The year is 1953. Disgraced in the psychiatric hospital where he'd practiced for nearly 30 years, Dr. Walter Freeman has taken to traversing the country and proselyting about a very new kind of salvation: the transorbitol lobotomy. With an ice pick and a hammer, Freeman promises to cure depression and catatonia, delusions and psychosis, with a procedure as simple and safe as curing a toothache.
When he enters the backwater Oklahoma town of Burnwood, however, his own sanity will be tested. Around him swirls a degenerate and delusional cast of characters: a preacher who believes his son to be the Messiah, a demented and violent young prostitute, and a trio of machete-wielding brothers, all weaved into a grotesque narrative that reveals how blind faith in anything can lead to destruction.
©2015 Jon Bassoff (P)2016 Jon Bassoff
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Doctor Freeman is a pioneer in the field of psychiatric medicine in the early 1950’s, unfortunately it is for his work in lobotomizing homicidal patients. The hospital has decided the surgery is too dangerous and asks him to stop his work or leave the hospital. He chooses to leave. Distraught and depressed that his work will be lost to time, he forges out to share his work with the world.
In a parallel story, the town of Burnwood seems to be overcrowded with the evil and the insane. A preacher has declared his son to be the second coming of Christ, insisting that he can cure the ill and ultimately raise the dead. A teenage girl obsessed with her mother’s hidden treasure has turned to prostitution and murder until she can get the money and free herself from squalor and humiliation.
The characters collide in a world of insanity and depravity. There are glimmers of hope, but darkness pervades. They are all desperate to feel better about their downward spiraling lives, but continue doing the truly awful with predicable results.
The Incurables is a horror story about depraved people. The only redeemable character seems to be the preacher’s son, Durango, whose father has mostly destroyed any chance of happiness in his humiliating life.
It is an interesting premise, and generally entertaining, but the story fumbles in its believability. A doctor who can perform thousands of lobotomies on willing participants is a stretch at best. Everyone in the story is either purely evil or utterly heartless, giving them a two-dimensional feel.
Richard Rieman performs the story well. His voice is pleasant and his characters well defined. There is a folksy quality to his reading that lends well with the mid-20th Century setting. A good performance overall.
If you like your horror fiction dark and hopeless, this may be a good listen. There is an otherworldly feel to the story, that maybe someone will be saved by the supernatural. But darkness pervades and evil ultimately has its way.
Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.
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Canadian | Lover of gruesome horror/depravity/anything medically related/urban fantasy/non-fiction/and YA.
This book is well written and thought provoking, and I did listen to it to the end. I didn't dislike this book, but at the same time it did not make my favourites list.
I did enjoy the various bleak themes in this book. The stories flow at a good pace, and I was pleased when the stories of the different characters finally converged.
My favourite character in this book is Scent. She is a teenage prostitute that does not know a life beyond destitution. She hates having to prostitute herself in order to just barely make ends meet, and she grows increasingly desperate for a chance at a better life.
Least interesting aspect... there is a lot of preachy Christian moments in this book that I had to skip over. I skipped a few chapters and ended a few chapters early because of that.
Jon Bassoff's performance was okay. There were a few moments where he narrated the voice of Scent's mother (baby) that made me cringe, though.
No. I actually liked the ending for this book (though I do love grim endings to horror stories), and I thought everything was wrapped up nicely.
This audiobook was given by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
This audiobook was phenomenal! The story was so dark, but yet so powerful! The idea that faith and delusion can be so confused is astounding. The author did a tremendous job at shedding light on mental health in the 50's and how no one knew exactly how to react to depression, anxiety, or even grief! Such an amazing job done by the narrator. The voices he used and the inflection in his performance was mesmerizing. #AudioShelf
Laura E Henderson
Not really. I enjoyed the basic story li9ne but the audio narration was not great.
Nope. I would rather have read it.
Since I never read the printed version, I can not compare it.
When the doctor met his fate...it was a well deserved fate
He kept it interesting with the voices and the way he read them. The reader can make or break a story and this one wasn't half bad.
Since I enjoy the stories of Stephen King and his genre, yes I would love to just listen in one sitting. This book isn't for everyone, but I thought the story was not too bad.
This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.
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
I did not like this book at all.It was too dark and depressing.The narration was good.I was given this book free for an honest review.
Chilling Noir Fiction
The detailed account of the practice of the frontal lobotomy
Chilled me many times. Ignorance is the biggest horror in the universe and power wielded by ignorance is pure evil.
Jon Bassoff hits this one out of the park. Before we get too far I should inform you that I grew up with “Bass” and am so proud to have listened to it. That being said, this story goes really deep into a time in history where primitive medical practice, religious allegory, and crowd mentality ruled the day. Bass is a great story teller and will take you on a ride into the human condition reminiscent of Stephen King.
Reader- If you are interested in a fast paced chill ride, look no further than The Incurables. You will not be disappointed.
It was a decent story, well worth the time
Very enjoyable narration
He brings out the creepiness from all the characters
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom."
I thought it was interesting that the doctor was so strong in his belief that he could not accept any alternatives. His belief eventually drove him insane. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.
Although this story is well-written, I found it too dark and intense to qualify it as an entertaining book for the general audience. I believe die-hard fans of the horror genre may be more receptive to the author's style.
Dr. Walter Freeman seems as tormented as some of his patients, and this story documents his foray into the insanity of his patients and the residents of Burnwood, OK.
This are many layers and complex dynamics to this story that prompt the reader to confront beliefs on everything from the morality of medical treatment to religion. Some of the elements were too grim (and too real) for my taste.
The narration was performed well, and the story is compelling, My score reflects my opinion that this book is not suited to all readers, but fans of the dark horror are encouraged to sample this author.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.
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