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  • gilwilson 3:00 PM on December 22, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , audiogo, bbc 4, , , , , , , j.r.r. tolkien, , the hobbit   

    “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (a radio performance from AudioGo) 


    “The Hobbit”
    by J.R.R. Tolkien
    Full Cast Performance
    Published by AudioGO Ltd
    Running Time: 4hrs

    Okay, first off the first thing that will come to many of my loyal readers’ attention is the length of this audiobook, 4 hours. 4 hours for “The Hobbit”? that’s insane. I know, I know, but this isn’t simply “The Hobbit” audiobook. This is a performance originally aired on BBC 4 radio. The audiobook runs 11 hours or so and this one I am reviewing has been abridged to fit on a radio series format and is now being released as an audio performance by AudioGo. The movie that is about to be released is just under 3 hours, so you know some abridging is being done there as well.

    This performance originally aired in 1968 and features some special effects that are very typical of BBC effects, the voices of the goblins and trolls are very similar to the voices of the Daleks from the Doctor Who TV series, and add a bit of charm to the production. The rest of the performance is very nice to hear. I will have to admit I would have preferred cutting out the music in and music out between each half hour, but that was the original intent in this weekly broadcast so to remain historically accurate it is kept in this audiobook.

    I have read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Ring” series numerous times in my life and love the adventures and found this audiobook/performance a great addition to my readings. In fact with the movie released I found this to be the perfect refresher before going to see the movie.

    So, if you keep in mind that this is an abridged radio series performance of “The Hobbit,” you’ll be set for an adventure with Bilbo Baggins and the Dwarves to battle the Dragon, Smaug, and simply enjoy the performance. The fun part of this performance is that for the radio production the producers/writers added in what could be taken for an extra character of “The Tale Bearer” or simply put, the narrator. The fun part is that as he is telling the story Bilbo is constantly interjecting with embellishments to the story.

    The story is still the same; Bilbo Baggins a Hobbit from the Shire is unwittingly recruited as a “burglar”, a title which Bilbo is not comfortable with at first. Bilbo is needed to assist the Dwarves on a journey to reclaim their ancestral lands and treasures under a mountain. Other than the long journey, the hazardous part is that the treasure is guarded by a dragon named Smaug and many other races from Middle Earth also wish to possess that treasure. The journey, the battles and the variety of mythical creatures all combine to make this a classic fantasy, and this performance is a great addition to the story.

    So if you are looking for a refresher in the fantasy created by J.R.R. Tolkien, a brief introduction to the story, or just a fun time, give this audiobook version of the radio performance of “The Hobbit” from AudioGo a listen.

  • gilwilson 6:25 PM on October 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , audiogo, , classic tales, , , ,   

    “H. P. Lovecraft’s Book Of The Supernatural” Edited by Stephen Jones 

    “H. P. Lovecraft’s Book Of The Supernatural”
    Edited by Stephen Jones
    Read by: Bronson Pinchot, Steven Crossley , and Davina Porter
    Published by AudioGo
    Running Time: 16hrs 44min

    I know I should have looked deeper into this book before requesting to listen, but I saw the name H.P. Lovecraft jumped on it. I was hoping for an audiobook full of Lovecraft’s stories but instead I got a collection of gothic Supernatural tales from the 19th Century. Granted the stories were a mixed bag of treats, some good, some average and some just plain boring. The readers of the stories were also a mixed bag of treats. Some good and some seemed as though they were, as the saying goes, “phoning it in.” Bronson Pinchot did well with some of the parts he took part in but there were times where it seemed as though he was forcing a feel of the old gothic tales but what happened was his delivery was downright boring, the same goes with the other readers. Some stories were perfectly read while others were dull each narrator had their moments of each.

