“Wow. I wasn’t sure what to expect with Stephen’s book. It definitely intrigues me. And I’m happy to be given the opportunity to review the audiobook. The audiobook adds an extra level of interest. Stephen’s writing and Curt’s narration produce powerful images in your mind. The author has an intrinsic ability to shape his words into something tangible. He doesn’t tell you what happens; he shows you. And Curt complements Stephen’s work beautifully. You can smell the fire and picture the people as they flee the burning city. Omari and the People is truly a character-driven piece.” more […]
“Omari and the People is a beautifully written adventure of Omari, a thief and self-proclaimed loner, and his journey not only leading a caravan of newly disenfranchised people across the dangerous, dry desert, but a journey to find himself and his purpose along the way. As the caravan makes its way across the desert seeking a rumored but never seen oasis, they have to overcome numerous obstacles from hunger and dehydration, heat, and sandstorms to war with an opposing caravan and betrayal by those unhappy within their own camp. The narration brings this beautiful imagery and assortment of larger-than-life characters to life in a way I’ve never experienced.” more […]
OK, the summary is clunky and I want to rewrite it. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…
I enjoyed Omari and the People. It’s a journey-based story, with commentary on human nature- love, friendship, independence, the desire for challenges, the fear of insecurity, and the nature of hope. It’s got magical realism (or perhaps I should say, the world is akin to ours but there’s a character who is magical). It’s got a reluctant hero (Omari). It’s got a stoic best friend that I adored (Umbarek…I may be misspelling that as I listened to it on audiobook). It’s got several fierce female characters, all very different from one another (Saba, Safia, Gonzala, Umal, etc). It’s pretty much got all the elements of an epic.
Review: Omari and the People (Audiobook) ★★★★1/2 (4.5 out of 5)
“Nearly all of the folktales that survive today have origins in the oral tradition. They were passed down from generation to generation and from culture to culture by master storytellers. Omari and the People, by Stephen Whitfield, is written in the style of a folktale — one that tells the story of a hero’s journey to save himself and his wandering band of nomads — and as such is a perfect fit for the audiobook format. Having Curt Simmons performing the narration just makes it that much better!
Whitfield’s prose is simple and stark, yet utterly powerful. As the story unfolds, we travel with the titular Omari and his caravan as they search for a new life beyond the seemingly endless swaths of desert separating them from their potential future. The story may seem simple on the surface” – more […]
“The narrator brought this story to life in a way that I am not sure I could have by just reading the words on a page. His soothing voice and tone drew me into the story and captured my attention to the point that I didn’t want to stop listening. I quickly became immersed in the story and couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. I could’ve easily listened to this story in one 11+ hour sitting if life hadn’t demanded otherwise.” more […]
Source: Never Too Many To Read…
“You know what I love most about reading? It’s that moment when you realise you’ve utterly transcended the page and find yourself experiencing another world. Author Stephen Whitfield and narrator Curt Simmons have combined their exceptional talents to create vivid settings and deeply raw characters that make Omari and the People a rare find.” more […]
Hello everyone. I’m Curt Simmons, narrator of Stephen Whitfield’s romantic desert adventure, Omari And The People. Kristin has asked me to give a little lesson on audiobook production/recording and I’m honored to do so.
I have been self-producing audiobooks for about two years now, so I’m relatively new to the industry and still have a lot to learn, but I think I’m doing okay so far. My overall sense is that the majority of self-producers like me get their audiobook production/narration training via ACX, Amazon’s Audiobook Creation Exchange. I’ve also worked in radio and TV and as an actor in Theatre. That helps too. more […]
Why I Write, Part Two
By STEVEN PRESSFIELD | Published: SEPTEMBER 28, 2016
“There are maybe a hundred writers of fiction whose new books will be reviewed with any broad reach in the mainstream press. Jonathan Franzen, Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, etc. I’m not on that list. My stuff will never receive that kind of attention.
Does that bother me? I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t want to be recognized or at least have my existence and my work acknowledged.
Steven Pressfield is one of my favorite authors. In addition to novels, he also writes a lot about writing. The craft, the profession, the struggle. I found Steven in 2001 when I was flat on my back recovering from a spinal fusion. I’d never been much of a reader and I don’t recall how I stumbled across Gates of Fire, but it transported me.
Others may be more familiar with his novel/movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, or especially for writers, The War of Art, and Do the Work, and more recently, Nobody Wants to Read Your Sh*t; Why That Is and What You Can Do About It.
As a narrator of audiobooks, I find Steven’s lessons learned both instructive and inspiring, as I believe any artist will. He doesn’t pull punches. And the perspective he illuminates is clear, honest, and sobering.
I’m reblogging Steven’s current series from stevenpressfield.com in support of the community I’m building around writers, audiobook narrators, and book bloggers. All of us who love storytelling, whether we write, read, tell, or talk about the story will resonate with his candor, his nuggets of professional advice and craftsmanship, and find a virtual mentor in Steven Pressfield.
Why I Write, Part One
By STEVEN PRESSFIELD | Published: SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 | Source: Writing Wednesdays: Why I Write, Part One
I stumbled onto the website of a novelist I had never heard of. (He’s probably never heard of me either.) What I saw there got me thinking.
What if we worked our whole life and never sold a single painting? The site was excellent. It displayed all fourteen of the novelist’s books in “cover flow” format. They looked great. A couple had been published by HarperCollins, several others by Random House. The author was the real deal, a thoroughgoing pro with a body of work produced over decades.
Somehow I found myself thinking, What if this excellent writer had never been published?
Would we still think of him as a success?
(In other words, I started pondering the definition of “success” for a writer.)
Suppose, I said to myself … suppose this writer had written all these novels, had had their covers designed impeccably, had their interiors laid out to the highest professional standards.
Suppose he could never find a publisher.
Suppose he self-published all fourteen of his novels.
Suppose his books had found a readership of several hundred, maybe a thousand or two. But never more.
Suppose he had died with that as the final tally.
Would we say he had “failed?”
Would we declare his writing life a waste?” more […]
OCTOBER 3, 2016 | KRISTIN
“This story is reminiscent of the classic adventure stories. There is adventure, magic, romance, and intrigue and the story kept me entertained and wanting to know what was going to happen from the beginning. I loved the way the author describes the landscape in which the story unfolds. I felt like I had been transported to a Middle Eastern desert and could picture it so vividly in my mind.
There is magic, but it is subtle. There are sword fights, but they’re few and far between. This book is much more about the characters and their development and relationships than about the excitement of magic and battle. The characters will draw you in at times, irritate you at others, and from time to time there will a character or two that have you wondering whether those characters are good or evil.” […]