Listen to my latest short story "The Forest Trail"

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twas the Bite Before Christmas by Drac Von Stoller
An Audiobook I Narrated and Produced is Live!


"Twas the Bite Before Christmas" is now available as an audiobook with me as the narrator. This creepy tale is about Santa coming down a certain chimney of a castle to find that it belongs to Dracula. Dracula isn't pleased to see the jolly fat man, but takes advantage of the encounter. Listen to this fully produced audiobook complete with sound effects and background music that draw you into the story and enrich the listening experience. Find a quiet place and your nice headphones then go listen to Twas the Bite Before Christmas available at Audible.com, in iTunes, and at Amazon.com. You'll be supporting the indie author Drac Von Stoller, and me an indie audiobook narrator. Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 4
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne


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In this forth episode I continued in my quest to read more of the classics of the science fiction genre. Listen to my review as I share fond memories of reading Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Second Suicide by Hugh Howey | Book Review

This short story was a great read and really cool! It was not what I was expecting. It's hard to know what to expect with a title like Second Suicide. What the heck could that mean? And why would I want to read about suicide anyway? You'll find out if you read this book. It was written in first person through the eyes of a character who has tentacles. Yep, you just read that right - tentacles. He is an alien who is in a spaceship headed for a planet that he and his kind are going to try and take over. It is amazing how easily you find yourself quickly relating to this character even though he is an alien with long slimy appendages. He thinks like you do, plays cards, uses the toilet, fights, and researches. He learns of the cultures that he and his fellow aliens are heading towards to take over.

I'll let you read the story to discover what the title's meaning is all about but let's just say it's a very intriguing idea. You may rethink suicide, not for us humans but for the characters in the story once you learn of their society and circumstances.

Somehow this is a huge story and at the same time a very small story. Its first person narrative draws you in and you feel for the main character right away. I wanted to know how he felt about his situation and what was going to happen to him. I also wanted to know about his spaceship, what it was going to do, and what his entire alien race was going to do. Howey gives you just enough information to keep you satisfied as you read. You get little snippets and snapshots of information about the aliens and their past. So you're learning about one being's life and the massive race he belongs to as they fly through space ready to try and conquer another world among many.

I thought the character and point of view of the story were very inventive and it was really cool reading a story where the protagonist is an alien so different from me physically and yet very relatable and likable. I was very pleasantly surprised by this intriguing science fiction story. You will be too. Thanks for stopping by!


Link to the book:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 3
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne


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In this third episode I review Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. This review comes from a time when I was trying to read some of the classics of the science fiction genre.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ravenhill Court by David R. Beshears | Book Review

This was an interesting read. I was not expecting the story to go where it did. I won't spoil anything, but lets just say there's a really big reveal. It's a bit mind boggling. The main characters are a group of kids. They have a really cool clubhouse in the middle of the woods behind their neighborhood. In this way it reminded me of Stephen King's IT or The Body. The kids are on to something strange going on in their neighborhood. They visit an old professor who doesn't let them in on the secret but asks for their help. They go on an adventure and by the end of the book they find out some pretty crazy things about their world.

I loved how well the author described the clubhouse the kids were always sneaking off to. I could picture it in my mind. It is an awesome clubhouse and reading about it made me think fondly back on the tree house my brothers and I had as kids. The characters do a lot of talking about the odd things going on around them in that clubhouse, and it was a great setting I was happy to visit every time a scene took place there.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story. The narrator Karen Krause was great. Her voice welcomes you into the world of Ravenhill Court. She fit the story well and I think the author made a good choice selecting her to read this book.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 2
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


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In this second episode I review the Christmas Classic titled "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens. Listen as I share my thoughts on why this classic is so great and the tradition I've started of reading every year around the holidays.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The First Floor: The Black Tower Serial, Episode One
by David R. Beshears | Book Review

This short book was really cool. I would love to see the movie for this one. Think action meets Science Fiction suspense. You've got a bunch of scientists and some military people going into a massive skyscraper. Inside they find not a bunch of offices, but a dense jungle filled with alien vegetation. As they make their way through the first floor they come up against some pretty menacing and creepy stuff.

There were some great moments in this book that were exciting and chilling. It was a fun read and I pictured myself right alongside the characters as they headed out on this strange and terrifying adventure. You only get the beginning of the larger adventure in this book, but there's plenty in there to keep you listening or turning the pages.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story. The narrator has a very pleasant, smooth, and deep voice. It was nice to listen to especially during the narration parts. His reading came off a bit flat for me though. Every character was voiced the same which made it a bit hard at times to distinguish between the characters. It would help to have a more dramatic reading style with more pauses and variation in the speed of the reading to bring this great story across with all of its wonderful flourishes and well constructed prose. You'll like the narrators great voice though and probably won't be as critical as someone like me who narrates audiobooks and listens to them nonstop.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes their sci-fi with a bit of intrigue, adventure, suspense, and a splash of creepy horror that will keep you wanting to read on so you can find out more about the aliens the characters must learn more about.

