Michael Cavacini

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Archive for the tag “Audible Original”

Audible Review: Hardcore History

Hardcore History: The Extremely Unauthorized Story of the ECW is an excellent Audible Original. Writer Scott E. Williams has pored through records and conducted dozens of interviews with fans, company officials, business partners, and the wrestlers themselves to bring listeners the most thorough account possible of this bizarre company. As someone who has watched numerous documentaries about ECW, I learned a lot while listening to this audiobook. It provides an excellent, and sometimes detailed, overview of major events related to ECW and its various incarnations.

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Audible Review: Nightmare in Pink

Released in 1964, Nightmare in Pink is the second book in John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee series. In this entry, Nina — a career girl living alone in Manhattan — offers the protagonist companionship and the first loose thread in the elaborate fabric of a gigantic swindle. She leads McGee on a wild and tortuous chase into the decadent world of high society, the ruthless world of big money, and the weird world of hallucinatory drugs.

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Audible Review: The Deep Blue Good-By

For 20 years ⁠— from 1964 through 1984 ⁠— the Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald were a mainstay in the mystery genre. With each of the 21 titles including a color in their name, this was one of the first examples of books in a series having a theme. Living on a houseboat called The Busted Flush, which he won in a card game, the protagonist, McGee ⁠— who is neither a cop nor an investigator ⁠— is a “salvage consultant” for hire, regularly finding himself in a variety of mysterious predicaments. The first novel in the series, which had a major influence on Lee Child — the author of the best-selling Jack Reacher series — explains how McGee only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: he’ll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half.

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Audible Review: More Than Just Hardcore by Terry Funk

Terry Funk is one of the most influential wrestlers of all time. With a career spanning decades, you’d think that his autobiography, More Than Just Hardcore, would be fascinating. While this Audible Original was an easy and entertaining listen, it didn’t blow my mind. There weren’t any shocking revelations, dirt on other wrestlers, or anything of that nature. What you get here is the story of a man who is content with the life he’s lived. To me, that makes for an inspiring audiobook replete with life lessons.

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Audible Review: Best Seat In The House

From 2002 through most of 2014 Justin Roberts served as one of WWE’s ring announcers. Fans who watched WWE during that time period, no doubt, recognize his signature sound, including the way he’d elongate “Johnnnnnnn Ceeeeeena!” Roberts is now the man behind the mic at All Elite Wrestling, the hot upstart in the pro wrestling industry. However, if you’re interested in reading (or listening to) his journey through the world of WWE, Best Seat In The House is your opportunity to do so.

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Audible Review: The Death of WCW

I grew up watching professional wrestling in the 1990s, during the famous Monday Night War between Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling (WCW). It was an exciting time to be a fan, as I’d switch back and forth on Monday nights between WWF Monday Night Raw and WCW Monday Nitro to see what both promotions were serving up that week. Both WWF and WCW eventually created secondary prime-time shows, over-saturating the market with their content. And WCW suffered so greatly that it was bought up by Vince McMahon for far less than it was worth just a few years prior.

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Audible Review: The Hardcore Truth by Bob Holly

I grew up watching professional wrestling in the early 1990s, and I still watch it today. Throughout the 1990s and the 2000s, Bob Holly was a fixture in the WWE. His character changed from race-car-driver “Sparky Plugg,” to Hardcore Holly — a no-nonsense wrestler during the “Attitude Era,” when wrestling was more popular than ever. The Hardcore Truth is Bob Holly’s autobiography, and the audiobook version is an Audible Original. The narrator does an excellent job of delivering the content in a direct and impactful way. What I found most interesting about The Hardcore Truth is that Bob spills the beans on anyone and everyone. He dishes dirt on everyone from Triple H to Diamond Dallas Page, with no reservations. I went into this audiobook respecting Bob Holly’s work, and I left it feeling like I knew the man behind the wrestler. He’s been called a bully and tough to work with, and I can see why people might think that. Nevertheless, if you’re a fan of the WWE from the 1990s and 2000s, there’s a lot to enjoy in The Hardcore Truth. It’s a tell-all book from someone who was there for Owen Hart’s death, the Chris Benoit double-murder-suicide, and other fascinating, and sometimes grim, milestones in wrestling. It’s one of the best pro wrestling audiobooks available, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Audible Review: Kayfabe by Sean Oliver

Are you a wrestling fan holed up in your house because of the Coronavirus? If so, then you’ve got plenty of time to catch up on great wrestling books. Kayfabe by Sean Oliver is one of those books. Narrated by the author, Kayfabe is a collection of personal stories from the founder of Kayfabe Commentaries, a professional wrestling shoot interview company. The only complaint I have is that the editing of this audiobook is a little sloppy. For example, there were at least a couple times when the author did a second take of a line and both were included in the final version of this Audible Original. I’ve encountered this before with other audiobooks; however, it’s something that should have been caught and corrected in the editing process.

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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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