Goon Squad

Year One
Series: Goon Squad, Book 1-3
Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (198 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $27.97

Buy for $27.97

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

An ongoing, episodic "prose comic" from which the pictures are summoned by the magic of words, Goon Squad is set in an alternate version of modern-day Manchester. Its biggest divergence from the real city is that it - along with most other large urban centers - has a team of superheroes to protect it against unusual threats with which the conventional forces of law and order would have problems.

Goon Squad: Year One offers three action-packed volumes in a single collection:

Goon Squad, Vol. 1: Special Talents

  • "The New Girl"
  • "Nightclubbing"
  • "By the Water, by the Grave"
  • "Changes"
  • "No-No Dojo"
  • "Exterminating Angel"

Goon Squad, Vol. 2: Without Sin

  • "A Star in Strange Ways"
  • "Holy Fool"
  • "Dead Man Tells Tale"
  • "A Brief History of the Goon Squad"
  • "Tale of Terror"
  • "Pomona Island"

Goon Squad, Vol. 3: Old Enemies

  • "Life During Wartime"
  • "Red Wolf, Red Wolf, Does Whatever a Red Wolf Can"
  • "Shadow of the Vivisector"
  • "The Man from Switzerland"
  • "The End of the Year Show"

©2016 Jonathan L. Howard (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc., and Skyboat Media, Inc.

What listeners say about Goon Squad

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    115
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    126
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Buy this book. Buy it now.

Wow. This audiobook hits all the hallmarks of a classic comic book hero team, plus some detective noir mixed in. There are loads of adventures, plot twists, and character development. The best part? This is 3 books in one! Every time I thought it was over I would look down to discover there were HOURS more!

I hate cliffhanger endings as a rule, but I don’t even mind the cliffhanger here because so much of the main story was resolved. I can’t wait to listen to the next installment.

For those of you into fantasy and sci-fi, listen for the references and homages that are slipped in. They aren’t super obvious, in fact, they’re pretty damn subtle, but that’s what I like best about them.

While my American ear can’t geographically identify one British accent versus another, there was enough inconsistency that I could sometimes only tell the difference between characters based on the dialogue context. When reading text, you have the advantage of page layout/formatting to help distinguish between characters in a conversation. In an audiobook, we are reliant on the narrator to provide a consistent voice for each character instead. It doesn’t bother me enough to dock a star, but it it’s there.

8 people found this helpful

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

Good stories but...

Excellent stories but the narrator’s attempt at accents is poor particularly ‘Ian’ whose accent varies massively from Birmingham to Merseyside to London to Americanish, very distracting...the others’ accents too vary making it most odd.

5 people found this helpful

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

I hated the music!

Seriously, I almost ditched the whole thing because the interlude music is so distractingly needless and terrible. I didn’t love the female reader’s version of Ian. The higher register made him sound whiny, crass, and just constantly abrupt.
I really enjoyed the story itself, but have to say again, why the hell did they use the reject “Saved by the Bell” intro music. Really bad choice. Especially when the chapter ended on something poignant or deep. Ruined the effect immediately.

4 people found this helpful

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

Manchester's Premiere Super Team

I like the Goon Squad series and I hope to see more of it. I like the characters, I like the stories, especially the last one, and I hope Howard continues with it. My one problem is that the narrator wasn't very good when it came to the male voices in the stories. I like her Nadia, but her voices of Ian and Gilbert became grating to me. Especially Ian. I hope that the next stories have more varied narration. I highly recommend this to anyone who likes superheroes.

4 people found this helpful

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

Fun... until it just ends

Great characters and imaginative scenarios. Good writing, especially the dialogue. I'm not a big fan of ensemble cast reading-- it just seems distracting--but this one is not too jumpy. The primary readers when they get going are excellent. Sound effects are used sparingly, almost without purpose, though. BUT... the book just ends, waiting for the next comic book installment. And there is no promise of further episodes. So watch out!

3 people found this helpful

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

Five Stars and I'll explain why.

This collection delivers as promised. it was presented by summery and forward as a comic book series expressed in words and the writing & narration both hit that right on the mark.

