December 6, 2012
July 14, 2011   21 notes
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.
First off, I was excited when I found out that Tantor was producing an audiobook version of An American Tragedy, my favorite novel.  The first audiobook I ever bought, for a now unthinkable $90 in 2006, was the audio cassette version of An American Tragedy produced by Audiobook Contractors and read by Flo Gibson.  I was really disappointed by the quality of the tapes and Flo’s voice was hard for me to get used to, but about half way through the tapes I ended up liking her voice. 
Anyway, I was excited that something new and fresh was coming out, and especially by Tantor Media.  They did a good job with Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, and I thought they would do a good job with An American Tragedy, but I was wrong.
Tantor’s version is awful.  The sound quality is okay, but Dan Miller’s pacing is too fast (as in comically bad too fast) and devoid of any inflection or variation in pitch.  It sounds like a computer is reading the book.  I am really disappointed by the poor quality of this audiobook.  It’s available for $31.49 on Amazon.com, but don’t even think of buying it.  I like Tantor and think they usually make good productions but, I can’t write it enough, this is a terrible production. One out of five stars.   
Technical from amazon.com:
Audio CD 
Publisher:Tantor Media; Unabridged,MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (July 11, 2011) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1452651892 
ISBN-13: 978-1452651897 

An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.

First off, I was excited when I found out that Tantor was producing an audiobook version of An American Tragedy, my favorite novel.  The first audiobook I ever bought, for a now unthinkable $90 in 2006, was the audio cassette version of An American Tragedy produced by Audiobook Contractors and read by Flo Gibson.  I was really disappointed by the quality of the tapes and Flo’s voice was hard for me to get used to, but about half way through the tapes I ended up liking her voice. 

Anyway, I was excited that something new and fresh was coming out, and especially by Tantor Media.  They did a good job with Dreiser’s Sister Carrie, and I thought they would do a good job with An American Tragedy, but I was wrong.

Tantor’s version is awful.  The sound quality is okay, but Dan Miller’s pacing is too fast (as in comically bad too fast) and devoid of any inflection or variation in pitch.  It sounds like a computer is reading the book.  I am really disappointed by the poor quality of this audiobook.  It’s available for $31.49 on Amazon.com, but don’t even think of buying it.  I like Tantor and think they usually make good productions but, I can’t write it enough, this is a terrible production. One out of five stars.   


Technical from amazon.com:

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher:Tantor Media; Unabridged,MP3 - Unabridged CD edition (July 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1452651892 
  • ISBN-13: 978-1452651897 
  • July 7, 2011   13 notes
    Go Long! By Jerry Rice read by Mirron Willis.  Unabridged audiobook on CD. Five cds in 5 in a half hours…Produced by Blackstone Audio.
This is a good book, better than I expected, and the audiobook version is decent as well.  Mirron Willis does a good job with narration, pacing etc…he’s good, but whoever’s voice that is in the introduction is far superior to Mirron Willis, I don’t have the name of that narrator but his voice was better suited for the job.  Still, another good Blackstone Audio Audiobook that is well worth checking out.  Four out of five stars.  
Technical:
Audio CD 
Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc.; Unabridged edition (January 1, 2007) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0786162813 
ISBN-13: 978-0786162819 

    Go Long! By Jerry Rice read by Mirron Willis.  Unabridged audiobook on CD. Five cds in 5 in a half hours…Produced by Blackstone Audio.

    This is a good book, better than I expected, and the audiobook version is decent as well.  Mirron Willis does a good job with narration, pacing etc…he’s good, but whoever’s voice that is in the introduction is far superior to Mirron Willis, I don’t have the name of that narrator but his voice was better suited for the job.  Still, another good Blackstone Audio Audiobook that is well worth checking out.  Four out of five stars. 

    Technical:

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio Inc.; Unabridged edition (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786162813 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786162819 
  • July 4, 2011   4 notes
    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Narrated by Barrett Whitener. Blackstone Audio. Audio cassette. Unabridged edition, December 2002. ISBN 0786122234. Eleven cassettes at approximately 90 minutes each—also available on CD in same version. This is without a doubt one of the greatest audio books I’ve ever listened to. Highly recommended. The voicing, pacing, and sound quality are phenomenal.  In my mind, John Kennedy Toole is the voice of Ignacious Riley. I highly recommend checking this out a library. Five out of five stars.

    A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. Narrated by Barrett Whitener. Blackstone Audio. Audio cassette. Unabridged edition, December 2002. ISBN 0786122234. Eleven cassettes at approximately 90 minutes each—also available on CD in same version. This is without a doubt one of the greatest audio books I’ve ever listened to. Highly recommended. The voicing, pacing, and sound quality are phenomenal.  In my mind, John Kennedy Toole is the voice of Ignacious Riley. I highly recommend checking this out a library. Five out of five stars.

    July 4, 2011   1 note
    "I never read books I must review; it prejudices you so."  — Oscar Wilde

    "I never read books I must review; it prejudices you so."  — Oscar Wilde

    July 3, 2011
    This is a surprisingly good vintage audiobook on tape.  I had never heard of Tom Skerritt before but he is one passionate reader.  Excellent overall production and great narration with good voicing and pacing.  Five out of five stars.  Note:  this is one of Modern Library’s 100 best novels of the 20th century. 
Extras:
None
Technical:
Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow read by Tom Skerritt. Abridged on two cassettes.  Produced by Listen for Pleasure. 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0886461596 
ISBN-13: 978-0886461591 

    This is a surprisingly good vintage audiobook on tape.  I had never heard of Tom Skerritt before but he is one passionate reader.  Excellent overall production and great narration with good voicing and pacing.  Five out of five stars.  Note:  this is one of Modern Library’s 100 best novels of the 20th century. 

