Listeners, take note: Curt Skinner’s performance of Torsten Krol’s Callisto is a true tour de force, and deeply engrossing to boot. Krol’s acclaimed novel constitutes a masterful foray into the realm of black comedy, as he tells the story Odell Deefus who, although "not the sharpest tool in the shed", is somehow a truly relatable narrator whose bizarre adventures are unbelievable and irresistible in equal parts.
Krol’s voice is characterized by a bright, youthful twang, and under his skilled direction this madcap book comes to life. More critical than anything, perhaps, to this audiobook’s success is Krol’s fine-tuned sense of comic timing, which hooks listeners from the start and holds them captive right through to the end.
Odell Deefus may be a little dumb, but when he discovers a freshly dug grave at the back of Dean Lowry's house, he understands that it's intended for him. When he finds an old lady's corpse in the freezer, he knows that she has been murdered. And when the bomb in his car explodes, levelling every building in the vicinity, and Odell must suddenly hide the body of a terrorist, even he recognises that things are getting seriously weird.
This blackly funny novel of our times follows what happens when Odell Deefus takes one wrong turn on the journey of his life and crashes into a world of oddballs, misfits, drug-dealers, religious fanatics and crooked cops, hypocrisy, torture, and bloody murder.
In Callisto, Odell Deefus discovers a vast web of corruption and deceit leading to the dark heart of America.
Callisto has been favorably compared to Catch-22. I have to agree. It is to the war on terror what Catch-22 is to the Mediterranean Theatre of WWII. It is a wacky take on the world we live in. Our hero, who winds up penniless in Callisto, Kansas - the result of a car breakdown - is a dunce. Yet he is an imaginative dunce who becomes less of a dunce as he digs himself into holes - literally - and extricates himself from them. Who knew such happenings could occur in your own backyard? This is a great novel of the new century.
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