Audio : Amazing Spider-Man: (Play-a-Sound, 2012)

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This story is part of a Lookback Series: Book of the Month Club

This review was first published on: Dec 2013.

Background...

The team at Publications International, Ltd. seem to have the market pretty well cornered when it comes to Spider-Man push-button audio storybooks. Their "Play-A-Sound" brand has taken over the genre, with at least four such products released since 2010.

In Detail...

Amazing Spider-Man: (Play-a-Sound, 2012)
Mar 2012 : SM Title
Find ISBN 9781450837477
Publisher:  Publications International Ltd.
Illustrator:  The Storybook Art Group
Adaption:  Mark Rader
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Review

This is one of their larger-format offerings. It is 10.3" x 10.1" and features 16 story pages.

In terms of the story, sadly there's nothing original here. Like so many of the other recent "mass market" Spider-Man picture books, all of the artwork is taken from The Amazing Spider-Man: An Origin Story, The Amazing Spider-Man vs. The Green Goblin (Origin Storybook) and The Amazing Spider-Man vs. Doctor Octopus (Origin Storybook).

From the former, we get a shortened (eight page) version of Spider-Man's origin including Uncle Ben being "attacked" by a "criminal". Then we get a four-page truncated version of the Spider-Man vs. Green Goblin story and four more pages of Spidey vs. Doc Ock.

All artwork is taken from the referenced books. The text is adapted to fit the restricted page count.

And that brings us to the audio component. There are eight buttons, which isn't many to tell three stories. Tragically, the sounds themselves are terribly disappointing. They are:

  1. Spider-Man: A perky electronic music fragment.
  2. Science Lab: Some bubbling beakers.
  3. Peter Parker: A (slightly different) perky electronic music fragment.
  4. Yellow Light: A crashing sound.
  5. Web Shooter: A satisfying THWIP.
  6. Web Swinging: A sequence of three quick THWIPs.
  7. Green Goblin: A rushing sound of passing wind and white noise.
  8. Green Goblin: A whining, crashing sequence of robot noises.

Individually the sounds are uninspiring, and collectively they are utterly inadequate.

In General...

Recycled artwork and story. The sounds are insipid and irrelevant - too few in number and too poor in quality. There's not a single human voice among the lot.

Overall Rating...

Visually attractive, but utterly soulless. I guess if you weren't a regular Spidey fan and hadn't already seen that same origin story artwork and text in umpteen different formats, you might get some meagre satisfaction out of these truncated tales.

But compared to other Play-a-Sound books, this one is a poor relation. I give it one point five webs.