The narrator was a delight to listen to, and the story was full of fantastic imagry. The humor was shockingly good too. Highly recommended for pre-teens, teens, and adults that have a love of the classic fairy tales.
The author used well known fairy tales as a stepping off/jumping off point, and then she ran with those tales to make this into a fascinating story of its own.
I've read other books that mix tales like this, but this one worked on a higher scale than most of those. To be honest, I did roll my eyes at the "reveal" of a couple of them, and I was glad when the new references stopped for a large section of the book. It almost felt like the author was relying too much on them at first, but I got over that quickly.
Katherine Kellgren's reading of this tale is similar to the way she read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies"... and I wouldn't want it any other way.
There were about 10 points where I dirupted my co-workers with my uproarious and uncontrollable laughter. The author puts some great snarky lines into this book that will make your eyes bug out in surprise, and then you won't be able to control the titters.
This isn't the most serious book in the world. It was obvoiusly a fun write for the author. There are moments where I was reminded of Grim... moments of Monty Python...moments of Anne Shirley ("Anne of Green Gables")... and there were moments where I was reminded of Bulgakov's "The Master and Margarita". Have fun reading this one. I know I did.
"The Sea Was Wet as Wet as Could Be" by Mel Gilden is a hard boiled parody filled with urban fantasy.
In a world where ancient gods walk among us, who's going to be the hard-boiled detective to point a finger at who stole an aquatic deity's prized possession? P.I. Turner Cronyn, that's who. Writing any more than that about the plot of this short story would give away too much. I feel the description on the main page here gives away too much.
I read this book with a wry smile on my face. It didn't make me laugh out loud, but it constantly amused with its style. The story is just that, a story. It is about an hour long in audio (around 40 pages in book form).
While there is some low-key double entendre, this is just a low PG read. Younger kids might enjoy it, but most wouldn't know the mythic gods.
About the narrator and narration: Commodore James reads the Sam-Spade style well enough. Not exactly the way I'd like, but it works. He is quick-paced. The recording engineer chose to record all dialogue separately from the reading of the main narrative. This changes the sound of the dialogue slightly by adding an echo-effect (like being read in an empty room...which may have been how it was done). Like most books, parts are re-recorded at a different time (probably because of mistakes in the original recording). While this is noticeable, it doesn't distract. His voices are pretty normal and discernible. The one fantastical creature that only has one line shows the narrator's chops for more cartoony voices (an imp which sounds like Gurgi from Disney's "The Black Cauldron").
Interesting note: Unbeknownst to me until now, I grew up with elements of Mel Gilden. My favorite TV show was "The Real Ghostbusters" and he was the assistant story editor for it. He also wrote for "M.A.S.K.," "Heathcliff & the Cadillac Cats," "Fraggle Rock," and more shows from my childhood.
Richard Laymon because of the violence and interesting characters.
His voices really helped to discern characters.
"Tones of Home" is a novella about a college-age engaged couple going home to meet the future-wife's parents. Maurice and Ashley are meeting "Daddy" in a "redneck"-y all-white bar. Oh, the catch? Maurice is a black man. Within minutes, a bar-fight ensues. "Daddy" breaks it up, and Maurice meets his future father-in-law for the first time... and then the twists begin...
At the start, the story plays on the reader's own ideas of racism, and it plays with your ideas of what will happen next. Yes, there are some stereotypes... or are there? The book keeps you guessing, but let me give you a bit of advice: Don't guess. Just go with the ride. I guessed a lot, and it just distracted me.
The reader of the audiobook works well-enough. When he started out, I almost felt like I was listening to a children's book. But that feeling went away by chapter 3. I think it was his higher voice for the female characters.
The book is a novella (about 3 hours of reading time...give-or-take). But the size is right for the story. There isn't any filler...
..Unless you call castration, blood, and gore "filler." That's right, this book is full of extreme gore after the first 6 chapters. Including: A person getting-off on their torture of others, exposed spines, sickly crunches, machete slicings, shotguns blasting people to pieces, etc...
If you hate books with intricate descriptions of killing and torture, don't get this book! It is NOT for everyone. I felt plenty of sickness during the tumultuous ride of "Tones of Home."
Fun bit: the chapter titles are all songs by The Beatles... and there is a reason for this. Also, the paperback has a Beatles-like picture on the front.
The Painted Darkness is an easy to listen to, fascinating story. The narrator is pitch-perfect and it feels like the narrator teamed up with the author to give everything a cohesive feel that is sometimes missing from audiobooks. I found myself replaying this adventure in my head long after it was over. The quiet terror of the story was an absolute joy to listen to.
I've never heard anything by Alexander McDonald before, but I know for sure I will. His voice recording is top-notch, and I will be seeking out new books narrated by him.
The narrator was an awesome choice for this colleciton of short stories. A large variety of stories (one is even sort of Sci-fi) made this a very enjoyable collection too.
I never have, but I will be seeking Al Dano out.
There is one story that almost made me throw-up because I was so disgusted by it (had two children killing animals). All of the others were great.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.