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  • gilwilson 8:40 PM on July 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anthony burgess, clockwork orange, malcom macdowell, stanley kubrick   

    “A Clockwork Orange” By Anthony Burgess 

    30985210“A Clockwork Orange”
    By Anthony Burgess
    Narrated by: Tom Hollander
    Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
    Release date: 05-06-10
    Publisher: Random House AudioBooks

    The Stanley Kubrick version of “A Clockwork Orange” was a big influence on my youth.  Not making me ultraviolent or wanting to break the law, but it was the first time I realized that the government does not have all the answers.  Oh yeah, that and it made me want to try Milk Plus.

    I had read the book not long after seeing the movie in my youth, and I loved the jargon used by Alex and his droogs.  I never fully adapted the Nadsat language to my own but every once in a while I would find myself using it a malenky bit.  When I read the book back then I tried to memorize the appendix that contained a definition for all the words.  The language borrowed from Russian and then some nonsensical rhyming and was just as fun to say as it was to hear.  The audiobook doesn’t have that appendix but the language is actually pretty easy to pick up after just the first chapter.

    One thing to note is that the American publication left out a final 21st chapter that was published in the U.K.  The publisher claimed that last chapter would not go well with American audiences.  I had not know about this final chapter until recently.  In fact, when Kubrick made the movie he based it on the American publication thus also leaving out that final chapter.

    This audiobook contains that final chapter and after having absorbed it with the rest of the book, I can now see that the ending is a bit more dramatic without it.  Basically the final chapter (spoilers here) has Alex returning back to his ultraviolent ways but only for a bit because maturity starts to show him another life.  After all Alex is actually only 15 years old at the beginning of the story and 18 by the end.

    I like both endings and can appreciate either one as your choice.  If you loved the ending of the film then fine, but if you think there could be more there is more to be had.  Either way enjoy this classic as soon as you can.  The book also has other slight differences that really have little change in the outcome, but I do find Kubrick’s editing of the story for the film to be a bit less wordy and more to the point..

    Tom Hollander becomes the character of your humble narrator easily and is able to deliver the full punch in the gut that is the life of Alex, Pete, Georgie, and Dim (who is quite dim) and their adventures.

    Publisher’s Summary

    In this 1962 classic, a novelistic exploration of modern crime and punishment, Alex is the 15-year-old leader of his gang of “droogs” thriving in the ultraviolent future, as prophetically imagined by Burgess. Speaking a bizarre Russian-derived slang, Alex and his friends freely pillage and slash their way across a nightmarish urban landscape until Alex is captured by the judicial arm of the state. He then becomes their prized guinea pig in a scientific program to completely “redeem” him for society.

    If we had the power of absolute criminal reform, what, the novel asks, would this mean for our ideals of freedom and society? This edition reinstates the final chapter missing from Kubrick’s film, in which Alex is on the verge of starting a family as he reflects on – and completely rejects – his adolescent nastiness. It also includes Burgess’s introduction “A Clockwork Orange Resucked”.

    ©1962 The Estate of Anthony Burgess (P)2010 Random House Audiobooks
  • gilwilson 7:21 PM on July 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio theatre, full cast, jail, , prison, , ,   

    We’re Alive: Lockdown – A Story of Survival, Book 5 By Kc Wayland 

    32730845We’re Alive: Lockdown
    By Kc Wayland
    Narrated by: full cast
    Series: We’re Alive: A Story of Survival, Book 5
    Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
    Release date: 10-18-16
    Publisher: Wayland Production

    I love audio theatre. The whole We’re Alive series is some of the best audio theatre you’ll find today.  With great writing, nice acting and cool sound effects KC Wayland knows how to put it all together to bring this story to life.

    This series started out as a regularly produced podcast, there are 4 seasons of it released.  I’ve listened to all the series and have been waiting for more since the last season ended in 2014.  Wayland did a crowdfunding campaign to create this latest edition of the series.

