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Steve

Swansea, United Kingdom
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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-02-18

A classic story, a shame about the performance

The story itself is one of the true classics of the golden era of Doctor Who. Tom Baker in his pomp, Leela newly joining him on his travels and a strong story that keeps you entertained from start to finish.

The story itself, originally written by Chris Boucher, novelised by Terrance Dicks, is tightly woven and there is very little padding throughout. There are aspects that are a little better explained, such as the climax and why it worked but otherwise the story itself is intact.

Sadly, the only thing that lets the production down is Louise Jameson's performance of the voices. There are a few pronunciation issues such as with the name Taran Capel; pronounced to rhyme with apple in the audiobook but pronounced CAP-el on the show. Not a big problem but a distraction and immersion breaker. The clearest example of the poor characterisation by the performer was where the initial mineral analysis at the start of the story has Toos delivering the line, "... traces of lucanol" and Ivanov replies, "Ahhh, money in the bank". In the show, the actors put inflection into the delivery and showed they were delighted with the discovery. Louise Jameson delivers the lines as flat as a pancake. I'll be generous and say that she struggled interchanging human with the monotone robotic voices and thus lost track of the characters who were delivering the lines. Either way, it took something away from the performance.

I must admit, I'd have loved to have had Tom Baker reading this one but you can't have everything. It's well worth a listen but prepare yourself for a little disappointment.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-11-17

You will be terrified of IT!

From the brilliant story, the great writing, the plethora of interesting characters, the interwoven timelines, to the ease of listening and one of the best audiobook performances I have ever heard, this has the lot.

Derry, ME 1958. We learn about 7 kids who muddle through school and get together over the summer to face off against Henry Bowers and his gang of bullies as well as taking on IT. IT has been killing for the last few months and they are getting strange sightings of a clown who calls himself Pennywise and wants to take them into the sewers to float. They aaaaallll float down there. Suffice to say, they defeat him but they don't destroy him.

Derry, ME 1985. Mike Hanlon has stayed in Derry and kept watch over the years for the return of IT. The pattern starts again and he contacts his old gang, who have forgotten what happened that distant summer, but his call stirs memories that have buried themselves deep. Will they come back to Derry? Will they remember the horrors they endured that ill-fated summer? Will they finally defeat IT? IT won't go easy and IT has help...

At 45+ hours, it's a slow burner but the payout more than makes it worthwhile. In two minds about it? Don't be. I assure you the story is worth every second!

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-17

Excellent but 4 stories are missing

Let's get the important part out of the way first. The following stories are missing from this book:

Children of the Corn
I am the Doorway
Trucks
One for the Road

I'm disappointed both because this means the book is incomplete and because "Children of the Corn" is a story I was looking forward to listening to. The stories are well performed and the sound effects add to the reading rather than are intrusive.

It's clear that some of the stories are from Stephen King's early career as some of the flow is lacking but overall they are very enjoyable.

I'd recommend this but but be aware that if you want to hear the stories I've listed, you'll have to check them out some other way.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-17

The end is here but it has been prepared for...

Where does Doctor Who: Logopolis rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely one of the better ones. The story is well written and performed by the author, Christopher H. Bidmead.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Doctor Who: Logopolis?

The ending is well known and is a very powerful childhood memory when watching the show. It's just as good in written form.

Which character – as performed by Christopher H. Bidmead – was your favourite?

The Doctor is always a favourite but the Master was well performed too. Tegan Jovanka was hard to link to Janet Fielding's performance so, if you've seen the story, expect that.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily. You could easily binge in the same way you can binge the story on DVD now but it's not a necessity here.

Any additional comments?

The book is as good as the story. It's well worth a listen.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-17

Six spine-chilling short stories

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, Six stories of around 20 minutes in duration each to give you something to do on the bus or train.

What did you like best about this story?

All the stories are good. My personal favourite isn't the actual winner but they're all worth listening to.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

There were several performances as the stories are both narrated but the characters are performed by several people. None of them gave a bad performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really. They are bite-sized stories and they can be listened to in one sitting but are probably better appreciated one at a time.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-17

Mixed emotions first time but definitely worth it

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have friends who love the Alien series of movies so I'd definitely recommend these 'audiostories' to them. You can't really call them audiobooks as they are plays rather than books.

