Audio Reviews, January 2012

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Child, Lee. The Affair: A Reacher Novel. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307749567. $45; 11 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; NA CDs. retail ed. abridged. NA hrs.; Playaway digital; digital download. abridged/unabridged. F

In Child’s 15th entry in this series (Worth Dying For; 61 Hours), Jack Reacher returns to where it all started. Back in 1997, Reacher was still an elite army cop sent undercover into rural Mississippi to investigate a woman’s brutal murder‚ a politically sensitive crime with possible ties to the military. The army wants Reacher to control the situation, but he and the beautiful local sheriff just want the truth. This riveting and suspenseful addition to the series, with its cast of compelling characters, may be the best one yet. Three-time Audie Award winner Dick Hill’s pace and presentation are, as usual, marvelous. Highly recommended; easily one of the year’s best. [Reacher’s many fans can only hope there will be many more. Highly recommended for anyone who likes intelligent, well-written, tense thrillers, read the starred review of the New York Times best-selling Delacorte hc, LJ 9/1/11; the Dell pb will publish in March 2012.‚ Ed.]‚ Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307969941. $40; digital download. Penguin Audio. F

Jan12Gibson200 Audio Reviews, January 2012Originally released in 1984, this groundbreaking sf story of a hacker hired to crack a supposedly unbreakable code launched the cyberpunk movement and won the Nebula, Hugo, and Philip K. Dick awards. Henry Case, a literally burned-out hacker (his nervous system was chemically fried when he was caught stealing on his last hack), is given one last chance to demonstrate his talent. Hired by Armitage, a truly scary and unstable individual, and partnered with Molly, a Razorgirl so named for the retractable razors implanted under her fingernails, Case is challenged with jacking into cyberspace and breaking through the code for Wintermute, a being of artificial intelligence. Narrator Robertson Dean provides a richly nuanced performance that pulls the listener into cyberspace with the characters. This 20th-anniversary edition includes an introduction by the author and an afterword by Jack Womack. A classic story that is as interesting and, surprisingly, relevant as it ever was. Required listening for all sf fans.‚ Donna Bachowski, Orange Cty. Lib. Syst., Orlando, FL

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Riccardi, Ted. The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: Nine Adventures from the Lost Years. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13¼ hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792778073. $69.95; 11 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F

Jan12Holmes Audio Reviews, January 2012Writers and readers of Holmesian pastiches abound. One source (schoolandholmes.com) asserts that at least 307 such novels exist, along with nearly 1000 short stories and roughly 100 children’s stories. Another site has the domain name sherlockholmespastiches. com. And no wonder: some of the Holmes stories written by authors other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are very good indeed, including the stories in this volume. Riccardi (emeritus, Columbia Univ.) has mastered the feeling and characterizations of the Doyle canon. His collection offers nine tales of Holmes’s exploits occurring just after his supposed death at the Reichenbach Falls (e.g., The Giant Rat of Sumatra). Slipping off to Nepal and other points east, Holmes engages in what he does best: solving mysteries and, often, playing a role in international intrigue. Great pastiche writers don’t mimic their heroes exactly; rather, they add that unpredictable touch of action and reaction that life itself provides. Riccardi is such a great writer, and voice actor Simon Prebble does his tales justice, making characters and situations seem effortlessly believable. Wonderfully entertaining for mystery and particularly Holmes fans. ‚ Don Wismer, Trustee Emeritus, Cary Memorial Lib., Wayne, ME

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. Hachette Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781611132977. $29.98; digital download. F

A rebellious tattooed and blue-haired teenager, angels, monsters, and an ancient war nearing its conclusion combine in a poignant tale from National Book Award finalist Taylor (Lips Touch: Three Times). Words flow like poetry. Action moves from Prague to Morocco and into a strange alternate world. A disconnect between the first and second halves of the book may jar some, but most listeners will be pulled along as the plot moves from urban to high fantasy. Audie Award‚ nominated actress Khristine Hvam gives believable voice to the young heroine and goes on to portray each character uniquely. A love story and a story about love, appealing to adult and YA fantasy lovers who will eagerly await the sequel.‚ Janet Martin, Southern Pines P.L., NC

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Newton, Jim. Eisenhower: The White House Years. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 19 hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307940674. $50; 15 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. BIOG

Jan12Ike200 Audio Reviews, January 2012His critics’ well-rehearsed dismissal of President Dwight Eisenhower as the simple, smiling babysitter-in-chief doesn’t jibe with the bright, shrewd, and thoughtful man presented here. Journalist and biographer Newton (Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made) takes advantage of newly available material to present Eisenhower as a much more complex figure than previously understood. Ike was able to dig America out of a multibillion-dollar recession and leave his successor with a surplus. He grappled with civil rights and avoided using nuclear weapons on a number of occasions. Newton also capably explores the influence of Eisenhower’s mentors and associates on his life and administration. Character actor and narrator John H. Mayer provides a spirited reading. Highly recommended; one of the best biographies of the year. [The Doubleday hc, published in October, was a New York Times best seller.‚ Ed.]‚ Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania Lib.

