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Publisher's Summary

The first in a dystopian trilogy based on the author's command of a top secret government unit.

What if all brain disorders were treatable? Few would lament the passing of dementia or autism, but what if the twisted mind of a sex offender or murderer could be cured too? Or how about a terrorist or maybe a political extremist? What if we could all be "corrected"?

It's 1966, and RAF pilot Dan Stewart awakes from a coma following an aircraft accident into a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore. Not being able to recall the crash might be expected, but what about the rest of his life? And what's stopping him from taking his medication? Is it brain damage that's causing paranoia about the red pill, or is Dan right to think something sinister is going on?

His horrific injuries don't make any sense either - a post-crash fire caused him to suffer almost 100% burns. How is it even possible to survive that? Are the hallucinations and strange dreams trying to tell him something? They are, and he'll soon find out what, but not before his doctor's sure the shock won't kill him.

©2016 Nick Smith (Alec Birri) (P)2018 Nick Smith (Alec Birri)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-15-18

Medical ethics: we can but does it mean we should?

I listened and I comprehended, but I did not care for this weird medical thriller. The author deserves points for his plot creativity. Thanks, but I'll skip the rest of the series.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 03-14-18

You Should Really Take The Red Pill

4.5 out of 5 stars

I’m not used to a book messing with my mind as much as the first book in the Condition series did. I honestly didn’t know what was going to happen in this book even with only a few minutes left in it. Birri was able to write a poignant and real story the scared the heck out of me.

This book is really a couple stories all tied together – but all surrounding the same person. If I go into more detail than that I think it will ruin the story. Actually, a lot of the commentary I wanted to get into would probably contain spoilers (even just talking about the accuracy of the personality swings in a certain condition).

That being said, Birri wrote a book that made me feel. And he wrote a story that will stick with me for a while. A story that I want to keep reading because now I have to know what happens to these patients and anyone else involved.

A mixture of a medical thriller and dystopian – Condition is a crazy story that might actually happen one day. Full of very realistic depictions of a specific condition and really heart wrenching scenes – this one will stay with me for a while.

Jonathan Keeble narrated this story, and I thought did a wonderful job. The voice used was perfect for both the character and for setting the scene.

I received a copy of this book - it has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed my review, please consider voting for it. Every vote helps.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I was hooked from the start

I was pretty impressed with this book. My favorite thing about it was that I was right alongside Dan Stewart, the main character, as he discovered one thing after another. It was absolutely delicious trying to work this story out. As Dan fits one puzzle piece together after another, so did I. Dan didn’t always have it right at the first go, but even his wrong guesses gave us another smidge of info.

Dan is plagued by the same daily questions from his doctor, visions of his brother Bryan, and that odd feeling that folks around him are constantly lying to him. Is he paranoid? Maybe… maybe not. Tracy, the head nurse who he interacts with the most, seems to have his best at heart but he’s still not sure about that. It could just be that he’s in love with the size of her bosom. His wife and good friend Tony seem to have secrets from him too, the kind that makes his blood boil. Even Bryan refuses to answer some of his basic questions.

Every time I thought I had the underlying mystery figured out, a new bit of info would present itself and I would figure out that I’m wrong. I was totally OK with that because it meant this story had more to offer. At first, it appears Dan is being treated for burns and has been unconscious for 6 months, which would explain his muddled mind. But why all the little lies from staff and family?

This story has one weakness and that is the ladies. Tracy gets the most page time and has the most developed character. However, most of her character centers on her chest and her desire for a serious romance. The Lady Prime Minister could turn out to be an interesting character later in the series but right now she is one dimensional: righteous anger. Dan’s wife gets a few lines here and there and she’s just in the story to be of comfort. There’s a few other female minor characters.

The real villain of the tale, Professor Savage, doesn’t make a strong appearance until the last third of the book. He’s the genius behind this new treatment for the ‘condition’ and yet he may have an ulterior motive. He doesn’t seem to mind sacrificing a few eggs to make an omelette. I look forward to him being a bigger character in Book 2. 4.5/5 stars.

