Tag Archives: audio reviews

Audio Reviews Spotlight: America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

Adam Boretz -- February 28th, 2013

9781607889700Turning to the nonfiction side, Audio Reviews Spotlight takes a peek at Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t

The audio edition is narrated by Colbert, Tim Meadows, and Jordin Ruderban, and is available from Hachette Audio.

America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t
Stephen Colbert, read by the author, with Tim Meadows and Jordin Ruderban. Hachette Audio, unabridged, three CDs, 3 hrs., $24.98 ISBN 978-1-60788-970-0

The packaging of this audio edition of Comedy Central satirist Stephen Colbert’s latest title features an icon promoting the recording’s “3-D High-Def Surroundiness.” While this claim clearly follows Colbert’s pattern of tongue-in-cheek buzzwords and taglines, the production quality does contribute to a satisfying listening experience, as voices and sounds—including a stoner commentator’s bubbling bong water—are distinctly rendered in the fashion of live theater. Colbert’s narrative—steeped in his characteristic irony—weaves expository chapters on various hot-button issues with monologues from individual citizens. With the possible exception of the aforementioned stoner, the most memorable of these characters is a silver-tongued energy industry spokeswoman who embodies the very essence of spin in the current media culture. Colbert’s brand of entertainment occupies a unique niche in the marketplace, and regardless of whether the punch lines click for individual listeners, the comedian’s latest offering remains unmistakably faithful to that brand. A Grand Central hardcover. (Oct.)

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Audio Reviews Spotlight: Barry Lyndon

Adam Boretz -- February 27th, 2013

9781843797081Today in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a look at our Starred Review of the audio edition of William Makepeace Thackeray’s classic Barry Lyndon.

The audiobook is available from Naxos AudioBooks and narrated by Jonathan Keeble.

Barry Lyndon

William Makepeace Thackeray, read by Jonathan Keeble. Naxos AudioBooks, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $67.98 ISBN 978-184-379-708-1

Thackeray’s classic tale of Barry Lyndon, who escapes his life on the Emerald Isle to pursue a more luxurious existence in England, is reimagined in this audio edition, narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Reading in a rich, accented voice and making use of understated narration, Keeble immediately transports listeners back to the 18th century. His tone is firm and commanding, and he digs deep into Thackeray’s prose to precisely capture the very essence of Lyndon. Keeble’s narration is well paced, his timing impeccable. And while this audiobook weighs in at about 13 hours — a lengthy commitment for the casual listener — Keeble manages to keep his audience engaged for the duration. (Jan.)

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Audio Review Spotlight: Bruce

Adam Boretz -- January 30th, 2013

Today in Audio Review Spotlight, we take a look at the nonfiction side and Peter Ames Carlin’s Springsteen biography, Bruce.

The audio edition is read by Bobby Cannavale and available from Simon & Schuster Audio.

Bruce

Peter Ames Carlin, read by Bobby Cannavale. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, digital download 18 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-4423-5749-5
Carlin’s stunning biography charts the course of Bruce Springsteen’s remarkable life, covering everything from his relationships with family and friends to his working-class beginnings in New Jersey and rise to musical stardom, providing an insider’s look at one of the legends of rock ’n’ roll. Narrator Bobby Cannavale delivers a stellar reading, his gritty bass tone drawing in listeners and his driving delivery keeping them enthralled until the very end. This is an absolutely fantastic listening experience about a true American great. An absolute must for fans and music lovers. A Thorndike hardcover. (Oct.)

For all the latest audio reviews from PW, CLICK HERE.
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Audio Review Spotlight: The Diviners

Adam Boretz -- January 28th, 2013

PW’s latest batch of audio reviews is online and in print, and today we’re taking a look at the Starred Review of Libba Bray’s The Diviners.

The audio edition is narrated by January LaVoy and available from Listening Library.

