Bohjalian, Chris. The Sandcastle Girls. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780307917379. $35; 9 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Bohjalian offers a chilling retelling of the little-known 1915 Turkish genocide of Armenians. The story is told from the perspective of multiple characters, including American good Samaritan Elizabeth Endicott during the genocide and in the present day by an Armenian descendant, Laura Petrosian. Laura explores historical documents and family secrets while the characters from the earlier era reveal the ravages of the slaughter, torture, and extermination of Armenian men, women, and children. In an unmistakable irony, two German soldiers’ photographs of the refugees and their suffering help to link the generations and serve as a horrifying precursor to the Nazi Holocaust. Bohjalian spares no details while creating both a love story and a mystery amid the tragedy. Dual readers Cassandra Campbell and Alison Fraser are excellent in voice and pacing. The audio program includes an afterword and author interview. VERDICT Highly recommended as adult fiction and historical artifact. [“Bohjalian powerfully narrates an intricately nuanced romance with a complicated historical event at the forefront. With the centennial of the Armenian genocide fast approaching, this is not to be missed. Simply astounding,” read the review of the Doubleday hc, LJ 6/1/12.—Ed.]—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Boulle, Pierre. Planet of the Apes. 6 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792789260. $54.95. SF
This thrilling 1963 sf novel has lost none of its power. Those familiar with its film/TV adaptations will be surprised by the story’s suspenseful nature and ending. Three French astronauts in the year 2500 travel to an Earth-like planet and are shocked to find it very much like home with one major exception—humans are naked, animalistic, unthinking savages and apes are the civilized species. It takes Ulysse Merou some time to impress upon his simian captors that he is an aware, intelligent human. While he is at first viewed as wondrous, Ulysse increasingly senses that he poses a major threat to the apes’ sense of evolution and society. With the chance that he might father an intelligent human baby, his peril grows. British actor Greg Wise’s superb narration adds to the increasing sense of unease, effectively conveying the confusion, horror, shock, and egotism evinced by Ulysse. While his American accent can be a bit dicey at times, the fervor with which Wise imbues each sentence overcomes any quibbles listeners may have. VERDICT Essential for all public library collections.—B. Allison Gray. Goleta Branch, Santa Barbara P.L. Syst., CA
Merkin, Fanny. Fifty Shames of Earl Grey. 4 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 4½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452608112. $29.99; 1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; digital download. F
Anna Steel is young and naïve. Her roommate is an alcoholic. Her best friend is a beefcake with a My Little Pony addiction. This unlikely trio are stumbling toward adulthood when dangerously rich deviant Earl Grey enters the scene, whipping everything into a farcical frenzy involving a Walmart-shelf-like variety of erotic role-playing. An unbelievable set of characters in even more unbelievable circumstances poke fun at both theTwilight and Fifty Shades phenomena. From characterization to language, mocking is the name of the game. Narrator Allyson Ryan delivers with comedic excellence. VERDICT This one is so bad, it’s hilarious. Highly recommended to those unable to blush but ready to laugh.—Lisa Anderson, Omaha P.L.
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The following titles are reviewed in the November 1 print issue. Visit Book Verdict for the full reviews.
Carter, Stephen L. The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln. 18 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 23 hrs. Random Audio. 2012. ISBN 9780307989789. $45; 18 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Gardner, John. The Return of Moriarty.
11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13 hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9780792788645. $84.95; digital download. MYS
Goyer, David S. & Michael Cassutt. Heaven’s War. 12 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 14½ hrs. Books on Tape. 2012. ISBN 9780307934482. $50; digital download. SF
Hamilton, Laurell K. Kiss the Dead. 10 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 12 hrs. Penguin Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611760736. $39.95;
10 CDs. library ed.; digital download. HORROR
Jance, J.A. Judgment Call. 9 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 11 hrs. Harper Audio. 2012.
ISBN 9780062189417. $39.99; digital download. MYS
Kellerman, Faye. Justice. 11 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 13¼ hrs. Dreamscape Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781611207866. $59.99; Playaway digital; digital download. F
Kenyon, Sherrilyn. Time Untime. 8 CDs. retail ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Macmillan Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781427221513. $39.99; 8 CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. HORROR
Lerner, Edward M. Energized. 9 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 10½ hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781470813024. $75;
1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital; digital download. SF
Probst, Jennifer. The Marriage Bargain.
5 discs. unabridged. 6½ hrs. Tantor Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781452609348. $34.99;
1 MP3-CD. library/retail eds.; Playaway digital. ROMANCE
Rollins, James. Bloodline. 13 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 15¼ hrs. Recorded Bks. 2012. ISBN 9781464049569. $123.75; 2 MP3-CDs. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download. THRILLER
Woodrell, Daniel. Woe To Live On. 5 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 6½ hrs. AudioGO. 2012. ISBN 9781611132007. $54.99; digital download. F
Mallory, George. Climbing Everest:
The Writings of George Mallory. 5 CDs.
retail ed. unabridged. 6 hrs. CSA Word. 2012. ISBN 9781906147921. $25.95. SCI
Smith, Daniel. Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety. 6 CDS. library ed. unabridged. 7 hrs. Blackstone Audio. 2012. ISBN 9781470812256. $69; 1 MP3-CD. library ed.; Playaway digital; digital download.