    The basis of this book is H. P. Lovecraft’s 1927 essay on Supernatural Horror in Literature and talks about the evolution of the genre from the early Gothic novels to the work of contemporary American and British authors. Throughout, Lovecraft acknowledges those authors and stories that he feels are the very finest the horror field has to offer: Washington Irving, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Bram Stoker, Robert Louis Stevenson, Guy de Maupassant, Ambrose Bierce, and Arthur Conan Doyle, each story is prefaced by Lovecraft’s own opinions and insights in their work. It is a nice collection of supernatural gothic tales and for any fan of supernatural and horror a good study of the genre.

    The stories are too numerous to sum up but I will touch on some of my favorites and some which require some extra mention.

    “Markheim” by Robert Louis Stevenson
    When faced with a supernatural being (that could be “the Devil”) after murdering a shopkeeper, Markheim must evaluate his life for redemption. This was one of the most intriguing stories of the collection, in that it forced a man who has thrown away his life to review and determine his own worth.

    “Message Found in a Bottle” by Edgar Allan Poe
    This was a very nice Poe story in which a man is a sole survivor on a ship that is adrift in the Pacific. As the ship gets closer to Antarctica he spots another ship which boards and finds himself a ghost aboard that strange ship. Typical Poe story in that the literary illustration of the events and background will lose you in this one.

    “The Middle Toe of the Right Foot” by Ambrose Bierce
    I found this one to be humorous for some reason, probably due to the completely unrealistic aspect of the story. It is not a very well set up, in fact it’s very abrupt in the plot build-up but the essay segment before warns the listener of this. Basically a man kills his wife and children and for some reason he has to fight a duel with a man in the same house he murdered his family. The police come to the home the next day to find the man dead, but no wounds on his body and 3 sets of footprints in the dust. Fun ghost tale, but very awkward in structure.

    “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Oilman
    I have read this story before and loved it. The main idea behind the story is a first person story told by a woman who at first seems to be suffering from what today would be called postpartum depression, but slowly descends into madness after being shut in a room with ugly yellow wallpaper. The wallpaper begins as ugly but as the woman loses herself into the madness begins to love the color and sees women “creeping” around outside her window, soon she wants to stay in that room so she doesn’t have to creep along with them. Very creepy psychological horror story told by the woman who at first seems normal but soon changes.

    “The Recrudescence of Imray” by Rudyard Kipling
    I didn’t find much horror in this one, but the idea that a murdered man’s ghost comes back to help find his body and his killer seems to be the gist of the story. Not up to par with a Lovecraftian story but interesting in its historical aspect of the genre.

    “The Hands of Karma Ingwabanashi” by Lafcadio Hearn
    This one is almost humorous. An old woman is dying and she tells the young girl that comes to sit by her in her dying days that she is to replace her as the wife of the lord. The girl protests and as she helps the woman to stand. As she does so the woman grabs the girls breasts and dies. The hands become “infused” with the breasts and they stay with her for the remainder of her life making the young girl not able to marry. Weird tale there.

    Other stories include: “The Burial of the Rats” by Bram Stoker, “The Red Lodge” by H R Wakefield, “The Captain of the PoleStar” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “The Villa Desiree” by May Sinclair, “The Voice in the Night” by William Hope Hodgson, “The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James, “The Dead Smile” by F Marion Crawford, “The Wind in the RoseBush” Mary E Wilkins-Freeman, “Novel of the White Powder” by Arthur Machen, “The Tale of the German Student” by Washington Irving, “Who Knows?” by Guy de Maupassant, “The Invisible Eye” by Erckmann Chatrian, “What Was It?” by Fitz James OBrien, and “The Torture by Hope” by Villiers de Ilsle Adam

    Nice collection as a whole but with the variety of stories, they may not all be your favorites, but they do present a good historical variety of supernatural horror.

