Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Beautiful Truth (by Colin McAdam)

A Beautiful Truth
by Colin McAdam
Published by SOHO Press, September 17, 2013

WHO: Louee, a chimpanzee…
WHAT: is adopted by a childless couple…
WHERE: in Vermont…
WHEN: in the early 1970s…
WHY: as a sort of surrogate son.
HOW: The couple anthropomorphize the primate and inadvertently inculcate a dual nature within Louee.

+ Stylistically, A Beautiful Truth is interesting in its use of and reference to language: Dialogue is stripped of quotes and; Pronouns are not necessarily tethered to the subject in the topic sentence of a paragraph. The reader needs to linger a little over each sentence to catch the current of mood that will take him/her to the next point.
+ The novel raises some intriguing questions about the nature of primates and the fine line that may exist between humans and apes. The whole of the novel is cut with chapters from various chimps’ points of view, which are written in short truncated sentences; and while the humans’ chapters are more fully developed, the sentence structures themselves are not complex. The near stream of consciousness from both the human and the apes emphasizes the similarities between the primates.
+ Humans tend to project human meaning into other orders of animals, and Judy and Walt (the adopting couple) are no different. However, the actions described by the very words that emphasize commonalities, throw into sharp relief the wild nature of non-human animals. 

- The reader needs to work a little to negotiate and hopscotch the atolls of mood and thought as presented as a result of the writing style, making the novel as a whole semantically challenging.


SAVE THE CHIMPS: Half of the net profits from the book's sales will benefit Save the Chimps, the largest chimpanzee sanctuary in the world, providing home and care for 300+ chimps.

OTHER: I received a paperback ARC of A Beautiful Truth (by Colin McAdam) from a publishing industry professional and friend. The ARC was unsolicited but highly recommended by my friend. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Audiobook Week Mid-Week Meme

Jenn K. a.k.a. devourerofbooks, is hosting Audiobook Week 2013, which consists of prompts for daily postings relating to audiobook love :-)

Today's Prompts:

Current/most recent audiobook:

The Man in the Empty Suit
by Sean Ferrell
narrated by Mauro Hantman
Ⓟ 2013, AudioGO

+ The story is fascinatingly complex and demands the listeners attention
- The narrator has a clear voice but had difficulty shaping the text, delineating characters and maintaining the feminine tenor of a key figure
- There was distracting booth noise late in the audio production 

Current/most recent favorite audiobook:

The Ghosts of Belfast
by Stuart Neville
narrated by Gerard Doyle
Ⓟ 2009, Audible, Inc.

This is the latest entry to my Personal Pantheon of All-Time Great Audiobooks, coincidentally displacing another Gerard Doyle-narrated audio, The Dead Trilogy (Dead I Well May Be, The Dead Yard and The Bloomsbury Dead; by Adrian McKinty.) Even though the audio was published in 2009 and I listened to it in 2012; and I've listened to a lot of good and sometimes very good audio in the past year, nothing since as come my way that I absolutely made me drop whatever it was that I was doing and just listen.

Favorite narrator you’ve discovered recently:

Davina Porter

I read Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series in print, so the audio that Davina Porter is most noted for is something that I haven't experienced! But this year, I listened to Splendors and Glooms (by Laura Amy Schlitz) and loved her performance! From the Armchair Audies review I wrote and posted:
Her cultured voice, distinct characterizations, her ability to disappear into the text, mark her as a master narrator. In Splendors and Glooms, Davina Porter voices the POVs of an aged crone, an old, sleazy man, a pre-adolescent girl with theatrical training, an illiterate street urchin (boy) and a little rich girl, all with seeming ease. Splendors and Glooms is a relatively long book for children's fare, but the narrator's pace never flagged and was as strong at the end as it was in the beginning.

One title from your TBL (to be listened) stack, or your audio wishlist:

The Dead Beat
by Jim Butcher
narrated by James Marsters
Ⓟ 2010, Penguin Audio

If past experience is any indicator, the writing wil be terrible; but the narration will be great! I'm starting this one today though I've had it in hand for a couple of years!

Monday, June 17, 2013

2012-2013, My Audiobook Year

Jenn K. a.k.a. devourerofbooks is hosting Audiobook Week 2013, which consists of prompts for daily postings relating to audiobook love :-)

Today's prompt: 
"Are you new to audiobooks in the last year? Have you been listening to them forever but discovered something new this year? Favorite titles? New times/places to listen? This is your chance to introduce yourself and your general listening experience." 

I've been listening to audiobooks and working in the industry for about eighteen years now! Yep, I pretty much eat, breathe and live audiobooks. It's more than a job or a hobby, it's a lifestyle :-)
I left Blackstone Audio last October to pursue freelance opportunities! 
Sometimes scary! But exhilarating too! I've been able to work on some great audiobooks! :-)

I judged the category of Best Audiobook for "Children, Ages 8-12" for the Armchair Audies! Wow, I learned so much about children's audiobooks from judging this category with my daughter (who is between the ages of eight and twelve!) You can read about what I learned in my post, Armchair Audies: Best Audiobook for Children Ages 8-12 Wrap Up Post, which also contains links to reviews of the contenders. The Armchair Audies judged seventeen categories this year and you can check out what's what at :-)

Favorite Audiobooks!
Two books that greatly influenced me in 2012 were The Weight of the Nation (by John Hoffman and Judith Salerno, M.D., M.S. with Alexandra Moss; narrated by Bernadette Dunne) and Black Genius: Inspirational Portraits of African-American Leaders (by Dick Russell; narrated by Kevin Kenerly.) You can read a little bit more about the how and why they impacted me in my post,  Epiphanies 2012

I've pretty much shuttered my blog,!
Except for special runs like The Armchair Audies and Audiobook Week (and Murder, Monsters and Mayhem this year and Zombie Awareness Month next year if I can get my act together,) I've ceased and desisted from blogging.  I love the blogging community, and I'm still on twitter (@dogearedcopy) and always willing to facilitate whatever other blogging projects you have in mind that you think that I can help with; but the daily angst of trying to find the right turn of phrase for a review or posting content consistently has been kicked to the curb in favor of playing with puppies, frolicking in the sun and reading more!

I hike! And bike!
For exercise, I hike and bike a little; but I don't listen to audiobooks when I'm doing either. With the very real threat of bears, rattlesnakes and mountain lions on the trails, not to mention aggressive mountain bikers and hunters, I prefer to be more aware of my surroundings :-)

You can see what I wrote for the meme in years past:

A couple of other JIAM posts :-)