The Narration: Jonathan Keeble did a very nice job with this story. He makes a perfect Dan, with his posh air and demanding to know this and that while also keeping him very human in his confusion, anger, and fear. His female voices were good too. Each character is distinct in his performance. I especially liked his sinister, older voice for Professor Savage. 5/5 stars.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Repetitive but compelling

On each cycle through the premise new info is introduced until at the long awaited end of the cyclone one is not sure what is real and introduced to the possible political uses/misuses of exercising the proposed technologies.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Complex Medical Thriller

Where does Condition Book One rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

As an audiobook, the experience was stellar. I would consider it to be superior to many audio books I have listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

The story behind the condition is extremely interesting. We begin in 1966 with Squadron Leader Daniel Stewart and his awakening in a hospital after a violent airplane accident which leaves him badly burned and traumatized. However, things are not what they seem and in time, we learn that Dan’s memories are only the tip of the iceberg that drills deep into the well of mind control, medical conspiracies, and government agendas. Dan appears to be a mere pawn in a much greater scheme that unfolds layer by layer as you read further into the book.

Told with a close POV to Dan, we find ourselves experiencing what he experiences and we discover the story becoming stranger and stranger with each chapter. Birri writes the story beautifully with careful repetition of key events and eloquent details that capture you in the moment. At first, I found the beginning to start off slow but I later found all the details to be necessary for the final scenes of the book, as everything tied together. The Condition, book 1 left me hungering for the next installment to see how the story and complex plot will continue to unfold.

What about Jonathan Keeble’s performance did you like?

Keeble captured each of the characters with a carefully paced cadence that was entertaining and captivating. In moments of excitement, we rose with Keeble through the scene, and in moments of contemplation we felt the lingering concern of the characters. I feel Keeble portrayed each of Birri’s characters with expert precision, consistency, and a sincerity that comes with a seasoned book narrator.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Overall, I give this experience a 4.5 star rating and I would recommend to anyone seeking a complex, dramatic thriller.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Definitely Confusing in Parts

First off I want to say that this is a really interesting story. It’s confusing as f****, but it’s really interesting. There are a lot of twists and mind games going on within this story. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is going on. Dan isn’t a really likable character and you feel skeeved out by the nurse and doctors here. Birri has written a story that just gives you one question after another and little answers to these questions. If you don’t like that type of novel I don’t recommend listening or reading this. It’s extremely suspenseful and you’re constantly asking yourself, why? I will say that while I did like this suspense throughout the novel I do wish it could have been more clear in certain areas. Sometimes I got too frustrated with the unknown and that’s why I think that even though it’s very well written and keeps you on the hook the whole way for me it’s only a 4/5.

Keeble has a really nice voice. He does well with both male and female characters. Which can be hard as a male narrator. I liked how he voiced everyone and the tones that he gave to each character. There’s not really anything about his performance that was lacking and the audio quality seems excellent as well. I give his part a 5/5!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Condition: A Medical Miracle.

At the beginning of this book, I found myself as lost and confused as the main character. I couldn’t quite work out why Dan was truly in the hospital, why the red pill was so important, and mostly what year is it; although upon reaching an unexpected twist, that fell heavily upon me midway through the book, I realised that this was all a part of an incredible build up. Author, Alec Birri so beautifully pulled me into the story and I soon felt that if I was going crazy and paranoid with Dan.

Following RAF pilot Dan Stewart’s recount of the plane accident that put him in the hospital, we follow his almost manic search for the exact memories of the ‘incident’. This leads to the discovery of other patients covered in burns… Burns replicating his own. What does this mean? Is he in a burn unit? No. So why are they all alike in their injuries?

Jonathan’s narration is very good at portraying the confused and frantic attitude of Stewart, and contradicting this with the calm and patient personalities of those trying to help him. At times I’ve found myself disliking male narrators doing female voices due to the fact that they can go over the top with it, however Jonathan Keeble gives female characters a soft and delicate voice. He transitions so smoothly that I almost find myself thinking that there are multiple voice actors reading the story instead of one!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

The Little Red Pill

Have you ever met a character that seemed to somehow exactly fit what you expected? Dan is more than a little loudmouthed, brash, even obnoxious, and his thoughts swirl madly and almost aimlessly. He’s badtempered and suspicious and apparently has kind feelings only about his young daughter. All of this meshed nicely with how I might feel and behave if I woke up in a hospital after a terrible accident that should have killed me and found that, not only was my body in a rather strange condition, but I also just knew that something wasn’t right.

Dan, of course, is correct in thinking something’s off and, if there has ever been an unreliable narrator, it’s him. Small wonder since he is seemingly surrounded by people who don’t want to be honest with him. Is the doctor really treating him? Why are all the patients he meets suffering severe burns just like his? Does he have good reason to be suspicious about his wife? Why is his memory so faulty? And why is he so leery of taking the red pill?

