Audie Award Finalist, Original Work, 2016
Based on the best-selling, award-winning graphic novel series Locke & Key - written by acclaimed suspense novelist Joe Hill (NOS4A2, Horns) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez - this multicast, fully dramatized audio production brings the images and words to life.
A brutal and tragic event drives the Locke family from their home in California to the relative safety of their ancestral estate in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, an old house with powerful keys and fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them. As siblings Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke discover the secrets of the old house, they also find that it's home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all....
Featuring performances by Haley Joel Osment (Entourage, The Sixth Sense), Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black), Kate Mulgrew (Orange Is the New Black, Star Trek: Voyager), Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez, and Stephen King (The Stand, 11-22-63), as well as a cast of more than 50 voice actors, this audio production preserves the heart-stopping impact of the graphic novel's astounding artwork through the use of richly imagined sound design and a powerful original score.
*Locke & Key contains explicit language and adult situations.
©2014 Joe Hill (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
"The concepts in this production, based on a graphic novel, are perfectly executed by a full cast.... Kate Mulgrew leads the way with her perfect portrayal of an ancient grandmother with an evil streak." (AudioFile)
Aside from the amazing story, which I was already familiar with, being a fan of the graphic novel series, the production values for the audio are akin to a blockbuster film... but without the visuals. The acting is superb, a stellar cast; sound design is rich and full, with exceptional music score; and the recording sounds like each scene was actually placed in the physical space in which it occurred... rather than a studio.
I've only finished Books 1-3 in a couple of sittings. Books 4-6 await!
All the characters, as performed by this cast, are mesmerizing. But for me, my favorites are the mom, Nina, and the 'Echo' in the well (played by the ever so talented Tatiana Mislay!).
Nina has so much depth and realism to her character, and the trials she goes through are so uncomfortably real. I hear "Every Mom" whenever she appears.
Tatiana Mislay plays the thing in the well with the most enticingly sultry voice, but that allure is tempered with a chilling danger. We're talking' the Sirens luring young ones to their doom!
Oh yeah, and Stephen King (!!!) plays a little role. He's hilarious!
They're not really "narrators", but actors playing characters. They were all fully invested in their roles... not a false note among them (so far - I have the other half to get through!). It's truly like listening to a movie with a blindfold.
I listened to The Starling Project, and I loved it.
Locke & Key is heads and shoulders above that excellent production! Kudos to Audible for producing this audio feast for the ears and imagination (and to Joe Hill, as well)!
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
I'm not a comic book/manga reader. It's probably an age thing. I don't remember any good comic books at the corner drug store that I could walk to in the small Midwestern city I grew up in. Archie, Jughead and Richie Rich just didn't do it for me. The last "comic book" I bought was Stephen King's "Creepshow" (1982), with its fantastic artwork by Bernie Wrightson - and yes, it was published before George Romero's mediocre movie of the same name was released.
With writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Ramirez "Locke & Key" (2008 - 2013, limited series comic books, IDW publisher; 2015, Audible Studios performance), Audible actually created a new genre: Audible Comics. At least, I think that's what they are planning to call it. Right now, it's 'uncategorized' in the book index. Whatever genre it is, it works quite well as a listen.
According to the Wikipedia entry for "Locke & Key", the director of the Audible performance is voice actor William Dufris. Wikipedia can be hit-or-miss, but the "Locke & Key" entry spawned footnotes like bunnies, and it looks credible - although I can't find a second source to confirm the director. Whoever did direct the performance did an astounding job. There are a bunch of really talented actors (about 45, plus the three top billed stars); great sound effects; and specially commissioned music.
It took me a while to get through "Locke & Key" because it demands careful attention. Miss a few important lines, and you'll miss a plot twist. It should be listened to at night, when the imagination can run wild and scared, and without the distraction of smart phones and television. Have a cup of hot herbal tea, or a glass of red wine to go with the listen. It is, after all, Lovecraft, Massachusetts, where the line between worlds is just a hidden door deep within a drowning cave; locked with key after key forged from metaphysical metal; and guarded by the echoes of loved ones, daemons from ghastly other worlds, and teenagers who ease into the supernatural like easing into driving. They'll tell you it's an awesome and frightening responsibility, but you get used to it.
