I 'read' this book in its audio format so my enjoyment was impacted by a number of factors: the plot, quality of the story, style of the telling, characterisation and finally the narration. Ideally I would like to be able to assess the two components (the story and the narration) separately but actually find the narration has too much direct impact on my views of the story to do this effectively.
This is a mystery/thriller and is a beautifully crafted tale that takes the listener deep into a darker side of the world of internet hook-ups. It plunges straight into a series of brutal murders. It is blunt and graphic and violent and horrific. The murders are descriptive, grossly so, with descriptions of sights, sounds, smells and feelings giving a sense of realism to the scenes. It was almost like being plunged into an episode of Criminal Minds.
During the early part of the story, we are introduced to the various murder victims before they face their final moments. Even though each of these characters only play a short role, the author does a wonderful job of bringing a real personal element to each one. He describes their homes, personal traits and provides an insight into each man's emotional state. We learn how feel about their online hookups and the men they meet and what they are really looking for in life - and all are looking for love.
Ed Comparetto is the main focus of the story (apart from the killer). He is a cop who gets caught up in the murder investigation but ultimately gets suspended. I am not sure why the killer singled Ed out but contact from the killer and a desire to get his job back gives him no choice but to solve the mystery himself. While going through this really difficult period in his life, Ed meets Peter, which adds a romance element to the story. But mostly this story is focused on Ed's efforts to catch the killer.
It is difficult to talk about the killer and other characters without giving away the plot so I will keep it short. I thought the character of the killer was brilliant. He was perfectly creepy and his true evil nature was evident. There were some devices used in the story (such as diary entries) which provided a fabulous view into the past and the pyschy of the killer. A word of warning that the story does have some scenes, apart from graphic murder, that could be upsetting to some readers (pedophilia and rape references).
Now to the narration which was brilliant! I am not an expert (I've only listened to 3 other audio books) but truly believe this guy (Taavi Mark) got it right. The accents were perfectly suited to each character and he switched effortlessly between them.
He mastered the voice of the killer, truly adding a real sense of creepiness. The voice is breathy but chilling. It was quite clever how the killer's breathy voice deepened when he was switching into character for his IM hook ups which even included when he was reading them.
This story had large sections of dialogue and switched between different characters points of view so it was even more important to get the voices right - it wasn't just small sentences here and there but large tracts of narration while in character. One of the significant characters was female and I found her voice (the pitch, tone, accent and inflections) perfect!
It is really hard to make this claim because I hadn't read the book first but I'm going to put it out there anyway - I think listening to this book actually added to my enjoyment. I felt the use of the voices, particularly the killer and his family member, actually helped immerse me into the story, added to the atmosphere and gave a great sense of the emotion.
In summary, I highly recommend this story for lovers of a good graphic, murder thriller (it's focus is not romance) and the audio book is excellent.
This re-read was so interesting because it was via listening to the audio book. I still loved this story the second time around - it was beautiful, sad and inspiring.
This book is definitely worth reading. It is a well crafted story of what happens after Dan meets Adam. In the story we also meet Mark and Sullivan. All four characters are unique and all are hurting in some way. Life and relationships are not easy.
"It made him think about fate, about timing, and about how people appeared to one another at times when they most needed each other. His mother used to say that people came into our lives for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime."
There was a real sense of the time and place provided by the references to music of the time and wonderful descriptions of the hot and humid Tampa location.
I was totally swept up into the life of Dan and the unexpected journey he finds himself on. From meeting Adam, his AIDS Alliance buddy, to dealing with Mark, his very troubled and drug addicted boyfriend, to befriending Sullivan, Adam's boyfriend as they both deal with Adam's struggle.
Adam is a highlight of the book as he confronts the ravages of his disease. From the first moment he is introduced, he makes an impression. Everyone should be so lucky to have an Adam in their life - obviously not the heartbreak and death - but someone who can show what life is really all about, someone who can teach us about love and courage.
In terms of the audio, I think Taavi Mark did a wonderful job of narrating this story. I enjoyed the quality of his voice and found it suited the style of the book and the characters. He provided good distinction between the character voices and the pacing was excellent.
I read Bear, Otter, and the Kid in 2012 and absolutely loved the beautiful story of family and love. I'm not sure why it took so long for me to get to Who We Are but when I was looking for a new audio book to listen to, it seemed a great time to continue the story.
This is a story of Bear and Otter, wrapped in each other's love, facing the next steps in their future.
"....I came back for you, and I promised myself that I was never going to let you go again." He sighs. "All I want is to grow old with you and know that one day, it'll just be you and me, that we'll be able to look back and be proud of what we've done with our lives. I want to know that you belong to me and I belong to you. I love you with everything I have and I can promise you what I'll never ever stop. I couldn't, even if I wanted to. It won't be perfect, Bear, nothing ever really is. There will be days when we are angry with each other, and days where it seems the world is a fucking messed up place, but it won't matter. Because I'll have you and the Kid and you'll both have me....."
