Aural Noir Review of This Won’t Kill You by Rex Stout

Aural Noir: Review

DH Audio Mystery Audiobook - This Won’t Kill You by Rex StoutThis Won’t Kill You
By Rex Stout; Read by David Elias
1 Cassette – Approx. 60 Minutes [ABRIDGED]
Publisher: DH Audio
Published: 1998
ISBN: 0886468655
Themes: / Mystery / Murder / Crime / Baseball /

Nero Wolfe couldn’t care less about baseball, even the World Series final game–until four players are drugged. Now a team’s chances, and maybe their star players, are dead. Evidence is hard to find, so Archie Goodwin dodges fists and acid while the boss keeps one little secret from the police.

There’s a whole team of suspects for Nero Wolfe to confront in this peppy locked stadium mystery.

Narator David Elias is terrific, filling his lungs for the resonant corpulence of Wolfe’s voice, then higher pitching and faster talking-it for the energetic Archie Goodwin. As well, Elias offers many variation’s on accents and voices for the numerous other minor characters filling out this novelette. He also ain’t bad with a falsetto. The abridgment is very skillful. Rex Stout’s plots are often highly complex, and can lead a reader to be confused as it is. Whatever was expunged for this edition, this audiobook abridgment is easy to follow.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Crimewav: Cut Man by Christa Faust

Aural Noir: Online Audio

Crimewav podcastI first heard about Christa Faust on the Behind The Black Mask: Mystery Writers Revealed podcast. She was talking with the hosts about her Hard Case Crime novel Money Shot. I bought the paperbook of Money Shot based on that interview. It was a most excellent read – not deep, not particularity original – except that it sure felt that way – Faust knows how to write a truly compelling narrative. Money Shot has now been nominated for an Edgar award! Crimewav, the Crime fiction short story podcast, has one of her shorter works…

Cut Man
By Christa Faust; Read by Christa Faust
1 |MP3| – Approx. 21 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Podcaster: Crimewav.com
Podcast: July 27th, 2008
Every fighter needs a good cut man in his corner. Sadly, this one isn’t a man, nor is she good – she’s down right murderous.

Subscribe to the podcast:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/crimewav

Posted by Jesse Willis

Story Speiler: Scrimshaw by Murray Leinster

SFFaudio Online Audio

The old man just wanted to get back his memory—and the methods he used were gently hellish, from the viewpoint of the others…. that’s the internal description of Murray Leinster’s Scrimshaw, a short story from Astounding Science Fiction’s September 1955 issue. I’d heard that word before, but had to look it up:

scrimshaw [noun]: the name given to handiwork created by whalers made from the byproducts of harvesting marine mammals. It is most commonly made out of the bones and teeth of Sperm Whales, the baleen of other whales, and the tusks of walruses. It takes the form of elaborate carvings in the form of pictures and lettering on the surface of the bone or tooth, with the engravings

Scrimshaw by Murray LeinsterScrimshaw
By Murray Leinster; Read by Roy Trumbull
1 |MP3| – Approx. 39 Minutes [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Story Spieler Podcast
Published: 2009?
Provider: Internet Archive
From Astounding Science Fiction, September 1955. A mining colony on the moon is home to a murderer and to his victim who is slowly recovering memories lost when he was left for dead. A bold attempt is made to hijack $5 million in diamonds from the mine.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of The Book Of Lies by Brad Meltzer

Aural Noir: Review

Book Of Lies by Brad MeltzerThe Book Of Lies
By Brad Meltzer; Read by Scott Brick
10 CDs – Approx. 11.5 Hours [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Published: September 2008
ISBN: 9781600243806
Themes: / Crime / Thriller / Murder / Superman / Florida / Cleveland / Secret Cult /

Cain kills Abel in Chapter Four of the Bible. It is the world’s most famous murder. But the Bible is silent about one key detail: the weapon Cain used to kill his brother. That weapon is still lost to history. In 1932, Mitchell Siegel was killed by three gunshots to his chest. While mourning, his son dreamed of a bulletproof man and created the world’s greatest hero: Superman. And like Cain’s murder weapon, the gun used in this unsolved murder has never been found. Until now. Today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Cal Harper comes face-to-face with his family’s greatest secret: his long-lost father, who’s been shot with a gun that traces back to Michell Siegel’s 1932 murder. But before Cal can ask a single question, he and his father are attacked by a ruthless killer tattooed with the anicent markings of Cain. And so begins the chase for the world’s first murder weapon. What does Cain, history’s greatest villain, have to do with Superman, the world’s greatest hero? And what do two murders, committed thousands of years apart, have in common?

Brad Meltzer has based his novel on two seemingly unconnected ideas – the biblical tale of Cain and Abel and the comic book hero Superman, created by Jerry Siegel. Meltzer has his work cut out for him, with research dating back to the origins of the bible, 19th century Europe, 20th century Cleveland, a historical secret cult, and the workings of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service. Despite these obstacles it feels as though every chapter of The Book Of Lies is based on hard researched truths. The Book Of Lies is pure fiction, but there’s a whole lot of historical fact informing it. When it comes down to a final analysis however the connections that are made are bridged by a rather unlikely global conspiracy. Despite this, I was kept guessing as to what would happen next all the way through, and there were plenty of genuine surprises, clever analogies and explanations throughout. The final revelation made the whole novel extremely worthwhile – it made sense, and makes sense – and given the preposterousness of the premises that’s no small feat.