"Locke & Key" is really a new form of storytelling. It relies heavily on the imagination, which makes the experience different for every listener. The production quality - the actors, the music and the effects - is so high (and probably so expensive) it will be hard for future performances of other works to meet the standards this performance sets. Enjoy the scare - it's well worth the time to listen.
The title of the review is a quote from "The Picture in the House" (1920, 1921) by H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).
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Both versions are great I am sure. Personally, I like Audio Versions that allow me to travel and listen at the same time.
If you enjoy thrillers, horror, or any of Joe Hill's past work, you will enjoy this audio book.
Both Tatiana Maslany from OB and Kate Mulgrew from OITNB?! I am so in.
Joe Hill creates such memorable characters it is hard to pick one out of the bunch.
My taste differs from kid books to gory horror books.
So, Please Hear Me Out
I believe I have bought and read every Joe Hill book on the market. I love the guy. It will take more books, before I know if I like him better then his dad, but he has a good start.
Right now this is free and it might not stay that way, so by all means get it.
The Graphic Version is Better.
This is a full cast with music and sound effects and that is all good. Stephen King even does a walk on. For me doing this book this way, made it sound more young adult then it is meant to be. Yes, graphic novels are not for old guys like me, but they audio version comes off as a little silly and over done. At times during the screaming (which is blood curdling) it is easy to get lost on who is doing what. Since it is not done in a novel version, there is a lot that seems missing. A novelization of this would probably work out great. Gabriel Rodriguez does the art work and it is art. The art adds a lot or is the whole story. After listening, see if you can find the book, you will see what I mean. Having the graphic novel also gives you the ability to take your time and admire the art and the story. I just feel the graphic novel is more fulfilling.
Yes, I love that it is done as a play with multiple characters. I had listened to something similar on a podcast and was trying to find more things like it, luckily I had preordered this!!
No, I have not listened to the narrator before, although there was more than one!
Get it, you won't regret it!
Let me be up front. I'm reviewing an audiobook before even finishing it. Technically, that's in bad taste, but let's see if I can explain.
The first ten minutes started with teenage existencial whining and profanity about how terrible Dad is for teaching work ethic instead of sponsoring them to go surfing in another state. Then it moves on to outright, extremely graphic brutality. Home invasion, rape while the husband is forced to watch, and multiple counts of senseless drawn out murder.
Keep in mind that this is acted, not read. Different experience. Spealing of acting, the voice play was just up into the B list from what I heard. Strictly amateur hour stuff. Apparently, Extra Screaming is the same thing as Great Acting in that category.
Okay. We're done here.
I can understand starting a story with a bang to grab the listener/reader's attention and start the imagination juices flowing. However this completely blows past the "Caution: Tastelessness Beyond This Point" sign and goes over the edge.
I'm glad it's free, but I'm still returning it on the odd chance an autobiographer goes through my Audible library after I die or something.
Overproduced and poorly acted. Brodie, the three year old in a nine year old's body was more then a tad too annoying to contend for such a long story length. What about the seemingly ten hours of unnecessary interlude music?! How much shorter this would have been without the mood music and excessive sound effects.
Yes, I already have done! I had read Joe Hill's wonderful story in the graphic novels, but listening to the audio is a whole new experience. It's somehow scarier and the frightening elements sneak up on you, in a way they can't in a comic. The whole cast (not just the celebrities) was incredible. The sound was so full and rich, more like listening to the soundtrack of a film than an audiobook, or even the usual audio drama. It really served to put you in the setting with the characters.
Though the monstrous "bad guy" characters played by Maslany, Osment, and Mulgrew were fun, the thing I liked best was moving with the members of the Locke family through all their trials and tribulations, and seeing them grow as human beings.
Oooo! That's hard to say. I loved the really creepy scene where Sam confronts Dodge, when they're both in ghost form, as well as the scenes between Bode and the Woman in the Well. But as I said above, the family members were my favorites, so I'd have to say one of the heartbreaking scenes between Nina and her kids, probably the scene in Tyler's bedroom.
Probably Bode. How can you beat an imaginative six-year-old kid with a bunch of magical keys? (I could write more about Bode, but can't do it without spoilers.)
