A penny saved is ridiculous.

A penny saved is ridiculous.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Watch those truckers

Road Rage was a cool audio download that I acquired from Amazon's Audible subsidiary. Also available as an audio CD, the production presents terrific performances of two short stories: the old Richard Matheson classic, Duel, about a traveling salesman being terrorized by a maniacal truck driver (the story was adapted by Steven Spielberg into the equally classic TV film of the same name in 1971) and Throttle, Stephen King and Joe Hill's take on a similar theme, depicting a group of tough bikers dealing with the same sort of menace.

Duel is basically a primal tale of the hunter/prey variety, with readers (or, in this case, listeners) eagerly wanting to find out if the traveling salesman can overcome his fear and possibly outwit his bigger, stronger, faster, and, not so incidentally, quite psychopathic, foe. Throttle is also pretty scary and suspenseful, but it also uses the menace of its own killer trucker to illuminate the complex relationships between the several bikers, especially between a father and son. I enjoyed that extra touch.

The terrific performances I mentioned were provided by Stephen Lang, who brings to life all the drama and emotion present in the stories, keeping listeners (this one, anyway) immersed and eagerly waiting to hear what happens next. Clocking in at a shade under two and a half hours, Road Rage is a fine choice for those who sometimes enjoy the occasional shorter audiobook between longer, more ambitious audios.

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