  • gilwilson 7:50 PM on September 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , audiogo, don roff, Dr. Twombly, , stephen r. roff, , ,   

    “Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection – Field Notes from Dr. Robert Twombly” by Don Roff 

    “Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection – Field Notes from Dr. Robert Twombly”
    by Don Roff
    read by Stephen R. Roff
    published by AudioGo
    1 hour 41 minutes

    Well, I finally got to get back to another zombie book, and this one is a gem. What makes this one a gem is that while it is still a dead become reanimated and eat the living typical zombie book, the telling of the story makes the difference with this one. It is told as though through a series of journal entries. In the print version of the book which was first printed back in 2009, there were sketches and various illustrations that gave the book a sort of study in the year of survival in the zombie apocalypse. This audio version, while no sketches were provided, continues that journal feel with the main character, Dr. Robert Twombly, recording his thoughts in a recorder. In the beginning of the book it is explained that the recordings were found and that the good doctor was a bird watcher and was accustomed to keeping such records.

    With this style the story is told through a series of dated entries beginning in January 2012, with the initial infection coming to notice to the doctor via patients coming into the hospital where he works. Granted this book was released in 2009, but the audiobook has just been released this year (2012) and with the year of this tale being 2012 it seems a bit dated. If I were the one producing this audiobook, I would have kept the dated entries but left off the year allowing the recording to be timeless. No, it doesn’t take away from this great story, it’s just a way I would have done it.

    Dr. Twombly’s entries cover everything from how he survives, escaping a zombie surrounded hospital, to finding fellow survivors and trying to avoid being eaten by the flesh-eating zombies. Some of the entries are descriptions of the various states of decomposition of the bodies and the different activities the zombies are found doing. Each new action by the undead spurs the doctor to wonder whether they think and how they stay animated.

    Along the various groups of survivors the doctor manages to outlive, he finds that the infection may have been started by a food processing plant and an additive that is found in nearly every food and beverage. As he finds other survivors and he interviews them and at those times there are other voice actors performing the characters. Mixed in to this audio production are various incidental sound effects that give this production the feel of actual audio journal entries that are recorded whenever possible, putting the listener in the middle of the story and surviving along with Dr. Twombly.

    At this point I have to point out that what makes a good zombie story is not necessarily the zombies eating people or the people hunting down zombies, but the actual survival and how the living keep going. This book provides a superb mix of the action, in story form, and the survival to keep you interested. This along with the “real” feel of the story being told as it happens makes this book a must have for any zombie story fan or anyone that loves a good survival / horror story.

  • gilwilson 8:10 PM on September 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , audiogo, , , , don warrington, , , ,   

    “Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction” by Stephen Cole 

    “Doctor Who: The Art of Destruction”
    by Stephen Cole
    Read by Don Warrington
    Published by AudioGo
    2 hours 30 minutes

    Ever since I discovered these Doctor Who audiobooks from AudioGo, I’m always looking for more stories from the Doctor Who storylines. What I like are the short (3 hours or less) productions. When the new season started I thought I would be happy with one episode a week from television, but once I started on these audio releases I knew they were there and found myself listening again, plus I can go back and listen to stories involving some of the older incarnations of The Doctor.

    This book features the 10th Doctor, portrayed on the television series by David Tennant, and his companion Rose Tyler. One thing I really like about these audio productions is that they are usually read by one of the cast members. I really enjoy it when one of the actors portraying The Doctor reads the stories or even better when they are full cast performances, but they can’t all be that way. That said, the books are almost always, at the least read by someone having to do with the series, so that the reader knows enough about the series to know how to deliver the dialogue. This audiobook is read by Don Warrington, who portrayed the president in the “Rise of the Cybermen” television episode, and has had several audio roles in other Doctor Who productions. Warrington’s delivery of the book was excellent, he provided the perfect subtle voice changes reflecting the characters voice and attitudes. In this story there were even some African accents from some of the characters that were performed perfectly providing that extra oomph, that kept the story flowing.

