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Publisher's Summary

Aliens are among us, and Austin, Texas just got a whole lot weirder.

When smart-aleck, down-on-his-luck bounty hunter Anderson Gunn snags his next job, he’s just happy to get the gig. The target he’s chasing may be wanted for murder, but his bills aren’t going to pay themselves. 

As it turns out, he probably should've been more selective. When he tracks down Cameron Kovak, the wanted man turns out to be no man at all. 

Gunn finds himself face to face with a tentacled creature out of Ridley Scott’s worst nightmare - a baby Cthulhu, wearing his target's skin like a onesie. And that's just the start of it. Aliens have their eyes on us, and Gunn finds himself swept up in their mysterious plans. 

Experience the start of The Gunn Files, a sci-fi thrill ride that will have you wondering if aliens truly walk among us. It's perfect for fans of Men in Black and The X-Files.

©2019 Aethon Books (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Culture Shock

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

Tongue and Cheek Daylight Scifi Mystery

For this book, I got to try whispersync, where you can read the book and then use Audible to pick up where you left off. It's very convenient and I find that I actually read much faster. From the audio side, Oliver Wyman does a fantastic job of bringing the snark of Anderson Gunn to life. My only qualm was with the way Dyna is played, it's like a rigid C3po, and that was tough to get over. She comes across as stiff, but not completely lifeless in the books. He does the rest of the aliens plenty of justice.

From my amazon Review: If you're willing to suspend believe and looking for a lighthearted, fun sci-fi reprieve from being stuck indoors, this is the a story for you. If you can't get over things Jack Bauer driving across LA in an hour episode of 24, then this book may also frustrate you in the plausibility department.

After reading several of Herron's books, he has dialed in a enjoyable blend of pop-culture tropes and familiar setups into a humorous take on the MIB-esque private detective world. In the heat of Austin, there's not as much black suit stylish flair in a dense city while wearing sunglasses, as there is gruff, breakfast tacos, and the need to pay the bills. This isn't a four course meal, this is a toasted deli sandwich that Herron puts just a little something extra when we weren't looking.

One of the things I really enjoyed is how the location of Austin is treated almost like a character in the story. It's given enough weight that the locations that Anderson Gunn trash talks and traverses is way through with a smirk feel real. The rain and trench coat has been swapped out for bright Texas heat, and gives a unique feel that is more modern. It's not a very dense novel, and there is clearly a larger lore at play.I f you're willing to go with it, enjoy a fun ride, and discover what really lies hidden in plain sight.

7 people found this helpful

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Good start to a new series

Okay, I confess, I got Culture Shock because of Oliver Wyman's narration. And he does a terrific job of it! Unfortunately the downside of listening to OW narrate a quirky urban fantasy with lots of action and guns is an unconscious expectation it's a MHI story. In comparison to MHI, the writing of Culture Shock comes off a bit flat, so I had to keep reminding myself it's _not_ MHI. I'd also, in hind sight, compare Culture Shock to The Dresden Files, where the start of the series establishes Harry Dresden as the protector of Chicago. That's very much the feel this book has for Anderson Gunn and Austin.

Taken on its own merits, Culture Shock is an enjoyable adventure, light and entertaining. The MC, Anderson Gunn, is a down on his heels bounty hunter, but he's no slouch when it comes to competence. He's good at what he does, he's just had a run of bad luck in his life. The story starts out slow and there's some machismo chauvinism and the corresponding female objectification (can't have one without the other, right?), but fortunately it never becomes obnoxious. Once the story moves away from the mundane day to day activities of a bounty hunter to the alien investigators and wide array of off worlder inhabitants of Austin, it really takes off. Smart talking, dynamic and personable, by the close of Culture Shock, Anderson Gunn has come into his own as an enjoyable MC with a cast of quirky supporting characters for further adventures.

Overdose (book 2 in the series) is due out soon. I'll definitely be picking it up.

4 people found this helpful

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Gunn is the man!

Anderson Gunn might have just become one of my favorite characters in fiction. He’s fun. Snarky. But a serious badass.

The secondary characters, Detective Gonzalez, Annabelle Summers, and even Elekatch—they are so full of depth and character.

This is like Men in Black meets Urban Fantasy but totally Science Fiction and I loved every second of it. I can’t wait for book two.

Oliver Wyman absolutely embodies the character and captivates from the first chapter.

3 people found this helpful

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Monster Hunter International, only with aliens

With Oliver Wyman reading this it ends up sounding just like Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International series. which is not at all a bad thing. It was very cheap and I liked the premise and Wyman was the reader. I just had to take a chance. Glad I did. I'm hoping there will be more.

2 people found this helpful

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Saturday SciFi Matinee Fun

Sooo...it is early August 2020. There is a pandemic, countrywide protest, political strife, and the worse unemployment in living memory. I NEEDED AN ESCAPE...and M.G. Herron's first book of this new series "Culture Shock," provided exactly that! This is a quick book. Plot is fun, moves fast, fun story driven, likable characters, good alien villian, and takes place in my home city, Austin TX. Anderson Gunn is the bounty hunter protagonist who is in financial straits and needs a catch a skipped bounty suspect for a payday to keep his head above fiscal waters. This is a light hearted tale, that pulls you along like an old time Saturday SciFi matinee. This is not Solaris, Dune, Interstellar, or The Martian. Science and physics are kept to a bare minimal. This is all about the FUN of the genre. Long time friends who are aliens, a thriving extra extra terrestrial night club scene, large kitty cats with two hearts, and of course obligatory. SciFi......TENTACLES!!!! If you ever spent time in Austin there is an unofficial slogan here, "Keep Austin Weird." Culture Shock by Herron does just that!

I debated between 4 or 5 Stars. With excellent slow burn narration by Oliver Wyman, l decided to give it 5...as it helped me forget about all the items that presently are with us in this not so fun 2020.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Stunning Sci-Fi Action Thriller

Anderson Gunn is a down on his luck Bounty Hunter. He has his own business in Austin Texas and gets his bounties from a friend called Alek. Alek notices that Gunn isn’t doing great, so offers him a job, a simple one, but at the same time, a bit harder, to hunt down and bring in a bail jumper, who is now wanted for Murder, his name is Cameron Kovak.
Gunn, being desperate for money (He has just had a note saying he missed his rent, and bills are due, and things are not good), jumps at the opportunity, as it as a $10K price tag on it (Bail was for $100K, and the person who brings them in gets 10%).
Alek, who is worried about his friend, also sends over his accountant, who happens to be a stunning blonde called Annabelle Summers, and between a lot of flirting, she actually does sort out his money. Whilst doing that, there is a sighting of Kovak, so Gunn leaves her and goes to the scene of the Murder.
Whilst there, he runs into another old friend, a Detective, Sheila Gonzalez, and you find out they are good friends, and there is some amusing banter. You quickly work out that the Author is great at developing his characters through conversations, giving you a lot of background story about his main character, as well as his supporting characters, whilst at the same time, developing the story, all done with clever, rich dialogue, that is fun to read.
We learn that things are weird at this scene, and it is not a ditch, but a crater, and whilst there, Gunn sees two very strange looking detectives, one an odd-looking albino, and the other does not look right? As he is looking at them, they turn to stair at him, and he turns away quickly, and when he turns back, they have literally vanished, making Gunn wonder what is happening?
Without giving too much away (don’t worry, everything above is just general stuff), Gunn does catch up to Kovak, and things go horribly wrong, because he kind of has tentacles, and a 20ft tongue. And just to really freak him out, the other two strange Detectives are there.
And this is where we go from a Mystery-Thriller with a ‘Bruce Willis’ type Bail Bondsman/Bounty Hunter, to a Sci-Fi story.
Gunn is hunting a Fugitive alright, just not from this planet.
Kovak is not Kovak, (and I am not going into any details here as I don’t want to give too much away), but an alien (duh, obviously, I just said that..Sorry…), but so are the other two Detectives. They are intergalactic Bounty Hunters.
The story ramps up from like an 8 to a 16 then (out of 10), as Gunn doesn’t go down the rabbit hole, he is dragged down it. He finds out that there are Aliens Earth, and there are all sorts of things going on that he (and everyone else) has no clue about. The world building here is just exceptional, Herron has gone to incredible depth to create this ‘underworld’ that is hidden from Humanity, and provide it with a plethora of different things. I again, don’t want to give any real details and spoil all the fun.
And that is what it is, you have this really great thriller story, as Gunn chases this dangerous fugitive (and it isn’t just a simple bail jumper, stakes have been raised and there are now lives on the line, including ones close to Gunn), but during the story, we get to meet all this really brilliant Characters. Herron is an outstanding Character Author, creating all these different characters to fill out his story, giving it so much depth, with a lot of really great (and realistic) dialogue, that brings the story up to a whole new level.
His descriptive work, of his world, his characters, and most of all, his intense action scenes is masterful, leaving you sitting there with your mouth open at times as you read, in a silent ‘Wow’, or ‘Awww’ as something incredible happens and he gives you this compelling and extraordinary description.
This is one of those books that you finish, and as you are finishing the last few lines, you are already finding something to buy the next book, or when you went to get a drink earlier (if you stopped reading of course), you bought it when got your coffee or tea (probably coffee, so you could stay awake a bit longer to read more!)
If you want a brilliant read, that covers just about every genre (except kids – children should not read this, but I’m guessing you already knew that!! *GRIN*), there is even romance, then this is the book. I have read some great books this year, but this is one of the best Sci-Fi Action Thrillers I have read this year, and I am already into the sequel “Overdose”.
You won’t be disappointed!
The Narration is done by Oliver Wyman, and he does an outstanding job, bringing such a great voice to Gunn. He does each of the voices really well, giving clear and easy to understand Narration, with great individual male and female voices that you can easily distinguish, so that you can pick out who is talking (he does great accents and alien voices to!!)
What he really captures well is the emotion in the Characters voices, and it is this that really makes the Narration so Masterful. You can hear the happy, sad, scared, annoyed, angry etc voice types when they speak, and he does it so well. It is not just a monotone reading, it is done with such passion, clarity, and creativity. He is brilliant, and this is one that you MUST get the Audiobook over the book as Wyman is so good!!

