November 29, 2011

Audiobooks 111

got a lot of audiobooks catch up on. we'll make this fast. ^_^

For the Win
Cory Doctorow

This book was unusual. Lots of third-degree language, and for that I don't recommend it. But an interesting premise - that much is worth looking up.

And an epic cover.

Lord of the Flies
William Golding

My favorite book. Ever. The jury is in; the die are cast. I have concluded.

I read it via audiobook for the second time, and my love for it expounded.

It's rather dark, and sort of morbid, and sort of sad. It explores the question of what would happen if a group of boys were stranded alone on an island. The war between order and chaos is epic and terrible.

Recommended, personally. ^_^

Peter Pan in Scarlet
Geraldine McCaughrean

Kind of a weird book. o_O For instance, through magic, a grown man turns into a little girl for a while. >_> Odd. Peter Pan himself is rather obnoxious and not so heroic as in the Ridley Pearson series. XD heh. So, I didn't like this so much. But there's a pretty nice, nostalgic quote, if you care to read it:

Next day, Mrs. Wendy's cold kept her from going out, but the Old Boys found themselves in Kensington Gardens with butterfly nets, wandering up and down. Looking for fairies.

There was a stiff breeze blowing. Something white and fluffy brushed Mr. Nibs's face and he gave a shriek. "There's one! It kissed me!" And all the gentlemen went pounding after it. The wind was rising. Other scraps of whiteness scudded past, until the air seemed to be full of flying snowflakes all twirling and dancing, feathery light. The Old Boys trampled the grass flat with running to and fro, swiping at fairies, accidentally swatting each other, whooping and shrieking, "Got one!"

"So have -- OW!"

"Here's one, look!"

But when they peered into their butterfly nets, all they found were the fluffy seed-heads off summer's first dandelions. There was not a single fairy in among the dande-down.

All day they searched. As the sun went down and starlings gathered over the glimmering city, the Old Boys hid themselves among the bushes of Kensington Gardens. Early stars ventured into the sky, their reflections spangling the Serpentine. And suddenly the air was a-flicker with wings!

Jubilant, the ambushers leapt out of hiding and ran to and fro, nets flailing.

"Got one!"

"By Jove!"

"Don't hurt them!"

"Ouch! Watch what you are doing, sir!"

"I say! This is ripping fun!"

But when they turned the nets inside out, what did they find? Midges and moths and mayflies.

"I have one in here! Definitely! Incontrovertibly!" cried Mr. John, cramming his bowler hat back onto his head to trap the captive inside. The others gathered round, jostling to see. The hat came off again, with a sigh of suction; Mr. John reached in with finger and thumb, plucked something out of the satin lining, and held it up to show them -- the iridescent purple, the shiny, flexing, turquoise body...

Only a dragonfly.

Mr. John opened his fingertips, and eight pairs of disappointed eyes followed the lovely creature as it staggered and waltzed back towards the water.

"I don't believe there is a single fairy..." began Dr. Curly, but the others felled him to the ground and clapped their hands over his mouth.

"Don't say it! Don't ever say that!" cried Mr. Nibs, horrified. "Don't you remember? Every time someone says they don't believe in fairies, a fairy somewhere dies!"

"I didn't say I didn't believe in them!" said the doctor, tugging the rumples out of his suit. "I was only going to say, I don't believe there is one single fairy here. Tonight. In this park. I have mud on my trousers, insect bites on my ankles, and I have not eaten supper yet. Can we give up now?"

The other Old Boys looked around them at the twilit park, the distant, glimmering streetlamps. They looked at the soles of their shoes, in case they had trodden on any fairies by mistake. They looked into the water of the Serpentine, in case any of the stars reflected there were really fairies, swimming. No fairies, no fairy dust. Perhaps, after all, they would not be going back to Neverland.

- Peter Pan in Scarlet

All in all, don't really recommend it, I suppose. But I love that quote. ^_^

I Am Morgan le Fay
Nancy Springer

A forgettable story. Turns into a romance. Magic and whatnot; kind of boring, I think. A testimony to its forgetable-ness: I don't remember anything more. Not recommended. I doubt it's worth your time.

The Outsiders
S. E. Hinton

Sad, but good. I enjoyed this book a lot. And one character, Soda, has an awesome name and is a great character. The book provides a good and clean perspective behind the street life of decades ago. Get your boys together; get ready for a rumble. Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold. ^_^


Lady Macbeth
Susan Fraser King

I was all excited about this one (I like Macbeth, and this tale is the backstory of his wife) but hardly got through the first fifteen minutes. Madness and immorality. Not recommended, indeed.