    In this story the TARDIS lands in 22nd century Africa in the shadow of a dormant volcano. Agri-teams are growing new foodstuffs in the baking soil to help feed the world’s starving millions, a form of fungus that is grown in the caverns of the volcano. The Doctor and Rose have detected an alien signal somewhere close by. The signal leads them to the tunnels and the delicate fungus which has a bit of a dark secret. Even darker is that all living creatures that enter too close to the center of the volcano’s long kept secret are turned into gold statues. In most sci-fi that would be enough of a mystery to work with, but being a Doctor Who story you know there’s more. When a nightmare force starts surging along the dark volcanic tunnels, the Doctor realizes an ancient trap has been sprung. But who was it meant for? Dragged into a centuries-old conflict, Rose and the Doctor are soon elevating survival to an art form as ancient, alien hands practice arts of destruction all around them. Once again it is up to the Doctor to solve the mystery and save the Earth.


  • gilwilson 10:55 PM on September 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , audiogo, , dennis etchison, dreadtime stories, fangoria, , m.j. elliott, malcom mcdowell, max allan collins, , scary, steve nubie   

    Fangoria: Dreadtime Stories Volume 1 (narrated by Malcom McDowell) 

    “Fangoria – Dreadtime Stories Volume 1”
    Narrated by Malcolm McDowell
    Multicast performances
    Produced by AudioGo
    4 Hours 12 Minutes

    I have always been a fan of Audio Drama, especially radio shows from back in the day and when I received this production from AudioGo, I kept wondering, how did I miss this. This series aired on satellite radio and streaming from the website, so I can see how it has passed me by. But now AudioGo presents these stories in audiobook form so finally I can enjoy them. Being a career terrestrial radio broadcaster, I have not jumped on the satellite radio bandwagon, and probably never will. I have only recently turned to podcasts (even publishing my own weekly podcast) but streaming audio I can’t see myself getting into. So once again AudioGo has brought some really great audio drama to me, and I may investigate at least the streaming audio, maybe.

    Either way I now have listened to volume 1 and thoroughly enjoyed it. This collection brings back the classic radio horror feel, much like the shows “Lights Out,” “Suspense,” or “Inner Sanctum.” Malcom McDowell’s narration between segments of each story is superb. He has that charm that invites you in but at the same time his voice has that air of eeriness and suspicion that let’s you know you are in for a ride with the story. The actors in all the stories were all excellent in their roles, making this entire collection a great horror escape.

    “Dreadtime Stories – Volume 1” consists of six unique horror stories. Each story has great twists and turns throughout the drama that as a listener you’ll never know how the story is going to end, and they probably won’t end the way you think, or hope, for that matter.

    The first story, “The Late Shift” written by Dennis Etchison was a great way to kick off this collection, especially for me. I work until midnight and the commute home from work is when I get some of my best audiobook listening. This story tells the tale of what if all those zombies working the late shift were really zombies. If you have ever been in a convenience store, gas station or fast food place in the overnight, you’ve probably run into at least one of these mindless beings that seem to not quite function at a higher brain power, and just barely get your order or transaction right. In “The Late Shift,” those brain-dead graveyard shift workers are really brain-dead and when one unlucky guy discovers the secret, he may be the next to pull an over night shift.

    “Reincarnal” by Max Allen Collins, at first sounded like it may be a sexy horror story, but turns out not to be. A young artist is hypnotized at a party, as part of the party’s entertainment, when she awakens she sees the rest of the party-goers looking at her with concern and a touch of horror. It seems that while under hypnosis she relived a past life in which she was a teenager who was the victim of a mass-murderer on prom night in the eighties. The coincidences begin when another series of murders are occurring that bear a strong resemblance to the same string of murders in which she was a part of in her “past-life.” Now though she is seeing the murders through the eyes of the female victims, and the only person that believes her is a blogger/journalist that helps her track down the killer.

    “A Fungus Among Us” by Steve Nubie, is a story that would fit perfectly with those mad scientist 1950s “B” movies. This one hit a bit of synchronicity with me, which tells me I’m listening to the right story at that moment in my life. The Synchronicity this time concerns the Ophiocordyceps fungus. This is known as the “Zombie Ant” fungus. This fungus infects an ant and causes him to stray from the normal behaviours of an ant and when fully mature the fungus explodes a node through the head of the ant and spreads the spores to infect more ants. In this story this is happening to humans. The humans are setting fires, robbing banks and then when caught their skulls explode and a node extends out of their heads. Is this man-made or is the fungal world seeking its revenge?

