"We are of opinion that instead of letting books grow moldy behind an iron grating, far from the vulgar gaze, it is better to let them wear out by being read." - Jules Verne
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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Aftermath (abridged audiobook) by LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton creates the framework for an epic yet...

Read by LeVar Burton
Approximately 3 hours

...he fails to follow through.

Have you ever read a book in which the author takes a premise that would, at most, fill about 150 pages and yet he or she stretches it out to 400 pages? This is not one of those books.

Aftermath has the opposite problem - an awful future is described and peopled. The cure for cancer and brain disorders is discovered, stolen and recovered with lots of gunfights, chases, psionic warfare, attempted child rapes, attempted suicides, kidnappings galore, slavery and people being skinned alive. However, none of it is fleshed out - we are left with the skeleton of an epic story - a framework of what could have been. Think Stephen King's The Stand told in less than 300 pages. I just wish he'd added more.

LeVar Burton
I am reviewing this as an abridged audiobook (no doubt the abridgment is part of the problem as well. Too often, too much is taken out). LeVar Burton, well-known television actor, read it, as would be expected - he has a fine voice and lots of experience due to his well known PBS show Reading Rainbow and, of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation. Sometimes, however, his tone of voice just isn't quite right. He uses the same tone and quality of voice that he uses when discussing a children's book of Reading Rainbow (earnest and happy) when reading about the plight of hundreds of African Americans who have been kidnapped, chained and drugged and are waiting to have their skins forcibly removed. It was more than a little too much dissonance.

So, in short, the relatively low score is a reflection of Burton's failure to follow through with the potential of the book.

I rate this audiobook 3 stars out of  5, mostly based on the strong premise rather than the anemic follow through. 

This audiobook can be found on Amazon.com here: Aftermath by LeVar Burton.

Reviewed September 30, 2005

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