Even though it's a story and outcome I thought I was totally aware of, the act of proving Charles Manson guilty proved to be an all-encompassing story; a story that Scot Brick's unparalleled narration, turned it into a masterpiece. As Scott Brick is my favorite male narrator*, it took me little more than 15 minutes to go from reading the email-announcement of Scott Brick's Reading of Helter Skelter, to the act of purchasing and downloading it.. 30 minutes later I began listening to chapter 1 of part one and could do little more than to listen until I reached the story's conclusion. I reacted so quickly because I believe Scott Brick to be the industry's #1 male narrator.
If this was a movie, Susan Ericksen would win a Best Actress Oscar. Though I highly recommend this book; know that it has one of the weaker "in Death" story lines that Nora Roberts has written under her J. D. Robb pseudonym. The story's problem is that while it has a good beginning and a surprising ending, it plays out like a board game. That being said, this book is still a "must listen;." It's a most-listen because you'll have never heard one narrator play more than 20 male and female roles while giving each character a gender-perfect voice and personality.
The skill of being a one-person ensemble is what makes Susan Erickson the hands-down, most talented, narrator in the audiobook industry. In every one of the now more than 40* "In-Death series books, Erickson has consistently nailed the narration of the 3 main characters (Lieutenant Eve Dallas, her Irish, self-made billionaire husband Rourke, and her right-hand-assistant Detective Peabody) and a long-long cast of repeat characters, who once written in, are not only in ever book, they have been vertically evolved.
Let me preface what I'm about to say by telling you that my MS Ed, is in health education with a specialty in sex education. When I started with book #1 in the Death series I fond that no two authors understood how to write erotic, yet sensitive, mutually-satisfying, physiologically-perfect, love-making, than Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb. By the time I audibly-read the 4th book in the "in Death" series, I found out why. J. D. Robb was the pseudonym that Nora Roberts reserves for her "in Death" series. Though she never repeats herself in the 2-3 explicit encounters between Dallas and Rourke (who fell in love in book #1 and married a few books latter)' know that they rarely have anything to do with the story thread. However; what remains amazing is that Erickson is playing both roles to perfection.
*Even though this book's number is 34, Roberts has written more than 40. For some inexplicable reason, she numbered one of them 37, gave her shorter stories
an incremental ".5" number (like 7, 7.5, 8). She's also written a few books in the series without the "In Death" name, but still with the same character. The one great consistency, is that every one of the books has been narrated by Susan Ericksen. If your new to the series, I recommend that you buy a few of the often bargain-priced ".5" books. I guarantee you'll be hooked!
The perfect combination of a great story and great narration. This review is being written by Platinum subscriber since 2001 and an owner and listener to more than 400 audiobooks. I often base my selections on narrators and purchased Stay Close specifically because Scott Brick was narrating. Scott Brick is the best male narrator in the business and 2nd only to Susan Erickson overall. He can make a mediocre story entertaining, but when he reads a perfect story like Stay Close, its difficult to stop listening. The reviews that I read giving him a 1 star rating have to have been written by audiobook neophytes who should be embarrassed to review any book.
If you're looking for white noise to promote sleep then Wil Wheaton's narration of "Ready Player One" is as good as it gets. However; If, like me, you're looking for an audiobook to keep you so riveted that you'll not want to fall asleep, then Wil Wheaton's narration makes this as difficult a challenge as hitting a 250yd Tee-shot with a croquet mallet. On a narrator scale from 1 to 10, I could give Wil Wheaton no more than a 1 and because of that, the book , no more than a 2. As audiobook addicts like me know, a great narrator can save a lousy book while, as with "Ready Player One" a mediocre narrator can destroy any book. After my rating this a 2, I have to question how the ratings of 44-listners could average 4.52, yet not one of those 44 took the time to write even a short, name revealing, review? I would hate to think that the deck was stacked against me (and every other Audible subscriber) by 4 and 5 star ratings from people close to the author, narrator, and book & audio publishers, that they had a vested interest in doing so, yet no alternative but to remain anonymous.
By the Light of the Moon rates among the best of the nearly 300 books I've purchased since becoming an Audible Platinum subscriber in 2001. I can also state that , as the buyer of 80% of Audible's Dean Koontz books, this is by far Koontz's best (i.e. story & narration combined). My only criticism is that Koontz ends the book with a setup for an obvious series and in 9 years has not written one. Its 3 main characters (one of whom is autistic) were given uniquely-different powers as a result of a scientific experiment. At the very end of the book they meet the 4th person in the experiment, form a group called "The Camel Club," and set their mission going forward, to use their 4 gifts to save people whenever needed. There's a love-affair left unresolved and the 4th member's contribution unexplored. On top of it all, they're all be hunted by a group whose sole purpose is to eradicate them. Upon its conclusion I immediately went to the Audible site to buy and download the obvious sequels to this 2002 book and assumed the first would be named "The Camel Club." To my great disappointment, I found that, in the 9 years since its publication, Koontz has yet to write a sequel to By the Light of the Moon. Please Dean; bring back the Camel Club!
Ive purchased almost every book Koontz has written and have enjoyed them all. It was upon his name alone that I purchased books 1 and 2 of this series.. This story captivates you, primes you for a just ending and then leaves you at the toll booth on an unfinished road. Book two strands you at the next toll booth. If you read the reviews on his other, unnumbered, books in the series, you'll find the same no-ending comments. Koontz has written a serial novel that should have been sold in monthly installments in comic book stores.
Ive purchased almost every book Koontz has written and have enjoyed them all. It was upon his name alone that I purchased books 1 and 2 of this series.. Like Book 1, this story captivates you, primes you for a just ending and then leaves you in the middle of an unpaved road. If you read the reviews on his other, unnumbered, books in the series, you'll find the same no-ending comments. Koontz has written a serial novel that should have been sold in monthly installments in comic book stores.
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