Thanks for stopping by!

Links:

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

In Deep Shitake: Shitake Mystery, Book 1 by Patricia Mason
Book Review

This was a really fun read. Think of an action thriller mixed with a romantic comedy and you have In Deep Shitake. The characters were awesome and you really come to love and root for them as they stumble through their many misadventures. 

This novel was really funny. It had me laughing all the way through. The two main characters and their interesting relationship was a driving force pulling you further into the story as the characters constantly faced more urgent matters. There is a big mystery that gets revealed by the end of the book, and I didn't guess how it would all shake out. There are lots of ingredients that come together to make In Deep Shitake great. Humor, action, mystery, romance, and the interesting characters.

I do have to give a content warning. There were a couple of scenes that were too steamy for my tastes so I skipped over them but it was easy to tell what happened in the dialog following those scenes. They had a lot of impact on the story and its characters too. These were not scenes thrown in to shock the readers and they made sense for the story.

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel and the narrator Michael Karl Orenstein did a terrific job. He was great at portraying the different characters with wonderful accents, pitch changes, and inflections. There were a lot of funny characters that showed up all over the book in small scenes and Orenstein came up with perfect voices for all of them. Many times I'm sure I was laughing a lot harder for his spot on delivery and rendering of a character's voice than if I had been reading the eBook or paperback. His acting was superb in all the dialog, and his narrator's voice was smooth and engaging. I would definitely pick up another audiobook narrated by him.

To wrap it up I would recommend this story to anyone who is looking to have a good time reading a novel. It was just what I needed after reading IT by Stephen King. A normal length novel that shows you a really great time. This book had lovable characters with interesting relationships, cool action, a great love story, and a lot of laughs.


Links to get your copy:

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 1
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte


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In this first episode listen to me share my thoughts on the classic novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It's a book I hated in high school, but reread again after college to find that I actually appreciated it.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews | Episode 0


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Welcome to my new podcast Dan Dan The Art Man's Book Reviews! This is episode zero where I explain what the podcast will be like so you know what to expect. Have a listen and enjoy.

Glitch by Hugh Howey | Book Review (Short Story)

This short story was amazing. I did not want it to be over. It pulled me in right away. For how short it is, you really feel like you know the characters by the end. I hope there will be another story continuing this one, or that Hugh will expand it into a longer work because I love the world this story takes place in and the characters in it. Fantastic story. People maintaining robots that fight in an arena. Something new is happening with one particular robot, and its implications could be huge. Find out by reading the story for yourself!

Link:

Have you read this story? What did you think? What about some of Hugh's other works? He's an amazing writer and an awesome person. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Good Lie by Robin Brande | Book Review

This was a great book. Not an easy one to read in some ways, but also not easy to put down. The issues dealt with in this book are pretty heavy. I don't want to spoil anything but lets just say family turmoil. It's not a book you just pick up for some light reading, but it is a page turner.

It's a real intimate story as it unfolds told in first person. It feels like reading the main character Lizzie's diary. I am by no means the target audience for this book, but if a man in his 30s enjoyed it I'm guessing most of you will too. Just be warned the stuff the main character deals with are very intense. The main character is a teen in her high school years. Her life falls apart in many ways, although unlike most little things like a break up with a boyfriend that can shake a teen's world, Lizzie deals with some big scary things.

The characters were very real, especially the main character and viewpoint character Lizzie. You feel like you're peering into her every thought as you read the words she poured out onto the page. I listened to the audiobook of this story and the narrator Maria Hunter Welles was fantastic. Her voice fits the book perfectly. It's amazingly genuine and sounds just as you think it should as you come to know the character and story more. It's like listening to the character sit down in the food court at the mall and spill her guts to you about what's been going on in her life. The narrator was spot on. I'm excited to listen to another one of her audiobooks in the near future.

So in closing, great story. Super tough issues dealt with by very genuine and fleshed out characters you can picture in you mind as you read or listen to the story. Because of its content this story might not be for everyone, but it's done so well I think that almost anyone would appreciate it's depth and bold reach into places most stories about teens and families don't go.

Links:
The Good Lie at Audible.com
The Good Lie at Amazon.com

What challenging novel have you read lately? Thanks for stopping by!