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Nick Antosca's The Girlfriend Game is a tumble through the looking glass into a vortex of violence and desire....
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In the morning, Bram finds the bones of a murdered child. At noon, the murdered child begs for his help. And by nightfall, they have killed a man together and set off into the afterlife, where nothing is what it was, and death is only the beginning of punishment. An eerie story about the nature of death and the self, Midnight Picnic inhabits an American landscape made strange and unfamiliar. From the author of the cult novel Fires, Midnight Picnic is a haunting and disturbing experience.
I DON'T KNOW I'M DEAD
Until the percentage sale, I knew nothing about this author. Of all I have read from the sale, this is by far the best. It is a surreal, paranormal, live man meets afterlife type of book. A book in which not everything is explained or understood and that is on purpose. It is creepy, very sad, emotional and always entertaining. It is not always a subject I enjoy, as in the hands of a lesser author, this could be a silly, forgettable, dreamy mess. He has been mostly a writer for TV. He wrote for the series Hannibal and for Channel One. I hope he is going to continue to write books, for if this book is an example, he has the stuff to be the next Stephen King and I don't say that lightly. I could be wrong as some recent upstarts have disappointed me with their second or third books. If you even half way think your interested I urge you to get this book, especially now while it is on sale.
Other who have left reviews, have started with some great titles, which I will repeat here, as I think they all fit this book so well and I will paraphrase the longer ones.
HIGHLY EMOTIONAL, SURREAL
5 HOUR FEVER DREAM
BEST SPENT CREDIT IN A LONG TIME
STEPHEN KING ESQ
This book is hidden in the back pages of the Horror section, but it belongs on the front page.
64 of 71 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Midnight Picnic the most enjoyable?
It had crazy, nuts stuff happening, but never seemed to "jump the shark"
Who was your favorite character and why?
The little kid! He was funny and conflicted. Great job of showing his age.
What does R.C. Bray bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
He's great at making subtle voice changes for each character to differentiate, but not be annoying or distracting
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Naw, that aint me, but I bet some people would.
Any additional comments?
Great listen, only detract points on the story because I am not into supernatural so much, but this was not so focused on that, mostly it just was a contemplation on life, loneliness, death, etc.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
When Midnight Picnic started with Bram accidentally running over a dog and trying but ultimately failing to aid the dying animal, I was convinced I would hate this. However, the engaging writing, the flow of the language coupled with the haunting atmosphere really pulled me into this dark and sad story.
Bram is basically a decent bloke living a mundane life with an on/off sexual relationship with the depressed girl living on the same floor as him above Moms bar. His accident is the start of a journey that leads Bram to the land of the dead where he follows six-year-old Adam who is consumed with the concepts of right, wrong and punish. Adam was murdered by Jacob Bunny and is seeking help from Bram to settle the score with Jacob. Author Nick Antosca provides heartbreaking vignettes of the tragic lives of these well-drawn characters and portrays a dim and eerie afterlife.
Not so much a scary ghost story, but a highly emotional and unsettling, surreal road trip, Midnight Picnic was utterly spellbinding exploring issues such as loneliness, evil, and redemption. Only four and a half hours long, I listened to this in one sitting. I'm still not sure what to make of the ending, though.
With regards to the narration, it was performed by R. C. Bray. Need I say more? As always, outstanding. His tone matched the tension and eeriness of the story perfectly. Quite often, if a young child is a major part of the story, I find the narration suffers. In this case, I was in awe how authentic six-year-old Adam sounded. There were no issues with the production.
If you enjoy unique surreal stories this is for you.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog
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15 of 19 people found this review helpful
This book reminds me of a world like The Robin Williams film What Dreams May Come in the way it portrays the afterlife as a construct where we continue to live, but in a very different way, with rules that are always just a little bit out of reach.
The way the real world is thrust into the reader with a brief and detailed love scene is juxtaposed with the surreal and nebulous other world where anything might happen, and there's no telling if it will be good or bad.
Production quality is excellent, and the performer is exemplary.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to Midnight Picnic again? Why?
Yes, I'm definitely planning on a second listen and possibly a third. There's a lot going on in this story.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
The story just needs to be a little bit longer to spread out the details
What about R.C. Bray’s performance did you like?
Excellent performance by RC
Any additional comments?
I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Even though this is only a 4 hour listen, it has been one of the best author/story/narration combos I've experienced. For starters, Antosca writes with such depth that its hard for me to believe there aren't more if his works out there. I was immediately drawn into the strange little world not only through his vivid descriptions, but by the superb narration of RC Bray. His ability to transport the audience from written word to audio perfection always blows me away. It's amazing how seemlessly he is able to switch from character to character, so that you almost believe that you're listening to multiple narrators.
The story itself is deeper than your average "ghost" story and ends up turning into more of a life lesson. It's long enough to tell a complete story but short enough so that it doesn't drag on with a bunch of pointless filler that so many authors tend to add. Personally, I get bored easily and usually start to lose interest halfway through most single narration audiobooks. Full cast productions are mainly my cup of tea. This however, held my attention from start to finish.
My only complaint is that there aren't more works from this author. I'd listen to them in a heartbeat. And I highly recommend giving this a try.
Not all books need to make sense or satsify all the questions you might ask...Im not really sure what the story is about....I will listen to it again though
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
RC bray is brilliant as usual but the story just didn't inspire me and i was waiting for it to finish to be honest. it didn't really go anywhere and the character of the little boy was just annoying dialogue. First RC Bray read book that I haven't liked much.