    “Wolf” by Max Allan Collins, is an almost typical were-wolf story. A resort lodge has had a murder occur on its grounds and the victim was mangled as if by an animal. The man under suspicion by the local authorities is a wealthy lodger who checked in on the night of the murder. The man’s name is Mr. Wolf, but remember this is a “Dreadtime Story” so it might not quite be what you expect.

    “Living Space” by M. J. Elliott is a story that brings to mind the “Saw” series of movies but a little (not by much) more tame. A young couple have found an apartment in New York that is priced too low to be true, and remember if it is too good to be true, it is. In this case once the trap has sprung there is only one way out can this young couple learn the way that no other tenant could figure out?

    The final story in this volume is yet another classic monster brought to modern life, well at least to the 1930s Chicago gangster time. “A Good Head on His Shoulders” is written by Max Allan Collins and brings back one of the top 3 classic movie monsters, this time around a rash of murders is taking place that has the police baffled. Prominent doctors are being slain by a maniac dubbed “The Mangler.” When a local mob boss learns the real namesake of his loyal Doctor Stein he finds out too late that he should have destroyed the brain of his dead rival.

    Each of these stories were a perfect companion for those midnight drives home causing me to move a little faster when arriving home and going inside. So do yourself a favor and check out this chilling collection of stories from Fangoria.

  • gilwilson 11:06 PM on August 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , audiogo, , , , , oli smith, ,   

    “Doctor Who: The Runaway Train” by Oli Smith 

    “Doctor Who: The Runaway Train”
    by Oli Smith
    read by Matt Smith
    Published by BBC Audiobooks (2010) (now AudioGo)
    1 hour and 4 minutes.

    Needing my quick fix for some stories from the Doctor Who realm, I sought out and found some short audio only stories.  To make things even better I found some that were read by the actors that portrayed the tenth and eleventh doctors, David Tennant and Matt Smith respectively.  I went with the Matt Smith narration this time so I could get myself more hyped up for the next season which begins this fall.

    Being read by Matt Smith made the book sound as if it were an actual episode.  I do have to say that it was mildly funny hearing Matt Smith voicing some of the cowboys involved in the story.  I wouldn’t say he captured the authentic sound, but he made the voices work in the story.  Once the opening scene occurs and the Doctor Who theme music plays I was in the story until the closing theme.

    The story opens on a railroad platform and a group of cowboys are gathered.  When a wind blows up and the TARDIS appears, the grizzled men welcome the Doctor and say they are ready to help.  Being a time travel based series the Doctor never really knows if he is coming or going and in this case he finds himself surprised that these men he’s never met are waiting for him, and even more surprising is that they were promised some lush farmland as payment.

    The task at hand is that a race of beings that were once at war with another race is trying to find a new home.  To find this home they have to terraform the planet to make it habitable to their species.  They send a device to Earth in the year 1864 to terraform the planet for their new home.  It is now up to the Doctor to keep this from happening.

    With the help of the grizzled cowboys and Amy Pond, the Doctor puts the terraforming device on a train to get it away from civilization in case he can’t prevent it from activating.  While they are on the train the aliens appear to keep the Doctor from stopping their destruction of Earth.  In a thrilling joyride through the Old West, this story by Oli Smith will keep you on the edge of your seat and entertained through the Doctors antics.

  • gilwilson 9:09 PM on July 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , audio exclusive, , , audiogo, , , , , pirate radio, , , ,   

    “Doctor Who: Dead Air” by James Goss 

    “Doctor Who: Dead Air”
    by James Goss
    read by David Tennant
    Publisher: AudioGO (2010)
    1 hour and 12 minutes

    I was hitting a dry spell for a while in my audiobook listening, I just couldn’t find a book I liked, so I went back to something I knew would satisfy.  This also served the purpose of missing my favorite Doctor, the Tenth Doctor, portrayed by David Tennant.  Just recently on my local PBS station a Christmas special episode of Doctor Who aired featuring David Tennant, and reminded me of how awesome he was.  So I searched and found this audio exclusive story.