The Diviners

Libba Bray, read by January LaVoy. Listening Library, unabridged, 15 CDs, 18 hrs., $60 ISBN 978-0-449-80873-3
After committing a small indiscretion, Evie O’Neill couldn’t be happier when her parents exile her from small-town Ohio to live with her uncle in 1920s New York City. A life of fashion, speakeasies, dancing, and music is exactly what 17-year-old Evie wants. But when her Uncle Will, who manages a museum of occult history and artifacts, is drawn into a police investigation of a bizarre and gruesome series of murders, Evie finds herself involved as well—and this means she may be forced to reveal her supernatural powers. Narrator January LaVoy provides lively, magnetic narration and gives unique voices to the book’s cast of fascinating characters. Listeners both young and old will enjoy this supernatural story and find this audio edition enthralling, irresistible entertainment. Ages 15–up. A Little Brown hardcover. (Sept.)

For all the latest audio reviews from PW, CLICK HERE.
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Audio Bestsellers: Through 12/23/12

Adam Boretz -- January 2nd, 2013

As 2012 ends, Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot (Macmillan Audio) remains at the top PW’s Audio Bestseller List.

In at #2 and #3 respectively are James Patterson’s Merry Christmas, Alex Cross and Stephen Colbert’s America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t — both available from Hachette Audio

At #4 we find the unabridged version of John Grisham’s The Racketeer (Random House Audio). And in the #5 spot is Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln from Simon & Schuster Audio.

For the complete list of audio bestsellers from PW, CLICK HERE.

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Audio Reviews Spotlight: This Is How You Lose Her

Adam Boretz -- November 29th, 2012

Today, in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a look at our Starred Review of Junot Díaz’s This Is How You Lose Her.

The audio edition is narrated by Díaz himself for Penguin Audio.

This Is How You Lose Her
Junot Díaz, read by the author. Penguin Audio, unabridged, five CDs, 5.25 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-61176-110-8

Pulitzer Prize–winner Díaz delivers a collection of linked short stories that focus on love and the challenges it brings Dominican men grappling with their heritage, socioeconomic status, the legacy of machismo, and modern women. As a reader, Díaz delivers a winning performance; his narration is clear, nuanced, and true to the text, his voice as engaging and confident as that of any professional narrator. Díaz’s reading ably captures the emotional states of his characters, his voice conveying all the humor, sorrow, and anger of the prose. Additionally, he lends his characters a host of subtle accents and dialects—each one distinct and appropriate to their background. This is a must listen for fans of the short story. A Riverhead hardcover. (Sept.)

For all the latest audio reviews from PW, CLICK HERE.

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Audio Reviews Spotlight: Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live—A Journey That Will Change Your Life

Adam Boretz -- November 7th, 2012

Today in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a look at the nonfiction side and the audio edition of Ken Davis’s Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live—A Journey That Will Change Your Life.

The audiobook is narrated by the author and available from Oasis Audio. Our Starred Review is below — and don’t forget to check out all the latest audio reviews from PW RIGHT HERE:

Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live—A Journey That Will Change Your Life
Ken Davis, read by the author. Oasis Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 7 hrs., $27.99 ISBN 978-1-61375-114-5

How does one continue to function and live fully amid a life often filled with hardship and struggles? Motivational speaker Davis uses anecdotes from his own personal battles—everything from his depression and doubt to his ballooning weight—to show listeners how they can overcome obstacles and hardship. Davis’s view is filtered through Christian spirituality, and he uses his religion as the foundation for his calls to action. Despite the seeming complexity of this journey, Davis’s goal is simple: motivating listeners to take risks, get in shape, and enjoy their lives. Davis is a fun and enthusiastic narrator. Even when reading passages depicting moments of danger—e.g., when his granddaughter goes missing in the woods—his voice is lively and spirited. And listeners will find this vocal quality reassuring, making Davis the perfect narrator for his book. Christian audiences hoping for fast-paced and inspirational listening will particularly enjoy this audio edition. A Thomas Nelson hardcover. (July)

 

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Audio Reviews Spotlight: Dan Gets a Minivan

Adam Boretz -- September 26th, 2012

Today in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a peek at the nonfiction side and the audio edition of Dan Zevin’s Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad.

