"Paying jobs are one thing. Personal quests are another. And I've been warned that uncovering the facts about dear old mum could be a very bad thing, not just for the Nightside but for all of existence. Still I can't stop...I'm John Taylor. Finding things is who I am. It's what I do. Whatever the consequences...."
Listen to the entire Nightside series.
©2005 Simon R. Green; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
"Fans of Harry Dresden would find John Taylor a terrific read... but, then again, so would any fan of good, dark urban fantasy" (SF Revu)
"I can now say unequivocally that listening to this story was an immeasurably better experience for me than I had reading (and re-reading) any of the other Nightside novels, as the incredible work done by everyone at Audible makes the story come truly alive." (Green Man Review)
I can now say unequivocally that listening to this story was an immeasurably better experience for me than I had reading (and re-reading) any of the other Nightside novels, as the incredible work done by everyone at Audible makes the story come truly alive. Until I started using an iPod to listen to audiobooks while taking a long morning walk around the downtown area of the city I live in, I had never really appreciated the experience of a well-crafted audiobook, as I simply can't listen to them when I'm doing anything else. All of the Nightside novels are told in the first person singular, as narrated by John Taylor himself. Think Philip Marlowe or perhaps Lew Archer. Yes, he's hard bitten. Cynical. And Marc Vietor's voice work which clearly indicates that he's seen everything life can possibly throw at him. Indeed Vietor truly makes Taylor, his world, and all of the other characters come alive for me in a way that they don't quite do on the page. At best, I can just say the voice work is perfect. And Marc Vietor does all of the Nightside novels! So I envy the hours upon hours of great fiction awaiting you when you listen to all of the Nightside novels!
Cat Eldridge / Green Man Review
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Originally posted at FanLit:
Hex and the City is the fourth novel in Simon R. Green’s NIGHTSIDE series. I’ve been listening to NIGHTSIDE on audio lately because I’ve been doing a lot of home improvements, especially painting, and NIGHTSIDE is such an easy read that I don’t ever have to stop and rewind, which is something you don’t want to do when you’ve got paint all over your hands. Audio readers know what I mean.
In Hex and the City, John Taylor is moving on to his next case in the seedy and decadent Nightside where it’s always 3 AM. This time Lady Luck has hired him to discover the origins of the Nightside, something Taylor wanted to do anyway. During his investigation he meets some people/creatures who were fundamentally involved in the establishment of the Nightside. He begins to confirm his suspicion that his own mother, whom he doesn’t even remember, is someone rather important. He’s not sure what she is or what it means for his own status in the Nightside, but the more he learns, the more nervous he gets.
The NIGHTSIDE books are quick, easy, and fun reads. Their strength is Green’s setting: the Nightside is bursting with flavor. It’s the kind of place you wish you could view in person — through three feet of warded Kevlar-enhanced plexiglass. Life is both dark and colorful in the Nightside, and it’s brutal, too. Simon populates the Nightside with some crazy characters (many of whom you’ve seen before, but not necessarily all together in one city). Each installment introduces a couple more of them and also lets us spend time with some of our old favorites. In Hex and the City we meet a succubus named Pretty Poison who falls in love with Sinner, the man who sold his soul for true love. Then there’s Madman, who was sane until he got a glimpse of what lies behind “reality,” and the Lamentation who is the God of Suicides. We didn’t get to see Razor Eddie, Dead Boy, or Shotgun Suzie in Hex and the City, but I feel certain that they’ll show up in a future installment.
After reading four NIGHTSIDE novels back to back, it’s obvious how repetitive the narrative and dialogue are. Green often uses the same words and phrases over and over. For someone who read the books as they came out originally, this may not be quite as noticeable, but even in the same book Green tends to use the same phrases repetitively. Of course this isn’t a series I’m reading for its “literary merit” but it’s also one of the reasons I can’t give it a higher rating. Another reason is Green’s tendency to put John in a situation that we’re told is absolutely hopeless and then to create a deux ex machina (usually in the form of one of his friend’s, or his own, heretofore unknown superpowers) to suddenly obliterate the unstoppable foe. Characters, places, and situations in the Nightside seem to constantly trump each other with their own outrageousness, making everything a bit over the top. Still, I’m looking forward to learning, along with John Taylor, more about the Nightside, his mother, and his own destiny.
I’m listening to Marc Vietor read the audiobook version, which was produced by Audible Frontiers. Vietor does a great job with all the characters. I like the audio so much that I’ve purchased the rest of the series at Audible.
As usual for this author, the book contains great imagery. But, the last third of this book could have been reduced by half. Much of the latter dialog interferes with the flow. It could have been 5-star.
I keep groaning over these books but as soon as I finish one I'm on to the next. The writing is improving and the story is starting to get good. Still predictable but always fun. If not a bit tongue in cheek.
I have read the previous Nightside books and thought they were well written and moved along at a good pace. I was disappointed with this story line as I felt the author spent much too much time in describing the scene and/or character. I would get the idea long before he finished his narrative and lose track of the story line and why were where we were.
No, I will try another Nightside book and I believe Marc Vietor does a great job portraying John Taylor
I used to whistle while I worked. Now I read a book!
Not sure, this one had a much darker storyline than the first book that I read.
The story wasn't as fun\cheesy as the first book that I read, I missed that element. It was also a bit too convoluted(too many characters)
Yeah, go out and serch for rainbows, lol.
I agree that it's not high literature, but it's a highly entertaining read all the same! I especially love the narrator- his gritty, occasionally melodramatic, always wry and deadpan delivery is perfect for the text. This is the first one that actually made me tear up a bit at a particularly poignant scene.
In the fourth book of the Nightside series, private investigator, John Taylor, is hired to find out the origins of the Nightside by Lady Luck. John gathers together Madman, Sinner and Sinner's girlfriend, the demon succubus, Pretty Poison, to help investigate. Like all the Nightside books so far, this was a good listen. There's not a lot of hidden meaning in the books but they are enjoyable and easy to listen to while doing other tasks (such as huffing and puffing in my workout). I was surprised that we, the readers, found out this early in the series who John's mother is. For some reason, I expected the author to carry that mystery on a bit longer.
Marc Vietor is a good narrator. He's got that gritty, noir detective voice that suits the story well.
I didn't think I was going to like this, after all I got it because it was a $4.95 special, I don't think I read the reviews or anything, next when I started listening I discovered I was listening to a wizzard tale. Then I really didn't think I'd make it 20 minutes. Still the author doesn't seen to take it all too seriously and makes a pretty gorey tale light and interesting. The narrator is the best I have listened to, he is so good, I had too look at the cover a couple times to see if more than one person was reading. He so completely changed characters so effortlessly, that just the small indication of a sound of a word and you know which character he was speaking for, (you don't have to wait for Marc Vietor read who the character is). Amazing (wish he would read some classics) now I'm going to want to listen to all the books he narrates. I really like narrators that don't over act the thing and don't make spitty sounds or swallowing noises if you know what I mean.
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