AGENT ORANGE

George Hay, Author , read by William Shatner. AV Books $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-9740926-0-7

In combining e-book and audiobook features, AV Books offers a product that will allow readers, and listeners, to experience the written word in a different manner. One can either listen to the audiobook using an MP3 player or slip the disc into a computer to listen and follow along. The text appears in book format on the screen, complete with pages that turn and can be magnified, and the program contains tools for highlighting, making annotations and conducting word searches—options that are particularly useful for students and those who are struggling to read. Hay's debut novel isn't likely to inspire listeners to take copious notes or highlight passages, however. His tale of David Quinn—an apathetic 19-year-old who's drafted to serve in Vietnam, shot down while taking a ride on a spotter plane, rescued, recruited to work for a mysterious organization known as TTC and then sent back to Vietnam to retrieve POWs—is plodding and curiously flat. Even Shatner's skillful narration isn't enough to enliven Hay's passive prose and one-dimensional characters. Unfortunately, though the technology underlying AV Books's first outing possesses much potential and value, this particular book doesn't highlight it to full advantage. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 11/01/2004
Release date: 10/01/2004
Genre: Audio
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