The audiobook — which chronicles Zevin’s transformation from hipster to husband and father — is narrated by the author and available from from AudioGO.

Check out PW’s Starred Review below, and CLICK HERE for all of this month’s audio reviews.

Dan Gets a Minivan: Life at the Intersection of Dude and Dad
Dan Zevin, read by the author. AudioGO, library edition, unabridged, five CDs, 5 hrs., $54.95 ISBN 978-1-62064-060-9

Dan Zevin, whose humorous essays trace his evolution from urban hipster to suburban dad and husband and chronicle the mini-dramas of daily domestic life, delivers engaging narration in this audio edition. Among the highlights of Zevin’s performance is his irreverent and empathic rendition of his own colorful parents—long divorced from each other, but both still actively involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren. The narrator also effectively captures the disdainful tones of urbanites, as friends pronounce the word “suburb” with a hard-edged emphasis on the first syllable—as in “subpar” or “subtract.” Especially entertaining is Zevin’s performance of a scene in which his longtime Brooklyn neighbor rails against the domestic conformity of “adult swim” sessions at a suburban pool. The personal touches Zevin brings to his narration help keep the listening fresh even when the audiobook’s themes are rather familiar. A Scribner hardcover. (July)

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Starred Review Roundup: August 2012

Adam Boretz -- September 10th, 2012

It’s time once again for our Monthly Starred Review Roundup — a new feature we’ve been doing here at Listen Up to highlight those audiobooks that recently received Starred Reviews from PW.

For the month of August, we present you with the following:

Nonfiction

Thomas McNamee, read by Dick Hill. Tantor Media, unabridged, 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-4526-0812-9
Adam Carolla with Mike Lynch, read by Adam Carolla. Random House Audio, abridged, seven CDs, 8 hrs., $35 ISBN 978-0-307-93977-7
Joan Rivers, read by the author. Penguin Audio, unabridged, four CDs, 5 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-61176-065-1

YA Fiction

Gary Paulsen, read by Nick Podehl. Brilliance Audio, unabridged, two CDs, 1.5 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4558-0823-6

Fiction

Anne Holt, read by Kate Reading. Blackstone Audio, unabridged, nine CDs, 11.5 hrs., $32.95 ISBN 978-1-4551-6030-3
William Shakespeare, read by Alan Cumming. Simon & Schuster Audio, unabridged, 2 CDs, 2 hrs., $14.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-5593-4
Gail Tsukiyama, read by Simon Vance. MacMillan Audio, unabridged, six CDs, 7 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-4272-2249-7
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Audio Reviews Spotlight: I Hate Everyone… Starting with Me

Adam Boretz -- August 29th, 2012

Today in Audio Reviews Spotlight, we take a look at the audio edition of Joan Rivers’s I Hate Everyone… Starting with Me.

Published by Penguin Audio, the audiobook is narrated by Rivers (naturally) and received a glowing review from Publishers Weekly.

Take a look below at out our Starred Review, and, while your at, check out THIS LINK for all of this month’s audio reviews from PW.

I Hate Everyone… Starting with Me
Joan Rivers, read by the author. Penguin Audio, unabridged, four CDs, 5 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-61176-065-1

 ”I hate the slogans in cheaper restaurants, like ‘have it your way.’ My way would be in a better restaurant where the tables and chairs aren’t chained to the floor.” The ineffable Joan Rivers does, indeed, hate everything, and this hilarious account details all the reasons why. In this audio edition, Rivers proves very quickly that age has nothing on her and that she hasn’t lost even a half step as a performer. Her delivery is perfect, her comedic timing as strong as it’s ever been, and she reads with all the passion and inspired vision of her live performances. It’s easy to listen to Rivers ramble on about everything that pisses her off, because more often than not–despite her star status–most people will likely agree with everything she says. Be it her hatred of cities where people are nice or her loathing of the Happy Meal, Rivers is equally passionate and opinionated on every subject she discusses. Hilarious and undeniably original. A Berkley hardcover. (June)
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