    We’re Alive is a survival story about how to survive the Zombie Apocalypse.  I know, I’m kinda getting tired of zombies also, but I have to tell you this is one worth absorbing yourself into.  I used to think no one could top the George Romero movies, the Robert Kirkman created the “Walking Dead” comic book series and I was sucked in again, when it was launched as a TV series I was hooked before it aired.  So now we have 2 kings of the zombies.   Well KC Wayland comes on to the scene and has his own twist to the Zombie Apocalypse and backed by superior cast he becomes the third in my triple crown of zombie writers.

    The audio production quality is top notch.  Not only are the actors superior, but the sound effects will have you boarding up your doors and stocking up ammo, hopefully not in that order.  This is high quality audio theatre that everyone should put on their shelf.

    Publisher’s Summary
    “Life on the inside” takes on a whole new meaning. A riot has broken out at Twin Towers Jail. Simeon, five of his fellow inmates, and the prison guards assigned to them have found themselves trapped in the inescapable confines of T-block during the lockdown. Boundaries of trust are pushed to the limit, as the survivors must learn to work together if they have any hope of escaping the horde of infected and the deadly secret that lies within Twin Tower’s walls.

    We’re Alive: Lockdown serves as both a standalone and continuation of the We’re Alive: A Story of Survival series. It answers questions, asks new ones, and keeps the listener guessing right up until the bitter end.

    What is “audio theater for the mind?” Think of it as a type of show that you can play in your head, guided by the narrative but carried by your imagination. Unlike film or television, an audio drama has the power to strike a deeper emotional connection with the audience.

    ©2016 Wayland Productions (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

  • gilwilson 11:01 AM on June 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mark shanahan, sports, wrestling   

    Pinned By Alfred C. Martino 

    By Alfred C. Martino
    Narrated by: Mark Shanahan
    Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
    Release date: 03-04-05
    Publisher: Listen & Live Audio, Inc.

    This book is one I would never even think  of picking up.  So, how did it end up in my ears?  Well, it was offered up as a free young adult audiobook from SYNC YA as part of their free weekly audiobooks during their Summer Read program.  I have found that most YA novels are not just very well written but have stories that are intriguing.  (Except for that glittering vampire series.)

    The basic story is that of 2 high school wrestlers in different parts of New Jersey and their climb to the New Jersey High School State Wrestling Champion.  Both come from different backgrounds, Ivan whose mother has recently passed away, and Bobby whose parents are possibly divorcing.  What kept me listening to the story was that each individual’s climb to the same goal was so different from the other.

    While their story is told through the sport of high school wrestling, which by the way, has no ropes, rings, or folding chairs (which is why on the first day of tryouts in high school i left) it could have been any sport or common interest their story was in their dedication and progress.  The ending will confuse you for a moment, but after some contemplation you will reach that “Ah-ha!” moment.  I loved the ending.

    Mark Shanahan delivered the audio perfectly and kept the story interesting with his vocal acting.


    Publisher’s Summary
    Pinned follows Ivan Korske and Bobby Zane, two high school seniors, as they embark on the most important winter of their lives in a quest for the New Jersey state high school wrestling championship.
    Ivan Korske is the pride of Lennings, a rural town tucked away in the farmlands of western Jersey, and the odds-on favorite to be crowned state champion in the 129-pound weight class. For Ivan, the stakes are impossibly high. A state championship fulfills a promise he made to his mother before she passed away nine months earlier and will, perhaps, stem his father’s continued withdrawal from life. But mostly, Ivan dreams of getting a scholarship to a college far from his dreary hometown. To him, anything short of the title is failure.

    In Short Hills, a wealthy town on the other side of the state, Bobby Zane protects his younger brother Christopher from the fallout of their parents’ impending divorce, while searching for comfort from Carmelina Carrillo, a girl from a depressed part of Newark. Despite the distractions from the intense pressures of adolescent love and the family’s breakup, Bobby realizes his quest for the coveted 129-pound state title may be his only hope for salvation.

    Pinned chronicles Ivan and Bobby’s season-long efforts toward overcoming forces within and beyond their control toward a title that only one of them can capture.

