Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 18¬Ω hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781455122899. $92.95; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. CLASSIC
With a major new film adaptation of Great Expectations coming soon to the big screen, now is a good moment for an updated audio edition of this classic story of an orphan boy’s rise from poverty to gentility, thanks to the help of an unknown patron. One of Dickens’s finest works, it is, all at once, the heartrending tale of unrequited love, a deep mystery with a shocking resolution, and an often exciting action story. VERDICT Simon Prebble’s powerful narration brings Dickens’s colorful dialog alive and will make the book’s 18-plus hours seem so many minutes. During this bicentennial year of Dickens’s birth, this audiobook should be a slam-dunk acquisition for most libraries. [See Charles Dickens: Our Mutual Friend, LJ 2/15/12, for more Dickens titles in audio.]‚ R. Kent Rasmussen, Thousand Oaks, CA
Hammett, Dashiell. The Glass Key. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 6¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792781219. $59; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
One of the lesser-known works of noir fiction giant Hammett, this great audiobook follows Ned Beaumont, a trusted aide and fixer for crime boss Paul Madvig, as he tracks a murderer. Paul loves Senator Henry’s beautiful daughter, but did he also kill the Senator’s son? What will Ned do if he did? In this combination of tough-guy actions, classic detection, and blunt writing, Hammett may have created the ultimate hard-boiled mystery thriller. VERDICT Stephen R. Thorne’s somewhat laconic reading style is a perfect match for Hammett’s terse text. Readers who have only read or seen the movies of Hammett’s more popular The Thin Man and The Maltese Falcon are in for a treat. Recommended for all mystery readers and anyone else who just likes good fiction.‚ I. Pour-El, Des Moines Area Community Coll., Boone, IA
King, Stephen. Mile 81. 2 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 2¬Ω hrs. S. & S. Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781442349131. $14.99; digital download. F
Originally released in 2011 as an Amazon Kindle exclusive, King’s killer car story humorously references his novel Christine. While that vehicle was possessed, this one seemingly is a space alien that takes the shape of a mud-splattered station wagon stranded on the ramp to an abandoned rest stop off I-95 in Maine. The vehicle’s door yawns open temptingly when anyone approaches to offer assistance. If any part of a person’s body‚ including hair‚ touches the beastie, the rest is immediately sucked inside and gobbled. Only six-year-old Rachie Lussier has enough sense to dial 911 after seeing both parents ingested. Although the fiendish space thingie chomps the Glock-toting state trooper who answers the girl’s SOS, it’s no match for ten-year-old Pete Simmons, with his trusty magnifying glass and the sun’s burning rays. The program also includes the bonus short story The Dune and an excerpt from King’s recent novel 11/22/63. VERDICT Reader Thomas Sadoski is spot-on with the adults and especially the kids. The brief, wonderful Dune is read by the wonderful Edward Herrmann. King’s enduring popularity mated to the sweet price makes purchase a no-brainer. [The Scribner ebook, published in January, was a New York Times best seller.‚ Ed.]‚ Mike Rogers, Library Journal
NPR American Chronicles: Civil Rights. 3 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 3 hrs. HighBridge Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611745085. $24.95; digital download. HIST
In this collection, NPR compiles the defining moments of the civil rights movement with interviews, music, and recollections by some of the important people involved with civil rights efforts primarily in the 1950s and 1960s. Among the noteworthy participants are James Farmer, Rosa Parks, Octavius Catto, Julian Bond, Dorothy Height, and Mahalia Jackson. The personal reflections and historical accounts are alternately riveting, moving, and shocking but at all times a reminder of the power of the human spirit. This is a potent rendering of some of the most important civil rights events. VERDICT As a short, quick overview of this important part of our nation’s history, this is unbeatable; listeners will be moved to tears at times by the compelling narration. Highly recommended for anyone interested in U.S. history and/or civil rights.‚ Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll., Penn Valley Lib., Kansas City, MO
Stengel, Jim. Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307944153. $35; 8 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Demonstrating the cause and effect between a company’s financial performance and its ability to connect with the consumer, Stengel stresses the importance of discovering, building, communicating, delivering, and evaluating a company’s purpose, values, and ideals. Applying ten years of research and these principles to examples of selected brands (e.g., HP, Netflix/Qwikster, and Procter & Gamble), Stengel provides a fascinating look into 21st-century marketing techniques, which rely on human psychology, neuroscience research, and the importance of values to business management. VERDICT Marc Cashman’s clear, accent-free reading makes listening a joy. Recommended for those interested in business, marketing, and branding.‚ Laurie Selwyn, formerly with Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX
Nesbø, Jo & Don Bartlett. The Leopard. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 21¬º hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307917621. $45; 17 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio;
digital download. F
Following the intensity of events in Nesbø’s previous novel, The Snowman, Inspector Harry Hole has literally and figuratively run away from home. Harry hides in Hong Kong’s underbelly, drowning his sorrows and painful memories. He only reluctantly returns home to Oslo after two women are violently killed and his father lay on his deathbed, both events demanding Harry’s attention and singular expertise. Nesbø’s exceptionally dark, detailed, and visual writing makes this a quintessential thriller. Enhanced by the cinema-worthy performance of narrator Robin Sachs, this audio rendering of The Leopard suggests continual images in the listener’s imagination. VERDICT Those adoring the work of Norwegian writers Stieg Larsson and Henning Mankell will enjoy Nesbø’s tales; fans of the detailed procedurals of Ian Rankin and Patricia Cornwell also will be enthralled. [This vivid, violent novel promises to speak on many levels to many readers and will be snatched up by Scandinavian crime fiction fans, read the review of the New York Times best-selling Knopf hc, LJ 11/1/11.‚ Ed.]‚ Nicole A. Cooke, Montclair State Univ. Lib., NJ
Rumelt, Richard P. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¬æ hrs. HighBridge Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611748192. $73; 10 CDs. retail ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Rumelt has been profiled in The Economist as one of 25 living persons who have had the most influence on management concepts and corporate practice. In this intriguing work, he explains three simple steps to developing a business strategy, a core skill of any leader in any organization. He defines good strategy as figuring out the nature of the business challenge, designing a guiding policy that produces an advantage, and creating a set of coordinated actions to carry out that policy. As Rumelt clearly delineates, insight into the hidden power of a situation is the heart of good strategy. He explains his various tools for guiding thinking and includes numerous business examples, as well as success stories from the nonprofit sector and military settings that bring to life his lofty ideas. VERDICT Narrator Sean Runnette’s refreshing, clear reading further strengthens the extensively researched material from this distinguished business thinker. Highly recommended for all university libraries supporting business curriculum. [For a less laudatory take on this title, read the review of the Crown hc, LJ 7/11.‚ Ed.]‚ Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Hubbard, L. Ron. Hell’s Legionnnaire. ISBN 9781592122622.
