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Publisher's Summary

Under 30,000 feet of water, the exploration rig Leaguer has discovered an oil field larger than Saudi Arabia. The oil is so sweet and pure, nations would go to war for the rights to it.

As the team starts drilling one exploration well after another in their race to claim the sweet crude, a deep rumbling beneath the ocean floor shakes them all to their core. Something has been living in the oil, and it's about to give birth to the greatest threat humanity has ever seen.

The Black is a techno/horror-thriller that puts the horror and action of movies such as Leviathan and The Thing right into listeners' ears. Ocean exploration will never be the same.

©2015 Paul E Cooley (P)2015 Paul E Cooley

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    90
  • 4 Stars
    94
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    35
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    81
  • 4 Stars
    64
  • 3 Stars
    78
  • 2 Stars
    40
  • 1 Stars
    33

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    84
  • 4 Stars
    88
  • 3 Stars
    72
  • 2 Stars
    33
  • 1 Stars
    15
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Benchley meets Lovecraft and Chrichton

Classic horror at its best. A long slow burn and rollercoaster finish. I can't wait till the other books in this series come out. Loved it!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jr
  • 12-18-15

Stick to writing, you suck at narration.

The book was interesting despite the shallow stereotypical characters and a story that has been done many times before, but sometimes that's exactly what ur in the mood for.

The narration was terrible and constantly jarring from bad audio editing where one sentence runs into the next into the next into-the-next without a moment pause for a period or paragraph break.

And all the characters sound the same until there is another mention of how a character should sound, then he attempts (badly) at an accent or tone of the mentioned sound of the character then immediately abandoned until noted again.

Good predictable book of a monster chasing a group of stranded survivors. BAD narration.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kay
  • FRANKLINTON, LA, United States
  • 07-29-15

Writers Are Not Readers

The story was interesting. Narration added nothing. Please hire a reader next time. It will greatly enhance the experience.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful

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

Did you like "The Thing" or "Alien"?

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The Black is a story you have read, watched or heard before. Strange creature in an underwater oil reservoir is piped on to a drilling platform isolated by a storm and fight begins. Nothing new about the plot and it is not as well done as others in the genre. What really makes it poor is the narration by the author. When will they learn to let a professional due the narration.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paul E. Cooley again?

No. Cooley adds nothing to the narrative except awkwardness.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Paul E. Cooley?

How about the fellow who did "The Fold". He made a familiar story interesting.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

No too much like classics that are already better.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

great story

The story is great but the speaker is quite monotone. Definitely one of my favorite books. I will be getting the second one!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • K. V.
  • Amherst, NY
  • 02-01-16

Ok story

Story was entertaining enough, but I think I would have enjoyed reading it on paper than listening to it read by this terrible narrator. Just awful...so blah. Almost gave up on it a couple of times...this guy just should not narrate ANYTHING! But the story was creepy.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

This book was "So-So" at best

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I always finish a book when I start it. The black was no exception. However, this book was narrated by someone who have no business narrating. He would attempt to change tone with his characters and it at times was more annoying that assisting.

I almost considered turning it off and starting something new. It was that bothersome.

Would you ever listen to anything by Paul E. Cooley again?

I honestly went from a Stephen king book to this. his writing was not even in the same league.

Probably not.

Would you be willing to try another one of Paul E. Cooley’s performances?

nope

Did The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller inspire you to do anything?

start another book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Once again

May have been a good book, but the narrator was beyond bad. Characters were good, story ok.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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

:-)

I have what I consider to be high standards.
I finished this book. That is saying something these days when 8 out of 10 books bore me to an uncomfortable disgusted numbness.
I finished this book and I wasn't bored!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

TERRIBLE!!! HIRE A PROFESSIONAL NARRATOR.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Hire a professional narrator. This is a skill and obviously one that is remunerated based upon talent. I have listened to a number of books with incredible narrators who are able to portray male and female, different ethnic and social groups, and sometimes even children's characters without much suspension of disbelief. These are the caliber of narrators that would have made this story stand out. As it was, all I got from the story was a mumbled narration of a tale of slimy, black tube worms bent on destroying the world one seabed at a time.

Has The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller turned you off from other books in this genre?

Couldn't say because didn't listen to the story. Was insufferable from start to finish. Fast forwarded all the way through to the end. End of the book was more of a relief than climax.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Paul E. Cooley?

Sean Mangan or Scott Thomas. Please!!!!

Any additional comments?