The Beloved Dearly
Doug Cooney

Cute story about a group of entrepenuaral kids who start their own business: pet funerals. Recommended.

Catherine Fisher

Awesome book. One or two second-degree swear words, but no immorality. Steampunk. It's the second book in a series, but I didn't know it, and I liked reading this one first. I liked being dropped into the middle of the story, and figuring out who was who and what was going on. Epic adventure, and I liked it better than book 1. Only qualm were the swear words and that I didn't entirely like the ending. >_>


Catherine Fisher

^See Sappique. Good but not quite as much, I thought. This was a bit more cliche and had a bit more objectionable content. Still a good steampunk tale.

Cave of the Dark Wind
Dave Barry

Very cliche, very wholesome Peter Pan adventure. A short sort of cheering read but quite predictable.

My Brother Sam Is Dead
James Lincoln Collier

A sad book. Let's just say things weren't looking good for poor Sam. ^_^ I think this book is a classic; it was sort-of forgettable, and, as aforementioned, sad. Raised an interesting ethical dilemma or two. Not particularly recommended.

Sherlock Holmes
Arthur Conan Doyle

I read a few of the famous Sherlock Holmes short stories. They were good! Quite clean, a bit dark, fairly epic, and entertaining. Good solid mysteries; recommended.

The Kingdom Keepers
Ridley Pearson

The first one was good; it has an interesting premise: five kids are teleported each night to Disneyland after dark, when the machines are starting to come alive. I liked the first one all right, but then it became a series and became, methought, cliche and unrealistic, and I lost interest. *shrug* First one mildly recommended.

The Iliad/The Odyssey

I liked these. Quite gruesome, though. >_> The author has no hesitancy in describing exactly how a warrior was impaled and how he falls to the ground, gasping and bleeding out and dying. Ahem. A half-dozen times.

I spent most of the books trying to figure out who was the son of whom and fighting for which army (probably would have understood it better if I'd read them in book form). There's some immorality referenced, and most characters are supreme idiots, but it was good to get this taste of very-old literature; of the true, original epic warfare. Rather interesting, too, and rarely boring. Recommended for older readers.

- - -

in order of favorite-ness:

1. Lord of the Flies
2. Sapphique
3. The Outsiders
4. Incarceron
5. The Iliad/Odyssey
6. Sherlock Holmes
7. The Dearly Beloved
8. The Kingdom Keepers
9. For the Win
10. Peter Pan In Scarlet
11. My Brother Sam is Dead
12. Cave of the Dark Wind
13. I Am Morgan le Fay
14. Lady Macbeth

^ read any of these? Thoughts, opinions, arguments?

thanks for reading,
happy eucalyptus day,


Ninja Tim said...

How long did it take you to listen to all of these? Either you have much more time than I do to devote to such noble endeavors, or you just manage it way more efficiently. =)

Out of this great list, I've only read the Odyssey. Agreed; quite gruesome, with many supreme idiot moments. I didn't really enjoy it, but it would be pretty awesome to experience it as it originally was, in sung poetry form (provided I understood ancient Greek... O_O never mind).

Is today truly eucalyptus day? My stars, I've gone and forgot my koala! *scowls*

whisper said...

Heh, well, I have the good fortune of being able to listen to audiobooks whilst I do my job, shelving books at the library. That is an immense blessing, especially to my little multitasking heart. ^_^

It would be so stupendous to hear it in the original Greek. O_O Epicness.

Koalas always make me think of Zoo Tycoon 2, in which every time we added a few koalas to our zoo, within minutes we'd end up with about 56. It was rather disturbing.


Jake said...

Sherlock Holmes = epic.

whisper said...

True story. ^

Brianna da Silva said...

I love these little audio book blurbs you write! Brief, concise, and to-the-point. After reading your thoughts on the Iliad/Odyssey, I think I want to read it... someday! >_>

whisper said...

Oh, thanks! :) And yes, you should read the Iliad and/or the Odyssey. I understand why they're pillars of literature. o_O They were surprisingly epic, considering they were so... old....

J.T.Z. Baner said...

I listened to Peter Pan in Scarlet, and your quote was one of my favorite parts. the rest of Pan stories are good, by are agreeably predictable. I liked the beloved Dearly, and I shall soon read Incarceron and Lord of the Flies, you have me convinced.