The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece

Books on Tape. May 2023. 16 hrs. ISBN 9780593635414. $95. F
Accompanied by a full cast, Hanks warmly narrates his full-length debut novel (following the short-story collection Uncommon Type), a lovely homage to filmmaking. Director and screenwriter Bill Johnson spends his COVID lockdown pondering how to give substance to a popular movie franchise’s superhero story. While browsing old comics, Bill stumbles upon a one-shot about a WWII Marine who was a flamethrower during battles. With newfound inspiration and assistance from his co-producer and business partner Al Mac-Teer, Bill completes the script. The two then prepare for preproduction, which introduces several subplots about the cast and crew. A major storyline involves Robbie Anderson, the creator of the independent comic, which flashes back to 1947 when he met his uncle Bobby, a weary biker traumatized by the war. Hanks, who narrates most of the character-driven audiobook, uses various intonations to characterize Bill’s gruff and Al’s pragmatic vocals. His lighthearted and witty tone draws listeners into the story. Other cast members, such as Ego Nwodim who performs as Al during her backstory, maintain Hanks’s upbeat energy.
VERDICT From an idea to a film release, listeners will root for Bill, Al, and company during each step of the filmmaking process. A crowd-pleaser for all collections.
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