Couldn't get past the author's monotonous, flat narration to even begin to engage with the story much less the characters. I have never forwarded through any books that I have purchased, but this one was a veritable skip from beginning to end. It was absolutely excruciating to listen to, especially during the segments in which the echo effect was used to approximate characters 'thinking' to themselves. Hopeless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • .
  • 06-07-16

Good story despite the perfomance

A bit of a classic creature feature, that is well written, with an interesting premise. The author seemed inspired by 80's sci-fi such as The Thing, Alien and even a bit of Jaws. The whole piece was a flood of nostalgia for a child of the 80's. The negatives were the voice acting from the author. I had difficulty keeping track of characters as there was little effort to distinguish one from another in the reading. The whole thing sounded a bit flat and monotone, which is a real shame. The book seemed too short as well. I wanted more after it was done. Will be listening to the sequel despite these issues as the story was riviting and I have to know what happened next.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • david knight
  • 05-05-16

Good story bad narration by author

I enjoyed the story overall, but the narration wasn't good different characters had the same voice and even those changed throughout the story. good yarn though

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 03-20-18

Slow start.

Any additional comments?

The exploration rig Leaguer, thinks they've discovered something special where they are digging for oil, and they have, but it's not what they think and things are about to take a turn for the worst.

Plot wise, it took me a while to finally get into this book, but when I did, I ended up really enjoying it. For the first third of the book, the author puts a lot of effort into setting up the drilling rig and the ins and outs of life on the rig. While this was slow going, I think it was necessary to get a proper sense of the isolation and danger they are in when things start getting bad. Once they bring up the first sample of the oil, things start progressing faster and faster and it was pretty much non stop from there.

There were quite a few characters in this, but they were all well written and developed. There are a team of scientists on the rig and you get a sense of how the normal riggers feel about them. There is tension and apathy between the two groups, which makes it hard to work together. Working in close quarters is hard but it gets harder once they realise what is happening!

In all, this was a good read. Once it got going, it was fast paced, intense and thrilling. I rather enjoyed that we don't get a proper explanation of the creature, what is was or where it came from, because it let me make up my own mind! I presume we may get more info in future books though!!! I'm looking forward to book 2 to see what the author will do next!

The author narrated this himself and he did a good job with it. He read it well and gave enough inflections and cadences to bring the story to life, but it was the characters that let him down! He didn't differentiate them enough and I found myself confused at times over who was talking. Overall though, I was impressed with his narration.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mr K.
  • 07-18-17

Good Concept - Poorly Executed

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The dialogue between the characters was awful and felt false. The narration was flat. And worse of all - the biology of the creature was left unexplained even though the story was choc full of scientists. All of these elements in the book needed to be re-written and and a voice actor with more inflection in his voice was needed.

Has The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller put you off other books in this genre?

No - I just felt that the world building was poorly done.

What didn’t you like about Paul E. Cooley’s performance?

It just felt flat and had little inflection. The one and only female character had a strange voice as well.

What character would you cut from The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller?

90% of the extras. We'd get introduced to someone seconds before they'd die. They were pointless and a tighter story with a smaller number of characters was needed.

Any additional comments?

Glad I can get my credit back. Nice idea, poor execution.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • kieran J Kelly
  • 07-04-17

Entertaining Pulp Horror

A well researched and atmospheric Horror Sci-Fi with obvious elements of The Thing and Alien. Hi Brow stuff it isn't, but Paul E Cooley is a solid writer and narrator and the tension grows steadily. All three in the series are worth a listen, though this contains the most mystery.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard Byrne
  • 03-14-17

Simply superb

Looking forward to other titles; wonderful narrative as well as a heart beating wonderful story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Tegan's mum
  • 03-10-17

Good story

Narration was good. The storyline was a bit confusing in the beginning when there were lots of characters being introduced. Phrases were also repeated. Having said that I've downloaded The Black Arrival.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Miss L ttophi
  • 02-26-17

good book

for me this book started well went bit off it couldnt finsh it couldnt get into it but not bad book

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Reviewaid
  • 10-12-16

Poor

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A much better narration and story. Im sure the guy tried his best or did it because it was cheaper to publish but he just isn't very good at all.

Has The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller put you off other books in this genre?

Not at all, I still love it.

What didn’t you like about Paul E. Cooley’s performance?

Nothing, really....nothing.

What character would you cut from The Black: A Deep Sea Thriller?

Vrable.

Any additional comments?

This book was really poorly narrated, I tried to stick with it but it singularly failed to immerse me in the story. I think it may have been better with a more solid performer but having been a long standing fan of creature feature books I just dont think its good enough.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rogeraee
  • 08-27-16

Good Overall Story

very slow for the first 4 chapters and almost gave up, however the next 6 chapters made up for the wait,