Maybe. The stories were well crafted and it was intriguing to watch the characters take shape, but knowing how the stories conclude would probably ruin a second listen.
I can't recall reading anything that compares. Most of the characters are unsympathetic, selfish and unlikable, but the narrative is handled so deftly that you stick around anyway, if only to see if the unlikable characters get their comeuppance. By the end of some of the stories I was able to find shreds of sympathy for some of the most unsympathetic characters in the collection. Strange, really, but most of these stories were written (and narrated) very well. It's full of people being horrible to one another, but it's not (in most cases) for simple shock value -- it's organic and we get to see what shaped these vindictive characters.
None of the characters were really likable, so it's difficult to select a favorite. The narrator did a really great job with all the characters, though perhaps best with Jude from The Truth About Pretty Girls, or June from Unremarkable Heart.
The Audible Daily Deal occasionally pays off. Eighty percent of what I've picked up turns out to be crap. It was a pleasant surprise to find this collection offered. Without it I'd never have heard of Karen Slaughter. Now I'll be checking out her other works.
In an attempt to explore some wonderful themes (justice, vengeance, love and grace in regard to religious belief and societal laws), the Priest's Graveyard started off wonderfully, but went south pretty fast. Unique characters quickly morph into the cardboard cutout variety when their actions start to bend to the ridiculous plot.
A vigilante priest who takes justice into his own hands is terribly intriguing. Then, as we watch him interrogate his first offender and are made privy to his inner turmoil via a painfully indecisive interior monologue, we see that it???s not really a moral struggle, but more the fact that this character doesn???t know what he???s doing or what he???s really about, even though he thinks he does.
The same can be said of the recovering heroin addict and the ridiculous sequence of events that bring her to where she is. She???s another ditsy character that is at one moment full of conviction and self righteousness, and then the next second she's second guessing herself, and then she's full of conviction, and then second guessing herself, and then??? It???s tiring. We???re treated to monologue after monologue of the same thing from both main characters, especially in the last third of the book.
Cardboard characters and ridiculous plot aside, the theme at the core of the book is one worth exploring. It???s just a shame that by the time the main characters begin to really reflect on it, I no longer cared about them, not even a little bit.
I was amazed to hear the credits of some of these writers -- NYT bestsellers time and time again, but the fiction was pretty rank. There are only a few stories worth listening to. If you like the thriller/mystery genre and want some entertaining short fiction, I'd recommend checking out Jefferey Deaver's short story collections (Twisted, More Twisted, Nocturne). His was one of the better written stories in this collection, and it's not the best of his short fiction.
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