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Publisher's Summary

The year is 1953. Disgraced in the psychiatric hospital where he'd practiced for nearly 30 years, Dr. Walter Freeman has taken to traversing the country and proselyting about a very new kind of salvation: the transorbitol lobotomy. With an ice pick and a hammer, Freeman promises to cure depression and catatonia, delusions and psychosis, with a procedure as simple and safe as curing a toothache.

When he enters the backwater Oklahoma town of Burnwood, however, his own sanity will be tested. Around him swirls a degenerate and delusional cast of characters: a preacher who believes his son to be the Messiah, a demented and violent young prostitute, and a trio of machete-wielding brothers, all weaved into a grotesque narrative that reveals how blind faith in anything can lead to destruction.

©2015 Jon Bassoff (P)2016 Jon Bassoff

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

If you like your horror fiction dark and hopeless

Doctor Freeman is a pioneer in the field of psychiatric medicine in the early 1950’s, unfortunately it is for his work in lobotomizing homicidal patients.  The hospital has decided the surgery is too dangerous and asks him to stop his work or leave the hospital.  He chooses to leave.  Distraught and depressed that his work will be lost to time, he forges out to share his work with the world.

In a parallel story, the town of Burnwood seems to be overcrowded with the evil and the insane.  A preacher has declared his son to be the second coming of Christ, insisting that he can cure the ill and ultimately raise the dead.  A teenage girl obsessed with her mother’s hidden treasure has turned to prostitution and murder until she can get the money and free herself from squalor and humiliation.

The characters collide in a world of insanity and depravity.  There are glimmers of hope, but darkness pervades.  They are all desperate to feel better about their downward spiraling lives, but continue doing the truly awful with predicable results.

The Incurables is a horror story about depraved people.  The only redeemable character seems to be the preacher’s son, Durango, whose father has mostly destroyed any chance of happiness in his humiliating life.

It is an interesting premise, and generally entertaining, but the story fumbles in its believability.  A doctor who can perform thousands of lobotomies on willing participants is a stretch at best.  Everyone in the story is either purely evil or utterly heartless, giving them a two-dimensional feel.

Richard Rieman performs the story well.  His voice is pleasant and his characters well defined.  There is a folksy quality to his reading that lends well with the mid-20th Century setting.  A good performance overall.

If you like your horror fiction dark and hopeless, this may be a good listen.  There is an otherworldly feel to the story, that maybe someone will be saved by the supernatural.  But darkness pervades and evil ultimately has its way.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Not bad, but not great

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

This book is well written and thought provoking, and I did listen to it to the end. I didn't dislike this book, but at the same time it did not make my favourites list.

I did enjoy the various bleak themes in this book. The stories flow at a good pace, and I was pleased when the stories of the different characters finally converged.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

My favourite character in this book is Scent. She is a teenage prostitute that does not know a life beyond destitution. She hates having to prostitute herself in order to just barely make ends meet, and she grows increasingly desperate for a chance at a better life.

Least interesting aspect... there is a lot of preachy Christian moments in this book that I had to skip over. I skipped a few chapters and ended a few chapters early because of that.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

Jon Bassoff's performance was okay. There were a few moments where he narrated the voice of Scent's mother (baby) that made me cringe, though.

Do you think The Incurables needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No. I actually liked the ending for this book (though I do love grim endings to horror stories), and I thought everything was wrapped up nicely.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was given by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Holy Smokes

This audiobook was phenomenal! The story was so dark, but yet so powerful! The idea that faith and delusion can be so confused is astounding. The author did a tremendous job at shedding light on mental health in the 50's and how no one knew exactly how to react to depression, anxiety, or even grief! Such an amazing job done by the narrator. The voices he used and the inflection in his performance was mesmerizing. #AudioShelf

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

Could have been better

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

Not really. I enjoyed the basic story li9ne but the audio narration was not great.

Was The Incurables worth the listening time?

Nope. I would rather have read it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn
  • Texas
  • 09-13-16

The Mad Doctor

Would you consider the audio edition of The Incurables to be better than the print version?

Since I never read the printed version, I can not compare it.

What did you like best about this story?

When the doctor met his fate...it was a well deserved fate

What about Richard Rieman’s performance did you like?

He kept it interesting with the voices and the way he read them. The reader can make or break a story and this one wasn't half bad.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Since I enjoy the stories of Stephen King and his genre, yes I would love to just listen in one sitting. This book isn't for everyone, but I thought the story was not too bad.

Any additional comments?

This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.

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

Great Story Beholden of Stephen King

If you could sum up The Incurables in three words, what would they be?

Chilling Noir Fiction

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Incurables?

The detailed account of the practice of the frontal lobotomy

Which character – as performed by Richard Rieman – was your favorite?

Scout

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Chilled me many times. Ignorance is the biggest horror in the universe and power wielded by ignorance is pure evil.

Any additional comments?

Jon Bassoff hits this one out of the park. Before we get too far I should inform you that I grew up with “Bass” and am so proud to have listened to it. That being said, this story goes really deep into a time in history where primitive medical practice, religious allegory, and crowd mentality ruled the day. Bass is a great story teller and will take you on a ride into the human condition reminiscent of Stephen King.

Reader- If you are interested in a fast paced chill ride, look no further than The Incurables. You will not be disappointed.

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

Crazy story

What would have made The Incurables better?

It was a decent story, well worth the time

What could Jon Bassoff have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Very enjoyable narration

What does Richard Rieman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He brings out the creepiness from all the characters

Any additional comments?


"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Boom."

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

Really a 3.5

Would you try another book from Jon Bassoff and/or Richard Rieman?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I thought it was interesting that the doctor was so strong in his belief that he could not accept any alternatives. His belief eventually drove him insane. I received this audiobook for free through Audiobook Boom for my unbiased review.

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

Intense, dark pyschological thriller

Would you recommend The Incurables to your friends? Why or why not?

Although this story is well-written, I found it too dark and intense to qualify it as an entertaining book for the general audience. I believe die-hard fans of the horror genre may be more receptive to the author's style.

What does Richard Rieman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Dr. Walter Freeman seems as tormented as some of his patients, and this story documents his foray into the insanity of his patients and the residents of Burnwood, OK.

This are many layers and complex dynamics to this story that prompt the reader to confront beliefs on everything from the morality of medical treatment to religion. Some of the elements were too grim (and too real) for my taste.

Any additional comments?

The narration was performed well, and the story is compelling, My score reflects my opinion that this book is not suited to all readers, but fans of the dark horror are encouraged to sample this author.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

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

Creepy and captivating

Great thriller lots of blood and gore. Moderate story with creepy characters. Decent Plot twists. Will keep you listening. A few of his other books have been made into movies. Very interested in checking those out. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookboom in exchange for an unbiased review