Quite possibly the scariest audiobook I have ever listened too! From the author who brought us the "Hell Raiser" movies, I should have known this would be a riveting, bone-chilling experience. No one can write horror like Clive Barker with his twists and turns, and mind-bending exploits into the dark side of humanity. This collection of short stories is certainly not for the faint of heart! I'm not typically a fan of a lot of "gore" but with Barker's stories it's inevitable and it works fantastically to his advantage. Each of these stories left me in absolute awe....and yes, rather afraid of the dark. I quickly learned that these were not the stories to listen to before going to bed. But, they were incredible nonetheless. The narrators all performed outstandingly and to choose one favorite over the others would be a grave injustice. Each narrator had a unique, eerie quality that only enhanced Barker's writing and brought it to life. My initial impression was that the narration had a "Twilight Zone" appeal to it but then quickly stepped beyond and into something much darker and much more sinister. As an audiobook, this was an astounding performance of stories that I would highly recommend to fans of Horror Fiction, and particularly fans of Clive Barker. Very well done....FIVE stars!
Sweet Tea and Jesus Shoes is a collection of short southern stories that will soothe your soul and warm your heart. These are just simple, old-fashion stories that you would hear among family or friends; the type of stories that will make you laugh or cry but will always enjoy. I have always enjoyed the writings of southern authors and their ability to tell a good story with plenty of detail and a great deal of heartfelt honesty. And, I wasn't the least bit disappointed with this collection. Each story was captivating, a bit quirky, and sprinkled with southern hospitality. One of my favorites though was the title story, Jesus Shoes, as I was swept away to an earlier time when our country was in the midst of WWII and young, southern children began the summer ritual of attending Vacation Bible School. This particular story brought tears to my eyes and teaches one of life's most important lessons of not judging others until we have walked in their shoes...or in this case, walked without shoes. I loved the various phrases that capture the essence of living in the South , such as "In the South, insults can be delivered without accountability as long as you preface them with, 'Bless her heart...". The narrator for this audiobook edition, Lee Ann Howlet, was truly remarkable. Her southern accent and charm enhanced these stories and brought each one to life. Overall, this was a wonderful audiobook experience and one that I would certainly recommend...FOUR stars.
This is certainly one of the most captivating and creative accounts of Edgar Allen Poe and his Lenore, as well as the foundations for Poe's infamous poem, "The Raven". Filled with unexpected twists and turns that left me guessing until the very end, David Niall Wilson has proven himself to be an extraordinary storyteller with a keen gift for the macabre. The suspense throughout was spectacular and never did I feel a sense of prolonging. Wilson has put forth everything I could want from such a novel; extremely well-developed characters, suspense, intrigue, and a great deal of unpredictability. As a long time fan of Edgar Allen Poe, this is one of the rare creative endeavors that truly capture Poe's spirit and then goes beyond to create a mesmerizing story within a story. The narrator of this audio edition, Gigi Shane, is equally as talented. Her voice is rather deep and raspy, yet soft and gentle, which only enhances the ambiance of the story. Listening to her was as though I were enveloped in an old quilt; a bit frayed and rough on the edges but warm and comforting as it drew me in. Her narration was astounding and truly brought this novel life. My overall experience with this particular audiobook was astounding and I sincerely could not ask for anything more. I highly recommend this to any fan of the macabre and Edgar Allen Poe in particular....FIVE stars!
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