Log In

Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Get a digital subscription to Publishers Weekly for only $18.95/month.

Your subscription gives you instant access exclusive feature articles on notable figures in the publishing industry, he latest industry news, interviews of up and coming authors and bestselling authors, and access over 200,000 book reviews.

PW "All Access" site license members have access to PW's subscriber-only website content. To find out more about PW's site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time.

The Beautiful Lost

Luanne Rice, read by Hallie Clarke. Scholastic Audio, , unabridged, 8 CDs, 8.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-338-15989-9

The gentle sounds of a piano playing at the opening sets the tone for Rice’s YA novel about 16-year-old Maia’s struggle with depression. When her mother abandons her family to follow her dream of studying whales in Tadoussac Bay in Quebec and her father remarries, Maia descends into depression, attempts suicide, and is sent to a rehabilitation institution near her home in Connecticut. Returning to school is difficult for her, and she finds a welcome distraction in her budding romance with Billy, the son of a murderer who is living in a nearby group home. Maia becomes convinced that finding her mother will give her the peace she longs for, and soon she and Billy run headlong on a wild adventure to Canada. Narrator Clarke’s youthful and convincingly emotional voice conveys Maia’s tumultuous feelings about her parents’ divorce and her first love; Maia’s battle with depression looms even during the high points of her road trip. Clarke provides Billy with a husky bad boy’s voice, but the voices of Maia’s friends and family are not noticeably distinct. Rice chimes in at the end to read the author’s note detailing her own experience with depression and provides resources for young people experiencing this disease. The change of pace and reader helps convey the seriousness of the issues explored in this coming-of-age tale. Ages 12–up. A Scholastic hardcover. (June)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Opening Wednesday at a Theater or Drive-in Near You: The Shadow Cinema of the American ’70s

Charles Taylor, read by A.T. Chandler. HighBridge Audio, , unabridged, 6 CDs, 6.5 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-68168-512-0

Actor Chandler styles his reading of Taylor’s essay collection on American B movies from the 1970s in a low, sonorous tone that’s reminiscent of the voice of Don LaFontaine, the voiceover actor heard on thousands of movie trailers. It’s perfectly fitting for the audio edition of Taylor’s book, which highlights the pleasures of films either long forgotten or surviving on cult followings. Surveying such films as Prime Cut, Foxy Brown, and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, Taylor discusses the undervalued elements and overlooked influence of these forgotten gems. Chandler playfully adds over-the-top emphasis while reading Taylor’s summaries and background information on each film and aptly capturing the lines and attitudes of each. It makes for a fun, entertaining listening experience that will likely lead listeners to watching the films. A Bloomsbury hardcover. (June)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Max Tegmark, read Rob Shapiro. Random House Audio, unabridged, digital download, 13.5 hrs., $22.50 ISBN 978-0-451-48507-6

MIT physicist Tegmark explores the pivotal role that artificial intelligence will play in the future of humankind. From chores around the house and what employment will look like to how death might be rethought and even what it will mean to live among the stars, Tegmark considers what self-replicating and self-improving intelligent beings will mean for humans from many angles. Shapiro has a gentle and nonchalant voice that moves effortlessly through technical descriptions of AI technology and its potential upheaval of society. His steady but deliberate narration helps listeners maintain focus and feel comfortable with a variety of topics that Tegmark touches upon, such as how AI works and what it could mean for law enforcement, employment, and political organization. Even as Tegmark veers toward the philosophical, Shapiro keeps listeners attuned. A Knopf hardcover. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Empire Made: My Search for an Outlaw Uncle Who Vanished in British India

Kief Hillsbery, read by James Cameron Stewart. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, 8 CDs, 9.5 hrs., $29.99 ISBN 978-1-6816-8516-8

Hillsbery explores the 19th-century disappearance of his distant relative, a man named Nigel Halleck. Born in England, Halleck moved to British Colonial India in 1841 at the age of 20 to work for the powerful East India Company, but left his post and disappeared into the remote reaches of Nepal. Reader Cameron Stewart provides a strong delivery throughout, as the story shifts back and forth between Hillsbery’s modern travels and the complex historical narrative detailing the social and political shifts in colonial life during Halleck’s era. His upper-crust British accent is a proper match for the subject matter and time period. The weight of the background historical information does require patience and attention on the part of the listener, but Cameron Stewart doesn’t miss a beat. When initial hints surrounding the possibility of Nigel’s homosexuality build into something more substantive, the author starts to connect to his distant relative on a more personal level, and Cameron Stewart conveys this by loosening his voice to sound more relaxed and personable. Cameron Stewart proves he’s a dynamic voice actor with this performance, as he is aptly voices the history, memoir, and adventure components of this multifaceted story. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War

Thomas J. Brennan and Finbarr O’Reilly, read by Mike Chamberlain and David H. Lawrence XVII. Penguin Audio, unabridged, , 11 CDs, 13 hrs., $45 ISBN 9781-5247-7763-0

This audiobook employs the voices of two voice actors—Chamberlain and Lawrence—to stand in for the authors, who describe the hell they encountered in Afghanistan and their friendship that resulted. Brennan and O’Reilly, a retired Marine Corps sergeant and a photojournalist, respectively, were thrown together when O’Reilly was assigned to cover Brennan’s squad in a remote outpost in Afghanistan. For O’Reilly, the assignment is simply another job; for Brennan, it means another person to worry about. But when Brennan is injured by a bomb, it starts a chain of events that has a profound effect on both men’s lives. Actor Chamberlain presents Brennan’s narrative with a simple, straightforward delivery that allows the author’s words to carry the emotional weight of the prose. Actor Lawrence embellishes Brennan’s parts of the narrative with a tough-sounding Massachusetts accent that is more distracting than anything else. He also attempts different voices for various people in Brennan’s life. The vast differences between the narrators’ styles creates an imbalance that distracts from the content of the book. A Viking hardcover. (Aug.)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
What Happened