    It must have been meant to be, being a radio DJ, the tile “Dead Air” attracted me.  Dead Air is the worst thing to happen to a DJ and as it turns out is even worse when you have an alien weapon known as “The Hush” invading a 1960s pirate radio station.  So with My Doctor Who craving about to be filled and a story relating to my profession I was ready to hop in the TARDIS and join the 10th Doctor.

    This story is read by David Tennant the Tenth Doctor, himself, so all the quirks are performed perfectly.  I was pleasantly surprised to hear his vocalizations of the other character were well done.  Tennant provided each character their own voice to the point that it almost sounded like a multi-cast performance. David Tennant’s acting skills, I already knew about, but to find out he can perform some vocal gymnastics to make the story more fun, makes him that much more my favorite doctor.

    This production also features some incidental sound effects and some really neat auditory scene change triggers, and as always it is great to hear the opening and closing theme song to let you know you are going on an adventure.

    Before the story begins it sounds as if the listener is hearing a lost tape from a Pirate Radio station.   “Hello, I’m the Doctor. And, if you can hear this, then one of us is going to die.”  This opening line from the Doctor reminds me of my all time favorite episode of Doctor Who, “Blink,” and I was thinking, “Cool, there are going to be Weeping Angels,” but no angels.  No loss though, this story is perfect as is.

    This story begins as the Doctor has landed the TARDIS on a pirate radio station in the 1960s.  The station is on a boat off the shore of the UK. The station, Radio Bravo, is having some transmitter problems and is down for the moment.  The Doctor has travelled to Earth in search of the Hush, a terrible weapon that kills, silences and devours anything that makes noise.  The Hush has already killed some of the DJs but with the help of Layla, the Doctor tracks down the Hush but loses it when the ship’s generator shuts down and the power goes out.  Now going by sound only becomes difficult with a weapon that can intelligently imitate any person by voice.

    An excellent Doctor Who adventure that stays true to continuity and the essence of the Doctor himself.

  • gilwilson 11:05 PM on July 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , audiogo, , dirty cops, eoin colfer, , irish, john keating, mistaken identity, , mob boss, , , steroids   

    “Plugged” by Eoin Colfer 

    by Eoin Colfer
    Read by John Keating
    Published by AudioGo
    8 hours 27 min.

    You never really know what will attract you to a book. The saying goes, “Never judge a book by it’s cover,” and for the most part that is true. But, no, it wasn’t the cover that attracted me to this book, in fact, I had not seen the cover until I received the book in the mail. Sometime ago I heard mention of this author, Eoin Colfer. I had heard that his “Artemis Fowl” series was a great sci-fi/fantasy series for young adults, and I was going to start reading this series. I love Young Adult fiction, and as I was looking for information on the series I saw a blogger had posted a contest for this book, “Plugged.” The tag-line on the book says, “If you loved Artemis Fowl…It’s time to grow up.” Now that intrigued me, so I entered the contest (I never win, but entered anyway).

    Also looking for more information on this author, I found he was commissioned to write the sixth novel in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” “And Another Thing…” Well that pretty much sealed the deal. Douglas Adams and his “Hitchhiker’s Guide..” series is my all time favorite fiction. Now I had to read this Eoin Colfer’s stuff, I was going to get “And Another Thing…” but to my surprise and amazement I won the blogger’s contest and got a free copy of “Plugged.” Well it took a while for said blogger to finally mail out my prize, but eventually she came through, yeah I could have gone to the library or bookstore and had it read by the time she mailed it, but hey, I won it…I would wait. Once I received the book I put it up on the shelf of audiobooks where I put all the new books publishers send me and I forgot about it.

