characters helps to solidify the lack of concern from all but Molly.  There’s a moment when Molly get’s angry and delivers a scathing monologue, but with no one listening it is a perfect example of how her feelings are never considered.

    The performances in the L.A. Theatre Works production are once again perfect and the production puts you once again in the middle of the show.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Molly Sweeney, by the great Irish playwright Brian Friel, tells the story of married couple Molly and Frank, who live in a remote Irish village. Molly has been blind since birth, but now a surgeon – Mr. Rice – believes he may be able to restore her sight. In a series of interwoven monologues, Molly Sweeney takes us into the minds of three people with very different expectations of what will happen when Molly regains her vision.

    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 4:17 PM on January 15, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Lucy” By Damien Atkins 

    By: Damien Atkins
    Narrated by: Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty, Raphael Sbarge
    Length: 2 hrs and 3 mins
    Release date: 02-02-10
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    I have recently found myself exploring books and stories that deal with the human condition in relation to disabilities.  Not sure why this is but it just seems to wind up on my listening/reading list this way.  I’ve gotta get back to my sci-fi reading soon.  Until then I will explore humanity.  This time around the story revolves around autism and how it affects the family.

    Never having had to deal with anyone in the spectrum, I really have no point of reference on this.  I do know people with autism and friends with autistic children, but I have never had to experience this first hand.  That being said understand that this review will not consist of how the story addresses autism but rather how the story is told.

    One thing to note is that this is an L.A. Theatre Works production and that the performance is beautiful.  The acting and performance as a whole is stellar.  I have never had a bad experience with any LATW production.

    Lucy is a 13 year old who has autism.  She has lived all her life with her father but at 13 there are certain things puberty brings that the father doesn’t think he’s capable of handling.  So he leaves Lucy with her mother.  This part of the story was a bit sketchy for me, but it was necessary for the rest of the play to continue.  I just couldn’t see a dad pretty much abandoning his child.  Sure, it was with her mother but the mother was out of the picture for nearly all of those 13 years.

    As the rest of the story goes, Lucy’s mom struggles with learning how to deal with the schedules and emotions of a child with autism.  The mother also begins to obsess over her guilt of not being there for Lucy.  Soon Lucy’s mother, who is an anthropologist begins to theorize that autism is the next step in the evolutionary process of humanity.  So much so that she makes this the subject of a book that has been in demand for some time from her publisher.  The problem is she starts letting Lucy do what she wants, pretty much, and Lucy’s welfare comes into question.

    What I found most interesting in this performance were the insights where the playwright gave Lucy monologues in which she could step out of her own brain and express her normality.  I was intrigued by these and at the same time emotionally stirred.

    Nice performance but I see some holes in the story.

    Publisher’s Summary
    In a thought-provoking new play, 13 year old Lucy, who suffers from autism, moves in with her estranged, misanthropic mother. Having lived her entire life with her father, Lucy, as well as her mom, struggle with all the difficulties of such an arrangement.
    An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Lucy DeVito, Roxanne Hart, Geoffrey Lower, Sarah Rafferty and Raphael Sbarge.
    Lucy is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

    ©2009 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2009 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 3:41 PM on January 14, 2020 Permalink | Reply  

    “Love and First Sight” By Josh Sundquist 

    loveandfirstsightLove and First Sight
    By: Josh Sundquist
    Narrated by: Pat Young
    Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
    Release date: 01-03-17
    Publisher: Hachette Audio

    I have to admit at first while listening to this audiobook, I was worried I had grabbed another whiney angsty teen novel.  For the most part YA fiction can be some really nice stories and story telling but many of them fall prey to the “let’s make a romance novel for kids” genre.  This one starts in that direction and you do get a bit of the whiney but not necessarily from the lead character, Will Porter, but from some of his friends.  What I, at first, got from Will was that he was a smug know-it-all and being blind made him better.  I’ll talk more about the love interest later.

