Audio Reviews, March 15, 2012

starred review star 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

starred review starHammett, 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

starred review starKing, 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

starred review star 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

starred review starStengel, 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

starred review starNesbø, 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

starred review starRumelt, Richard P. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters. 10 CDs. library ed. unabridged. 11¾ 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

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. 14¼ 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

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.