    ©2005 Alfred C. Martino (P)2005 Listen & Live Audio, Inc.

  • gilwilson 6:43 PM on June 29, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: asgard, , loki, , thor   

    The World According to Thor by Marc Sumerak Illustrated by Freddie E. Williams 

    22928979The World According to Thor
    by Marc Sumerak
    Illustrated by Freddie E. Williams
    Series: Insight Legends
    Hardcover: 64 pages
    Publisher: Insight Comics; Nov edition (April 21, 2015)
    ISBN-10: 1608874931
    ISBN-13: 978-1608874934

    I have to let you know that I am a big Thor fan.  Not as much as a Spidey fan, but close enough.  After all I didn’t give him the name Peter Parker.  I named him Thor.  So yeah, I’m a fan.  I pretty much knew Thor’s history and such, but, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know everything, and I forget half of what I learn.  So this was a nice refresher and I even learned a couple of things new to me.

    Let’s start out with first how awesome the illustrations are in this tome.  Freddie E. Williams knocks it out of the park with the drawings of the 9 realms and of all the heroes and villians.  As a comic book fan alone, the artwork is enough for you to keep this on your nerdy coffee table.

    This book features an Encyclopaedic look at the above mentioned 9 realms and such.  From Asgard, to Midgard, all the way to Svartalfheim, then to Hel and back the reader learns all the basic facts about the Heroes and Villians.  If something from the 3 movies recently made by the Marvel Cinematic Universe has you confused this would probably clear it up.  If you are new, or know someone who is, to the comic book world and want to know about a cool hero, I would highly recommend this book as the perfect intro.

    Publisher’s Summary
    See the world through the eyes of the Norse Super Hero in this immersive journey into Thor’s universe.

    While battling dangers from the nine realms, Thor shares his outlook on life, love, and war in this immersive new volume. Whether it’s handling mischievous siblings, defeating the Frost Giants, or falling in love with a mortal, Thor’s experiences span centuries. With removable items such as Donald Blake’s medical degree, a copy of the Superhuman Registration Act, pages from ancient Asgardian texts, and much more, this insightful look into Thor’s universe will soon be a fan-favorite.

    © 2015 MARVEL

  • gilwilson 7:04 PM on June 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply

    “Anne of Green Gables” By L. M. Montgomery 

    61to+Iomn-L._SL500_“Anne of Green Gables”
    By L. M. Montgomery
    Narrated by: Colleen Winton
    Series: Anne of …, Book 1
    Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
    Release date: 05-30-14
    Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

    Recently I saw the movie based on this book starring Martin Sheen. I found myself enjoying the performances so much that I had to go back and check out the source material. I was never a young girl so I never thought to even pick this book up. But having listened to this audiobook, I found it was a fun little story full of charm and wit.

    The humor and wit expressed in this story completely took me by surprise.  I was expecting to stop listening halfway through, but the story itself kept surprising and entertaining me that I had to keep listening just to find what happens next.

    The talented Colleen Winton presents the story using a broad range of vocal abilities and is able to convey an even wider range of expression, emotion, and voices.  At times I was enthralled, and not necessarily by the prose being spoken, but rather, the person doing the speaking.

    Publisher’s Summary
    Anne, a young orphan from the fictional community of Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia (based upon the real community of New London), is sent to Prince Edward Island after a childhood spent in strangers’ homes and orphanages. Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert, siblings in their 50s and 60s, had decided to adopt a boy from the orphanage to help Matthew run their farm. They live at Green Gables, their Avonlea farmhouse on Prince Edward Island. Through a misunderstanding, the orphanage sends Anne Shirley. Anne is described as bright and quick, eager to please, talkative, and extremely imaginative. She has a pale face with freckles and usually braids her red hair. When asked her name, Anne tells Marilla to call her Cordelia, which Marilla refuses; Anne then insists that if she is to be called Anne, it must be spelled with an e, as that spelling is “so much more distinguished”. Marilla at first says the girl must return to the orphanage, but after a few days she decides to let her stay. Marilla feels that she could be a good influence on the girl and had also overheard that another disagreeable woman in town might take Anne in instead.