    I pulled up my bootstraps and kept rolling with this book only because of the author’s description of how it is being blind.  I have several blind friends (it’s because of one of those friends I started listening to audiobooks in the first place) and I have never really understood what their life is like.  Josh Sundquist writes about that experience through Will Porter and gave me a better understanding of what a sightless world is like.  Concepts such as perspective and colors were explained to me in ways I never would have even considered and then when Will gets the miracle surgery restoring his eyesight, the learning HOW to see floored me.  I’ve since talked this over with one of my friends and he said that it sounded like some of the reasons he has not considered gaining eyesight if the chance arose.  Sundquist’s descriptions are very thought provoking.

    The problem with this story is there is a bit of a forced love interest.  Will meets new friends as he tries to be mainstreamed in a “normal” school.  Apparently Will was a big deal at his school for the blind, now, not so much.  He becomes friends with kids on the Quiz Team and begins to fall for a girl who seems to be hiding something.  After gaining sight he learns she has a huge birthmark on her face.  At this point he feels betrayed in that no one told him about her face.   Here’s where the book pretty much lost me again.

    What I got from the book is the awesome descriptions of life from a blind person’s point of view.  What I disliked were the two-dimensional portrayals of human love and interaction.

    Publisher’s Summary
    In his debut novel, YouTube personality and author of We Should Hang Out Sometime Josh Sundquist explores the nature of love, trust, and romantic attraction.
    On his first day at a new school, blind 16-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?
    As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty – in fact everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?
    Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we relate to each other and the world around us.

    ©2017 Josh Sundquist (P)2017 Hachette Audio

  • gilwilson 4:20 PM on December 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Locomotion” By Jacqueline Woodson 

    By Jacqueline Woodson
    Narrated by: Dion Graham
    Series: Locomotion, Book 1
    Length: 1 hr and 19 mins
    Release date: 02-02-12
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    Happiness, sadness, a little anger, but never pity.  Those and other emotions are what you will go through when reading/listening to this book.  Lonnie Collins Motion lost his parents in a house fire at the age of seven.  When placed in foster homes he and his sister were split up.  Life is not easy being young and black in the city.  Soon Locomotion is taught that he can express himself through writing, especially poetry.  From there the sky’s the limit.

    Now, don’t get me wrong his life isn’t all rosy in the end, it just seems he is able to cope a little more.  Mostly due to him having an outlet (writing) for his frustrations, but also because he is a quick learner and learns how to get along in life.  Being a series of books and this only the first, it’s easy to grasp that Locomotion will constantly be learning how to deal with life.

    Many times while listening to this audiobook, I found myself smiling a huge smile while at the same time a tear or two would run down my cheek.  This is not only because of the words written by Jacqueline Woodson, but some of the credit needs to go to the narrator, Dion Graham.  Dion was able to present the story from the psyche of a young boy that seemed like Locomotion was reading these poems and prose directly to me from his book.

    Publisher’s Summary
    When Lonnie Collins Motion was seven years old, his life changed forever. Now Lonnie is eleven and his life is about to change again. His teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. And suddenly, Lonnie has a whole new way to tell the world about his life, his friends, his little sister, Lili, and even his foster mom, Miss Edna, who started out crabby but isn’t so bad after all. Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical voice captures Lonnie’s thoughtful perspectives of the world and his determination to one day put a family together again.

    ©2003 Jacqueline Woodson (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

  • gilwilson 3:59 PM on December 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Lenin’s Embalmers” By Vern Thiessen (produced by LATW) 

    leninLenin’s Embalmers
    By: Vern Thiessen
    Narrated by: JD Cullum, Simon Helberg, Gregory Harrison, Jon Matthews, Rufus Sewell, John Sloan, Mark Jude Sullivan, Jocelyn Towne
    Length: 1 hr and 11 mins
    Release date: 12-05-18
    Publisher: L.A. Theatre Works

    Yet another  L.A. Theatre Works production finds its way loaded onto my iPod. (yes i still use one.)  Before talking about this particular performance, I have to talk about the quality of LATW’s productions.

    LATW takes the time to do it right.  Not only do they have great actors but the crew doing the recording and editing of each of these performances are beyond superb.  The background folks don’t tend to get a lot of credit, so I’m going to rectify that  a bit.