OrangeReviewStar Audio Reviews, January 2012Suskind, Ron. Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 23 hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781611204223. $59.99; Playaway digital; digital download. Harper Audio. POL SCI

Pulitzer-winning journalist (Wall Street Journal) Suskind (The Way of the World; The One Percent Doctrine) offers a fascinating look at Washington’s response to the 2008 financial meltdown and the Obama administration’s fight to prevent a crisis not of its own making from tipping the country into a major depression. Drawing upon more than 200 interviews with key insiders, Suskind explains how the relatively inexperienced President surrounded himself with seasoned strategists‚ many of whom served under the second President Bush‚ who often ignored his decisions. This account, which covers up to early 2011, makes a distinguished companion to other such recent books as economist Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy and journalist Michael Hirsh’s Capital Offense: How Washington’s Wise Men Turned America’s Future Over to Wall Street. Narrator James Lurie offers a resonant, steadily paced performance that conveys the seriousness of this substantial work. A vital look at how U.S. political leadership struggled to keep the country above water during the crisis; essential for political science junkies and university libraries supporting government and history curricula. [The Harper hc, published in September, was a New York Times best seller.‚ Ed.]‚ Dale Farris, Groves, TX


The following titles are reviewed in the January print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.

AUDIO

Fiction

Block, Lawrence. In the Midst of Death. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 5 hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792779742. $54.95; digital download. F

Child, Lee. The Affair: A Reacher Novel. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14 hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307749567. $45; 11 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; NA CDs. retail ed. abridged. NA hrs.; Playaway digital; digital download. abridged/unabridged. F

Collins, Jackie. Goddess of Vengeance. 11 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781427211521. $39.99; digital download. F

Crane, Cheryl. The Bad Always Die Twice. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781455111206. $38; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Deveraux, Jude. Heartwishes: An Edilean Novel. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2011. ISBN 9781456119126. $123.75; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; 10 CDs. retail ed. S. & S. Audio; digital download. F

Dumas, Alexandre. The Black Tulip. 7 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 9 hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2011. ISBN 9781843794639. $47.98; digital download. CLASSICS

Gibson, William. Neuromancer. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307969941. $40; digital download. Penguin Audio. F

Gore, Kristin. Sweet Jiminy. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Tantor Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781452630984. $71.99; 6 CDs. retail ed.; 1 MP3-CD. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Poe, Edgar Allan & others. Great Classic Stories II. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792782483. $59.95; Playaway digital; digital download. F

Riccardi, Ted. The Oriental Casebook of Sherlock Holmes: Nine Adventures from the Lost Years. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13¼ hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792778073. $69.95; 11 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. F

Sparks, Nicholas. The Best of Me. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 9¬Ω hrs. Recorded Bks. 2011. ISBN 9781611139044. $45.75; 1 CD. library ed. abridged. NA hrs; 9 CDs. retail ed. Hachette Audio; 1 CD. retail ed. abridged. NA hrs.; digital download. F

Taylor, Laini. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. Hachette Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781611132977. $29.98; digital download. F

NONFICTION

Belafonte, Harry with Michael Shnayerson. My Song: A Memoir. 16 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 19¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307932822. $45; 16 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. MUSIC/AUTOBIOG

Cain, Herman. This Is Herman Cain! My Journey to the White House. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2011. ISBN 9781442347601. $39.75; 6 CDs. retail ed. S. & S. Audio; digital download. POL SCI/AUTOBIOG

Dyer, Geoff. The Missing of the Somme. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 4¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792782018. $64.95; digital download. HIST

Lithgow, John. Drama: An Actor’s Education. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬º hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307969750. $39.99; 9 CDs. retail ed. Harper Audio; digital download. DRAMA/AUTOBIOG

Machiavelli, Niccolò. The Prince. 3 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 3¼ hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2011. ISBN 9781843794592. $22.98; digital download. POL SCI

Newton, Jim. Eisenhower: The White House Years. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 19 hrs. Books on Tape. 2011. ISBN 9780307940674. $50; 15 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. BIOG

Ramsey, Dave. EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches. 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. Recorded Bks. 2011. ISBN 9781456119133. $56.75; 5 CDs. retail ed. S. & S. Audio; digital download. BUS

Suskind, Ron. Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 23 hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2011. ISBN 9781611204223. $59.99; Playaway digital; digital download. Harper Audio. POL SCI


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Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers (mrogers@mediasourceinc.com) is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.

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