Unfortunately, in the early stages of this story, I couldn’t like a single character for one reason or another, with special dislikes for Dan and his nurse, Tracy. If that happens to you, I urge you to keep reading anyway because, when all is said and done, this is a unique tale, one that kept my interest to the end and I’m anticipating enjoying the next book just as much. Reading about the evil that can be done in the name of science is always tough but a gripping story nonetheless.

As for the narration, Mr. Keeble added a lot to my appreciation of the story. His tone is smooth and very pleasing and he interprets different players really well, male and female. I haven’t listened to anything else he might have done but I certainly won’t mind listening to him again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Dawn H
  • Baxter Springs, KS
  • 03-11-18

Talk About a Twist!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Dan woke up in a hospital and although he remembered being in an airplane crash, things didn't make sense. I was as confused as Dan was because I learned things as he learned them. He could not figure out if the doctor was actually helping him or if he had an ulterior motive because it seemed that everyone was in the same state of recovery as him.

Condition Book One is good. It really kept my attention at the beginning but it got pretty slow in the middle. It seemed to take a little too long for Dan to figure things out, but it got a lot better at the end. Talk about twists! I'm looking forward to finding out what happens in Book Two.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting and controversial

After suffering a terrible accident, pilot Dan Steward wakes up in a hospital not being able to remember his past. The doctors advice him to take the red pill to recover his memory, but Dan is very suspicious about this new treatment.

After reading the blurb I was taken aback at listening the first half of the book. I really enjoyed the story and thought it was well written, but I was not able to connect the book to the summary. I think the blurb gives away too much about not only this one but future books, and I think modifying it would help to preserve the intrigue.

The story is told from Dan's point of view, and although it may seem confusing at times, I really enjoyed how Birri played with Dan's perception to show the reader only what he wanted. I think it was done in a very clever way, since the reader can start guessing at some point that there is something amiss with Dan, but it's not easy to point out what, and even for those who can make a guess, I sure the outcome will surprise everyone.

The characters are not fully developed but we have to take into account that they are all seen from Dan's distorted point of view. I usually tend to prefer a further character development, but I have to say that the way Birri did it here worked really well in order to transmit how confusing things were for Dan. His mood swings and perception changes were fantastically reflected in the book, making empathizing with Dan easy.

The last part of the book opens the reader's eye to the truth about the condition and the red pill. There were some glimpses here and there but we only see the truth here. This was interesting and sets the basis for future books, but I felt that both parts of the story (Dan's story and the implications of the pill) were not very well interconnected. I felt them disjointed somehow, but it could just be a personal appreciation.

Jonathan Keeble's voice and style were the perfect for this book, delivering a clear narration and very good character's interpretations. Keeble did a good job in bringing the characters to life, especially Dan.

I am looking forward to books two and three and see what Birri has come up with regarding such an interesting and controversial subject.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Bel
  • 03-10-18

^Very scary -- as dystopias go

I'm a huge fan of Dystopias, so when I read the synopsis of the Condition series, I  asked for a copy to listen to. I wasn't disappointed. The story of book one, along with the author's background, makes you chill to the bone. Are such things even possible?

We've all profited from medical research and progress at some point in our lives, and I, at least, tend to not think about where a certain medication came from overly much.

We're aware that new medicine is tested on animals, and on human volunteers before it is declared 'safe' from whichever board is in charge. There are numerous films about viruses developed (and accidentally set free) by the military -- and if we are to believe the press, there are secret military laboratories researching very dangerous viruses.

It never seemed as close to home as in the UK, though, and after listening to this book, I really don't want to know what the Germans are up to in that regard.

This book is not about viruses, however, but it begs the question:

Are we all doomed, not from Mssrs Trump or Kim Jong Un firing nuclear weapons, but from secret medical experiments?

The book makes you ponder these questions and more. It is a topic I'd rather put firmly in the science fiction corner, but alas, it is only too real.

In this regard, the author managed to make me think, and, let's face it, to frighten me. However, the way the book is written takes some patience to keep listening. For a long while, the reader, as well as the protagonist, doesn't have a clue what the heck is going on. It takes ages before some light is shed on the whole affair and you get an idea what this could be about.

There isn't a lot in way of character development, as all the characters remain quite distant. I couldn't build a relation to the main character, because he was so confused most of the time, and it was all so weird. Even though much of it is revealed later on, there isn't any character who really got me rooting for him or her.

Still, the idea and the topic are well worth being known by a wider public, and there are two more sequels which might well change my mind about some of the characters.

Jonathan Keeble is a very gifted narrator. His character interpretations, his pace and narration were perfect. He is certainly a new voice in my library of audio books. I have to listen to more of his narrations.



I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.