    I was cleaning shelves and moving things around recently and found this book and was shocked that it was still unopened. So I put it on my list to be listened to next, and once I started listening I was kicking myself for not putting this super fun book on my list sooner. The book is a fun romp in the crime world of a small town in New Jersey that all happens because of events that seem to be tied together are not but create a domino effect of problems for Dan McEvoy.

    Dan McEvoy is a form Irish soldier who served in “The Lebanon,” and is now a bouncer at a small time casino in Cloisters, New Jersey. The trouble all starts when an attorney licks the backside of one of the hostesses of the casino and Dan shakes the man down and bars him from the casino. Dan then heads to his friend and the doctor that has done the hair plug transplant for him, Zeb’s place of business. When Dan enters the door of the office in a strip mall, he notices that it is extremely quiet but dust is settling (soldier training coming through for Dan). As he steps in he sees Zeb is missing but a well-known knife man who is a hired thug for the local mob boss is sitting in a chair in the room. When the thug makes a move for Dan, the thug finds himself dead and Dan finds himself sliding down a path that leads to the death of a bad cop, a “romantic” night with a good cop, the murder of a casino hostess, being misidentified as the husband of a schizophrenic Cyndi Lauper fan, taking part in a poker game where the stakes are his life or the ownership of the casino, numerous deaths and itching hair plugs, all while being haunted by the ghost of Zeb which is probably just in his head.

    Dan McEvoy battles Rottweilers and mob bosses and yet each time it is not for the reason or result he’s expecting. Talk about mistaken identities, Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” didn’t have this many twists and turns. To top it all off Colfer throws in the humor in nearly every scene, making this fun and puzzling.

    The book is read by Irish actor John Keating. Keating does a superb job of reading and performing this book. His voice alone is enough to keep you listening but the emotion he puts in really makes this audiobook a definite must listen.

  • gilwilson 9:31 PM on May 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , audio book audiobook, , audiogo, , , blackout, , , , , , raquel cassidy, , , the art of death,   

    “Doctor Who: The Art of Death” by James Goss 

    “Doctor Who: Blackout & The Art of Death”
    “Blackout” by Oli Smith
    read by Stuart Milligan
    “The Art of Death” by James Goss
    Read by Raquel Cassidy
    Published by AudioGo (2012)
    2 hours 32 minutes

    First off, Thank You, AudioGo, for publishing these Doctor Who stories here in the states! I am going through Doctor Who withdrawals (the next season can’t get here fast enough), but thanks to AudioGo the audio releases of Doctor Who stories are definitely finding a home on my listening list. These are originally released in the U.K. on BBC audio but brought to the U.S. via AudioGo.

    This time around AudioGo has packaged 2 one hour productions into one box. I had previously reviewed the first story in the set, “Blackout,” I was impatient, like I said I’m going through withdrawals. When I received this 2 disc collection, my son, whom I’ve been trying to get into audiobooks, wanted me to listen to those with him, so I gave him the “Blackout” disc while I completed listening to this set with “The Art of Death” and now that I have completed that one I can give him the other disc.

    This review will be about the second story in this set, if you want to read my review of the first story just check out the review at this link

    As with the “Blackout,” “The Art of Death” is a great story to fit within the Doctor Who universe. The author, James Goss, captures the spirit of the Doctor and his companions perfectly. One of the things I love about the Doctor Who series is the time travel aspect and this story is the perfect time travel story, with the whole paradox theory investigated. The reader, Raquel Cassidy does a great job as reader and even brings out the quirks of the 11th Doctor (portrayed on TV by Matt Smith), she is also able to portray Amy Pond and Rory spot on. The best thing is, is that this story is told from the point of view of Penelope, a care taker at an art gallery, more particularly in the Paradox room of the gallery. Her main job is to keep people from staring at the Paradox, because it can drive people mad.

