Audiobook Review: The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Part 2 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

7 04 2014

The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor, Part 2 by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga

Read by Fred Berman

Macmillan Audio

9 Hrs 35 Min

Grade: B

I’ll admit it, I was a little grumpy when I reviewed The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor PART FRIGGIN’ ONE. Maybe some of that grumpiness rubbed off or maybe it was the expected Ledger Lag that I experience after listening to the latest Joe Ledger novel, but The Walking Dead: Fall of the Governor PART FRIGGIN’ TWO failed to captivate me as completely as the past entries in the series, in particular The Road to Woodbury. Not that it was bad, it wasn’t. For the most part, especially in it’s further development of the Lilly character and it’s intense battle at the jail, this was good stuff. Yet, it took a long time to develop. The bridge scenes between Part 1 and Part 2 seemed unnecessary. The early parts of the novel was full of unnecessary in your face foreshadowing that felt almost as insulting to the readers as television mood music. There was also a level of frustration that I think came from being more aware of the over all Walking Dead story arch. The authors do a good job at giving many of the Woodbury folk a heroic bent, and gave logical reasons for their hatred of Rick and Michone’s group, but I couldn’t help be feel a growing sense of frustration as these good people made obviously bad choices. At some point, you wanted someone to have an “Ah Ha” moment, but you knew it wasn’t happening. There is much unevenness to the Governor’s character in a storytelling sense. I felt his mounting instability should have been more evident to those around him, and being the brutal post apocalyptic world I struggles to see why some people would have continued following him. Heck, a simple ice pick through the other eye socket could have save a whole mess of people. On the positive side, the epic prison battle truly came alive, and the final moments of the Woodbury crew had true emotional impact. Bonansinga does the world justice, and despite some flaws delivers a solid exciting tale that should thrill fans of the series.

In this series, it has been the tale of two narrators with Fred Berman. I was less than delighted with his almost emotionless performance in The Rise of the Governor, complete with some annoying mispronunciations, but I thought he really stepped it up in The Road to Woodbury. In the overall Fall of the Governor arch, Berman does a solid job. Not as good as the second book, with a few weird pronunciations and small pacing issues, but when the book gets ramped up, Berman take in full force. His reading is worthy of the tale, and he gives the finale a much needed emotional boost. While I still don’t understand the decision to split the last book into two parts, The Walking Dead fans will definitely be pleased with the ending of the book series.



8 responses

7 04 2014
Jenn Lawrence (@jennbookshelves)

Oh good to know! After reading your review of the third book, I purposefully waited until the release of this one before starting in on it. It, too, will follow as my next listen after I finish the most recent Joe Ledger title.

7 04 2014
Dogeared Copy/Tanya

I think this series may one of those that I read in print instead. Things like mispronunciations and uneven pacing drive me crazy.

Also, I know what you mean about Ledger Lag. I just immersed myself in a little listening binge from 1.2 through 2.1 and a short story from Special Ops and my tolerance for less-than-great is runner lower than usual :-/

7 04 2014
Dogeared Copy/Tanya

Sigh. “running”

7 04 2014

There were a few words that just felt wrong in this one, and I am hypersensitive to it since in the first book he kept pronouncing the word chassis with a soft is sound at the end, instead of the hard i. Drove me nuts.

7 04 2014

I don’t understand the reason at all to split the two books but that is just me. I am still grumpy so I keep checking them out of the library and returning them. I don’t want to read them (unfortunately my library doesn’t have the audio) until I am over the grumpy.

7 04 2014

I think it was soley financial. They didn’t decide the book was too long for one book but long enough for two. I also wonder if there is some disrespect towards zombie fans in play as if a 600 page book is just too big for them.

8 04 2014
March Audiobook Report | The Guilded Earlobe

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15 04 2014
Fred B.

I’m loathe to speak up when it comes to reviews of performances I’ve given, however I’ve been wanting to address the “chassis issue” since the first book came out – and as I respect your web-site and your dedication to the art of audiobooks, I’m throwing out my hesitation here. So, “chassis.” Here’s what happened, take it for what it is: When we first recorded it, I had pronounced it with the “iss” at the end, and immediately thought, “Wait, I don’t think that’s right….let’s check it just to be sure.” We checked it, and I was told by the engineer, “No, that’s an accepted pronunciation by Merriam-Webster. You can keep it.” We moved on. Towards the end of the book, after saying it a few times, I decided that, even though it was an “accepted pronunciation” it just didn’t sit well with me and I wanted to go back and punch in the other version with the hard I. We went back and re-recorded all of them. To my dismay, for whatever reason, these punches were not put in the finished product. In the end, I’ll take the blame, since I should’ve stuck to my guns right from the start and asked the engineer to re-record it immediately. But I had assumed that it would all be fixed in the editing process. Alas, it was not. So, that’s what happened. Again, I hate to try and make any excuses for a performance I’ve given, but in this case, I thought it was necessary. It’s not something I’m happy about, and I do wish it had been corrected. Apologies.

The emotionless performances? Well, that’s another story altogether.

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