Saturday, February 7, 2009

Book review - - "The Desert of Wheat" Audio book read by Jim Gough

I like audio books. Especially the unabridged audio books. They make excellent travel companions. Also they work well for entertainment while working around the home. Unlike the television, audio books don't keep you tied to one spot. You can listen to them while moving around the house.

I recently listened to Zane Grey's "The Desert of Wheat" Published by Blackstone Audio Inc. Narrated by Jim Gough (pronounced goff). Mr. Gough does an excellent job narrating the story. His western drawl and narrative ability helps keep the listener intrigued in the exciting and the slow parts of the book.

"Slow parts?" you ask. Yes, slow parts. Anyone who has read Zane Grey is well aware of his tendency to persist on detail. Not just scenery but inner conflicts and knowledge. For example, Mr. Grey spent almost an entire chapter of "The Desert of Wheat" lecturing on the wheat disease smut, it's affects on wheat, and the the breeds that do and do not have resistance to it.

Don't get me wrong. "The Desert of Wheat" is an excellent story set back in the early nineteen hundreds during the first World War. The stories protagonist Kurt Dorn is faced with plenty of conflicts, his hate for his German heritage, his father's stubbornness, IWW (yes IWW is correct) vandals that are intent on destroying his crop, and staying home to be with the woman he loves versus going to war to kill Germans and his heritage. It has the three major types of conflicts making an excellent story. There is lots of action and adventure in this book as well as lots of detail. I enjoyed it very much. I think all western fiction lovers will also.

The audio book I listened too was purchased and downloaded from the Internet. This is a excellent way to purchase audio books. The books are cheaper because there is no driving to the store and they are downloaded to your computer. You then have the option of burning them to audio Cd's or just listening to them on your computer. Some audio books are sold in an MP3 format so you can load them onto your iPods or MP players. These downloads are encoded also. This means you will have to enter a user ID and password in order to play them for the first time on your computer. Usually after the first time, you do not have to enter your ID or password again. The encoding is basically to help prevent pirating.

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