- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 38 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Original recording
- Publisher: The Orchard Enterprises, Inc.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 4 Mar. 2008
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQD7V8
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In the interest of brevity, I'll restrict myself to a single, brilliant, short (2:26) track called "The Train". It begins with the voice of the conductor as a locomotive stirs to life, coughing and wheezing like a 60-year old 2-pack a day asthmatic. Soon enough, the train is merrily bouncing down the tracks, ('hobbidy-bomp, hobbidy-bomp, boobidy-boobidy-boobidy-boop') while the conductor keeps demanding 'Tickets please! Let's get our tickets please!' As the engine gets up more steam, it gradually becomes apparent that while the train is tearing through the night at breakneck speed, ('hobbidy-bomp, hobbidy-bomp, boobidy-boobidy-boobidy-boop') the people in charge of it have become aware that there is something wrong. They don't seem to be able to fix it, or even name it, and instead of stopping to try to identify the problem, they put on more steam and more speed ('hobbidy-bomp, hobbidy-bomp, boobidy-boobidy-boobidy-boop'). The results are as shocking as they are inevitable.
Part of Buckley's genius is the way he tells this story - alone, with no sound effects, no over-dubbing, no musical accompaniment or gimmicks. Buckley is a consummate story-teller who plows through this simple tale of a train like a man possessed, while somehow managing to imbue his voice with as much rhythm as Carlos Santana's whole band might have had at those infamous Saturday night club dates back in Oakland during the 1960s.
But the track is more than just a tour-de-force of Buckley's technique as a storyteller; there's content here as well. Buckley's train clearly represents a society that presses down on its people with ever increasing expectations, pushing itself farther and faster every day, congratulating itself on its own progress and development until one day, inevitably, it runs off the rails.
The results, in Buckley's words, are 27 dead and 14 injured.
Rating only apply to things of this plannet, I'd rate Buckley a clear *.!!!