I love video games, and I’ve read many books about the history of gaming. The Ultimate History of Video Games by Steven L. Kent is the best one available. The Audible version is more than 20 hours long, and it’s filled with interviews with industry luminaries, fascinating stories, and more content than you can shake a joystick at.
I love movie novelizations, as well as video game novelizations. They provide a deeper dive into worlds and universes that fascinate me. With this in mind, I listened to the Audible Original Godzilla vs. Kong by Greg Keyes, who, you may remember, wrote the two official Elder Scrolls novels. So, does Godzilla vs. Kong measure up to the movie that inspired it? Read on for my thoughts.
Joe Bob Briggs called The Texas Chain Saw Massacre the greatest movie ever made, and for nearly 50 years it has captured the imagination of fans worldwide. Chain Saw is one of the most influential and profoundly impactful horror movies of all time. It’s raw, gritty vibe and unrelenting willingness to make the viewer feel uncomfortable is what set it apart from the competition at the time and why it remains a timeless piece of celluloid. Gunnar Hansen played the iconic Leatherface in Chain Saw, and, thankfully, two years before passing away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 68, he put pen to paper and wrote a book all about the legendary movie to which he was inextricably attached. Even better than this, Gunnar Hansen chose to narrate the audiobook version of his book, Chain Saw Confidential, which is an Audible Original.
I had the honor of seeing Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones act together, live on stage, in Gore Vidal’s The Best Man on Broadway in 2012. It was a spectacular show, and both actors, as well as the rest of the star-studded cast, were incredible. Having had this experience, I was eager to listen to the Audible Original production of Driving Miss Daisy, narrated by Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones.
Masters of Doom, read by Wil Wheaton, is a fascinating journey down memory lane for video game fans like myself who have played the various entries in the blockbuster Doom and Quake franchises. Hearing about the technological advancements and forward-thinking approach employed by the makers of these games, not to mention how large some egos got in the process, was enlightening.
One Fearful Yellow Eye, which is a strange title for a book, is about extortion. To be more specific, it’s about extorting $600,000 from a dying man. The victim of this extortion is the husband of Travis McGee’s ex-girlfriend. Set in Chicago, this mystery is a nice change of pace for the series.
The Junkyard Dog (JYD) is one of those wrestlers from the 1980s who I’m familiar with because he was part of the Rock ‘N’ Wrestling era, but not to a great degree. I was excited to check out The King of New Orleans, an Audible Original, for a couple reasons. First, I attended WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans — my first and only WrestleMania, so far — and it was a blast. And, second, because, in these racially charged times, now seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn about one of the most successful modern-day black wrestlers.
The seventh book in the Travis McGee series, Darker Than Amber is another solid, straight-forward mystery from John D. MacDonald. According to the description, “Travis McGee never shies away from damsels in distress. But this Eurasian beauty was different. When Travis and Meyer rescued her from the water, she had a block of cement wired to her feet, and she wasn’t so much grateful as ready to snare them in a murder racket to end all murders.” Published in 1966, this novel is still an enjoyable read, especially the Audible Original version.
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.
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.