    So picture a live performance play.  All the monologues, dialogues, set-pieces, music, and sound effects required to put the audience into this world and enjoy a bit of visual art.  Now take away all that visual stuff and well then play has to stand on its audio performance only.  LATW’s engineers and editors still manage to place the audience into the world of the stage performance without relying on set pieces, lights, facial expressions, or stage blocking.  The audio recordings of all their performances that I’ve had the pleasure of hearing have never let me down and always manage to transport me to the world of the play.

    In this play we explore the resilience of the human spirit, ever-changing war games, and the importance of always having vodka on hand.  Sometimes humanity seems very stupid, especially in the political world.  This play points out how certain progroms set to eradicate a race of people from the Earth are completely stupid and come back to bite humanity in the but.  In this case the Jews in Russia were lesser humans, yet those lesser humans come in to preserve the Russian/Soviet leader forever.

    A little dark humor, a little history and great production make this a play worth hearing.

    Publisher’s Summary
    After Vladimir Lenin’s death, Stalin orders two Jewish scientists to preserve Lenin’s body for all time. If they succeed, the rewards will be considerable. If not, it’s the gulag – or worse. Based on real events, Vern Theissen’s nimble dark comedy exposes the absurdities of Soviet life under Stalin.

    Lenin’s Embalmers is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, bridging science and the arts in the modern world.

    Starring, in alphabetical order: JD Cullum as Vlad; Gregory Harrison as Lenin; Simon Helberg as Boris; Jon Matthews as Krasin; Rufus Sewell as Stalin; John Sloan as Agent 2; Mark Jude Sullivan as Agent 1; Jocelyn Towne as Nadia

    Associate Artistic Director, Anna Lyse Erikson. Senior Radio Producer, Ronn Lipkin. Recording Engineer and Editor, Erick Cifuentes. Sound Designer and Mixer, Mark Holden for the Invisible Studios, West Hollywood. Directed by Martin Jarvis.

    ©2018 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2018 L.A. Theatre Works

  • gilwilson 4:34 PM on December 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Impact Point” By Simon Rosser 

    impact pointImpact Point
    Robert Spire Thriller, Book 2
    By: Simon Rosser
    Narrated by: David Loving
    Series: Robert Spire, Book 2
    Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
    Release date: 02-21-19
    Publisher: Schmall World Publishing

    Take a little bit of an eco-thriller, throw in some sci-fi, espionage and adventure and you have “Impact Point” by Si Rosser.  There were times it felt like the Da Vinci code without the code and all the religious references.

    Overall this book deserves a high rating, the audio book maybe not so high.  The reason for this is that the narrator, David Loving, would read and sound like he was running out of breath for nearly every paragraph.  It nearly got so annoying that I almost quit listening, however the story itself was powerful enough for me to power through and be rewarded with a fun adventure through science and madmen.

    We start out with a couple of blue whales beaching themselves, one in Wales, and one in South Carolina, US.  Robert Spire, the hero of the story watches as it happens in Wales, and upon discovering the news of the second whale in the U.S. he meets a marine biologist and they soon determine the cause of death being olivine poisoning.  Olivine is a rare mineral found in metorites.  This soon leads to the discovery of a group of people set out to destroy mankind in a passive way.  The group has discovered a comet that is destined to hit the Earth causing an Extinction level event, but they manage to hide it until it is too late.

    Robert Spire and the co-horts he gathers on the way discover this conspiracy and race to save all humankind.

    Not an edge of your seat adventure but definitely an adventure that is obviously well researched and will keep you listening.



    Publisher’s Summary
    Siberia, 1908: A massive explosion occurs above the Tunguska region – known as the Tunguska Event – releasing the equivalent energy of 185 Hiroshima nuclear bombs. An asteroid impact or comet fragment is thought to have been the cause. It happened then, and it will happen again….

    Mysterious whale deaths….

    Wales, UK – When a blue whale gets washed ashore and dies in front of Robert Spire on his local beach, the UK’s Department of the Environment and local population are ill-prepared. When a second whale washes up dead on Myrtle Beach on the opposite side of the Atlantic, the scientific community realizes it has a mystery on its hands, and questions need answering.

