Nothing comes easy, and nothing is ever truly free. When Steve Wilson stumbles upon the best kept secret of history's most successful writers, he can't help but take advantage of it. Little did he know, it would come back to haunt him in ways he'd never have dreamt...even in his worst nightmares. With his life turned upside down, his name discredited, his friends persecuted, and the authorities chasing him for something he didn't do, Steve finds himself on the run with nothing but his wits and his best friend by his side. When a man finds himself hitting rock bottom, he thinks there's little else he can do but go up...unless he's facing an evil willing to dig the hole deeper - an evil in the business of pitting men against odds so great, they risk losing their very souls in the attempt to escape....
©2014 Heath Stallcup (P)2015 Heath Stallcup
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What does a bestselling author do when he gets writer's block? Go to the idea man, that’s what. Forneus Corson is that man, ancient and cruel, living in his world of dusty books in a decrepit apartment in the worst part of New York City. Somehow he is able to transfer to the writer, not only a brilliant idea in all its vivid detail, but also the skill to write it like a literary genius. The book is virtually guaranteed to be a success. All of this only costs 5% of the author’s take, just don’t be late with a payment, and don’t ever tell anyone else how you got the idea.
Steve Wilson is a successful author of spy novels. He is quirky and neurotic. He wakes when he wants, answers his phone when he wants and drinks copious amounts of coffee. He’s got everything he could ever want, including an expensive sports car waiting in the parking garage. When his best friend and successful author gets accused of plagiarizing his latest bestseller, that’s when Steve discovers Forneus Corson and what happens when you don’t honor your contract with him.
The Idea Man is part horror novel, part spy thriller. The three author friends, Steve, Brian and Chaz are New York City quirky. Each with enough neuroses to fill a psychology textbook. But they are loyal to each other and do try to help when the world starts crumbling around them. Heath Stallcup and Benjamin Bautz give us good descriptions of New York City and the inner workings of the publishing industry, its sometimes callous disregard for the author and its laser focus on profit. The story vibrates between horror and spy novel throughout the second half. Some of the highly developed characters are dropped somewhat unsatisfyingly at the end. But otherwise all is wrapped up tightly at its conclusion.
Rhett Kennedy performs the audiobook with great skill. He has an inviting voice that fits the dark mood of the story. His characters are easily discerned and his voice is always clear. His portrayal of Chaz (female romance writer) might be a little over the top, but considering Steve’s disdain for her, perhaps not. You decide. An excellent performance.
Forneus Corson, The Idea Man is an entertaining novel of spycraft and horror. The characters are interesting and should give the listener a enjoyable listen.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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In honesty, the story was a bit "hit-and-miss" for me. Whilst the characters and narrative build were good, I found the descriptions and incidentals around them to be a little too gratuitous and disjointed.
Rhett Kennedy's voice, however, brings the story to life. His distinctive portrayal of the characters and ability to convey the atmosphere of each scenario is really enjoyable.
All-in-all, a decent book worth taking a listen to.
Bad question to ask
Yes, but his voice for "Chas" was horrible. Made the character intolerable to listen to
The devil at the Cross Roads.
I did struggle to finish this book. It was a good story but not as captivating as other books I'm use to.
What kept me listening was Rhett Kennedy's narration. The characters were distinctive and the emotions portrayed in the writings were unmistakable. He kept the story entertaining in areas where, if I were physically reading it I may have put the book down.
All in all I enjoyed the story enough to consider other titles by this author and sequels. It is worth a listen!
"An interesting plot."
Just imagine that there is a man who can make you a famous writer. It‘s a dream come true, isn't it? Of course, there is always a catch.
I loved the idea and the story. Overall, the book would have been better if it had been a bit shorter, because it dwells too long on some of the scenes. It was interesting enough to keep me listening, though.
Very well-narrated by Rhett Kennedy.
I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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