    Public Domain (P)2012 Post Hypnotic Press Inc.

  • gilwilson 12:42 PM on June 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , americas, , indians,   

    “1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus” By Charles C. Mann 

    1491: N1538183ew Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
    By Charles C. Mann
    Narrated by: Darrell Dennis
    Length: 16 hrs and 17 mins
    Release date: 08-29-16
    Publisher: Random House Audio

    So when Columbus “discovered” America, as we are all taught in school, the country was barely populated and ripe for the picking.  Well, my problem with that was always that, well he only landed on a few islands that were populated, maybe not densely, like his hometown, but populated.  Had he traveled actually inland onto the main continents of North or Sout America he would have see a larger population of a land that was NOT India or China as he believed.  Rather, he would have seen that the land was more populated than Europe and had very intricate governments, civilization, and culture.

    This book provides evidence for a picture of North and South America that could have been the equal to if not better than the rest of the world.  Unfortunately with the journeys of the white man into the “New World” brought with them the white man’s diseases, most prevalent of them was small pox.  Small pox can be blamed for easily wiping out at least half of the original citizens of the Americas.

    Mann takes on a journey to the Americas before Columbus and even before the birth of Christ, where civilizations were using agriculture and government to an extent that may even rival today’s civilization.

    When I first looked into this audiobook, I saw that it would be a 16 hour commitment and wondered if I was ready for that long of a history lesson.  Once in the book, it was very hard to stop and it the information provided made not only the time fly, but also made me want to seek out more information.  For example, here in Illinois we have the Cahokia Mounds location where history and archaeology have proven that it was a culture that rivaled the Incas and or Mayas and was just as ancient.  I now have an overwhelming urge to go visit that site and learn more.

    I’ve always known that the Americas were inhabited but how they arrived and to what extent I had no clue, now it can be read with the support of great evidence that our “discovered” country was thriving long before westward expansion of Europe destroyed it.

    Publisher’s Summary
    A groundbreaking study that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before the arrival of the Europeans in 1492.

    Traditionally, Americans learned in school that the ancestors of the people who inhabited the Western Hemisphere at the time of Columbus’ landing had crossed the Bering Strait 12,000 years ago; existed mainly in small nomadic bands; and lived so lightly on the land that the Americas were, for all practical purposes, still a vast wilderness. But as Charles C. Mann now makes clear, archaeologists and anthropologists have spent the last 30 years proving these and many other long-held assumptions wrong.

    In a book that startles and persuades, Mann reveals how a new generation of researchers equipped with novel scientific techniques came to previously unheard-of conclusions. Among them:

    In 1491 there were probably more people living in the Americas than in Europe.
    Certain cities – such as Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital – were far greater in population than any contemporary European city. Furthermore, Tenochtitlán, unlike any capital in Europe at that time, had running water, beautiful botanical gardens, and immaculately clean streets.
    The earliest cities in the Western Hemisphere were thriving before the Egyptians built the great pyramids.
    Pre-Columbian Indians in Mexico developed corn by a breeding process so sophisticated that the journal Science recently described it as “man’s first, and perhaps the greatest, feat of genetic engineering”.
    Amazonian Indians learned how to farm the rain forest without destroying it – a process scientists are studying today in the hope of regaining this lost knowledge.
    Native Americans transformed their land so completely that Europeans arrived in a hemisphere already massively “landscaped” by human beings.
    Mann sheds clarifying light on the methods used to arrive at these new visions of the pre-Columbian Americas and how they have affected our understanding of our history and our thinking about the environment. His book is an exciting and learned account of scientific inquiry and revelation.

    ©2016 Charles C. Mann (P)2016 Random House Audio

  • gilwilson 6:07 PM on June 22, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , steven savile   

    Tau Ceti by Kevin J. Anderson & Steven Savile 

    taucetiTau Ceti
    by Kevin J. Anderson & Steven Savile
    204 pages
    Publisher: Phoenix Pick (May 4, 2013)

    I just can’t seem to get enough of Kevin J. Anderson. I picked up this book from the only because Anderson had written it. Once I took a real long look and just before I started reading I noticed another author’s name on the book; Steven Savile.

