jood: (Default)
First off: "Ruins" by Kevin J. Anderson, that hack, written for The X-Files. I've had it on cassette for ages and never listened. I now wish I hadn't.

The novel itself is a festering piece of tripe; predictable, stultifying in pacing, wooden in characterization, and painfully poor of narrative. The Mulder and Scully conversations were also the most perfunctory, useless bits of dialogue I have ever read/heard.

I have read swoon-inducing fic by [livejournal.com profile] jetfic and [livejournal.com profile] infinitemonkeys and [livejournal.com profile] anjoufic, and thus I found it personally insulting that I had to pay for that uninspired, formulaic drivel.

So just don't read it. DON'T.

That said, I was really delighted to have books read by Gillian and Mitch, but dear lord, as much talent as Gillian has in speech performance, that's how much Mitch Pileggi lacks.

[livejournal.com profile] kimonthejourney, just look away. LOOK AWAY, I beg you.

Okay, his delivery is incredibly bizarre. The narrative is all delivered - every phrase - in the same intonation. Every single phrase. A little lift in the middle of the phrase, and only a slight lowering near the end. And the pitch pattern was the same for the entire book. THE ENTIRE BOOK. The monotony - and the sense of his incredible boredom as a reader - was agonizing. Worse, he didn't differentiate Mulder's speech pattern from the narrative. I have no idea if that was intentional, but I'll tell ya, he didn't do a damn thing to try to channel Duchovny. His Scully was only marginally better, except that he tried to feminize her delivery by doing the verbal equivalent of mincing, so he ended up sounding like a terse drag queen.

However, when he did the character voices, he fucking SHONE. His Mexican accent was fantastic, and he actually gave the lines some actor's attention. Which made his subsequent descent back into the droning narrative even more jarring.

Really, he is a horrid book reader. I was sorely disappointed, and won't even bother to read the other one of trilogy that he reads, partly because of him, and partly because KJA wrote the others as well, dear god what a waste of dead trees.



Fortunately, the reader of "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger (likely a quasi-bio about her stint working for Anna Wintour) is absolutely brilliant. She sounds like a cross between Gillian Anderson's warm, cultured alto and Sarah Vowell's cutesy Little Voice, and I absolutely adore listening to her. Her character voices are good, and she really throws herself into the reading. I cannot believe the listings that insist it is Rachel Leigh Cook doing the reading, because she is BRILLIANT at this. Really? It's Josie I've been listening to for two weeks now?

The book is floofy and fun, and agonizing in its portrayal of The Worst Boss Ever, and I find myself not minding my commute as long as I have this to listen to. I'm a little more than halfway through. We shall see how it matures.


jood: (Default)
So I finished "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair last week, and decided I needed something a little floofy to decompress.

My local library's audiobook collection tends to suck poxy ass, so my choices were limited, but I did find two little documentaries* by Ken Burns; "Lewis and Clark", which I've just started today, and "Horatio's Drive", which I just finished this morning on the way in to work.

"Horatio's Drive" is the tale of a wealthy retired doctor who decided in 1903 to be the first to cross the continental U.S. in an automobile. It is his tale of trial and adversity and the triumph of the human spirit.

Except, see I just finished an epic tome about the horrific struggle of the urban poor in 1906 Chicago. I got to hear Sinclair's histrionic, nearly endless tooth-gnashing over a man who walked 20 miles in the snow without a jacket, starving, upon his release from prison to find his wife dying in childbirth. Worse yet, this was not the worst night of the man's life. And I didn't even get into the horrors of the meat packing industry. So there was that, the actual trials of Job in quite literally the depths of Hell, which I follow up with...the incredible drama of some rich guy's crappy car getting stuck in a mud bank in Wyoming.

It was incredibly stupid of me to think that I could listen to Horatio Jackson's struggle to survive THIRTY SIX hours without a meal during his road trip, and feel affected by it. (Don't worry, he got a hearty lamb dinner from a local herdsman, bless his soul.)

His letters home to his wife were darling - and read by Tom Hanks no less - so it had its upside, and there were some funny punchlines to the tale, but overall I should have waited for one of the Tom Robbins books to become available instead, because the juxtaposition of wracking poverty and idle wealth was wrong wrong wrong.

(P.S. Robbins' "Villa Incognito" was a bunch of strange, quirky, paramasturbatory intellectual elitist fun, which you must all read so I'm not the only one with the mental image of a Tanuki with great big giant testicles and a gut that sounds like a drum.)



* I say "documentary" instead of "nonfiction" or "historical fiction" because they're really just audio transcripts of the documentaries broadcast on PBS. As nonfiction literature, they'd be atrocious.


jood: (Default)
I have just finished "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. No, I haven't read it before now. Wanna make something of it?     Dear GOD, it was brutal.

Thinky thoughts and slightly irritable growls: )

If you haven't read it, you can find it here.


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August 2010

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