What did you like best about this story?

It provides an interesting aside as well as filling in some gaps in the Aliens movie (I won't spoil anything but it becomes apparent in the next play (River of Pain confirms this) how certain gaps in continuity in the Aliens movie came about.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

I loved Rutgar Hauer's Ash. He managed to characterise the personality as well and the malevolence the character brings.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes. It's not really a book, it's more of a play so hearing in one sitting would have its benefits. Pausing loses the urgency of the flow.

Any additional comments?

I started dubious about it due to the fact Ripley is found before she is finally discovered in the Aliens movie but it all ties in and is well done. There's a bit of a deus ex machina in the medical console towards the end but it's essential to make the story possible. It doesn't detract from the plausibility too much.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-05-17

Tommyknockers knocking at your door

What made the experience of listening to The Tommyknockers the most enjoyable?

Apart from being a good story, Edward Hermann is a very easy on the ear reader who takes the story at a nice pace and gives an excellent performance reading the book.

What other book might you compare The Tommyknockers to, and why?

I'd say that Needful Things by Stephen King has a similar feel but the story is very different. A town gets overtaken by a force that could potentially have hugely disastrous consequences.

Have you listened to any of Edward Herrmann’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to his other work but I'd definitely consider it now... if the story is right :)

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The epilogue, but I can't give away anything more than that.

Any additional comments?

A good story if you like sci fi but don't expect as much as you had in Dreamcatcher.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-03-17

Desperation on a different level of the tower

Would you consider the audio edition of The Regulators to be better than the print version?

Frank Muller is an excellent audiobook reader so makes the story come alive a little more than just from reading it yourself.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I don't think I had a particular favourite character due to the way the story flows from character to character without a main focal point. Maybe poor Seth if anyone.

What about Frank Muller’s performance did you like?

Frank Muller was excellent (as usual) backing up his performances of the Dark Tower novels.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really. The story doesn't really push you to read non stop although you do feel you want to know more. More a page turner than a marathon really.

Any additional comments?

The characters and location are the same as Desperation but they are changed. e.g. Kirsten is a 6 year old girl in Desperation, in The Regulators, she's in her 30s and married.

In Desperation, Tak posesses people, chews them up and moves on to his next victim. In The Regulators, Tak has set up home for the last 2 years in an 8 year old autistic boy called Seth. Seth loves a TV show called MotoKops 2200 and thus Tak loves it too. They also love reruns of Bonanza. Tak unleashes characters and scenery on the unsuspecting town of Desperation to devastating effect.

An interesting idea of writing two novels with related characters and locations but different stories in themselves. I feel it doesn't quite come off as well as Mr King would have liked. Desperation is a better story than The Regulators but that's not to say that either are bad. If you have to choose one, I'd go for Desperation but do try and read both. It's interesting to see how the writing experiment goes.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-03-17

Death comes in two flavours

If you could sum up Insomnia in three words, what would they be?

Death has morals

If you’ve listened to books by Stephen King before, how does this one compare?

It holds up well. The story is good but I found the main character, Ralph Roberts, to be a little unlikable. It doesn't bode well when you know he's trying to do good but you secretly want him to fail!

Which character – as performed by Eli Wallach – was your favourite?

Lois is a lovely lady. She certainly brought out the best in Ralph in more ways than one!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It was hard to listen at times. No reflection on the author or the reader, it just was.

Any additional comments?

The story and concept are good and very interesting. I wish Ralph was a little more likable but it may be that King was characterising to account for someone suffering with insomnia and getting crotchety.

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-03-17

SSDD

Would you listen to Dreamcatcher again? Why?

Yes, it's a good story and easy to follow. I enjoyed the reading and the story flowed.

What did you like best about this story?

It was good to read the interpretation of the 'possession' by the alien creature in Jonesy's mind.

What about Jeffrey DeMunn’s performance did you like?

He's probably better known for playing Dale in The Walking Dead. The delivery and intonation was perfect and easy to listen to. The speech for Duddits was tastefully done where it could have been overdone and unkind. I'd happily listen to more novels read by him.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

They hide inside us

Any additional comments?

A good story which made my daily drive fly by!

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