For this novella, my main goal was to produce a work that was at the same time absurdist and decidedly literary. I think I've succeeded in both aspects.
The story takes place almost entirely inside a priest's confessional office. Chapters alternate between a psychiatrist giving her confessions to the priest and the confessions of the very patients mentioned by the psychiatrist in her sessions. Every sentence that is written in the past tense is spoken aloud to the priest or by her, and every sentence that is written in the present tense is one of the priest's thoughts or an action she experiences.
I think you can see why Murder in "Utopia" may be a confusing experience the first time through. There are no quotation marks to set off dialogue; the tense of the writing changes based on whether the words are spoken or experienced; and, to top it all off, no names are mentioned for any of the characters - each is referred to only by his or her occupation or the pronouns her, she, etc.
But fear not, dear listeners. Continue on despite any confusion. Confusion is part of the experience. And by the end, I think you may realize that you've found more clarity than you thought possible in such a jumbled, messy "utopia".
©2015 Bryan Perkins (P)2016 Bryan Perkins
Love the presentation of psychiatrist and confessional as well as the links between the tales. Enjoyable with a few good twists. The future police reminded me a bit of demolition man cops but with guns. Will look for more by this author and narrator. I received this book from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review.
HOLY CRAP this was such a confusing, weird, and interesting short story. I’m not even sure how I can explain it without sounding like jsoiudriefjiweohfafjsdoifjsi. When I thought I knew what was going on that changed and I was left perplexed once again.
Bryan Perkins told a tale of a priest and psychiatrist telling each other about the stories that each of them heard from their clients. The first part of this story I was completely confusing and I really had no idea what was going on. By the last half I understood what was happening, but then the very end gave a twist and left me saying WTF.
Julie Hoverson was an excellent choice for this story. The pacing was fast and her voice was clear. She brought this story to life.
Everyone was living in Utopia and by the sounds of it they were not all that happy. People were committing murder all around. In the end this was an okay story. I think it might go on the list to reread…hoping that the second time around I might understand more.
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
I had never heard of this author and knew only that it was written in an unusual style and that the story takes place in a post-capitalist world where automation had pretty much freed everyone up from work, and that the author is a socialist. Compelling, but I didn't know what to expect. Getting used to the style took some effort, but it was well worth it and the unusual writing style is not gratuitous or indulgent. I suppose I can say that it brings you into the world of the book and what they are experiencing.
I had also not heard of the narrator, Julie Hoverson, but I came away from this book as a huge fan of hers too. This must have been a difficult book to narrate, but she was did a excellent variety of characters, whose lines I can still hear ringing in my head. "Welcome to Quick Burger how can I help you?" That scene was was an explosive combination of great writing and great acting/narrating.
I'm looking forward to more work from both of these people.
Honestly, the writing was good, because it kept me engaged, which I actually find to be a huge hurdle for me when it comes to audiobooks. I like the characters well enough, especially the fast food girl. She, and her story, were my favorite parts.
But I just didn't get it, at first. Each of the individual stories were good and entertaining in themselves, and I didn't catch that there was supposed to be an overarching theme.
All the characters being female wasn't obvious to me until the very end, but after finding out why, it really adds to the story and makes it that much better.
Ov, 9/10. Seriously a good book to listen to, other than sometimes when she says "She said, I said, she said." That was hard to follow while listening, but I'm sure is much easier to follow while reading. The 1 point off is because of the jumpiness of the book, I had a hard time trying to focus on who was speaking what when the characters all jumped around, none of them really announcing themselves, especially when only a few had distinct accents. Again, this probably would have been easier to follow while reading instead of listening.
**There may be Spoilers, I'm not sure**
My first intake on this book,
It felt like I was reading or listening to the inner dialogue of a psychotic.
There is ALOT going on in this short story.
The chapters were divided like 1a and 1b, etc..
I read / listened to this book in a nice quiet setting, however, I still don't really know what it was about?
It sounds weird but its true.
A psychiatrist was mentioned, a cop was mentioned, and even a girlfriend who wanted to take the relationship to the next level was mentioned but it was all kinda.. chaotic.
I don't even know the character's names. I thought that I had just missed it but when reading the
brief yet vague synopsis, the author states that he left the names out on purpose...
There really wasn't any character distinction, it was "he" or "she" alternating between
past and present tense so fast that it almost gave me Whiplash.
The story picks up, "slightly", towards the end and the Fast Food Worker's dialogue or rather "mental" musings were a bit funny:
"Welcome to Quick Burgers, How can We Help.. You!?"
Multiple murders? Multiple Killers?
I'm not sure why the author wanted his book to be so confusing and vague.
I'm sure he had a point but it went over my head.
The Author's writing style just isn't my reading style.
* I Read for Relaxation and this book had the opposite effect and almost gave me a brain freeze.
- Julie Hoverson did an Excellent Job on the narration considering what she was working with, and frankly, I don't even know "how" she was able to read it?
If it weren't for her reading / narrating skills, I would not have known when a different "character" was speaking.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased Review ( posted on Audible, Amazon, and Good Reads ) courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing.
"Murder in Utopia" was a very interesting listen. Utopia is as imaginary as this novella was. It was hard to understand therefore leaving me entirely perplexed. I wasn't sure who was talking but as it said in the blurb, I may have to listen again. I actually want to because I want to understand. I know it ended where it began which was odd.
I think the author, Bryan Perkins accomplished his goal. I suspect this may have been slightly difficult to pull off. At any rate, it was entertaining to say the least.
The narration by Julie Hoverson was perfect for the content of the story. It was raw and overbearing but that was the role of the character(s). Overall, I think it was a good pairing of author/reader.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com."
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