Exploding from the pages of Horror, Humor, and Heroes, Volume One - it’s the full length adventures of the one and only Mechani-Cal! So grab your battlesuit and prepare to get a little nasty.
"Being a supervillain means never having to say you’re sorry - unless it’s to the judge or the parole board. Even then, you don’t really have to. It’s not like it’s going to change the outcome or anything." Those are the words of Calvin Matthew Stringel, better known as Mechani-Cal. He’s a down-on-his-luck armored villain. Follow his exploits as he gets swept up in a world domination scheme gone wrong and ends up working for these weak willed, mercy loving heroes. Immerse yourself in epic battles and see what it’s like to be an outsider looking in at a world that few have ever experienced. Climb into Cal’s battlesuit and join him on his journey. Will he avoid selling out his principles for a paycheck and a pardon? Can he resist the camaraderie of being on a super team? Does he fall prey to the ample charms of the beautiful Olympian Aphrodite? How will he survive the jealous schemes of Ultraweapon, who wears armor so powerful it makes Cal’s look like a museum piece?
See the world of “righteous do-gooders” through the eyes of someone who doesn’t particularly care for them. Revel in his sarcasm and hang on for one wild ride! Just remember: losing an argument with a group of rioters isn’t a good excuse to start lobbing tear gas indiscriminately at them. You’ve only got so many rounds and it’s going to be a long day, so make sure you get as many as possible with each one.
©2011 Jim Bernheimer (P)2011 Jeffrey Kafer
Already have and will continue to recommend it to friends.
Cal, the main character, is my favorite. He is witty and a true hero amongst posers.
Quality voice acting from both and great use of vocal distortion on some of the characters. Kafer is great in portraying MechaniCal's disdain and frustration over the heroes actions.
Sometimes it takes a villain to save the world.
Any comic book fan will have a blast listening to this story and treasure it as if it were their favorite comic, I did.
Im some guy in Oshkosh, WI that walks to work and has found the joy of listening to good books and values good narrators :).
This book is just fun to listen to. I like hearing a villains take on the super community. In many ways Cal seems more like the rest of us, someone whos flawed, has made mistakes and is trying to do better. The heroes are aloof and too good for the rest of us and Cal is just some guy they need for heavy lifting but doesn't quite fit in, anyone who has been to high school will see similarities here.
The only criticism of the book I have is at the end when the narrator changes. You didn't hear her voice at all then for the last 10 min of the book you hear her voice instead of Jeffrey Kafer. Im not sure if its that she wasn't the right voice for the character or that it was jarring after hearing all the book read by Jeffrey to have a different narrator. Having 2 narrators works for books like Peter Clines "Ex-Heroes" but It works I think because the narrators are constantly switching off throughout the book. Here they didn't do that and I think hurts the over all quality of the listen.
I'd like to read more books about Cals adventures. If you like this book I think you should probably also check out Peter Clines's books which are equally entertaining.
On Audible since the late 1990s, mostly science fiction, fantasy, history & science. I rarely review 1-2 star books that I can't get through
This was a fun, fast (and cheap!) take on the superhero genre - and, if that is your expectation, you are going to have a guaranteed good time. The book wastes no time dumping you right into the action: introducing you to the sardonic anti-hero-turned-hero that is the main character and immediately launching into a whirlwind of action. While the universe itself is about as well-justified as most in comic books, and many aspects are played for laughs, Bernheimer can actually make you feel like there are real stakes, and you care about the characters enough to make any inconsistencies in tone or plot seem inconsequential. Ultimately, this is a fun light novel, that is both a send-up and a homage to comic books, and it works really well as these things.
Two minor issues mar the book. The first is that there is a slightly off tone towards the way the author treats female superheroes, which, while never overt, makes a few scenes feel creepy instead of charming. That being said, there is nothing overtly upsetting in the book, which is PG-13 at most, and the author manages to hit the right notes to keep his central romance going most of the time. The second minor issue is the second reader, who is pretty bad, in contrast to the reader for the vast majority of the book (Mr. Kaffer), who is excellent.
If you are looking for something very entertaining, you enjoy the superhero genre, and you aren't going to take Bernheimer's universe too seriously, this is a really winning choice.
