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Audio Book Review
Fiction or non-fiction, suspense keeps you listening

Jonathan Lowe
Audio Book Reviewer

Rene Auberjonois reads “Brimstone” by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child for Time- Warner Audio. It’s a suspense novel about an investigation of the grisly murder of an art critic in the Hamptons. Found in a barricaded room, with a melting cross branding his chest, Jeremy Grove is suspected to have been killed by the devil. FBI Special Agent Pendergast’s investigation leads him to New York and then to a castle in Italy. It’s an enjoyable romp featuring the supernatural and the evils which lurk in the hearts of men, as narrated by a Hollywood actor who is best known for his TV roles on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and “Benson.” ˜˜˜˜

Actor Campbell Scott reads “Shadow Divers” by Robert Kurson for Random House Audio. It’s the true story of two men who discovered a German U-boat sunken in deep water off the coast of New Jersey. Who could have guessed how difficult this challenge was for divers Chatterton and Kohler, or how this mysterious U-boat got there in the first place? Campbell Scott, son of the late George C. Scott, is as appropriate a narrator here as he was reading “Seabiscuit.” The story is almost as complex, and is also part tragedy in that, had the U-boat not been discovered, three men on the dive team would probably be alive today. ˜˜˜˜

Dennis Miller reads his new audio book “Still Ranting After All These Years” for Harper Audio. What can you say about the Emmy-winning comic and producer of his own show on CNBC, except maybe “come again?” The allusions accumulate so fast and furiously here that, unless you’re as quick witted as Dennis himself, you may want to rewind. Once more the intellectual funnyman covers all the bases, from terrorism to Enron to obsessed parents in a scattershot blast of opinionated angst so intent on release that he makes a Starbucks addict look like a Bobby Fischer fan. The second CD on this two-CD set is so good that whatever your politics, you have to admire his offbeat but no-nonsense logic. Now if only Dennis could be installed as White House press secretary for life, we’d all think twice about looking to Washington to solve our problems. ˜˜˜˜

Chuck Palahniuk reads the introduction to his “Stranger Than Fiction” for Random House Audio. It is a collection of essays and remembrances about his encounters with singers and actors like Marilyn Manson, Juliette Lewis, and Brad Pitt, plus those leading even stranger lives, like weight lifters and submariners. In talking about the inspiration behind his books “Fight Club,” “Diary,” “Lullaby, and Choke,” Palahniuk gets help from narrator Dennis Boutsikaris, whose more expressive voice aids the production, and yet isn’t a necessity here, because this odd yet satisfying journal benefits from its author’s even voice. Not your typical, predictable viewpoint, for sure, and therefore more interesting than, say, Bill Clinton. ˜˜˜½

These books can be rented from Audio Adventures in truck stops or by calling 1-800-551-6692. While you’re at it, be sure to ask for “Awakening Storm,” which Audiobook Cafe calls “an engaging, compelling story with a great narrator and unexpected ending.”