It's 2020, and an attempted cure for AIDS has mutated into a deadlier disease, V-CIDS. The United States, under martial law, has set up "quarantine centers" in the Southwest. Searching for his gay son, Jon, media mogul Michael Barris smuggles himself into one of the centers, only to discover that it and the other centers are actually extermination camps. With a strange assortment of allies, including the leader of the camp's gay barracks, an Army officer, and a local cowboy, Barris precipitates an inmates' rebellion that promises the unraveling of the death-camp system and the overthrow of the government that established it.
© and (P)1996, 2007 Tracy Hickman
"Excellent and exciting...depicts a future far too many Americans think they'd like to see...an important book." (Robin Wayne Bailey)
"Powerful, disturbing, with its vision of a future that is all too possible, the true message of Hickman's The Immortals is ultimately a message of hope." (Margaret Weis)
"Boasts some considerable virtues, including superior characterization, a carefully built setting and excellent pacing....[Hickman's] to be commended for his daring and vision." (Publishers Weekly)
I can't comment on the actual story as I had to stop reading about 10 minutes in. The constant ringings and buzzings in the background gave me a migraine. -.-
Much to my chagrin I did not read the reviews before purchasing this book. I have other audio books by the author and am pleased with them so was not prepared for the disturbing sound affects to be found on this recording. Most disturbing in my opinion is the alternating high and low buzz similar to a cell phone ringing, in the background that has nothing to do with the story but is just THERE.
Unfortunately because of vision problems I don't have the option of reading the book from the library so I am just stuck with an extremely disappointing recorded book that is probably a pretty good book.
I really wish I had read the other reviews before buying this audiobook. The story may be great, but I'll never know; I can't stand to listen past the first chapter.
They say it was read and "performed" by Hickman and a relative. I've usually enjoyed listening to authors read their own work. Had Hickman stuck to just reading it, it would have worked ok. Sadly, he also produced it (in his living room?), and had someone with a electric keyboard and a stack of sound effect CDs doing really cheesy background noises.
What finally got me was the loud, continuous sound loop of a protesting crowd- when there was no protesting going on in the story. I couldn't even focus on the author's words it was so distracting.
I might check the book out from the library. I certainly won't be buying it. The authors have gotten too much money from me for this mess.
"Professional Reader needed"
The premise of this book looked interesting prompting me to purchase it. It's the only audio book I could not finish because of the unskilled handling of the reading. I think it's the authors brother. Good intentions are not enough - skill is required. The story too is over told and didactic in nature. Not recommended.
"bad case of DYI"
This is a good book ruined by a well meaning, but amateurish, overdone production. The author and his wife should have gotten professionals to read and done their homework by listening exemplars such as Will Patton reading the James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux books. THAT is the creme de la creme. And lose the repetitive, overblown music: your story deserves it.
This audio rendition can't decide if it is an old time radio show or a reading of a book. The audio quality sounds as if it was done in someone's basement. At first the sound effects appear to be mistakes in the recording, but then you realize they are supposed to be there. They are added in odd places and though the author does a decent job reading, they should have left it to professionals. The story is decent, but I may have to read the book to see if I like the story or not.
"Take a pass"
The narration and audio on this book is almost unbearable. The story is a very good one and extremely original. Unfortunately, its difficult to listen to audiobook. The dramatization was amateurish at best and the background sound effects were entirely too loud.
"worse than bad"
Hickman is good, character development and flow of the story are fine, but the production is the worst I have heard ever!!!!! The musical interludes are long and distracting.
"bad writing and bad reading"
After dozens of audiobooks, this is clearly the absolute worst for audio. A professional reader would have helped, but the annoying sound effects and musical interludes are nearly unbearable. One whole chapter has a phone ringing constantly.
As far as the plot goes, some listeners may find it interesting, but the whole concept is quite implausible. After 30 years of AIDS as a slow, contagious disease, it's hard to imagine, why a more virulent form that kills in a matter of weeks to months would create the desire to lock them all up as well as feel the need to intentionally kill them before they succumb to a natural death. In fact, if AIDS were in fact more virulent, the epidemic would likely run itself out in a matter of several decades anyway.
The author writes with an axe to grind against everything that is non-gay. Gays are unjustly villified in the novel and society has been transported 100 years back in time, rather than forward. The character of the internment camp is also completely unrealistic since the "prisoners" behave as if they have lived there for years rather than a few weeks. The "make work" activities and structured play would be more at home in a North Korean re-education camp, rather than what should be middle class educated Americans.
The implausibility of this scenario simply serves to make the characters actions either meaningless or unrealistic.
"This is a pretty Good Book :}"
This isn't as bad a book as every one is making it out to be I liked it just fine and will probbly listen to it again But not right away..
I gave it 5 stars because I would like to see the overall rating come some the book is worth the price and the time of the listen
"Not a "vampire" story"
It's not a light summer read I was expecting. A great story, interesting & serious, a "what would you do" story. Author creates the picture of near & very possible future, the measures government could take, and the society would go along with, for the greater good and protection of "majority".
ABSOLUTELY HORRENDOUS NARRATION & RECORDING!!! What makes it even worse, the author is the narrator. How could he do it to his own book?!!!! OK, the narration itself is not that bad, only the parts where he puts on the accents. They are so strong, it's impossible to understand what is being said. And it is especially irritating, since characters' accents don't affect the story line in any way.
THE SOUND EFFECTS ARE UNBEARABLE!!! First of all, their volume is a lot louder than the voice. Come on! I want to hear the story, not the noise that is supposedly happening in it, AND IT NEVER STOPPED - FORM THE VERY BEGINNING TO THE VERY END! The setting is in a windy place - the wind never stopped howling, thousands of people live in that place - the background noise of the crowd is always there. Every single action was audible - the creaking of the door, breaking glass, crumpling paper, explosions, motors, coughing crying, you name it - you heard it, even vomiting, for god's sake!
Almost forgot -- LOUD "PATRIOTIC" MUSIC AT THE BEGINNIG OF EVERY CHAPTER. And he is reading through it!!! There's no way to hear what he is saying! I couldn't make out 90% of the chapter names. If you really have to play it, just wait till it's over, and than start the reading!
Bottom line, this one must be read, not listened to.
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