    Further investigation told me that this is actually 2 novellas, the first being a story by a well known sci-fi author (Kevin J. Anderson) and the second a sequel by an up and comer (Steven Savile). In my youth i remember buying books that were 2 stories in one in a flip book type of set up. Being on my Kindle, the fun of the flip book was lost but the great story was not.

    The first story tells of the generation ship, The Beacon, and it’s 200 year journey to a planet orbiting the star of Tau Ceti. Earth is dying but as humanity’s last hope a ship with lots of families to carry on humanity’s seeds is sent to carry on life on other planets. The Beacon is near the end of its journey and is preparing for entry into the Tau Ceti system. The families onboard will colonize the new planet and humanity will continue.

    Meanhwile back on earth a dictator, President Jurudu, has taken over and the planet has somewhat recovered its near death experience. Even technology has advanced. So much so that Earth has created a faster than life ship, The Conquistador. The Conquistador can be sent to Tau Ceti and arrive just months ahead of the slowship. President Jurudu sees his ship taking over and enslaving the families on the Beacon.

    The second story takes place in the aftermath of the meeting of the 2 ships and shows the colonization process taking place on the new planet. This new planet is still not safe from threats from old Earth.

    I loved the concept of 2 writers telling one continuous story. I will admit there were moments in both novellas where the story moved slow and could have used some tightening up, but overall the stories were great science fiction with a focus on the attitudes of the world we live in today.

    I would be very interested in other books in this series where an up and comer writes a sequel to an established author’s story. So, I guess I’m saying, “Phoenix Pick, I’m coming for more.”

    Publisher’s Summary
    Main Story by Kevin J. Anderson. Sequel Novelette by Steven Savile. The Stellar Guild Series.

    Jorie Taylor has lived her whole life on the generation ship Beacon. Fleeing an Earth tearing itself apart from its exhaustive demand for resources, the Beacon is finally approaching Sarbras, the planet circling Tau Ceti they hope to make humanity’s new home.

    But Earth has recovered from its near-death experience and is now under the control of a ruthless dictator whose sights are set on Tau Ceti as well. President Jurudu knows how to get what he wants-and he wants Sarbras.

  • gilwilson 6:36 PM on June 21, 2018 Permalink | Reply

    Character Building Thought Power By Ralph Waldo Trine 

    51fO+NKXHDL._SL500_Character Building Thought Power
    By Ralph Waldo Trine
    Narrated by Kent McKamy
    Length: 54 mins
    Release date: 05-03-10
    Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC

    Written in 1899 this book was ahead of its time in the self-help realm.  Imagine that the way you think affects how you perceive the world and how the world perceives you.  Pretty progressive thought for the turn of the 19th into the 20th century.

    Being only about an hour long, this audiobook is one to keep around and revisit on occasion.  The narrator, Kent McKamy keeps the content interesting with his delivery.

    A classic look at thought power and how we can control it to determine our future and place in life.

    Publisher’s Summary

    “A thought, good or evil, an act, in time a habit, so runs life’s law, what you live in your thought world, that sooner or later you will find objectified in your life.”

    A landmark in the New Thought movement that spawned much of the 20th century’s self-help writing, this 1899 classic inspires us to create the healthy habits we need to develop the effective character we want.

    ©2005 Gildan
  • gilwilson 6:18 PM on June 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: black history, race relations, rosa parks   

    Claudette Colvin:Twice Toward Justice By Phillip Hoose 

    7011976Claudette Colvin:Twice Toward Justice
    By Phillip Hoose
    Narrated by Channie Waites
    Length: 3 hrs and 38 mins
    Release date: 12-10-09
    Publisher: Brilliance Audio

    There was a girl before Rosa Parks that refused to give up her seat to a white person in Montgomery, Alabama. She’s all but lost to history and this is her story of the struggle for basic human rights, in the era of Jim Crow Laws.