    A quest for meteorite fragments….

    Environmental lawyer Robert Spire, newly recruited to the UK’s Global Environmental Command Unit – GLENCOM, flies over to South Carolina to investigate. While there, he teams up with marine biologist Dr. Sally Rivea, also assigned to the case. Meanwhile in Nevada, US, ex-Marine Travis Dexter is on the run after he discovers the body of his employer – philanthropist Julian Smithies – murdered in his home. The only object missing: a recently discovered, rare, and valuable space meteorite, its origin unknown.

    A future global cataclysm….

    On the island of Exuma in the Bahamas, four sport divers make a startling discovery at the bottom of Mystery Cave blue hole. Sixty miles offshore in the Caribbean Sea, drilling on the Proteus oil rig turns to disaster as the drill bit snaps as it strikes something hard on the ocean floor. Dr. Rivea, at a loss to explain the high levels of the mineral olivine discovered in the whale’s tissue samples, accompanies Spire to the Caribbean in search of answers, but when they get there, the mystery only deepens as they unearth a conspiracy with cataclysmic consequences….

    Robert Spire is propelled into a fast-paced action-adventure thriller.

    ©2014 Simon Rosser (P)2019 Chris McDonnell, Simon Rosser

  • gilwilson 3:59 PM on December 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Clue: On Stage” adapted by David Abbinanti, adapted for the stage by Jonathan Lynn, Hunter Foster, Eric Price, Sandy RustinShow  

    cluecoverClue: On Stage
    based on the Paramount Pictures motion picture, based on the Hasbro board game Clue
    adapted by David Abbinanti, adapted for the stage by Jonathan Lynn, Hunter Foster, Eric Price, Sandy RustinShow

    During the months of September and October of 2019 I was deeply immersed in the Clueniverse as I was cast as Colonel Mustard in the Lincoln Trail College Theater Production of “Clue: on stage.”  During this time with my fellow cast members we basically knew no other life other than memorizing lines and continuous rehearsals.

    When the college announced that this was to be there fall performance, I knew I absolutely had to be in this production.  In fact on my audition sheet I wrote in large letters and all caps; “I HAVE TO BE IN THIS SHOW!!!”  I guess it worked because I got cast and began growing my mutton chops to be the best Colonel Mustard I could be.

    The fun part about this play is that it is based on the Movie which was in turn based on the board game.  The movie stars Tim Curry as Wadsworth, the butler, and many other great comedic stars.  My role, Colonel Mustard, was played by Martin Mull in the movie.  He did the role as no one else could and at times was very subtle in his humor.  You see when this was announced as the fall show and before auditions I went back and watched the movie for a good laugh.  It held up over the years and did not let me down on the humor.  It still holds up.

    As I read the play I noticed there was a bit of difference between my Colonel and the Martin Mull Colonel.  Mine was more of a bumbling fool according to the script and Mull’s Colonel was more of a clueless fool (pardon the pun).  There were times when I couldn’t find the right way to deliver a line or maybe just make the line land harder, so I would go back to the movie hoping for a little help.  But, there was no help to be had, I wasn’t playing my Colonel as Martin Mull did so I kept saying thanks but no thanks.  And went on to create my own.  It seemed to work out, I got all the laughs in the right places.  There were a couple of times where I took a fall on stage, not scripted, and was able to play it off as part of the character.  (I have the scars to prove those falls were real.)

    So basically while the play is based on the movie there are plenty of differences to make this play stand on its own.  The characters are all the same beloved characters from the game and movie, but some of the lines have been switched to different characters delivering them.  Then there is the ending….nope….I won’t talk about that.

    I was honored with a great pool of talent when it came to the other actors and the director so I don’t think those performances could have been any better.  We killed it every night. (literally and figuratively)

    This play is a great whodunit that allows the audience to try to figure it out all the while the characters on stage entertain in such a hilarious way.  The lines are all perfectly written to extend suspense where needed and to provide a laugh in both subtle and hit you on the head with a candlestick ways.

