Originally published in 1988, Ray Garton's second novel, after his stunning debut with Live Girls, is regarded as a classic of the "splatterpunk" movement in horror fiction. Garton has a way with teenage boredom, atmospheric small-town isolation, incest, drug abuse and over-the-top violence and he has managed to create a modern re-make of the story of the Pied Piper with a sinister character, Crucifax, appearing on the scene, seducing mixed-up kids with his siren song of pleasure, power and indulgence, all leading to a horrifically unsettling climax of death and destruction. And let's not forget the rat-like things that do the piper's bidding...
©1988 Ray Garton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I purchased Crucifax just because I wanted to try something different and I had a credit to spare. I usually don't purchase audiobooks that have no reviews, but my research online encouraged me to take a chance on this audiobook.
Originally published in 1988 this story did have a bit of a "dated" feel to it BUT I loved it. I was a kid in the 80's (sorry my age is showing) and a few parts of the story made me think of my brother's stories of his 80's high school years. I did occasionally get that "ripped from the headlines" feel meaning parts of the story sensationalized what adults and the media believe teens will do when influenced by the "wrong" things.
The bulk of the story followed teenage siblings who are dealing with their parents divorce, usual teen stress, and (prepare yourself) incest fantasies. The mother of the main characters is also featured as she struggles to support herself and two teenagers with a variety of less than savory jobs. Throughout the book the teens and their peers are seduced by a mysterious man who seems determined to influence as many teenagers as possible.
The narrator is absolutely horrible. I am completely serious. This narrator was so bad I almost gave up on listening to a story that I ended up really enjoying. His attempt to portray female characters came across as annoying most of the time and ludicrous all of the time. It was really, embarrassingly, bad.
In a perfect world a male narrator should be able to handle male characters just fine. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world. Some of this male characters sounded like whiny fools making it hard to truly listen to the story and get lost in it. Other male characters just sounded ridiculous.
In the end I gave this audiobook a 3 star rating because I was able to power through the audiobook and was happy that I did. The story is a good one even though it is a bit dated and has the after school special feel. If it was rerecorded with a better narrator I think this would be an amazing listen and a solid 4 star listen losing only one star because of the (in my opinion) flaws in the story.
Voice Actor in need of work!
The Deaf. As long as Seth Michael Donsky is connected with this work the best way to enjoy it is not to hear it at all!
The Book. CRUCIFAX is cutting hooror and Ray Garton goes boldly where no one else does In to the darkest regions of the supernatural!
His voice was creepy and annoying. His acting range seemed to be measured somewhere between awful and non existant. He is the vocal equivalent of nails on a chalkboard
Everything featuring Seth Michael Donsky then start over with an actor with vocal range and some acting ability
I read CRUCIFAX about ten years ago I enjoyed the book its was raw edge Horror, disturbing but it drew you in. However I could not get through the Audio Book Seth Micheal Donsky has the single most annoying voice I have ever heard after 9 chapters I could take no more. It is sad that someone like this no talent loser gets work and so many talented actors don't.
"Would have been better with a different narrator"
First of all I have to admit to being a huge fan of Ray Garton's work (Live Girls, The New Neighbor, Methods of Madness etc are all great reads/listens) and even though I enjoyed this story the narration is very average to say the least.
Seth Michael Donsky's reading leaves a lot to be desired but I believe it is because he is trying to hard, his rendition of some of the characters especially Reverend Bainbridge is simply awful and the female characters almost sound comical. Not wishing to sound too harsh as in parts the reading is OK but I think with someone else reading this it would have been a much better experience.
"Interesting story crippled by terrible narration."
I listened to Ray Garton's début novel, Live Girls recently, and liked it enough to give his second novel a try. I quite enjoyed the story, but the narration is terrible - incredibly hammy caricatured dialogue really makes it hard to relate to the various characters. If you're considering this audiobook, please try the free sample first, it'll give you more of an idea as to whether or not you can stomach the narration. I think it's a shame, it really impacted my enjoyment of an otherwise interesting story.
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