    Before I go any further I just want to say it is extremely sad that human beings can treat each other this way in the first place.  If you and I ran a race and I won, I would celebrate and maybe let you know I won a few times, but would soon move on because ONLY in that moment was I better in some aspect than you.  Who knows run it again and I just might lose.   I can never think of a time where I, as a whole, am better than anyone else.  I may know more about a certain topic than someone else, but that and winning the race does not make me better than anyone else.

    This country (USA) has a horrible history of treating people as less than human because of nothing other than the color of their skin.  What’s even more sad is that this still goes on today.  People, it has to stop.

    Well that’s my soapbox speech, the people that needed to hear it probably didn’t, so I guess I’ll just talk about this book.

    Claudette refused to give up her seat to a white woman.  If that white woman were pregnant, disabled, or just needed a seat badly I could see where this could be bad.  But this particular white woman was none of those only that she felt she was better than someone with darker skin color.  This still shouldn’t be a reason to throw a teenage girl into jail.

    What followed is that Claudette was not seen as a hero for standing up for her rights, instead she was shunned.  Claudette became pregnant while still a teen and was seen by the black community as not fit to represent.  So 9 months later Rosa Parks did the same and became that heroe.

    This book is Claudette’s story.  She may have made some mistakes, but we still have to remember that even though she didn’t become the hero, she still struggled.

    Channie Waites does a beautiful job as narrator, fully enveloping the listener in Claudette’s voice and psyche.


    Publisher’s Summary
    National Book Award, Young People’s Literature, 2009

    On March 2, 1955, a slim, bespectacled teenager refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Mont-gomery, Alabama. Shouting “It’s my constitutional right!” as police dragged her off to jail, Claudette Colvin decided she’d had enough of the Jim Crow segregation laws that had angered and puzzled her since she was a young child.

    But instead of being celebrated, as Rosa Parks would be when she took the same stand nine months later, Claudette found herself shunned by many of her classmates and dismissed as an unfit role model by the black leaders of Montgomery. Undaunted, she put her life in danger a year later when she dared to challenge segregation yet again – as one of four plaintiffs in the landmark busing case Browder v. Gayle.

    Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of a major, yet little-known, civil rights figure whose story provides a fresh perspective on the Montgomery bus protest of 1955 – 56. Historic figures like Martin Luther King, Jr., and Rosa Parks play important roles, but center stage belongs to the brave, bookish girl whose two acts of courage were to affect the course of American history.

    ©2009 Phillip M Hoose (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

  • gilwilson 6:07 PM on June 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hair metal, metal, mothley crue, party,   

    The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band  by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars 

    25378The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band
    by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Nikki Sixx, Mick Mars
    448 pages
    Published by New York;Regan Boks,2001.

    My initial response to this book was, “wow what a journey. total disregard for their health and the law.total rock and roll debauchery.”  That is not near enough for a review, so I guess I’ll go into detail.  However, that is a great summary.

    This book chronicles the rise and plateau of one of the partyingest bands in the 80s.  I’m pretty sure these guys read the Led Zeppelin biography, and said, “Is that all? Here, hold my beer.”

    From drugs to groupies they went through it all.  I’m pretty sure that excess to us would be the minimum required.  All rumors you’ve heard about the band are probably true, but only the tip of the iceberg.  This book takes you under the surface and into the slime below with no holds barred.

    Many of the chapters cover a different aspect of the band’s rise to fame and each member, as well as other people along the line tell their sides of the story.  All the stories seem to have one central theme: the party never stops.  The party even went on when one member dies, and comes back to life in the back of an ambulance.

    Nothing should surprise you in this book, but it will.


    Publisher’s Summary

    Mötley Crüe’s bestselling The Dirt—penned with rock chronicler extraordinaire Neil Strauss—set a new bar for rock ‘n’ roll memoirs. A genuine cultural phenomenon, this turbocharged blockbuster, with more than half a million copies in print, celebrates thirty wild years with rock’s most infamous band.


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