Again, this was not an audiobook. It was like listening to a very rich movie soundtrack. It would be nice if Audible had a special section for drama like this, as I can tell by some of the reviews that some readers were confused. People who want a single-narrator read will not love this. But for those of us who want something more--something akin to the BBC production of Neil Gaiman's "Neverwhere"--LOCKE AND KEY definitely fills the bill!
Heck yeah! I haven't completed the book but I feel compelled to write a review of what I have listened to so far. This is great, the plot grabbed me from the start and hasn't let go. I had to get used to the performance aspect of it but once I did, I was drawn into the book even more. I've found myself listening intently, instead of trying to guess what might come next. Hey, it's free, give it a try!!!
there were 2 characters I had a hard time telling apart but that may have been my headphones, aside from that this was a stunning performance.
I loved the story, and wish it was longer.
"An emotional rollercoaster."
Locke and Key is bought to life by a superb cast and there's also ambient noise to really put you as a fly on the wall as your mind constructs the image.
I thoroughly enjoyed the listen, it was a turbulent rollercoaster of emotions all the way through. Picture this, I'm a 6'4, 33 year old, gym loving male, I'm also foreman where I work and after 10 clock tea break, most of my delegation and other duties are pretty much done. So its around this time I pop my head phones on and work preying I won't get disturbed ( fat chance).
Now, three times this audio comic has had me fighting back tears. Its not exactly the look you wanna go for when you've 9 men to look after.
Our hero, Tyler, is a level headed young man for an 18 year old, looking after his mum and siblings in the abscense of his father, as past events spiral their life out of control in the magical Locke household that belongs to their Uncle Duncan.
The story twists and turns and comes to a conclusion you find yourself asking how you never saw it coming.
10/10. Now to treat my lovely lady to a new graphic novel I know she is gonna love.
"Like Listening to a High Budget Film"
I enjoyed listening to this audiobook but there was little in way of actual storytelling, more of characters speaking with high drama and lots of special effects. The result was dramatic and engrossing. I'm not sure I would always go for this type of audiobook, as it lacks the intimacy of a one narrator tell. But it certainly gave me an idea of what can be done with sound.
A great twisted tale. Enjoyed this brilliant story from story from start to finish. Highly recommended to anyone who likes graphic comic audio books.
"what a FANTASTIC book !"
why can't we have more fully dramatised books like that? I work on site most of the time...this book brought me to tears at the end...not a good look on site :)
Very well put together . great story line and would recommend to anyone . will be listening to more of Joe hills books .
"OH MY GOSH! Amazing! Just BRILLIANT! I LOVE IT!"
The full cast. The audio book lifted audio experience to a new level.
Can't say...a few great memorable moments playing in my head.
Audio drama performed by full cast, only thing I will say is that I'm going to listen to it AGAIN!
Emotional rollercoaster indeed! I really feel for the Mother as much as the other main characters.
A great fantasy horror thrill for me.
"Excellent, amazing and original!!"
Loved the plot with twists and turns and incredibly absorbing. There are some books which have captivated me and meant I would read and read and read as desperate to reach the end of it. This is the first audio book that is equally compelling! Loved the cast and dramatic presentation. The only negative found was that sometimes I struggled to understand who was who mainly because it packs so much in and jumps a little plot wise. STILL AMAZING!
I will recommend this to friends as it takes audio fiction to a new level. Narrated audio books are great, but dramatised stories offer so much more, and this one was executed brilliantly. From the writing and acting, through to the music, soundscape, and production - everything is first class.
The acting in some of the intense scenes is brilliant, the cast worked extremely well together and did a fantastic job.
As Joe Hill himself said, you can't get scared reading a comic. I think he said that anyway...
The tension building and suspense has been done very well, it's an emotional rollercoaster for sure.
Amazing job all round, and can't believe this is being given away for free. I'd have paid about £25 for it.
This was my first experience of a graphic novel of this type/genre and also the first time I'd tried an audio book that wasn't read by one person. I struggled at first and wondered if this was for me but after around 45 mins I was hooked. superb story, interesting characters and the score/actors really brought it to life. Thoroughly enjoyed it and am now hunting for something similar. ....would definitely recommend it :-)
"Gripping from start to finish! "
this book gripped from the start, the characters were played so well.
I've recommended this book to many people I know & also highly recommend to anyone reading these review's wondering whether to try or not
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