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The Book of Ralph by Christopher Steinsvold
Narrator: James Patrick Cronin
Published by Audible Studios on 08-10-16
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
Buy on Amazon/Audible
Silver Medal Benjamin Franklin Award in Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Top ten novels of 2016, Our Book Reviews Online.
A message appears on the moon. It is legible from Earth, and almost no one knows how it was created. Markus West leads the government’s investigation to find the creator.
The message is simple and familiar. But those three words, written in blazing crimson letters on the lunar surface, will foster the strangest revolution humankind has ever endured and make Markus West wish he was never involved.
The message is ‘Drink Diet Coke.’
When Coca-Cola denies responsibility, global annoyance becomes indignation. And when his investigation confirms Coca-Cola’s innocence, Markus West becomes one of the most hated men on Earth.
Later, five miles above the White House, a cylinder is discovered floating in the night. It is 400 feet tall, 250 feet in diameter, and exactly resembles a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Nearly everyone thinks the cylinder is a promotional stunt gone wrong, just like the lunar advertisement. And this is exactly what the alien in the cylinder wants people to think.
Ralph, an eccentric extraterrestrial who’s been hiding on the moon, needs Markus’s help to personally deliver a dark warning to the White House. Ralph has a big heart, a fetish for Andy Warhol, and a dangerous plan to save the world.
A message appears on the Moon, and Coca-Cola is blamed about it. Sometime later a gigantic can of soup descends upon the White House, with Ralph, a strange alien in its interior. He is coming to warn humanity about a terrible threat.
This book was incredibly funny, quirky, and original. It’s clear that it was written by a college professor due to the little pieces of wisdom and philosophy scattered throughout the book. I really enjoyed Ralph’s view of the world, and how he shared it with Markus West.
There are a couple of twists in the book, and things that didn’t end up being what they seemed at first, which made things more interesting. It was a good book, just maybe a bit long-winded since there are moments when nothing important seems to be happening, and the ending felt a bit like cheating. I have the feeling that the book started with great premises, and it deflated a bit after a while. It was enjoyable nonetheless, and I think it will work especially well among the younger readers.
I thoroughly enjoyed James Patrick Cronin’s narration. His interpretation of Ralph was absolutely perfect, and he also provided the necessary nuances for the rest of the characters. This is one of those cases where a superb narration makes for a better final product, Cronin’s narration really made the story shine.
All in all, it was an enjoyable book, even though some parts made the story drag a bit.
My name is Elena. Since I was a little child I loved science fiction and fantasy, and I can’t resist a good novel. In 2015, while wait I started to listen to audiobooks and I discovered the pleasure in being able to read while doing my daily tasks, so there’s always an audiobook playing on my phone. If you see me with my Bluetooth headphones on, please be gentle, I get easily startled.
I live with my boyfriend, which I met during my six-year stay in Belgium, four cockatiels, eight lovebirds, and a hamster in Madrid, Spain; and I like to spend my free time knitting and sewing while listening to audiobooks.