Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Chronicles of Narnia

By: C.S. Lewis

   As a kid I’m sure I heard these books several times, and I’m fairly sure I listened to the audiobooks a few years ago while on a job. When I listened to the entire series this week it was like I had never heard them before. This time I listened to a Focus on the Family dramatized version of the series, and it was really good.
Of course I remembered The Lion, the witch, and the wardrobe quite well, but the details of the other books were only vague at best. I found that I liked the other books as much or more than The Lion- - - The Magicians Nephew which is the first in Chronological order was one of the best, the Silver Chair was really good,as was The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and A Horse and His Boy. This was an incredibly well written series from the early to late 1950’s. Little do most people know, that this series is closely paralleled to the Holy Bible. It takes some great deal of explanation but the story line is very similar.
   What I also found very interesting (somewhat unrelated) is that C.S. “Jack” Lewis and our boy JRR Tolkien were very close friends. There was a group of three scholars that met regularly to discuss books, fantasy, life, religion, and whatever else came to mind. This trio included; Lewis, Tolkien, and a guy named Charles Williams. (Check out the book “The Inklings”) They thought that three was the perfect number for a meeting of the minds such as this, because it offered one-on-one discussion while a third could observe, the interactions of the other two, two understand them better. This would allow each person an added level of intimacy because they could see them as they know them, and as they are with another person. They could get to know each other on another level by seeing who they were with another person.This was very important to them, then Williams had a very early death and destroyed the perfect system the three had. 

    Anyway, that was a bit off topic. You’ve heard of Narnia, hopefully the movies didn’t ruin the audiobooks for you. Give them this series a listen or another listen. The dramatized version was really well done. I was able to easily listen to a book or a book and a half per day while at work. You don’t have to pay super close attention, but you could miss a few small details. I recommend Narnia to you, in whatever order you decide to listen. Each book stands fairly well on its own, and there are a lot of interesting characters and creatures to get to know. Another side note; You can see a lot of writing that both authors chose to start their series with magical rings...

Book Listing (Chronological Order:
The Magicians Nephew
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Horse and His Boy
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
The Last Battle

★★☆ 4/5 Stars

Genre: Fantasy, Family, Children, Adventure, Fiction

Book to movie rating: 
Original Movies: B
Newer Movie: C

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Adventures of Huck and Tom

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn & Tom Sawyer
By Mark Twain

These were two separate books, that I listened to back to back. Tom and Huck are both two young boys who love adventure. Sometimes the lines are blurred between what is reality and what is real, and this makes for a really good listen. While both boys are pretty feral, Tom Sawyer lives in a house with a kindly old lady, somewhat regularly goes to school and church, while Huck Finn lives in and out with his drunken father. Huck feel more suited to live in old barns, caves, and the such so the church people don’t tell him he can’t smoke, have a good chew, or cuss. The two boys kind of envy each other, but are unable to go all in, into the others’ lifestyle because its just a little extreme. This makes for a really good team, because they can both temporarily go all in, or a day or two at a time. Did I mention they are both rich? You’ll have to listen to learn about that.
I quite enjoyed these audiobooks. It took be about two work days to get through them. I had a bit of culture shot when listening to them because they are extremely NOT 2000’s politically correct.These books were written in the late 1880’s while slavery was still very current. While it is an interesting looking into our past, if you are sensitive to certain words that end with R, you might want to read the versions I hear speak of that have edited these books to be an easier listen for the 2015-Politically-Correct ear.

It’s nice once in awhile to take a break from current Syfy and Fantasy to go back to try out a classic. I recommend this for a 2-day listen. I tried to write you a review on The Canterbury Tales but the combo of poetry and old english got to me in about two minutes. I should research to see if anyone was rewritten them in modern English and also unpoetrized them. Yes, I invented a word just now, someone go ahead and Urban dictionize that. and also that. I was able to listen to this thanks to a contributor at

Runtime: Aprx 16.7 hours

                                                                                          ★★☆ 4/5 Stars

                                             Genre: Children's Literature, Adventure, Classic, Bildungsroman

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Millennium Trilogy

By Stieg Larsson

The Girl Who.. series, was a great series. The closest thing that I can think to compare it to was True Detective. It had a lot of similarities. The series is basically a crime/conspiracy/mystery revolving around the publication “Millennium” 

The two main characters are Mikael Blomkist and Lisbeth Salander, and the trilogy included several other characters that you get to know quite well. Mikael is a skilled reporter for Millennium, and as you may have guessed Lisbeth is a bright, dark girl with a very troubled past. They often work together to dig up facts to… well, basically expose and stop bad guys.

The first book was my favorite, the second book was good, and the third as good but just seemed a little too long. As a whole, I was impressed with the series. t was really well written, there seems to be very little if anything lost in translation, as the original books were written in Swedish. The first book was written in 1954 surprisingly, and the last was complete in 2004. Larsson has intended to write 10 books in total but died 7 books short of that mark.

I have not seen the movies that have been made in the last several years with that James Bond guy but have heard that they were very dark and not very good. I look forward to trying one out.

I definitely recommend this series if you enjoy a good, well written mystery. If you sit at a desk, like me all day and have plenty of time to kill, this might be perfect!

Book listing:
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl Who Played With Fire
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest

Runtime: Aprx 55.5 hours

                                                                                          ★★ 4/5 Stars

                                             Genre: Mystery, Crime, Suspense, Thriller, Fiction, Adult, Adventure