Hillary Rodham Clinton, read by the author. S&S Audio, unabridged, 14 CDs, 16.5 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-5082-3975-8

In the audio edition of her 2016 presidential campaign retrospective, Clinton sounds like Clinton: a strong, tough, smart, experienced woman. She’s a little wobbly-voiced in the introduction, deeply concerned that people won’t want to hear what happened, “especially from me,” she states. But she quickly finds her clear, collected tone and rhythm, sounding slightly more relaxed and conversional than she usually is in speeches and interviews. She is emotionally composed even when describing her fury at Trump, at FBI director James Comey, at Senator Bernie Sanders, at the media. At one point in the book, she even says, “I wear my composure like a suit of armor—for better or for worse.” Thus the drama is not so much in her reading as in the descriptions of her intellectual and emotional responses to events such as when Comey reopened the investigation into her email days before the election, the instant she learned she lost the election, or Trump’s inauguration. The one jarring aspect of the audio is her long pronunciation of the indefinite article a, constantly interrupting the flow of her normal speech. It’s Clinton’s most personal book yet; hearing it read in her own voice further reminds listeners of the person behind the politician. A Simon & Schuster hardcover. (Sept.)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Seven

Paula Cizmar et al., performed by Shannon Holt et al. L.A. Theatre Works, 2 CDs, 2 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-68266-041-6

This superb production of a play written by seven women is performed by seven actors portraying seven contemporary real-life women leaders from seven countries: Nigeria, Cambodia, Argentina, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Russia, and Pakistan. The actors dramatize astonishing true stories of how these women overcame religious and national traditions of silence, fear, and submission to give voice to the voiceless and change the lives of other women. They handle the seven accents so well and tell the stories with such intensity that they are entirely convincing. The second CD goes deeper into the issues through panel discussions with playwrights Cizmar and Yankowitz and one of the women portrayed in the play, Russian leader Marina Pisklakova-Parker. (May)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Deadfall

Linda Fairstein, read by Barbara Rosenblat. Penguin Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 11.5 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-1-5247-7585-8

The self-confident, in-control attitude Fairstein’s series protagonist, Manhattan prosecutor Alexandra Cooper, usually displays has wavered over the past few entries. Cooper, thanks to the venerable work of voice actor Rosenblat, sounds extra vulnerable at the start of her new adventure, which opens with the kidnapping and murder of her longtime boss and friend, D.A. Paul Battaglia. The trauma of his death leaves Alex uncertain and confused, which Rosenblat conveys in a slightly slurry speech, sometimes dreamy, other times rising in anger. She becomes overly dependent on her friends and her gruff-voiced, extremely attentive paramour, homicide detective Mike Chapman, even as she tries to seek justice for Battaglia’s murder. Fairstein’s New York–centric mysteries always provide a special tour of a local landmark. Here it’s the Bronx Zoo that figures into a plot involving the illegal exotic animal trade, with Chapman doing the lion’s share of the sleuthing. Rosenblat pulls off a variety of accents, including Nigerian and East Indian, some elegant, some street. It’s an entertaining and colorful performance, even if the series protagonist is not on her A-game. A Dutton hardcover. (July)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Fierce Kingdom

Gin Phillips, read by Cassandra Campbell. Penguin Audio, unabridged, , 7 CDs, 8 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-525-49230-6

Phillips, whose last two books were written for preteens, has produced a taut thriller with Lincoln, a precocious four-year-old, and his remarkable mother, Joan, at its center. Their plight is the focus of this almost minute-by-minute replay of events that take place one evening at the local zoo, as Joan attempts to protect her son from two gunmen who have opened fire. The reason for their rampage, and how Joan valiantly attempts to protect her child from them, keep the reader going as the tension ratchets up. Narrator Cassandra Campbell, who recreates all of the characters’ voices and inner monologues —including those of the gunmen—has a remarkable ability to project a range of emotions with ease. She helps the reader imagine Joan, Lincoln, the shooters, and the handful of other characters who circle each other in the three or so hours during which the drama plays out. Listeners feel Joan’s fear and anger as she talks her son into keeping himself together in the face of horrific violence. And most of all, Campbell reveals the bond between mother and son, as each tries to be brave for the sake of the other. A Viking hardcover. (July)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Beautiful Animals

Lawrence Osborne, read by Tim Campbell. HighBridge Audio, unabridged, , 7 CDs, 8 hrs., $34.99 ISBN 978-1-6816-8714-8

Actor Campbell provides the vocals for the audio edition of Osborne’s novel. Rich and charismatic Naomi is living at her parents’ villa on the Greek island of Hydra when she meets Samantha, who is visiting the island for the summer, and the two become fast friends. Their summer takes an unforeseen turn when they encounter Faoud, a Syrian refugee washed ashore. With an aristocrat’s penchant for mischief, Naomi convinces Samantha to help gather funds for Faoud to move into Europe by staging a robbery at Naomi’s parents’ house—a plan that has dire consequences. Osborne’s languid prose captures the beauty of a Greek island in summer. His keen use of dialogue conveys the power dynamics among the characters, particularly Naomi’s dominance over Samantha. Campbell reads with a deep baritone voice that’s both enticing and easy to follow. His smooth delivery and light emphasis initially come across as neutral but, as the story progresses, he mimics the air of resentment and arrogance that reverberates through Naomi’s life. He isn’t always able to capture the tense moments in the plot, such as when Naomi is confronted by the police and when Faoud is within reach of escape to a new life. As a result, the story is slow moving. A Hogarth hardcover. (July)

Reviewed on 09/29/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.