    When the story opens Penelope is telling her story and the story of the Paradox exhibit in the ceiling of the gallery. As one child described it, it is a glowing rainbow octopus. The Paradox begins to talk to Penelope and when the Doctor arrives, he greets Penelope as if they were old friends. When she asks who he is he explains, we haven’t met yet but we will. He explains that he, Amy and Rory were stopping in to see the gallery when they each fell into a time loop and that they will be together again eventually. At this time the Paradox begins to talk to Penelope and they discover it contains a giant creature with a penchant for death.

    The Doctor is grabbed by the creature and the Doctor says in a perfect Doctor line, ” Don’t be alarmed, It’s simply sucking the life out of me. Nothing to worry about…” as he fades away. As time passes the paradox becomes stronger and Penelope is visited through various stages in her life by Amy, Rory and the Doctor, although they only appear separately, since they are each drifting through time. Soon the secret of the Paradox is discovered and it is up to the Doctor and Penelope to save the planet and maybe the universe.

    With an ongoing mystery that is only fully discovered near the end of this story this is one that will keep you listening on the edge of your seat until the very end. In addition to the great voice work from Raquel Cassidy the producers have mixed in some great sound effects that push the story closer to that edge of mystery. Great listening in this one.

  • gilwilson 6:57 PM on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , audiogo, , barry letts, , , , jon pertwee, , , terrance dicks, tom baker   

    “Who and Me” Written and Read by Barry Letts 

    “Who and Me”
    Written and Read by Barry Letts
    Published by AudioGo
    3 hours an 15 minutes.

    As you have learned by now, if you keep up with all my postings, I’m a Doctor Who fan.  Actually, I’m a huge Doctor Who fan.  I was wary of the new Doctor Who series (launched in 2005) but after giving it a chance was a fan again and this time with more gusto.  I do have my favorite Doctors; Tom Baker and David Tennant with Matt Smith Growing on me.  Nothing at all against the other Doctors, I just have my favorites, as does just about every Doctor Who fan I know.

    I got the chance to listen to this audiobook that promises some behind the scenes looks at the series and I pretty much jumped on it.   Barry Letts, the author of this memoir was the producer of Doctor How from 1970 to 1974 and executive producer in 1980.  He was present for  the change between Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker Doctors and also worked for the BBC as anctor, and directer before landing the Doctor Who Gig.  This book is the first volume of memoirs from Letts and with him doing the reading as well, it’s as though you have the chance to sit down with your grandfather and hear about the days of old.  That is if your grandfather was a producer for the BBC and had to deal with actors and budget limits in order to kee a television series running.  His voice is very pleasant to hear and when telling the tales you can tell whether it was rough times or smooth sailing, he looked back on these years fondly.

    One of the things that cemented my wanting to hear this audiobook was while is was recently re-watching the Doctor Who Special from 2009, “The Waters of Mars,” the show was dedicated to Letts, having aired just after his death in 2009.  So I knew that I had to listen.  Synchronicity was pointing the direction I needed to steer toward.

    It’s funny, I was never a huge fan of the Jon Pertwee portrayal of the Doctor, my opinion was Pertwee was a bit stuffy, but with the stories told here I can see he was a bit fun and that he often edited his own story with Jon coming out on top.  Letts tells the stories that don’t seem to match up with some of Pertwee’s tellings but Letts says, why let the truth get in the way of a good story, right?

    “Who and Me” recounts the journey he took from struggling actor to successful producer, and the ups and downs of working on ‘Doctor Who’ during the Jon Pertwee years. Along the way he describes the personalities he worked with during that time, from his script editor Terrance Dicks and the stars of the series to the senior management, of the BBC with whom he had encounters some good and some bad.

    Letts tells the stories of budgets, learning the ways of live television and then relearning how to film for pre-recorded episodes of Doctor Who.  It was all a learning process and after hearing these memoirs from Barry Letts it sounded like a fun process.

    • Aidan 11:48 PM on May 2, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for the review – I have been thinking about getting this for a while but haven’t got around to it. This has pushed me towards finally going out and getting it.


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