    Support local live theatre go see this show if it hits near you.   Even better get a troupe together and put on the show for some great laughs.

    Play Details
    It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party. Each of the guests has an alias, the butler offers a variety of weapons, and the host is, well . . . dead. So whodunnit? Join the iconic oddballs known as Scarlet, Plum, White, Green, Peacock, and Mustard as they race to find the murderer in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. Based on the cult classic film and the popular board game, Clue is a madcap comedy that will keep you guessing until the final twist.

    Comedy | 90 – 100 minutes
    5 f, 5 m (10-20 actors possible: 5-10 f, 5-10 m)
    Set: Various rolling set pieces imply different rooms in a mansion.
    Standard Edition ISBN: 978-1-68069-902-9





  • gilwilson 3:58 PM on December 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal” By Mary Roach 

    51Zz2yh5aHL._SL500_Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal
    By: Mary Roach
    Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
    Length: 8 hrs and 21 mins
    Release date: 04-02-13
    Publisher: Tantor Audio

    I have to start out by saying this book has cemented my standing as a Mary Roach fan.  I have only read 2 of her previous books: “Stiff” and “Spook”, and with this book the exploration of science stuff and presenting to the non-scientist is outstanding.

    Mary Roach knows exactly what the average person wants to know about, whether it’s how fast a human body decays, how much does the soul weigh, or in this book how is a fecal transplant performed.  In this book from mouth to anus the human body’s digestive tract (and even our beloved pets’ digestion) is explored.  Oh and we get the final word on Elvis as well.

    Mary’s style is perfect for the non-scientist but curious, in that she doesn’t have to cloud the page with college words, although she does put them in but she is quick to define and explain the words so no PhD is required.

    Not only does she make the subject matter easy to comprehend but she hits the topics we need to hear about; how does pet food taste, are flavors and smells the same, and did Elvis die of constipation?

    The narrator, Emily Woo Zeller, does a superb job of presenting this book and seems to completely capture the author’s voice.  The book is written, or maybe just the reading of the book, in a conversational manner that even the side notes sound like she’s whispering to you personally.  Definitely a heavy subject covered in an easily digestible way.  (Pun Intended!)

    Publisher’s Summary
    Best-selling author Mary Roach returns with a new adventure to the invisible realm we carry around inside. Roach takes us down the hatch on an unforgettable tour.

    The alimentary canal is classic Mary Roach terrain: The questions explored in Gulp are as taboo, in their way, as the cadavers in Stiff and every bit as surreal as the universe of zero gravity explored in Packing for Mars. Why is crunchy food so appealing? Why is it so hard to find words for flavors and smells? Why doesn’t the stomach digest itself? How much can you eat before your stomach bursts? Can constipation kill you? Did it kill Elvis?

    In Gulp we meet scientists who tackle the questions no one else thinks of – or has the courage to ask. We go on location to a pet-food taste-test lab, a fecal transplant, and into a live stomach to observe the fate of a meal. With Roach as our guide, we travel the world, meeting murderers and mad scientists, Eskimos and exorcists (who have occasionally administered holy water rectally), rabbis and terrorists – who, it turns out, for practical reasons do not conceal bombs in their digestive tracts. Like all of Roach’s books, Gulp is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.

    ©2013 Mary Roach (P)2013 Tantor

  • gilwilson 3:24 PM on December 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply  

    “You Have Been Judged: A Space Opera Judge, Jury, & Executioner, Book 1” By Craig Martelle 

    51nA4bxkHgL._SL500_You Have Been Judged: A Space Opera
    Judge, Jury, & Executioner, Book 1
    By: Craig Martelle, Michael Anderle
    Narrated by: Katharine McEwan
    Series: Judge, Jury, & Executioner, Book 1, The Kurtherian Gambit Universe, Book 140
    Length: 6 hrs and 47 mins
    Release date: 01-03-19
    Publisher: LMBPN Publishing

    So I was not sure what to expect of this series, but being a Sci-Fi fan, I had to give it a try.  It was a bit rough at first, but once the story got going I was all in.  This is the first book in the series and character introductions were the rough part.  The author knows we have to understand the characters to enjoy their adventures, but the intros were a bit blocky at first.  After the crew of Rivka Anoa’s ship were in place, all went well from there.

