Some readers don’t like Chuck Wendig’s writing for the Star Wars franchise; his approach is to use a present-tense narrative with choppy and/or twisty sentences and colloquial descriptions. That’s not meant as an insult; he’s a popular, successful writer who is by all accounts a really nice guy. Some folks just don’t like this particular approach.
But now enters the Star Wars: Aftermath audio recording: It’s a gem, a truly rollicking adventure in the classic “Star Wars” mould. Wendig’s aforementioned writing style seems tailor-made for a neo-retro radio play. There’s a carousing, head-first adventure style here that’s downright infectious at times. Personally, I found it hard to believe that the printed words that could make one say “not quite my cup of tea” and the audio performance that could illicit a happy request for “another cuppa, please” were the exact same thing!
About that “performance”: This a far cry from “just somebody reading a book out loud”. This is a true performance, and a grand “team effort” led by the ridiculously talented Marc Thompson. Multiple characterizations (Akbar!) with authentic Star Wars sound effects and music make for a grand throw-back to, well... the Star Wars radio dramas.
This post certainly isn’t meant to be a critique of Wendig’s writing, or even a review of the story or characters or plot (and a big “thanks” to our own “collex” for reminding me that, in the end, it’s less about “good” or “bad” writing, and more about the reader’s perceptions and preferences).
This post is simply for fans of audio plays and adventures, BBC Radio 4, NPR’s original Star Wars Radio Dramas, or even the legendary 1977 “The Story of Star Wars” LP. For that crowd, this audiobook is a real treat. It feels truly episodic and “Pulp” with a capital “P”, which is what Star Wars was always meant to be.
(I know fans of such things are out there in “magical io9 land”; this very audiobook was recommended to me by kinja-user HaHaRich in answer to my question “hey folks, are these Chuck Wendig books any good?”
(I don’t work for any of the linked companies or products, the only purpose of this post is to share something cool with all you fine O-Deckers!)