Audiobook Reviews

Books To Which I Have Listened, Eh?
"Bitchen" Ric Johnson


Listen and Live Audio

The World's Shortest Stories  Edited by Steve Moss  NEW
       This is a remarkable collection of fifty-five-word fiction pieces. Muller is one of three readers delivering a plethora of pleasing short short stories. This book is a compilation of stories written by many, many people, and shows how remarkably much can be said in only fifty-five words. Ranging from love to murder to horror, some of these stories require a second and third listen to fully grasp the authors' intent. Each story has conflict and resolution (usually in the form of a twist at the end) just like full-length novels.
       The great thing about this two-tape set is that you can get a fulfilling story on the shortest of car rides. A quick trip to the store a mile from my house renders no less than five complete stories.
       Highly Recommended


Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio

The Runaway Jurywd  by John Grisham
     This is one of the best readings I've heard. The accompanying clip demonstrates a dozen different voices in the span of eight minutes. And astounding performance of an equally intriguing book. If you like Grisham (The Firm, The Partner), this is the only way to experience his works.


Penguin Audiobooks

The Green Mile (Serial)wd : Parts 1-6 (Box Set) by Stephen King NEW
     I hated this book in print when I read it in monthly installments. It seemed that King was out of his element with not being able to go back and rewrite or change the overall length of the book. But knowing how the story comes out and who's guilty make it better the second time through.
     This is an amazing performance. Muller never ceases to amaze me how he can bring a cajun, a french Canadian (with differing accents), a large Black man, and a couple of old (yet different) women to life just by altering his inflection. This is an excellent example of the vast array of voices he can conjure. Any fault with this book is strictly King's.

"The Night Flier" from Nightmares & Dreamscapes, Vol III by Stephen King
     An average story for King. A silly one about a vampire who pees blood and flies around in a dirt-filled Cessna.
     This collection has a couple of good moments, though. Grace Slick reading "You Know They Got a Hell of a Band" (about a town of dead rockers) and a delightful story called "The Ten O'Clock People" about people who step out for a cigarette at ten o'clock everyday. A couple of truely off-the-wall horror stories.

The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
     This is just a re-release of an earlier recording for Recorded Books, Inc. to coincide with the release of the movie. (see Different Seasons: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption)
     "When Penguin wanted to coordinate an audio release with the film, they acquired the rights from RB. Scuttlebutt is that King insisted - I've never gotten the full story..." -- FrankM


Recorded Books, Inc (800.638.1304)

1984 by George Orwell
     You know, I could never get through this book in high school. But sitting on my lawn tractor mowing eight acres, this book took me away to Orwell's universe. I'm not saying 1984 isn't a good book. It is. But in my case it was a good example of how a book on tape can drag you through the details of a book you might skip past or miss while reading it in print. My optical centers, not bogged down with lexical processing, were free to build the scenes in my head as Muller poured them through my ears.
     If you have to read 1984 for school, this is the only way to do it.

A Map of The World by Jane Hamilton NEW
     read with C.J.Critt
     The parts that Muller reads are great. The Critt stuff is marginal. That could easily be because of the first person change. That the female character is simply more annoying to "listen in" on.
     If you have young kids, you'll relate to this book well. It has a lot to do with trying to keep your family together under circumstances way out of your control. This isn't my kind of fiction. I survived it because of the reader and that I have small kids--but if it were a movie, I'd wait for the video and make sure I had a date.

Different Seasons: The Apt Pupil by Stephen King
     I'm going to have to say that this book is not for the faint of heart. It investigates the cruel workings of a Nazi war criminal's mind. It describes, in detail, the thrill that one might get from gassing innocent beings. A haunting, yet interseting, study. This is not light entertainment. For something lighter, listen to Shawshank
     I hear they're making a movie of this. (I read it on Coming Attractions, a very cool site.) Such a movie would certianly be strange. On the order of Angelheart and Seven combined.

Different Seasons: The Body by Stephen King
     Seen Stand by Me? It's this story. Another rare instance (like Shawshank) where a King movie and his book are strikingly similar. (Dolores Claiborne being the only other instance.)

Different Seasons: The Breathing Method by Stephen King

Different Seasons: Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King
     This is the story that the movie, The Shawshank Redemption with Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, was based on. If you liked the movie, then definitely listen to this.
     Far and away the best performance Muller has ever given (and it has won
awards for it). Lent excellent material by King, Muller takes us to a place far away without ever calling attention to his performance. I don't know which I love more: the story or the performance -- but their synergy is one you must experience!

The Game of Thirty by William Kotzwinkle
     Saving this book is Muller's extrodinary mastery of accents, especially an Hasidic Jew from New York. The story itself crests at the middle and rolls clumsily downhill with a movie-of-the-week sensationalism to it's predictable end. A good example of how Muller's mastery can make many unreadable works a joy to experience. This is not a book I would have finished if I were reading it in print, but the performance made it worth my while. (For another example of this phenomenon, see Elmore Leonard's Riding the Rap.)

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice

Nop's Hope by Donald McCaig
     sequel to Hope's Trials, also read by Muller

Riding the Rapwd by Elmore Leonard
     You'd think the guy who wrote Get Shorty (hey that's on Showtime tonight, gotta record that. . .) would do a better job of constructing a flawless hitman tale. Think again. If it weren't being read by Muller, I would have put this book down a third of the way into it. Silly.

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice



wd Recorded at WaveDancer Studio











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Java Developer, World Traveler, Last of the Big-Time Spenders