    My best summary of this book would be like a nicer Judge Dredd and maybe a bit of the Star Wars Mandalorian storyline,  but instead of bounty hunters the mandates wait for their assignments and mete out justice as needed.   You get a bit of space travel adventures, meeting different races/species and some bounty hunters drinking to celebrate their bounties being caught, or rather Justice being served across the galaxy.

    As long as the next books in the series don’t have long introductions to characters, I can and will read more in the collection.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Rivka Anoa has a gift and a galactic mandate.
    She’s a lawyer accused of a murder she did commit. She stands ready to accept her fate, even though her victim was a murderer. A second chance appears. Become more than a lawyer. Be one who judges and punishes the guilty.
    Could she look herself in the mirror after meting out justice? She’s about to find out. Rivka heads to space to be the Judge, Jury, & Executioner. Criminals have nowhere to go.
    You have been judged….

    Judge, Jury, & Executioner is a stand-alone series in the Kurtherian Gambit Universe. No previous books need to be heard. Just lock in your seat-belt, grab your favorite drink, and be ready for your socks to be blown off.

    Please note: This book contains cursing. Perhaps humorous cursing, but cursing nevertheless. If this offends you, perhaps this book isn’t for you.

    ©2018 Craig Martelle, Michael Anderle (P)2019 LMBPN Audio

  • gilwilson 3:02 PM on December 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: chewbacca, ewoks, han solo, lando calrissian,   

    Last Shot – Star Wars – A Han & Lando Story 

    Last Shot – Star Wars – A Han & Lando Story51b7Pbq4yKL._SL500_By: Daniel José Older
    Narrated by: Marc Thompson, Daniel José Older, January LaVoy
    Series: Star Wars, Book 33
    Length: 11 hrs and 12 mins
    Release date: 04-17-18
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    I once heard a self-proclaimed Star Wars fan say that the problem with Star Wars is that you have to wait so long between movies.  This was before the launch of Disney+ streaming service but still I was thinking you can’t be a real fan unless you know about all these books that are considered part of the Star Wars Cannon.  There’s plenty of material there.  This book is a great fit for the recent Star Wars films and the classic Star Wars films.

    This book jumps back and forth between the times of the “Force Awakens” movie and the original trilogy of movies.  There are even times in the book that go back to the “Solo” side movie.  In other words everything a Star Wars fan loves about Han Solo and Lando Calrissian is contained and even some explained in this fun adventure.

    When it comes to the audiobook aspect of this book, the multiple voices fit in great with the time jumping aspect of the story telling.  Also the voice actors (especially Marc Thompson) Make it sound as if you are hearing the actors themselves reprise their roles.

    I thoroughly enjoy a good flashback storytelling model and with this one the going back and forth and trying to find out who wants to kill Lando makes the mystery even more intriguing.  The nice thing is that there are times set by the movies that are ready to be explored and this book never held back playing on the set characters and different times of the flashbacks.

    For those of you looking for the Greedo/Solo shooting first argument settled, nope, not this book.  But as the reader/listener we do get to find out more about how Lando and Han developed their “friendship.”

    Publisher’s Summary
    New York Times Best Seller
    Han Solo and Lando Calrissian are reunited on the Millennium Falcon in a galaxy-spanning novel inspired by Solo: A Star Wars Story. But even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past…
    It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize – first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge….
    It’s been 10 years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando – and all life on Cloud City – will be annihilated.
    With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars – and into the past – before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.
    Praise for Last Shot:
    “Action-packed in all the right ways.” (Tordotcom)
    “A fun, breezy read, with plenty of humor, Ewok hackers, murderous robots, and rousing fight scenes as Han and Lando go from scrape to scrape [to] track down a long-forgotten enemy.” (The Verge)
    “The flat-out funniest Star Wars novel to date.” (Alternative Nation)
    ©2018 Daniel Jose Older (P)2018 Random House Audio

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