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What about Charles Kahlenberg’s performance did you like?
Actor and voice-over artist Charles Kahlenberg is the reader of Stinger. His deep sonorous voice added depth, mystery, excitement and plenty of tension to the story. I listened to the book twice, first just for the reader’s voice and again to catch all the details I’d missed. Listening to a well-interpreted book is like seeing a film. Kahlenberg is a professional actor with credits going back to his first role in the Coal Miner’s Daughter. His gorgeous voice has been heard internationally on TV and radio in countless commercials and he’s appeared on TV and in films.
Any additional comments?
Stinger is my idea of the classic spy thriller. The twists and turns of the tightly-woven plot kept me sitting in my car listening long after I closed the garage door. The political intrigue could have been taken right from the historical record of the Soviet-Afghan War in the mid 1980s. Set at the border between Pakistan and the mountainous tribal region of Afghanistan, the action opens with the disappearance of six U.S. Stinger missiles that have secretly found their way to Peshawar. The Soviets want to keep them from the Afghan Mujahideen, Pakistani and Chinese dealers want to sell to the highest bidder, and the Afghani freedom fighters desperately need advanced weaponry. Both rogue CIA officer Nick Daley and Robin, a San Francisco journalist, want to find the Afghan leader, for different and shocking reasons. A tragic love triangle forms and is played out against drug deals, murder, betrayals, courage, loyalty, and the history and culture of this Muslim region. It’s a dangerous game in a mysterious world that comes together in a surprise climax and ending.
The depth of Chambers’s research impressed me. The story is concise yet rich—just the right amount of action perfectly balanced with images that lead the mind into unexpected directions. Her language is straightforward yet often lyrical, and her ability to describe her setting is superb. I feel as though I’ve visited Peshawar and traveled the Silk Road. The characters have depth and distinction. Even secondary characters are crafted to stand out individually. I came to like Nick Daley as he revealed himself and his motivations. I look forward to meeting him again.
What did you love best about Stinger?
The beauty of Diana Chambers' charming Stinger is the way she transports the reader to another time and place. In this case the time is when authors were genteel and characters used their wits more than their guns. The place is Central Asia, and Chambers does a marvelous job of immersing all of your senses in a delightful journey through places most will never visit to scenes they'll wish they would. Highly recommended for lovers of classic movies and gumshoe tales with international flair.
Have you listened to any of Charles Kahlenberg’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
Prior to Stinger I'd always considered Kahlenberg a top non-fiction narrator, but he's marvelous with fiction as well, and his tempo and inflections are a good match for this delightful story.