For fans of Superman The Book Of Lies is a must read. Those interested in comic book history will also find much value here. The main thrust of the entertainment however is the thriller aspect of the writing, offering what is essentially a pop culture version of The DaVinci Code or National Treasure. The Book Of Lies feels as if it was a challenge Meltzer gave to himself, saying: “If I can do this, if I can write this, then I can write anything.” I’m a believer now, and I’m willing to admit, I’ll follow along, Metzler’s proved something here.

Narrator Scott Brick was a little over-dramatic in some of his line deliveries but put in an otherwise very serviceable narration. Disc 10 of this audiobook has a 12 page PDF featuring images from the paperbook. I’ve never seen anything exactly like this done for an audiobook before. The text, and Scott Brick’s narration of the text describing these images, fully illustrated the way these important images fit together while I was listening, but it was a nice extra to see anyway.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Review of Diane … The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper

SFFaudio Review

Diane … The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent CooperDiane … The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper
By Mark Frost and David Lynch (uncredited); Performed by Kyle MacLachlan
1 Cassette – 43 Minutes [AUDIO DRAMA]
Publisher: Simon & Shuster Audio
Published: 1990
ISBN: 067173573X
Themes: / Mystery / Fantasy / Horror / Murder / Crime /

Re-experience the mystery of Twin Peaks in an all new way. The Cooper Tapes. The private world of Special Agent Dale Cooper, previously reserved for one woman…Diane, including notes and stories never revealed on television. From the man in the black suit, Twin Peaks, in his own words.

Diane … The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper is a collection of 39 audio excerpts from the TV series of Agent Cooper recording notes into his voice activated micro mac recorder. All the selections are addressed to “Diane” (presumably his assistant). This is not an audiobook, instead it is more of a quasi-audio drama. If you’ve seen the television series, you’ve heard most of this already.

I distinctly remember purchasing this television tie-in production in the fall of 1990. Twin Peaks-mania was at its peak. I had caught the show’s dynamite first season during the summer re-runs. Series star Kyle MacLachlan had just hosted Saturday Night Live and the first Gulf War was gearing up – (which due to the endless war news update preemptions helped to ultimately doom the show). I suspect it will be very difficult for those who haven’t seen the Twin Peaks television series to follow the story in Diane … The Twin Peaks Tapes Of Agent Cooper – but even if they can, they’ll still be left unsatisfied. There is no ultimate resolution in this single cassette, even if there was to be some in the final episode of the second season. The tape’s story follows FBI special agent Dale Cooper from about 24 hours before the events of the pilot episode to the first episode of the second season. Included are many recordings done on screen and a few recorded specifically for this quasi-audio drama.

In performing the production Kyle MacLachlan is his charismatic self. Anything this guy touches from the Paul Atredies role in the film version of Dune, to the lead in the undersung The Trigger Effect, to his role on Desperate Housewives, I’m up for it. Production wise the new material is fairly well matched to the original soundtrack clips: Ambient noise, wind, road noise, crickets and varied distance from the microphone. Only rarely is another voice heard (notables include Michael Ontkean and Kimmy Robertson). The cassette opens and closes with Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting musical score for the series. This piece of ephemera is littler more than a curiosity, but I quite like it.

Posted by Jesse Willis

Edgar Allan Poe all over BBC7 this week

SFFaudio Online Audio

BBC Radio 7 - BBC7 It’s a busy week over on BBC7 with FIVE whole Poe programs playing! All this is in celebration of Poe’s 200th birthday. If Poe were alive today he’d be a rich man, not because any of his writings are still in copyright, but rather because he’d be able to rake in dough just by doing dramatic readings of his own work. But, since he isn’t still alive [as far as YOU know] we’ll just make do with these…

The Strange Case of Edgar Allan Poe
In this imaginative and mysterious drama by Christopher Cook, one of Poe’s own early creations, the detective C. Auguste Dupin investigates the bizarre and strange death of the writer. First broadcast in 1988, it stars John Moffatt and Kerry Shale and is directed by John Powell.
Sunday at 10am and 8pm

The Pit and the Pendulum
Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling short story was first published in 1842. Read by David Horovitch, it is the tale of the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. The story was abridged by Richard Hamilton and directed by Emma Harding.
Sunday at 11am and 9pm

The Tell-tale Heart
In another of Poe’s atmospheric short stories, a man coldly calculates and commits what he believes is the perfect murder. When he is confronted by members of the constabulary, will his own heart incriminate him? Directed and produced by Clive Stanhope for CSA Word, this classic example of Gothic fiction is read by Richard Pasco.
Sunday at 11.15am and 9.15am

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug
Set in 1838, this is Poe’s story of piracy, slavery and a treasure hunt. It was dramatised by Gregory Evans and first broadcast in 2001. Starring Clarke Peters, John Sharlan, Rhashan Stone and William Hootkins, it is directed by Ned Chaillet.
Saturday at 6pm and Midnight

The Fall of the House of Usher
Our final Edgar Allan Poe offering is read by Sean Barrett. A man’s descent into madness seems bound to the house of his ancestors. It is a Radio 7 commission and was first broadcast in 2003.
Thursday and Friday at 6.30pm and 12.30pm

Posted by Jesse Willis