As icing on the cake there are several unique avenues and twists of plot that make the tales as a whole a fun and original narrative.

It's fun and inventive and gives what it promises. Looking forward to more tales of the Goon Squad.

2 people found this helpful

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

Good stories GREAT voice acting meh sound effects

Anything Jonathan L. Howard writes I will buy/ read/ listen and these stories about a small team of "talents" (i.e. superheroes/ individuals with significantly enhanced abilities) and the world around them are charming, enjoyable and while not on the level of Johannes Cabal or Carter & Lovecraft series I think are still worth your time and money. Voice acting is top notch. I liked the IDEA of including sound effects to further the experience but I found them clumsily implemented (the narrator describes the sound and then you hear the sound). In this case either leave the sounds out (they're adequate, not amazing) or at least have them occur while they're being described instead of immediately after being described. Very clumsy.
POSSIBLY suitable for advanced/ mature YA fiction readers (the characters are in their 20s and older) but you'd have to make that call. Howard does have the YA novel/ series Katya but I haven't read that so I can't compare.

1 person found this helpful

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

GOON SQUAD-GOON SQUAD-GOON-SQUAD! AMAZING Narrator

This is for all 3 books:
I want MORE! Jonathan, you left a cliffhanger...3 YEARS ago!! Please, say more is coming & soon!

Review on what I'd call a Noir Comedy: Too much fun! With appropriate sad or touching points. But, continuous creative, imaginative characters & story made the fun, the funny, the heartache, & even the most gruesome scenes fabulous! I stayed up all night listening. And, I've listened again. Except for the "Exterminating Angel." Great story, but a little to sad to repeat so soon.

I can't say which character I liked the best. They each had their own amusing idiosyncrasies &, even Ian, at least one soft place in their hearts. Each has, appropriately since they are human, an array of emotions, attitudes, etc. Not just the "Ta-da! I'm here to save the day!"

The between chapter retro super-hero music was perfect. Pumped you up & added to the feel of the story. The narrator was the most amazing I've heard yet. Her range makes it hard to believe she is all these character!. Not just a lower, husky voice for a man or soft falsetto for a child, her voices are as different as the characters themselves. I've already bought 2 of her other works.

Warning: There are extremely gruesome scenes. In detail. And other disturbing scenes. There are many comedic moments, especially in the first book, but some downright depressing ones, too. In fact, if it weren't for the amazingly superb majority, I'd have taken a star off for the declining comedy & increasing depressing scenes, especially in the second book. But, like I said, the majority is amazingly superb & makes up for it. I know it's not a Disney tale, but I would really like more of the 1st book's comedy to come back. Those opposing extremes are what made me say:
Goon Squad! Goon Squad! Goon Squad!

1 person found this helpful

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

As brilliant as it is refreshing

Not much to say beyond this: you will enjoy these books! Some of the audio effects are a bit cheesy, though at times they add to the overall theme.

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

fun but brief

overall a great story with Wonderful World building but the way the stories are written you only get a glimpse as to who everyone is. much like the comic books they were based off of this collection of stories are short enough to get you interested in the characters but not too long as to developed the world.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for GeniusCodeMonkey
  • GeniusCodeMonkey
  • 04-09-20

A great set of stories

As others have said, accents are not something this narrator can do. but this is a great set of short stories from an author I really like.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Matthew Waller
  • Matthew Waller
  • 06-13-19

Mancunian Marvels

I loved this tale of Manchester's superhero crime-fighting team. Great characters, convincing world-building and gripping plots.

The one drawback is the narrator, specifically her inability to do convincing northern accents. Quite a drawback for an audiobook set in Manchester...

But that's just a minor quibble - this audiobook is very good indeed. I can't wait for a sequel!!!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Er
  • Er
  • 08-01-18

Why not use a UK voice actor?

Stories were very entertaining but I was constantly struggling to enjoy them despite the narration. She has a great voice and I’d like to listen to her narrate almost ANYTHING else. However, she does appalling Brit accents. Who’s idea was it to employ a North American-sounding voice actor to perform a set of stories in which regional differences in the UK are frequently made reference to!? Ian’s first person segments (different actor) were a blessed relief.

1 person found this helpful