Hubbard, L. Ron. Hurricane. ISBN 9781592122929.
Hubbard, L. Ron. Sky Birds Dare. ISBN 9781592122318.
ea. vol: 2 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 2 hrs. Galaxy Audio. 2012. $9.95; digital download. F
Galaxy presents another action-packed trio from Hubbard’s Stories from the Golden Age series. The standout Hell’s Legionnaire includes the title story plus the The Barbarians and The Squad That Never Came Back. All released in 1935, these tales chronicle the death match between the French Foreign Legion and the Berbers in Morocco. Hubbard doesn’t pull his punches, and the gun battles between the soldiers and the Arabs are hard-core graphic (that means bloody as hell), as are the beheadings and torture‚ this is solid guy stuff. Hurricane (1936) is a bit softer. Here, Captain Spar has escaped from Devil’s Island after being wrongly imprisoned for five years. He flees to Martinique to hunt down and kill the mysterious underworld figure the Saint who had set him up. Taking a job as skipper aboard a luxury yacht, he soon finds romance among a bunch of upper-crust islanders, but his nemesis is closer than he knows (hint: never trust the snooty Englishman) and may kill him first. Sky Birds Dare (1936) is the most lighthearted of the three. It details the endeavors of glider pilot Breeze Callahan to convince the U.S. Navy that engineless planes can help the war effort. His attempts mostly fall flat, as do his planes, thanks to sabotage by competitor Badger O’Dowell, but Breeze ultimately wins over the navy and the heart of Patty Donegan who’s got a thing for flyboys. VERDICT Featuring full casts plus a narrator and heaps of sound effects, these programs burst to life on audio. The sound effects especially propel the action in a way that print can’t match. Hubbard (1911‚ 86) researched the technical aspects of his subjects (planes, ships, weapons, etc.), lending an authentic feel to his descriptions. The brevity of the stories also keeps them moving briskly. Overall, these are three solid additions to the ongoing series, which will be enjoyed by fans of pulp writing and old-time action, adventure, and romance. Pure fun and you can’t beat the price‚ grab ‘em!‚ Mike Rogers, Library Journal
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The following titles are reviewed in the March 15 print issue. Visit our Reviews Center (Beta) for the full reviews.
Carr, Howie. Hard Knocks. 8 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 7¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2011. ISBN 9780792784104. $74.95; 8 CDs. retail ed.;
1 MP3-CD. library ed.; digital download. MYS
Cornwell, Patricia. Red Mist. 12 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14¬º hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307967275. $39.95;
12 CDs. retail ed. Penguin Audio; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von. Faust. 4 CDs. retail ed. abridged. 4 hrs. Naxos Audiobooks. 2012. ISBN 9781843795490. $20.99;
digital download. CLASSIC
Grippando, James. Need You Now. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792784029. $74.95; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Johnson, Adam. The Orphan Master’s Son. 15 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 19¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307939715. $45; 15 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. F
Kellerman, Faye. Gun Games. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307969125. $39.99; 10 CDs. retail ed. Harper Audio; digital download. F
Stevenson, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 2 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 2¬Ω hrs. CSA Word, dist. by Trafalgar Square. 2012. ISBN 9781906147631. $17.95. CLASSIC
Todd, Charles. The Confession: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2012.
ISBN 9780792784135. $74.95; Playaway digital; digital download. MYS
Durant, Will. Heroes of History. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792781837. $79.95; 10 CDs. retail ed.; digital download. HIST
Kihn, Martin. House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time. 7 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 8¬Ω hrs. Hachette Audio from AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9781611131123. $69.99; Playaway digital; digital download. BUS
Smith, Sally Bedell. Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. 17 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 21¬Ω hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307934192. $45; 17 CDs. retail ed. Random Audio; digital download. BIOG
Weiner, Eric. Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12¬Ω hrs. Hachette Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611139815. $29.95; 10 CDs. library ed. Recorded Bks.; Playaway digital; digital download. REL