The blurb provides a really good indication of the journey this book takes - it's full of love and family, happiness and sadness, heartache and jealously, death and new life - hilarious one minute to warm and sweet the next to shedding tears - definitely an emotional journey!
As far as being a tearjerker, there was a section of this book that had tears streaming down my face as some of the book seemed so relevant to recent events in the author's life. Those of you who know or follow T J Klune will know exactly what I am referring to...
The audio book is narrated by Charlie David and I loved the way he voiced this book. It is obvious that the narration is by an actor. Charlie David really captures the emotion in the moment, not just reading the words from the pages. His pace is quite fast which I really, really like. It is not a slow, dragged out kind of reading, rather a vibrant and engaging telling of the story. I think he perfectly captures the characters and is wonderfully suited to the craziness of thoughts in Bear's head! The sex scenes are fabulous with the voice capturing passion and love. He could be soft and loving, funny and sarcastic, quite, thoughtful.......If you haven't checked out any audio books narrated by Charlie David, do give them a try!
And speaking of other books, there is good news! As we speak TJ Klune is working on the third book in the series. There is no release date as of yet but if the epilogue of this book is any indication, pretty soon we will be hearing more of the Kid!
Mixed thoughts on this one, partly because I 'read' by listening to the audio version (narrated by Jim Bowie).
As far as the story goes, it is short. Sam and Jake are flatmates who secretly desire each other but have never moved their relationship forward. Jake is a brainiac and a bit shy, keeping pretty much to himself. Sam is strong and doesn't say much. Unfortunately he doesn't say much in this story either and I would have loved to hear more from him!
Zack is Sam's Aussie guest who brings them together by initiating a quick three-way. The romantic in me says 'not ideal' as the interaction with Zach is purely physical and I just wanted to see Sam and Jake together. However Zack's actions worked a treat, he was happy being the third wheel and Sam and Jake were totally focused on each other so all good.
I listened to the audio version. It was about 30 minutes in total so I listened during one commute trip. I actually discovered that I prefer shorter audio books like this one. I think it's because I only like listening to them in the car and then reading in between so the longer ones get broken up too much with other books in between (unless I whispersync). Anyway, my thoughts on the narration with this one were that I liked the pace but wasn't overly fond of the narrator. I felt his voice sounded too 'old' or mature for the story and I wasn't overly keen on the Australian accent. In some instances it sounds ok but in others not so good.
I would probably recommend reading over listening in this case.
Daron's Guitar Chronicles Volume 1 is the first in a series of stories about the life of Daron, a young nineteen year old musician growing up in the 1980's in the world of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll.
Check out the author, Cecilia Tan's video (on YouTube) which tells a little about how this series of books came into being.
I actually listened so the audio version of this book and quite enjoyed the narration by Teddy Hamilton. His voice and inflections really seemed to suit the story and the character of Daron.
The story itself is part of a larger journey, and this book only covers a small part of Daron's life. In this first book, we are introduced to Daron and his struggles to find his path in life. With dysfunctional parents who he no longer really sees or talks to, he is out making it on his own. He is trying to get his band up and running while earning enough money to fund his college course. He is also struggling with his sexuality and everything that goes along with discovering who he really is and what he wants.
A large part of the story is taken up with Daron accepting a roadie gig with the band of a friend of his father's. As he travels the country he meets some interesting people and has some interesting encounters - from a couple of sexual exploits with men to being actively pursued by a girl also on the tour.
This is not a romance, this is a character driven tale that introduces Daron - he is sweet and insecure and a bit confused - and tempts the reader into the next book of the series where Daron's journey continues.
This is a relatively short book, at least I think it is. I have the Kindle version but listened to the Audio version which is just over 4 hours long (the audio versions always take much longer for me as my reading speed is heaps faster than the narration). But as usual it was a great way to spend my commute to work over a couple of days!
This is another book that I listened to via the Audible version. I have not read this book previously so the narration was my first experience of the story.
I'm going to make a claim without really being able to back this up - the audio version was brilliant and really enhanced my enjoyment of this story! Okay, I don't really know if I would have enjoyed it any less if I had read it but I totally adored the narration of this book.
The characters were totally wonderful and I fell in love with both Whyborne and Griffin. Outwardly Whyborne was so unsure of himself, shy and unassertive, totally lacking self confidence but in reality he was a wonderfully strong man - standing on his own, following his own path in life and supporting himself rather than relying on his well-to-do father. Griffin appears strong and confident but has his own demons and inner torment. Together they are fabulous.
I am not a huge fan of historical romances and only read a smattering in the paranormal genre so was surprised by how much I liked this book. The style of writing, the speech and the behaviour of all the characters seemed to capture the era perfectly. I particularly liked the formality of interactions between work colleagues and the totally fabulous Christine!
The story was full of mystery, intrigue and horror as Whyborne and Griffin team up to stop the resurrection of wonderfully descriptive evil monsters. They follow clues, deal with Whyborne's colleagues at the museum, fight off half-human-half-animal creatures, all while their attraction for each other grows.
Julian G Simmons captured the essence of Whyborne perfectly. The soft spoken quality of his voice, his tone and inflections matched the character of Whyborne and was totally in keeping with the period of the story.
