Raymond is such a failure, he can't even kill himself and get it right. Cindy just plain doesn't care; she'll get on her knees for anyone beneath the football field bleachers to score a nickel bag hit. And Sal is a frustrated goon with a hook nose and an attitude so sour he can't nail a girl, even with the lure of free dope and a getaway car.
When these three desperate teens meet Aaron, a failed practitioner of the dark arts, who offers them the best high they've ever smoked in exchange for kinky sex play, things only go from bad to worse. Aaron hopes to ensnare and re-birth the spirit of a late witch to capture her power from beyond the grave for his own.
Soon, they'll all learn the darkest, bloodiest, most terrifying definition of failure.
©2006 John Everson (P)2015 John Everson
Addicted to any type of Romance/Erotica audio books.
That was a very dark, messed up, crazy book. I've never read anything by this author before so I had no idea what to expect. I guess this book was just a book to me, nothing spectacular but nothing terrible. It felt like the author was trying to write for shock value. And if that was the case he hit it out of the park. I think maybe it was too short, there was no time for details or for you to get invested in the characters at all. I would have enjoyed it more if I understood the characters better and had a little back ground on the wizard. Also, I was expecting graphic sex which I think would have also made this better. All in all it was written well and will probably stick with me for awhile as one of the darkest book I've ever listened to.
The narration was probably the best part of this experience for me. Joe Hempel did a great job and I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him. He has a great voice for narration and did a great job with changing his tone for each character and he didn't try to make his voice real high on the female voices or over dramatize the tense moments which is a big plus for me.
Aaron has a plan to attain greatness, but it will cost. He seeks out gullible failures to be part of a ritual that will bring back a now-dead witch, whose power he can then claim for his own. It’s going to be a hot bloody mess.
Aaron, our wannabe wizard, convinces Sal to gather other discontented teens. Sal himself is a sad sort, desperately wanting a girl to notice him. Aaron sweetens the deal by offering up some quality pot to those who come join in the ritual. Sal manages to recruit Raymond, Cindy (who goes by Cind part of the time), and Emily.
Raymond is in love with the idea of suicide but he never manages to follow through. At first I was a little confused as it sounded like he actually completed the act only to blink and find himself still alive. I was unclear throughout the story as to whether or not something supernatural was going on with Raymond.In any case, he keeps testing the boundaries. Cindy is testing a different set of boundaries, trading sex for drugs long before Sal comes to her with his proposition. Emily was a very brief character and I can’t recall what her failure was, if any.
So these teens get together at Aaron’s house and get high and then naked. Then as part of this ritual (which they know almost nothing about), the three of them have sex. There’s blood and other body fluids but they’re pretty high and remember it as some of the best sex ever. So initially, it looks like Cindy didn’t realize this ritual’s purpose was to bring back this dead witch, as she contemplates who knocked her up. But then later on it sounds like she knew from the beginning that Aaron needed her as a vessel to bring about this witch. Anyway, things get really messy when the birth is imminent.
Taken all together, it was an OK story. There’s a constant stream of action, so you’re never bored. However, there are a few points that are confusing, as already discussed. All the characters are one dimensional, but this is a short story, so that is mostly OK. The ladies are all sex objects (except the now-dead witch who never has a single line). There’s plenty of blood to satisfy the gory horror junkie, if that’s your thing. I did like that everyone in the tale lives up to the title of the book – they all fail in some way. In fact, only one gets out alive.
I won a copy of this audiobook from Audio Book Reviewer.
Narration: Joe Hempel did a pretty good job with this book. His characters voices were each distinct and his female voices were believable. I especially liked his voice for Aaron, which had a kind of gravelly old man quality to it.
I really enjoyed the mix of horror, gore, and psycho-sexual circumstances that the author managed to cram into the hour and 20 minute listen and how well the narrator was able to communicate it vocally.
I kind of addressed this in the previous question but I liked the way that Everson weaves a blood-soaked tale of general nastiness with enough style to keep it from just being disgusting.
I appreciated how he was able to deliver a great performance to match the story he was reading, how he commanded attention while glossing over the blood and ritualistic sexual behavior never losing it in the story.
Probably Emily, because she's the least bonkers of the bunch. Raymond would be interesting as well, we could discuss personal failures.
I received this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review and would recommend it to anyone with a bit of a strong stomach and an appetite for somewhat-extreme horror.
I like listening to audiobooks during my commute. I have a 45 minute drive to work, so I have 1.5 hours every day that needs filling.
"Failure" is anything but...
