Michael Cavacini

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Archive for the category “Books”

Audible Review: The 64th Man

Audible has consistently raised the bar when it comes to audiobooks. With The 64th Man, the bar has been raised yet again. Starring professional wrestler and actor John Cena, this Audible Original is an excellent, slickly produced, humorous tale about an athlete trying to find himself and his place in the world. Despite being a casual sports fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.

I was impressed by John Cena’s excellent voice over work, and the supporting cast is wonderful too—especially Jane Curtin as Mildred. At a little over five hours in length, this story blows by and it has a satisfying conclusion. While some audiobooks have incorporated sound effects in their production, The 64th Man takes everything to another level. It felt like listening to a movie or TV show, which made for a highly enjoyable and immersive experience. If this is the future of audiobooks, then the future is bright.

 

Audible Review: The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

Prior to reading The Thief of Always, I had heard great things about this book. What I didn’t expect was how much I’d wind up enjoying it. The Thief of Always is now not only one of my favorite Clive Barker books, it’s one of my all-time favorite books in general, regardless of the author. Why? Because it is a tightly-woven fable with vivid imagery, whimsy, and grandeur. What impressed me most was the writing style. I’m used to Clive Barker’s dark, macabre writing style. You won’t get any of that here. It’s so dramatically different that I thought I was reading another author’s book. The Thief of Always has a charming and lovingly presented style that goes down as smoothly as an ice-cold orange cream soda on a sweltering summer day. The characters are splendid, and the story is epic and succinct all at once. While reading this book, I experienced the same joy that I did from watching The Neverending Story as a child. I was filled with awe and happiness because I was fully immersed in a world I didn’t want to leave. Even better, the narrator for this Audible Original is perfect. His warm, emotive voice perfectly captures the mood and tone of the book and enhances it tenfold. Everyone should experience The Thief of Always—it’s a timeless tale for young and old about the wonders of the world . . . and beyond.

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Audible Review: Tortured Souls by Clive Barker

Clive Barker is an incredibly creative person. Books, movies, paintings⁠—Clive Barker has created them all and done so masterfully. Oftentimes, his artistry will span across multiple mediums at the same time, which is the case with Tortured Souls. This novella, which is an Audible exclusive, consists of writings that accompanied Todd McFarlane action figures of the same name. These figures were released between 2001-2002, and each of them included a 32-page novelette. There were two sets of figures. The first contained six figures⁠—each accompanied by a novelette exclusive to that figure. The second batch of six figures didn’t include any new written material. In February 2015, these novelettes were combined to create the Tortured Souls novella.

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Audible Review: Cabal by Clive Barker

Originally released in 1988, Cabal is one of Clive Barker’s most well known stories because it was the basis for the cult classic film Nightbreed. The protagonist Boon is “a tortured soul haunted by the conviction that he has committed atrocious crimes.” According to the synopsis, “In a necropolis in the wilds of Canada, he seeks refuge and finds the last great creatures of the world – the shape-shifters known as the Nightbreed. They are possessed of unearthly powers-and so is Boone. In the hunt for Boone, they too will be hunted. Now only the courage of this strange human can save them from extinction. And only the undying passion of a woman can save Boone from his own corrupting hell…” Cabal is an inventive story, featuring wildly imaginative characters, and it has some of the most exquisite and poetic writing I’ve ever encountered.

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Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection

My 35th anniversary celebration of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles continues! Next, I’m going to talk about another great book available from Dark Horse. This one is entitled Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Collection As the name suggests, it’s a complete collection of the iconic team-ups for fans of all ages, collecting every existing Usagi Yojimbo/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crossover comic in existence. This book contains ”Turtle Soup and Rabbit Stew,” ”The Crossing,” ”The Treaty,” ”Shades of Green,” and the recent full-color tale ”Namazu.” This volume also includes tons of extra material from Stan Sakai’s studio. If you’re a fan of Ninja Turtles comic books and are looking for something out of the ordinary, this book is a great option.

The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Published in June 2019, The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a beautifully produced book focused on the popular 2012 animated series. This book is 200 pages in length, and it features behind-the-scenes stories, art, and more from all five seasons of the show. This tome also has a forward by Kevin Eastman, the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you’re a big Ninja Turtles fan like I am, you can’t go wrong with this book, especially if you enjoy the 2012 iteration of these heroes in a half shell. The Art of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is yet another way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

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Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked

On November 19, a new book about KISS is coming out. Unlike the many that came before it, this one is focused on the non-makeup era of the band, which is from 1983-1996. As a big fan of this KISS time period, I was eager to read this book and see if it lived up to the hype it has been getting. I’m glad to say that, overall, it’s an excellent book with a wealth of information. Inside you’ll find chapters on each album from the band during this era, as well as some additional subcategories. The author provides his thoughts for each of these, while also including insights from industry influencers and those that were either in the band or worked with KISS. My only complaint is I don’t like that Eddie Trunk was included in this book, specifically because Gene and Paul don’t like him (because he doesn’t support the current incarnation of the band) and, as a result, many KISS fans don’t like him either, including yours truly. I think Eddie Trunk’s prominence in this book hurts it and could have a negative impact on sales because of how vehemently opposed some fans are toward him. All of the other guest commentators in this book are perfectly fine, but it’s puzzling why the author chose to highlight someone as polarizing as Eddie Trunk, especially since he’s such a negative force in the KISS world. If you can set this aside, then you should definitely pick up a copy of Take It Off: KISS Truly Unmasked.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook

My celebration of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ 35th anniversary rolls on! Next up is my review of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Cookbook.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. To celebrate the occasion, I’m reviewing several books about the heroes in a half shell, working on a massive article about all things Ninja Turtles, and more. I’m kicking things off with my video review of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History. Is this book a worthy way to celebrate 35 years of Ninja Turtles? Watch my book review below to find out.

Audible Review: X-Files Cold Cases & Stolen Lives

The X-Files is a pop culture phenomenon that has spanned decades and various mediums, including TV, movies, video games, and audiobooks. Speaking of which, there are two Audible Originals for X-Files fans to enjoy: Cold Cases and Stolen Lives. Both of these books feature David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprising their iconic roles. There’s also a full cast and various sound effects to round out the top-notch production, making each audiobook feel like a full-fledged episode of the show.

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