Chase is a performance poet with a history of mental illness who's spent time in jail and hospitals while trying to deal with traumas from his past. A cult figure in New York City, he's as well known for his mania as he is for his poetry. During a reading, Chase sees a woman he believed had died on the ward due to the cruelty of a brutal guard - is she a hallucination, a ghost, or a killer who faked her own murder? Chase tries to battle his own demons, dementia, and insane desires long enough to face up to his heinous enemies before they destroy what's left of his mind.
This will be a Crossroad Press production.
©2005 Tom Piccirilli (P)2015 David N. Wilson
This is probably one of the oddest books I have listened to lately – and I liked it! Chase has a history of mental illness, self medicating, jail time, and psychiatric institutions. He’s currently out and trying to make a life on his own. He has a job and an apartment, but his mind might be unraveling and we are along for the ride.
We open with some performance spoken word poetry. It’s intense and a little bit sexual. The audience is either thoroughly caught up in it or offended. Grayson Chase and his poetry friends seem to be appreciated as much for the poems as for their mental breakdowns on stage. Chase sees a woman he knows to be dead as he gives his nightly performance and it nearly undoes him.
Several colorful characters come and go in this story and, honestly, I am not wholly sure how many of them are real, memory ghosts that only Chase can interact with, or simply other aspects of Chase himself. This is one of those books where you definitely have an unreliable narrator (Chase).
Yet all those unknowns added to the spice of the book. Chase has been through some traumas, both outside the psychiatric ward and inside. Sometimes he sees or hears something that triggers one of these traumatic memories and he has no choice but to sit down and relive the memory in full. Sometimes he will get so lost inside his own head that hours pass. Of course, this looks rather odd to all of his friends and associates, except for the one or two who where in the psych ward with him. Or were they? Are they just different aspects of himself? At any rate, it is very cleverly written.
My one little quibble with the story is that all the women are sex objects (with the exception of two, one of which happens to be a little girl) – lovers, girlfriends, potential bed buddies for the evening, etc. They all have names, but they don’t really add to the plot. They are just pretty scenery.
Despite my quibble, I still really enjoyed this book. This is a book you can dig into and experience again a few months later and walk away with something new. It is my first Piccirilli book but it will not be my last.
I received a copy of this book at no charge from the narrator (via the Audiobook Addicts Facebook group) in exchange for an honest review.
Narration: Jeff Hays is an amazingly talented voice artist! His female voices are incredibly believable. I had to double check the credits to see who the ‘other’ female narrator was. Nope, it is all him. He had a nice even voice for Chase. I especially liked Hays’s voice for Chase’s older black friend who gave a very sexy poetic performance. There is this one character that had to yell through an apartment floor to the one below and Hays did an excellent job making the voice sound muffled yet keeping the dialogue clear enough to easily understand. All around, an excellent narration.
I would 100% recommend this audiobook to the correct friend. Unfortunately that person is currently unknown to me, but I'm sure there are a few people who would get lost in the chaos.
My favorite character was Chase, because he is the person I identified with throughout and despite all the strange things and back story that comes up he still remained the character who I rooted for til the end.
The first scene with them doing a poetry reading because it sets the tone for the kinds of people who are involved and the characters. It also started off on a bang and showed off the writing style for the rest of the book.
I did not, but that's not especially important in a book like this considering that I rarely have a reaction.
I received this book in a narrator giveaway in exchange for an honest review and it did not change my perception of the book.
I love audiobooks!!!
The narrator . He did a great job; the book itself was not my usual fare. It was enjoyable and engaging, yet left me feeling strange and unsettled. My usual fare is paranormal romance and police procedural, though, so don't take my word for it !
Maybe Pulp Fiction (yes, I KNOW it's a movie, and I didn't read the book, if there is one). There is some major race stereotyping (not in a negative way, just present), and a fair amount of drama.
I enjoyed the opening scene. The Def Poetry Jam was pretty spot on (a la 8 Mile, circa 1970)
No. I needed to take several breaks, to think about it. Probably why it's not my abso-favorite.
Just that the author obviously has a good grasp of storytelling. I don't mean to slam that by only giving 4 stars to the story. This is just not my slice of pie. The narrator did a fantastic job with it, and earned all 5 stars. I wish that I could bump it up, but I am committed to giving honest reviews.
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