Enter the spell-binding worlds of best-selling author Robert Stanek and dream a new dream. The book contains two novellas, two short stories and a special feature exclusive:
©2005 Robert Stanek; (P)2005 Reagent Press
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Hands down, the best written and best narrated Audible book I've heard yet. I found the writing clean and precise and thoroughly enjoyable. The books has four well told and well written stories.
The stories have something for everyone whether you like mystery, action, scifi, adventure. "Magic Lands" is a fun adventure. "August Rains" is sad and haunting in its own way. "Silence is Golden" really makes you think. "Absolutes" had me on the edge of my seat.
I had trouble getting out of the car. I think this might be at the top of my list at the moment for favorite audiobooks. Enjoy!
"Best thing that's happened to Audio in YEARS!"
After the very first story, I was hooked. OUTSTANDING book. Great writing, great stories. Truly worthy of high praise. If this book doesn't recieve an Emmy or an Audie (preferably both), it will only reaffirm my belief that the people in charge of running those awards things suck moose balls.
Not a single weak story; this is one of those story collections that is good from start to finish. There's a scene with Ev from Silence is Golden that brought goosebumps up and down my skin. Not because it was scary but because it was so real, so dead on. I mention this because it's the hardest I've focussed on anything in years. One of many gold moments.
I cannot get enough of Robert Stanek?s work - my wife and I have already converted both sets of parents, several friends, and I'm working on my co-workers. The narrators are amazing, the writing brilliant - you won't be disappointed. Actually, you'll probably come back here to order more of his work!
I don't know what the other readers saw in these stories. I thought they were very shallow (despite aspiring to depth) and completely boring. This was my 53rd book "read" on Audible.com and it was by far the worst. The funny thing is, I am really enjoying Robert Stanek's "The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches" series and am eagerly awaiting the next.
These stories were so dull it was pure torture to listen to them. The narration in "Silence is Golden" in particular was so bad I wanted to choke the narrator. The only thing that kept me listening was boredom during my long commute to work. The best way I can describe these stories is that they sounded like someone picked up and then published a cocktail napkin upon which Mr. Stanek had written notes to later develop into real stories. My advice: stick to the Kingdoms and Elves of the Reaches series and save your money.
Really couldn't even get a feel for the book because the performance was so monotone I couldn't bear to listen any longer
"A memorable and entertaining audiobook"
The Robert Stanek Short Story collection begins with an introduction to the author and the stories in the collection, and includes 4 stories plus several bonus materials. I'm an avid reader and listener, and for me this was a good choice. The collection has several different readers.
The first story in the collection is Magic Lands Journey Beyond the Beyond, the longest and best selection. This is the story of a young man named Ray who sets out to prove himself to his village by journeying to the "place lost and deep." This journey is a rite of passage for his people, and like any rite of passage there are things Ray must do on his journey. Ray's encounters with strange creatures, an outsider girl, and an old man shape his journey.
Magic Lands Journey Beyond the Beyond is followed by a bonus excerpt from The Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches. This excerpt introduces the story of Vilmos. The narrator for both of these selections is very, very good.
Silence is Golden is the next story. This is the story of Ev who must make a terrible dark choice. While this is selection is fairly short, it is thoughtprovoking and interesting. I didn't like the narrator for this selection very much, but the story made up for it.
Silence is Golden is followed by August Rains. This is the story of John Anderson who is reminscing his past through a visit to the schoolhouse where he taught. This story is sentimental and moving in many ways, and I story I listened to a second time immediately to catch all the nuances.
Absolutes is the final story in the collection. Like Magic Lands, it is fairly long and quite well done. I liked how the story twists around back on itself and the science behind the fiction is interesting.
I thought this was a good collection. I wish the second narrator had been as good as the first, but the stories make up for it. I had to adjust the EQ settings on my iPod for the second narrator.
"What a good listen"
I am a long time Audible customer. I purchased this audio book, and enjoyed it greatly which is why I give it strong rating. I've been reading and listening to the works of Robert Stanek for several years now. He has an intelligent pen, and a solid style. This story collection contains an introduction to the author and his works, followed by four well-written, well-voiced stories. Other bonuses include a guide to his world of Ruin Mist, and an sample from The Kingdoms and the Elves books.
What I like most about Stanek's writing is he doesn't let the story get bogged down in too many details, the stories move at a fast pace. The story collection has three different narrators, and the stories cover a wide selection of genres from the contempory and more literary "August Rains" to the coming-of-age fantasy "Journey Beyond the Beyond" to the science fiction stories "Silence is Golden" and "Absolutes." As a fan of Philip K. Dick, the underlying subtext of Stanek's scifi stories was clear to me. I loved these cautionary tales and the alternate futures they create.
As far as the narration, I had no issues with it. The voicing is good, the pacing is sometimes a bit fast, but still good.
"Confused and annoyed"
I, too, am confused by these reviews. Honestly the best audible book? I find all the vocal talent incomprehensible. The first seems to be trying to speak in some sort of welsh, lyrical cadence that completely mismatches the text. Applied to a fantasy work full of new words and terms, it made no sense to me. The other talent sounds like a speaker for promotional audio -- radio commercials, maybe.
I'm very disappointed with the content and can't finish it. I feel cheated and annoyed.
I'm confused by the hugely positive reviews. Is it a case of 'love it or hate it'??
"Don't be fooled!!!!!"
Don't be fooled!!!!! When I first listened to the "sample" voice I thought it would be great. But the author reads too quickly and in a monotone - that makes it hard to follow. Also since it is a compilation the first story is never finished! The other stories are read by a HORRIBLE voice - sounds like an advertisment - AND IT IS! because they are excerpts of other books. AUDIBLE _ I WANT MY MONEY BACK!
"Something is terribly wrong with these reviews"
I purchased this book based on a few of the best reviews I've ever seen. Wow! I thought people would have given it 6 stars if they could. They even said it was the best narrated they'd ever heard!
Pah! This has got to be some kind of marketing ploy because I couldn't figure out why anyone would say these things about this audio book. I came back to read the reviews again because I thought I'd been dreaming. Turns out, there are a few reviews now that say the complete opposite of the glowing reviews that led me to get this book. They, like myself, are very suspicious of these wild praises on a book that could be a model for how not to narrate.
The first story is almost impossible to follow unless you are working hard and trying not to breath. If you do, you miss words. The guy reads like he's in a reading race, and has a foreign accent on top of a british accent. He'll read the last word of one paragraph and the first of the next like they're both in the middle of one sentence. He doesn't seem to comprehend what he's reading. Add to that, the otherworld quality of the story, which uses odd phrases that take some effort to interpret, and it's just not worth it. I was interested in the characters, but after reading the real reviews, I'm through with this. I went ahead and confirmed that the stories don't really finish, and this is the better of the narrators. The other guy sounds like a game show announcer doing product descriptions. No exaggeration! It's the worst reading I've ever heard, with the exception of the first guy on this book.
And the last part really is a commercial!!!! quote: "we can't say more without giving the story away".
What a massive rip off. The only reason this doesn't get zero stars is that Audible makes you give it at least one.
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