Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sleep deprivation

Scholastic Audiobooks is driving me nuts! They don't seem to want any business, because when they send us audiobooks to review, the letterhead has absolutely no information on how to contact them. The website is completely impossible as well. I select audiobooks for my library and I want to order some Scholastic titles, but they make it awfully difficult. (Not as difficult as HarperAudio, which didn't send us any titles for review this year: I'm hoping someone will send us Stoneheart for next year.)

Well, that's really apropos of nothing, but since Scholastic is the publisher of the title I'm listening to now, I just thought I'd rant (because I can!). The Glitch in Sleep in the first in a series called The Seems (which is perhaps only the first in a series if the first one does well, or does that only apply to movies -- after this weekend, it certainly doesn't look like there will be a movie of The Subtle Knife). So, The Seems is where our world is created (truly intelligent design). Certain humans (those with a seventh sense) are recruited by Seemsians to train as Fixers at the Institute for Fixing and Repair. Because -- unfortunately -- everything that is created in The Seems will inevitably need fixing. Young F. Becker Drane was recruited at nine, and now, three years later, he's finally been promoted to Fixer, the youngest ever. Eagerly awaiting his first case, he's called to fix the glitch in the Department of Sleep. And it's a doozy ... everyone in the world will have insomnia until Becker can make the repair. And if everyone has insomnia, the "ripple effect" could be devastating.

I'm enjoying this a lot. It's original, witty, and good for all ages. The narrator, Oliver Wyman, has an impressive resumé (although I've never heard him) of books, and he hasn't been locked into a particular genre, age range, or type of book. He's got a lot of opportunity to be showy here (accents from around the world along with otherworldly creatures like bedbugs), and he more than meets the challenge. I'm finding his narration a little gee whiz, but even that fits with the title. Becker is a little gee whiz too. Which, of course, gets me to the "too young?" discussion ... and, at this point, I can't decide.

The reviews say there are lots of pictures in the book. My library's copy is checked out, but it might be fun to look at these. Also, in trolling the 'net to find the website (which was more than a few pages in at Google), I noticed that it's been optioned for moviedom. In listening, it's obvious that it has movie ambitions all over it. Sometimes, I just think authors are seeing the movie as they write. Which doesn't necessarily make it bad book, but can make it a good audiobook. In this case, it's working!

No comments: