A hopeful young man teeters on the cusp of a bright future...one he can only achieve if he survives the Grand Guignol misfortunes that beset him one horribly deranged evening. Death and sex, kidnapping and religious ecstasy - they're all part of the demented obstacle course Martin Van Dyke must navigate before he can spread his wings and take flight.
The target audience for this third-person tale of humor is probably late teens to mid-range young adults. Protagonist Martin spends a lot of time thinking out loud and talking to himself as he migrates a new job and guests who are mischievous, mysterious or both. There are guests named Titty (through his interminable mental ramblings, Martin lists for us readers/listeners all its derogatory meanings); a bad guy police officer with an exaggerated lisp; a man who calls himself President Grant; and an elderly couple-- one of whom has bathroom woes, the other of whom almost chokes to death on this false teeth.
The tale is original (my opinion is based my on multimedia library of roughly 900 books and flawed memory) and it moves fluidly in a way that is quite impressive. Although I could have done without his disruptive think-out-loud “mini-logs” (a phrase I made up for brief monologs in the form of figurative thought bubbles), I really liked Martin. Still, with all the intended zaniness thrown this way and that in my face, I only laughed out loud, or laughed in any manner, once. More practice can lift storytellers, Mark Valenti and Sonia Silver, from mediocre to outstanding.
The articulate narrator excels at projecting personalities/voices of various characters. This remarkable skill is countered by disarming monotony when reading the narrator’s role. The "monotonous narrator” role stymied the humor. I listened at 1.5x speed with no trouble.
The author(s) or narrator gifted this book to me in exchange for a review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I thought that this book was rather amusing. Martin is such a doofus that you can't help but like him, a little bit. The characters names and actions are so cheesy that their funny and the narration was spot on. The final scene was a bit dark, but poetic. I found myself engrossed throughout the story. It was just the right length, any longer would have become tedious. The author/editor made good choices with this.
*I received this book for my unbiased review.
If you found my review helpful, would you please take a moment and select "yes" below? I also invite you to follow me here on audible. Thanks for taking the time!
This audio book was given to me for free by the producer for an unbiased and voluntary review.
I listened to Last Night at the Monarch Hotel on my commute to and from work. I found
myself laughing out loud and hoping that the traffic would slow down so I could listen longer. The story reminds me of the madcap tales of Christopher Moore or Carl Hiaasen. A hapless, quirky hero, bizarre circumstances and a wacky supporting cast. There were twists and turns and surprises that left me exclaiming "Oh no..."
The narration was entertaining; the voices given to the characters fit with the picture my imagination provided. I appreciated the story telling style that gave the narration a purpose but dd not make the narrator a distracting character.
This short story has all the aspects my review title mentions, and more. While listening, and it some effort to get past the first couple of chapters and give it an honest chance, this story reminded me of something by Quentin Tarantino with a little Hunter Thompson sprinkled throughout. Youth, elderly, hippies, bosses, criminals, police, loonies, and a bimbo. The blend and interactions of this group make for a wild ride.
The thought provoking part is with regard to the main character, Martin Van Dyke, as a young man facing a series of situations that many of us may have found ourselves in; maybe not exactly, but the emotions evoked by them will certainly ring familiar. With this being a relatively short story, the bizarre scenarios happen in rapid succession, often one blending right into the next. The twists and turns this young man experiences in following his plan for a successful career wreak havoc on his plan.
Although there is some descriptive sex scenes, some sickish violence, and some jaw-dropping lines, the author has them in a context that they don't seem right in your face. As a quick example; one scene has a law officer getting shot at point blank range and, rather than focusing on the violence, I was led to chuckle when the ensuing description is of the officer getting stuck butt-first in the old television set while falling backwards . . . the followup discussions (with what to do with the body) are outrageous. Similarly, the sex scenes (though detailed) left me focusing on Martin's youthful reactions rather than the physical acts.
Anyway, the long and short of it is, this is a wild story that I easily completed in a single listen.I cringed a few times and laughed out loud a few times. Oh, as for the ending; if you think the twists and turns of the story catch you by surprise . . . just wait for the ending.
Finally, Michael Rubino does an A= job with the narration and made the listen much more enjoyable and down right fun to listen to . . . the character voices were too much, LOL; I added a star to the overall rating simply because of the narration.
Although this was provided as a free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher, I would recommend this to those that are looking for something out of the ordinary offerings; it is full of dark humor. Well worth the time!!!
Thanks, and I hope some find this review helpful in making their listening choices.