Publisher: GraphicAudio (2006)
Narrated By: Richard Rohan plus full cast
Amazon Blurb: In the blasted heart of the new America, Ryan Cawdor and his band of warrior-survivalists search for hidden caches of food, weapons and technology the legacy of a preholocaust society stashed in lonely outposts known as redoubts.
When Ryan ingests bacteria-infested food, he lies near death his body paralyzed but his mind traveling rapidly back to his early days in the Deathlands...moving through the southwest on post-nuke vehicles called warwags...and his run-in with the Baron.
Towse, near what was once Albuquerque, is a ville in a freakishly beautiful landscape populated by scabbies and armed Apaches. Baron Alias Carson and his bejeweled wife, Sharona, welcom Ryan, J.B. Dix and the Tracker to their treacherous world.
In the Deathlands the past is a dream. The future is a nightmare.
This is bad, bad fiction. There, I was honest up front. But I sure as hell enjoyed this book. James Axler came up with a post-apocalyptic setting that intrigued me. Our main hero Ryan and his band start off exploring a redoubt for supplies and goodies. They sit down for a reconstituted meal and Ryan insists on eating some questionable fish meal. Needless to say, he becomes very ill and enters a coma-like state, at which point the reader is drawn into his past as he dreams.
The story from his past is set in what was once the US Desert Southwest and a fair chunk of the story takes place in and around Taos. This flash to his past allows the reader to 'relive' some of his sexual exploits (which were performed enthusiastically by the narrators). Aside from those hilarious moments, he and his boss, The Trader, have to figure out what kind of game Alias Carson is up to. The Trader and his war wagons had rolled into Taos to resupply - gas, food, amo, water, etc. They have gotten everything but the gas and The Trader is starting to suspect Carson plans to take their war wagons and is playing for time.
While Ryan tries to gain info from Alias Carson's wife, Sharona, The Trader and crew redouble their sentry patrols on the war wagons and quietly prepare for a fire fight.
Otherwise, while Ryan lies dreaming of his past, his buddies are trapped in this redoubt. They have water, air, and food to last for years. But as with any caged animal, they want out. When, and if, Ryan regains consciousness will they be able to escape?
So, if this was bad fiction, why did I stick with it? Well, I recently finished two big classics and needed some brain candy, it was only 6 CDs, the main character with his murky past and single eyeball was intriguing, and the audio production was incredible.
Richard Rohan was our main narrator for this GraphicAudio production and I enjoyed his even pacing. The full cast, with music and background sound effects, was amazing. It really brought this book to life and made it very enjoyable.
+++: Post-apocalyptic desert Southwest setting, intriguing characters, mutants, strong female characters with practical clothing and weapons, enthusiastic noisy bedroom scenes (can tell the cast had to get all the giggles out before recording these scenes!), audio production was superb.
---: I lost count of how many sexual encounters the main character had, cheesy lines here and there.