I can highly recommended the audio version!
It took me a while but I finally 'read' my first Adrien English mystery! I'm not sure why I waited so long particularly with all the rave reviews about the series. And really, being Josh Lanyon, it was always going to be a hit!
I say I 'read' the book because I actually listened to the audio version from Audible. I do own the Kindle version but when I saw that Audible had the first three books for only $1.99 each I could not resist. It was one of the best decisions I have made - I was totally prepared to Whispersync back to the written version but found I LOVED the audio version.
The story is narrated by Chris Patton who did an absolutely fabulous job. Yes, he had a wonderful, quality story to work with but he so totally did justice to the book! His voice and style seemed to match the story and he lent a perfect voice to Adrien. His strength is his ability to perfectly capture the emotion of the story and I loved the way his inflections and tone replicated what was happening. For example, if he narrated the words "he grumbled" then the dialogue was actually grumbled. Dectective Riordan had a deeper, sexy voice and even the women were well done - Lisa, Adrien's mother being voiced fabulously!
I really enjoyed the whole story and the mystery. I liked the descriptive style of the story and loved Adrien. Maybe a touch more romance wouldn't have gone astray but with another four books to go in the series, I am sure it will get there!
Of course I was going to love this book because I love the series!
As with the other books it is a perfect blend of intriguing plot,lots of witty humour and wonderful characters.
The mystery was interesting as Adrien starts to mix with some Hollywood types and celebrities. The mystery takes up more page time than the relationship between Adrien and Jake but the relationship somehow still seems integral to the book.
The author wonderfully conveys so much about Jake and Adrien without necessarily using words. Every look nad action tells so much about their feelings. The relationship between Jake and Adrien just seems so honest and real, despite the secrets and all the thing unsaid. It seems so natural for them to be together despite the other people in their lives.
One more book to go! Please, please, please give me the perfect ending for Adrien and Jake!
Once again, as with earlier books in the series, I listened to this one via audio book and can't speak highly enough of the narrator - brilliant!
As usual, this series continues to impress!
Definitely a good book in the series, made so because of the character of Adrien English. There is lots and lots of humour and witty comments - Adrien is the king of the fast comeback!
It's a thriller mystery although with a little less action than previous books and Adrien doesn't seem to be getting himself into so much direct trouble. There is lots of sleuthing as he tries to help his bookshop assistant who is part of a cult and accused of a crime Adrien doesn't think he committed.
At first I wondered why Adrien was so passionate about getting involved but I think his nature didn't give him any choice! As a writer of mysteries he doesn't have it in him just to sit back and not follow the clues.
Jake only makes a minimal appearance in this book. I would have like there to be more on-page Jake although he was an a*****!
All in all - a great book, a mystery not a romance. The ending was a little bit fast and sudden but luckily there was another book for me to launch straight into!
The narration captures the essence of Adrien. The other characters are voiced well too - Guy, with his slight British accent and Lisa.
"Aren't you the guy who told me a cop's gut instinct is one of his best tools?"
"You're not a cop, baby. You're a bookseller. You don't have a gut instinct. You have knack for nearly getting yourself killed."
I love the blend of quick wit and humour with the intrigue of the murder mystery. But as good as the mystery is, of course I'm really only reading to see to the evolution of the relationship between Adrien and Jake.
I adore Adrien! He's the sort of guy I would love to have as a friend and as a friend, I want him to be happy. His admission (to himself) of love for Jake is painful because we know loving Jake won't be easy. Oh, but the first kiss with Jake - just beautiful!
I have been continuing to 'read' this series by listening to the audio version......Chris Patton does a stellar job of narrating this series. I loved the way he voiced Adrien - his inflection, his tone, the quality of his voice - and the sexy, gruffness of Jake is perfect!
Gulliver Takes Manhattan was super entertaining and one of those stories that just seems to be enhanced by the narrator (in this case Cole Ferguson).
I listened to this audio book over a week during my daily commute and actually looked forward to getting in my car each morning so that I could listen to the next installment of Gulliver's adventures.
Gulliver is running away from his life in LA,escaping the city where his two-timing, now ex-boyfriend lives. He moves to the other side of the country to share an apartment in New York with his college friend Todd. Todd is a party organiser in the gay nightclub scene with all the right connections and his friendship ensures that Gulliver has access to all the best parties and lots of free drinks!
The story follows Gulliver's party life, his flings, his relationships with Todd's group of friends. There is time spent with Gulliver and his new job and the complexities that result from him falling for one of his clients. There are weekends away, one night stands and fights. Gulliver goes from on top of the world one minutes, to desperately sad and alone the next. He moves from coffee shop employee, to talent scout to a very surprising new occupation! It's certainly not short on action!
According to his bio, Justin Luke Zirilli is Head Promoter of a New York-Based gay nightlife events company, so he must know his stuff and this certainly comes through in the story!
I highly recommend this audio book - great story, wonderful characters and good pace. It ends with a happy-for-now but there is a sequel that I am looking forward to reading.
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