It's high on my list of fun books.
The story is full of wit and fun. I loved the underdog. His attitude towards life just makes you laugh out loud.
Cal was awesome
I really hope to see more of the same from this author. Combine with the narrators makes it magic.
I enjoyed most of the story. I personally have enjoyed many of the super hero\ villain stories I have read\listened to. This was no exception. The narrator does a good job for much of the story never getting in the way of the author.
The writing of the book is pretty good except at times things seem to skip ahead a bit and I did not like the ending, specifically the second epilogue. The change in narrator while making sense is a bit jarring as their voices and style are very different.
While I would normally prefer a longer book for this story the length seemed to fit. Overall I would recommend this.
Amazon Fan and Reviewer
I haven't read the print version. The audio edition is excellent though.
Mechani-Cal, of course. He's the main character. His voice and style is so humorous and dark, you can cannot help but like him. A brilliant mind, a good soul, but has suffered a lot bad luck to sour him. His attempts to be the boy-scout Superhero fail him, however, when push comes to shove, that's when Mechani-Cal does his best.
Not a scene, but my favorite part of the book was the first part when Mechani-Cal tries to figure out how to save the world from the mind-controlling bugs enslaving the human race. But it's all great stuff from beginning to the end.
The scene where so-called superhero and jealous ex-boyfriend mind-wipes Aphrodite, Mechani-Cal's new girlfriend, thereby forgetting her special sweet relationship she had with Cal.
I truly enjoyed Confessions of a D-List Super-villain from beginning to end. The narrator did an incredible performance as Mechani-Cal. The story has a great mix of action, humor, sarcasm, and romance. For those who enjoy comics and superheroes, this is a great audiobook to listen too.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Amid a pop-culture landscape awash in superheros, supernatural entities, magical beings, gods, abilities, etc. etc., there is only one way to rise above the mediocrity that eventually envelops such a glut -- create engaging characters. Making them funny helps a lot too. Jim Bernheimer succeeds with Confessions of a D-List Supervillain because his main character, Mechani-Cal, a low-rent bad guy who is not really a bad guy, is exactly that -- engaging, and funny.
Surprisingly, I can't think of many books or movies where the supervillain is the hero. The biggie is Despicable Me. In literature, the one I immediately think of even though it is not well known is Lee Martinez's Emperor Mollusk (a five-star audiobook). I'm sure there are others that are eluding me at the moment. Still, considering how many X-Men and Avengers and Batmen and Supermen and Spidermen there are, the percentage of works that flip the POV to that of the villain seems pretty low.
That's the route Bernheimer takes, even though it becomes instantly evident that Cal is a villain in name only and that the real supervillain is hiding in superhero clothing. But never mind -- it works because Cal is engaging and funny, not because of superpowers or techno gadgetry or anything else. This could have been a reality-based story of an unappreciated geek getting back at his boss and making good with the boss's beautiful girlfriend, and it would have worked just as well.
But not five stars worth, IMO. The first act, where Cal rescues Aphrodite and they save the world from mind-controlling insects, is excellent, the characters developing and interacting, the battle scenes not so totally out of control as to suffocate the life out of the story. But as things progress through Cal trying to play it straight and become a hero in his own right, the action does get too excessive, and the plot starts to slog into obviousness.
It ends up at 3 1/2 stars for me, but since I can't rate it with a 1/2 star, I'm giving it 4 overall, to account for the good characterization and humor, and 3 for story, which is where it bogs down over the latter half. Still, a good choice for audiobook, where humor can be captured by the narrator (good job of that, though only four stars because of the raspy voice, slightly grating and not exactly appropriate for Cal). And if I get the chance, I will listen to the D-List prequel.
I laughed out loud as I listened to this story. It was like an old fashioned comic book with super heroes fighting super villains. It is well worth the money or the credit.
Tell us about yourself!
As the title says, this book was surprisingly entertaining. I mean it is only about 5+ hours long and it you expect a literary masterpiece you are in for a disappointment. That being said it delivers exactly what the description says; a witty and humorous glimpse into the life of a “super” villain stuck on the right (or should that be wrong) side of the fence.
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