Four original, unabridged, full-cast productions of Gail Carriger's most beloved fantasy short stories:
"The Curious Case of the Werewolf That Wasn't, the Mummy That Was, and the Cat in the Jar": A mummified cat, a secret agent, and an aristocrat entangle Alessandro Tarraboti (father of Alexia Tarraboti from the Parasol Protectorate series) in a rollicking, wry adventure into the supernatural secrets of ancient Egypt.
"Marine Biology": Inconveniently a werewolf, unexpectedly alive, and secretly gay, marine biologist Alex finds himself forcibly shackled to a flirty merman on the hunt for some sinister selkies. An unconventional romance between impossible partners told with the kind of wit and comedy that made Gail a household name.
"Fairy Debt": Despite being a fairy, Cups can't grow wings due to a death promise to a local king. Entering service in his castle as the Least Jester, she must find a way to earn her wings while navigating the hazards of cupcakes, tea demons, and the occasional Earth dragons.
"My Sister's Song": Fantasy, history, and subversive strategy collide in this Roman-era tale of a warrior, Mithra, who must repel an entire legion alone and armed only with a very peculiar weapon. Her sticky solution to this impossible problem must be heard to be believed.
Featuring performances by fellow fantasy writers Philippa Ballantine, Chris Lester, and Tee Morris as well as an original soundtrack by composer Danny Schade.
©2001 Gail Carriger (P)2014 ArtisticWhispers Productions, Inc.
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loved every minute. will enjoy again. gail is a one of a kind mind! wonderful.
"Amazing full cast but mixed bag of stories."
Had no idea when I bought this that it was a full cast production -- complete with background music and sound effects! I was utterly delighted. Neither the effects or the music overwhelmed the larger story, and it was fascinating to hear the dialogue truly come alive with different actors.
Best by far was the twists & flirtation in the "Marine Biology" story. I don't think I've laughed so hard in AGES. Not only was it delightful to see Carriger write for a modern time (I've only ever read her Protectorate series, which is Victorian) but the full cast absolutely blew this one away. I was stuck in stop&go traffic at the time and I'm sure the nearby drivers must have thought me insane as I shrieked with laughter.
Sound effects and music were subtle and never distracted from the story -- things like laughter, a gunshot, or a closing door. The narrators did a fantastic job of conveying emotion with pace & tone.
"Marine Biology" and the Werewolf stories had me on the edge of my seat, definitely.
For me, this was a 2/4 set -- the Fae story was okay, more of a kid's story than anything. The Sister's Song story was kind of lackluster and to be honest pretty horrifying. The casual way in which the character describes how her tribe deals with the end result was a bit rough. The full cast remained amazing in both, but I could have done without those two stories and have been happy with the Werewolf & Marine Biology ones.
"Great writing but performances underwhelming."
Love the author's style! (Parasol Protectorate fan-girl) but the old fashioned radio-style performance was not to my taste at all. I'll stick to one-reader audiobooks in future.
"Ugg! Why full cast?!"
The stories are good but really degraded by the choice of a full cast recording. The sound effects are annoying and distracting and cartoonish. The multiple voices make the recording sound disjointed. It really detracts from the story. It's like trying to focus on someone telling you a joke in the middle of a disco dance floor with a gaggle of clowns popping up on all sides of you! The stories were good though if I ever want to reread them I will do it in a different format. As much as I love Gail Carriger that was painful to listen to and in the future I will not bother with full cast productions. Why would you do that to otherwise good stories? Why?
"Difficult to review"
I found this collection of 4 short stories difficult to enjoy, because the full-cast production was so distracting. These narrators are not professionals. I'm going to assume that they weren't paid because why pay a number of people for mediocre work if you could afford one good narrator?
Because of the narration it is difficult to critique the writing. Were they good stories? Maybe. But like I said, the narration/performance detracted from the overall quality. The first story, Marine Biology, was good, despite the performance. If you can get past that, it's worth the whole collection for that one story. Hard to tell with the other stories. Were they boring, or was it the lack of quality in the reading? Certainly, Carriger's witty dialogue and funny antics are present, but not as enjoyable as it could have been.
"Not my favorite as it's a play and hard to follow"
This is more of a play than an audiobook, as many actor voices are used in narration and include music sounds and soundtracks. Because it's a play with different voices it was hard to listen to while driving. The voices took me a while to figure out who was who, so I had to concentrate on the story instead of my driving. Not a good combo, so the stories had to wait. This frustrated me greatly.
Apparently this play format was a crowdfunded project and Gail Carriger was also the executive producer of this play/audiobook.
I greatly admire Gail and her writing, but in this case I should have purchased the written version rather than the audiobook. The play wasn't badly done, but it was confusing at times, and definitely not the level of professionalism and clarity I would have expected. The different voices, accents.. and in one story the character talked so fast I had to check and see if I'd accidentally hit the higher playback speed. On that one I couldn't even wash dishes while listening, as it had to take my full attention.
The first story includes an alternative lifestyle (Gay) theme, so if that bothers you then skip over that one. I found the story lines to be very simplistic. Honestly, only the last story focusing on Alex Terrabotti (spelling?) grabbed my interest like her Parasol Protector books have.
I'm sorry Gail, but I've had to rate the performance and stories only 3 stars. I'm even considering returning the book to Audible for a refund, then going and buying the written (or Kindle) version instead. I'm pretty sure I'd prefer the voices in my head over trying to figure out who was talking when. As a true admirer of yours it breaks my heart to write this review, but having met you in person (Portland, OR) my feeling is that you'd prefer honesty.
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