1 person found this helpful

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Good book

What a good book to just come across by chance. I hope there will be a book two and it's just as good and doesn't take years to come out.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Meh. Just OK.

The main character is supposed to be an established, successful, bounty hunter, but he's incredibly naive and gullible. He's constantly complaining about his poor finances and debt, but when the good guys offer him a job, he doesn't even ask how much they're paying, he just turns them down because he wants to be independent and not work for anyone else, then he goes to work for the bad guys. WTH?!
The author does not know the difference between a Speedometer and an Odometer.
The author has no understanding of physics. I'm used to this one- science fiction authors tend to ignore real science.
The author has no concept of the value of money. The main character is past due on all his bills including an outstanding loan equivalent to a retirement fund. Then his Ford F150 get destroyed. Then he earns $24,000 and it's enough to pay off all his debt and buy a new truck. Later, in the same chapter, that $24000 is only enough money to make a payment on his debt, not pay it all off. WTH?!
It's like the author went on several vacations while writing this story and kept forgetting what he already wrote.
But, I did kind of like the aliens. They were interesting and I would like to learn more about them.

1 person found this helpful

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Culture Shock

Not your standard PI story. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. With Oliver's higher cadence voice, I wasn't sure that the story would be told properly, only to enjoy the way that he brought the characters to life.
I would recommend this to audio to young adults and up.

1 person found this helpful

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For those who loved Monster Hunter

This is an acceptably similar storyline. Except instead of monsters it’s aliens. Characters are interesting and I like what he did with the setting of Austin. I’m inclined to purchase the next one in series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BlindAlley
  • 04-13-20

Has Mike Hammer joined Men in Black

Lacks the polish of Mickey Spilane. You are left wondering how many times the hero can apparently shrug off nasty injuries and what you have to do to an F150 pickup that will stop it from running. There are some badly drawn cameos and the plot could slide almost seamlessly into comedy, by changing the narrator. For all thar, an entertaining read that failed to keep me guessing, from beginning to end. Mick Herron's first experiment with Sci-Fi shows promise and, like the story's hero, needs all the help he can get.

1 person found this helpful