I listened to this in one sitting, amazed by the author's ability to weave words so eloquently. The read was so well done, too, Mr. Hempel's voice nearly dripping the story out, not just speaking it. The story is, in a word, horrible, but I only mean that in terms of the horror evoked. It was engaging, as each character is brought to you easily and recognizably, making it easy to fall into the story. It was disturbing, finding out what drives the characters to the actions they take. It was visceral, literally making my guts clench a couple of times.
I'm looking forward to reading more of Everson's work and listening to more of Hempel's narration.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
I am an avid reader and listener of horror and thrillers with the occasional SciFi and crime noir. I review on Amazon, GR, NG & Audible.
Good time gore and satanic sex ritual and some kick ass weed! Everson delivers it all in this novelette. I read this one a while back and enjoyed the read quite a bit. The audio version is even better. Narrator Joe Hempel really nailed the tone of this one and made the pages come to life. Very well done and highly recommended.
I love to read and working on my first book. Maybe it will be on Audible someday.
I was not too sure about this one because it started out with mostly cursing and loud flowery speech. I am not too crazy about obscene language, so I was kind of shocked. But the longer I listened the more hooked I became.
John Everson knows how to write a horror story that will shock and terrify the reader.
I will say that if you absolutely cannot stand the profuse use of profanity then do not listen to this book. If shocking descriptions of ritualistic sex and murder and death bother you then by no means listen to this book. If you are at all squeamish about the use of drugs and sex and lots of blood then this book is not for you. But if you like to be shocked and horrified and none of these things cause you to lose sleep then you will most likely enjoy this short story.
Joe Hempel does a fine job of narrating this book. He gets all of the voices just right. Emotions are in the right places, and when Sal tries to scream and it only comes out as a horse whisper Joe Hempel's voice for the character is right on the money. I will most definitely be looking for other books narrated by him just to see if this was a fluke or if he is consistently the professional he was in Failure. I really enjoyed listening to him in this book.
I received this audiobook from the narrator in exchange for an honest review, and honestly I really liked it.
I love audiobooks!!!
So, this story is a creepy, horrific, testament to a sick, warped mind. Teenagers tend to have very little impulse control. When the creepy sorcerer offers them a bunch of the best weed they've ever smoked, if they'd be willing to conduct a sexual ritual, they jump on the opportunity. Depravity and gore ensue. As with other books I've heard by this narrator,he does a great job, and has a clear, concise voice with excellent inflection and boyish charm. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Loved it all, even though it was short, it was very exciting to listen to and enjoyable. I love John Everson books, they are always a pleasure to read and keeps my interest. 😊
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
John Everson’s Failure is an intriguing mash-up of horror, kink, and magic, but one that ultimately fell a little bit flat. If you’ve read the description for this title, then you know what you’re getting into. Sadly, there’s little else beyond the synopsis to capture in terms of depth or plot.
Now, that said, this one is a quick and breezy listen, clocking in just shy of 90 minutes and there are many, many worse things to while away a few car-rides between work and home. Once the story gets all revved up and gunning for the climax, I found myself enjoying the story quite a bit more.
The gist of Failure is stupid teens making one very large bad choice all in the name of good drugs and sex, not quite believing or realizing they’re being lulled into a much darker ritual of ancient magic. By the time they realize how wrong things have gone, it’s six months later and Aaron, the old mage who duped them, is out for blood in order to finish his ritual.
And that’s when all kinds of stuff and things, most of it fleshy and bloody, hit both the proverbial and literal ceiling. Gore hounds should be quite happy with the story’s second-half, where the gruesomeness is the main order of business, alongside some detours flashing back to the sexual shenanigans our three teenage characters engage in under Aaron’s prodding. Things turn awfully vicious pretty quickly, and the proceedings hit a high-note for me when Everson drops the descriptive, vulgar phrase “womb syrup” during a particular mauling.
While Everson’s story, overall, didn’t quite suit my particular tastes, the narration by Joe Hempel was solid and professional, and the audio quality was clear. Hempel was pretty consistent in his mild reading of Everson’s words, but I think I would have liked a little more oomph and emoting, particularly when the story takes a turn toward the nastier side of things. It’s not much of a complaint, but the narration struck me as a little too placid.
All in all, Failure wasn’t exactly my cup of tea, and I would have liked Everson to expand on his characters and give them more depth. I didn’t feel much in the way of sympathy for any of them, with the trio of teens coming across as shallow and a bit single-minded in their highly-questionable motives. The latter half of the book manages to coalesce into some nicely wrought and descriptive horror, though, the finale is sufficiently bloody.
If nothing else, Failure, originally published in print back in 2006, has at least got me curious enough to check out this author’s more recent work to see how he’s refined his style and grown as an author.
Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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I am a wee bit over the half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lo
Hated the story.Too much gore.love the narrator.I was given this book free for an honest review .
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