Serial killer Frank Haid, dubbed the Painkiller by Chicago police and media, murders 18 people - all paralytics. Commanded by an unseen presence that he calls ''Father'' and that speaks in the voice of an uncle whose rotting corpse he keeps in the living room, Haid destroys his victims (what's left of them) and evidence in a way that puzzles police. Hardest hit are residents of Marclinn, a home for the handicapped, where survivors decide they must track down the madman themselves. Their efforts bring them into contact with Chicago's weird underworld - including junkie/murderers and a deformed prostitute whose head grows out her chest - and their own true selves. Crippled physically and emotionally, Marclinn inhabitants must overcome their limitations before taking on their nemesis. Their unlikely front man is Evan Shustak, who is the novel's centerpiece. Further into the novel, he dons his superhero outfit - wrist braces, a "utility belt" from which hang bags of vitamins and aspirin, and a plaid heating pad for a cape then announces: "Crippled and insane, I am the American Dream!"
©1992 Wayne Allen Sallee (P)2010 David N. Wilson
Avid reader who is also a mommy. Audible saved my reading time!
...But I didn't get it. The writing was excellent and the narration even better. It kept me interested, I wanted to know how it ended. But it didn't go anywhere, there was no conclusion. I was intrigued by the characters and wanted to know more about them. These people who live with pain and deformities and mutilations as part of their daily life. I am eternally grateful to have been allowed into their lives and to see things from their point of view and understand a bit of the pain they endure, both mental and physical. In the end, though, there was no progression. The killer was twisted, there is no doubt about that. The reasoning behind the murders is not clear, though, and there is no real explanation as to how he does what he does. There is no end to the madness and the few survivors seem to simply go on...or sink deeper into their real or perceived maladies.
Jeffrey Kafer's narration was spot on. He had the right tone, cadence, and even though he didn't try for the female voices there was never any mistaking who was speaking. I enjoyed listening to him tell the story.
I received this audiobook for free from Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
I really enjoyed this book. I like the fact that the book was not changed to be politically correct.The narrator did an excellent job. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.
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.
Superheroes and serial killers on the streets of Chicago. The Painkiller is stalking the city’s homeless and disabled. Destroying the bodies and leaving quite the puzzling mess behind for the police. Acid, chainsaw, sword? There seems to be no method to the killers’ madness. But there is.
Enter a ragtag group of residents from the Marclinn home for the handicapped who have had enough of the butchery and police inaction, who set out to catch Painkiller themselves. Thankfully, they have “The American Dream”, Evan Shustak on their side. "Crippled and insane, I am the American Dream! I will leave skid marks in your shorts!” How could they lose?
There is some serious comedic genius here amongst the blood and body parts. Truly twisted characters that will stay with me for a long time. Both Painkiller and The American Dream were extremely well drawn and thought out and the back-up cast was just as interesting.
The narrator, Jeffrey Kafer, really did a freaking great job with this one. His intonations were always right on the mark. The pacing was quick when it needed to be and I never felt like I was lost to which character was interacting with the another. Very solid work and Jeffrey’s voice fit the story perfectly.
Overall, I dug everything about this one. I am not sure why I have never read this guy before, since I believe this was first published in 1992. As a matter of fact, I have the signed HC of this one somewhere in my piles and that really is the only reason I picked it up…well, that and I received the audiobook from Crossroad Press in exchange for an honest review. Thanks, CP! Well done.
This is one dark scary sick book. Contains gruesome murders by the “Painkiller” which he lives up to his nickname and enjoyed the horror. You must listen carefully though. I definitely recommend it if you enjoy horror with serial killers and cops. This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast. Thank you!
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