    Extras:

    None

    Technical:

    Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow read by Tom Skerritt. Abridged on two cassettes.  Produced by Listen for Pleasure. 

  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0886461596 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0886461591 
  • June 30, 2011
    
Horton Hears a Who; Horton Hatches the Egg; Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr Seuss.  Horton hears a who! is read by Dustin Hoffman, Horton hatches the egg is read by Billy Crystal, and Thidwick, the big-hearted moose is read by Mercedes McCambridge.

This is a good audio rendition of three Dr. Seuss books.  I would highly recommend this.  Good narration and pacing.  Dustin Hoffman does the best job of the three while Billy Crystal and Mercedes McCambridge are a little weaker in comparison—their narrations aren’t as strong and energetic as Hoffman’s.  Four out of five stars.
Extras:  None
Technical:

Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (January 22, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0739362658 ISBN-13: 978-0739362655

    Horton Hears a Who; Horton Hatches the Egg; Thidwick, the Big-Hearted Moose by Dr Seuss.  Horton hears a who! is read by Dustin Hoffman, Horton hatches the egg is read by Billy Crystal, and Thidwick, the big-hearted moose is read by Mercedes McCambridge.

    This is a good audio rendition of three Dr. Seuss books.  I would highly recommend this.  Good narration and pacing.  Dustin Hoffman does the best job of the three while Billy Crystal and Mercedes McCambridge are a little weaker in comparison—their narrations aren’t as strong and energetic as Hoffman’s.  Four out of five stars.

    Extras:  None

    Technical:

    Publisher: Listening Library (Audio); Unabridged edition (January 22, 2008)

    Language: English

    ISBN-10: 0739362658 ISBN-13: 978-0739362655

    June 30, 2011
    Small Sacrifices is written and read by Ann Rule. The story about Diane Downs was very interesting and I had never read/listened to an Ann Rule book before, but this audiobook is poor quality.  Ann Rule’s voice is hard to get used to and is gravely, plus the sound is bad.  Poor audio production but a very interesting true crime account.  TWO OUT OF FIVE STARS.   
Extras:  None
Technical:  Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule Read by Ann Rule.  Abridged on two cassettes. 
Publisher:Audioworks (April 1, 1992) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0671744631 
ISBN-13: 978-0671744632

    Small Sacrifices is written and read by Ann Rule. The story about Diane Downs was very interesting and I had never read/listened to an Ann Rule book before, but this audiobook is poor quality.  Ann Rule’s voice is hard to get used to and is gravely, plus the sound is bad.  Poor audio production but a very interesting true crime account.  TWO OUT OF FIVE STARS.   

    Extras:  None

    Technical:  Small Sacrifices by Ann Rule Read by Ann Rule.  Abridged on two cassettes. 

  • Publisher:Audioworks (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671744631 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671744632
  • June 30, 2011   7 notes
    I love Stanley Tucci’s voice, and whenever I think of Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout I think of Stanley Tucci’s voice (he read Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions).  Tucci does an excellent reading with good voicing, pacing, and characterization.  My only criticism of the book was how long the music played in the introduction and into the opening lines of text.  Playing music in the background while the narrator is reading is a big no-no: it is maddeningly distracting to the listener. Still, this is a good audiobook well worth checking out four out of five stars.   
Technical:  The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain.  Read by Stanley Tucci.  Caedmon audio; Unabridged edition on three cds.   
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 0060756675 
ISBN-13: 978-0060756673 

    I love Stanley Tucci’s voice, and whenever I think of Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout I think of Stanley Tucci’s voice (he read Vonnegut’s Breakfast of Champions).  Tucci does an excellent reading with good voicing, pacing, and characterization.  My only criticism of the book was how long the music played in the introduction and into the opening lines of text.  Playing music in the background while the narrator is reading is a big no-no: it is maddeningly distracting to the listener. Still, this is a good audiobook well worth checking out four out of five stars.   

    Technical:  The Postman Always Rings Twice by James Cain.  Read by Stanley Tucci.  Caedmon audio; Unabridged edition on three cds.   

  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060756675 
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060756673 
  • June 30, 2011   17 notes
    This was a surprisingly excellent audiobook by Hachette Audio.  I’d never listened to or heard of a Hachette audiobook before this book.  Tina Fey does an outstanding job with pacing, vocalization, and pitch.  I highly recommend you check this audiobook out.  Five out of five stars.     She even sounds like Tina Fey! 

Extras:  Audiobook also comes with PDF extras featuring photos from the book.  

Technical:  Bossypants written and read by Tina Fey.  Hachette Audio.  $29.98 suggested retail.  Unabridged on 5 audio cds.

ISBN-10: 1609419693 

 

ISBN-13: 978-1609419691 

    This was a surprisingly excellent audiobook by Hachette Audio.  I’d never listened to or heard of a Hachette audiobook before this book.  Tina Fey does an outstanding job with pacing, vocalization, and pitch.  I highly recommend you check this audiobook out.  Five out of five stars.     She even sounds like Tina Fey! 

    Extras:  Audiobook also comes with PDF extras featuring photos from the book. 

    Technical:  Bossypants written and read by Tina Fey.  Hachette Audio.  $29.98 suggested retail.  Unabridged on 5 audio cds.

  • ISBN-10: 1609419693 
  •  

  • ISBN-13: 978-1609419691