Thursday, August 27, 2009

Read Us A Story Mr. Wheaton: "The Happiest Days"

Probably the best part of a science fiction convention is hearing the quests—involved in making TV shows & movies you love-- tell stories of their experiences (on and off the set). I’ve been a long time fan of Wil Wheaton’s blog and twitter (AND acting; live action & voice), and very much enjoyed his book Just A Geek. More than being “just a geek”, or an actor, Wil Wheaton also an independent writer and self-publisher, whose anecdotes are generally articulate, amusing and insightful.
For another of his books— Happiest Days Of Our Lives — I chose to try the audio book instead of print copy— something I never do, because I love paper books. I was curious.
*image credit- Wil Wheaton/ Val Trullinger*

That proved to be a wise choice by me. Thoroughly enjoying his reminiscing, I laughed, I cried--- it became a part of me. Although I, alas, have never had the pleasure of seeing Wil at a convention, I was fortunate to hear him tell his stories vicariously through his writing.
When I listen to Wil Wheaton read from his book on the audio version of Happiest Days, I’m reminded of con appearances, and what makes them so cool: the people.
But— despite the fact that you don’t see & hear him in person, this audio book reading is somehow even better than audience reading book text.
Because Wil does not just read from his book, he infuses it with a sense of fantasy through his inflection and sentimentality-- augmented by brief "magical" musical intro/ outro bookend segments that set the mood. It also reminds me of an eccentric music band called 2NU, whose songs are typically short stories accompanied by music. Plus, as a bonus, he often engages in parenthetical side commentary with his producer, like foot notes or easter eggs.
Clearly, Wil Wheaton is an excellent writer, as well as bard. His writing style— which is already considerable, is further enhanced by his impassioned delivery style and love for the subject matter.
How does awesome get more awesome? What is beyond awesome?
As the Snapple commercial says, “the best stuff on Earth just got better”, so Wil’s writing is even more impressive when he reads—- no, performs-- his words aloud. Perhaps this is helped by his being an actor of perhaps under-rated talent. And it doesn’t hurt that, at the center and yet above the appeal of all the story telling acumen, Wil is simply a great, decent guy.
If you only ever buy one audio book in your life, I highly recommend The Happiest Days of Our Lives.

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