Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Audiobook”

The Infernal City & Lord of Souls

For more than 25 years, the Elder Scrolls has been one of the most popular and influential video game series in existence. Its success has resulted in its lore permeating numerous mediums, including books. In 2012, one year after the release of the incredibly popular video game Skyrim, two novels were published: The Infernal City and Lord of Souls, both by Greg Keyes. These books are a singular narrative split across two books, making for an intricate and compelling tale steeped in Elder Scrolls lore.

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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: 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 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: A Purple Place For Dying

The Travis McGee novels by John D. MacDonald inspired numerous thriller and mystery writers, so I thought it would be a great idea to check out these books for myself. The audiobooks for the Travis McGee series are exclusive to Audible, and I recently completed the third book: A Purple Place For Dying. Each book includes a color in the title, making for unique and interesting names. As with the previous two entries, this novel was highly enjoyable.

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Backstage Pass by Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley has always been my favorite member of KISS. I’ve had the good fortune of doing a cover story interview with him, taking part in a backstage guitar meet and greet with the Starchild a few years back, meeting Paul numerous times during KISS meet and greets backstage, interviewing his son Evan for his first U.S. cover story, and much more. His music, personality, and sense of style are appealing and admirable. I loved his first book, Face The Music, so I was eager to check out Backstage Pass.

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Audiobook Review: Breathe To Succeed

Breathe To Succeed is focused on the power of mindfulness and owning one’s breath. As someone who does DDP Yoga every day, I fully understand the power of my breath. While this is an important concept to understand and master, it doesn’t warrant an audiobook that is nearly five hours long. The narrator does a fine job with the material, and the author clearly cares about the subject matter. However, I think it would be better suited for a TED Talk or a podcast episode, not a full-length book. Therefore, I can’t recommend it unless you know absolutely nothing about owning your breath and are willing to sit through a nearly-five-hour discussion about it. If that sounds appealing, this is the book for you. If not, you should read a more comprehensive book on mindfulness.

Audible Review: Is Wrestling Fixed? by Bill Apter

I recently listened to the audiobook Is Wrestling Fixed? I Didn’t Know It Was Broken! by Bill Apter. This Audible Original was highly enjoyable for a variety of reasons. First, Bill narrates the book himself, making it infinitely more charming and compelling. Second, I grew up watching professional wrestling (and still do) and I fondly recall buying many of the magazines Bill was affiliated with, including Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, and Inside Wrestling. Prior to the internet, these magazines were the best way to see amazing photos and read articles about my favorite professional wrestlers, and this was during the 1990s when the WWF (now WWE), WCW, and ECW were hotter than ever. It was a magical time to be a fan and this book captures that era, and many others, from Bill’s perspective.

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Audible Review: John Lithgow’s Stories by Heart

I love stories in all forms, from books to movies to TV shows to video games to music. Stories bring us together, move us, and can inspire self-reflection. Several years back, I discovered how audiobooks can make a good story great by having a deft narrator breathe it to life. John Lithgow is one such narrator. His iconic voice has served him well in a variety of roles, including the narrator of his autobiography entitled Drama, which I bought through Audible and thoroughly enjoyed. With this in mind, I was eager to listen to Stories By Heart, an Audible Original that’s part of the Audible Theater collection of audiobooks.

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