There's arguably no one man who's been more inadvertently influential to the horror genre than Mr. Edward Gein. Because of him, authors and screenwriters were inspired to create the following characters: Norman Bates in Psycho, Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs. But let's not give Gein too much credit here. After all, he was a murderer who also dug corpses out of graveyards and made trophies and other home-adorning paraphernalia from their bones and flesh. In 1957, the Plainfield, WI, native confessed to a pair of murders, saying that he offed two local women over a three-year span. And when the authorities searched his home, they discovered a treasure trove of horror: human skin covering chairs, bowls made from skulls, four loose noses, the two victims' severed heads in bags, a belt made from female nipples, a lampshade made from a person's face, and 10 women's heads with the tops cut off, amongst other grotesqueries. OK, one more, for good measure: They also found nine vulvae snipped off and placed in a shoe box. Welcome to the real world of Ed Gein, told in his own words.
©2015 Brian Lee Tucker (P)2015 Brian Lee Tucker
I wouldn't generally ask for a refund even if I don't like a book, but for this one, I'll have to. This isn't a book or audiobook at all; it's a recitation of a rejected screenplay written in some sort of lurid fan-fiction vein.
The content and execution are so amateurish that it feels harsh to write such a review, but this is being misrepresented. You shouldn't buy this unless you know what you're getting.
The content is just a dreadful reading of said screenplay, which is quite bad, with scene-setting, some visual and actor direction, and lines of cliche dialogue. It has a loose association with the "facts" of the Gein case, but those facts are generally misrepresented, presented out of order and/or out of context, and intermixed with numerous inaccuracies and inventions. The psychological portrayals and justifications are so shallow they're shame-making.
That's bad enough, but it's all staged in short, corny scenes with cartoonish characters who bumble through insipid dialogue and motivations, and an utterly inane progression of events. Most of what would be the dramatic content is actually offstaged, between scenes, with characters just showing up to summarize it. The author also has a sort of "theory" about true crime vs. fiction that he announces in the intro, which is later repeated nearly verbatim by the Gein character in a Scooby-Doo-villain declaration of facts and guilt.
The awfulness doesn't end with the content, either. Unfortunately, the narrator is a match for this dreck, serving up hammy old-time radio theatrics complete with goofy guffaws, aw shuckses, and other such bumpkin-esque caricatures of rural life. It's a performance right out of the Andy Griffith show and one deeply inappropriate for the topic. Finally, there are two attempts at audio-production effects that are just wince worthy.
There's no mystery as to why this material is self-published, but I was naive enough to think that Audible wouldn't sell something this incompetent. If you're a writer or writing student, this is, regrettably, a negative example of things not to do.
My apologies to the author and narrator. It's totally normal for us to produce worse material on the way to producing better material, but you should exercise judgment about what is ready for the public and worthy of a customer's dollar. Otherwise, you invite harsh feedback and reviews that would be kinder and more constructive in a workshop setting. Above all, you should give an honest indication of what a potential customer is in store for.
Bottom line: Misrepresenting this as finished, professional work is deceptive and unethical.
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