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Publisher's Summary

In 1972, the Red Bozos were the friendliest faces in frenetic Midlands Amusement Park: security personnel, yes, but they were more than that, for lost children seeing one of those garish outfits and the sympathetic smile on the painted face atop it knew they would soon be reunited with their parents. Except once in a while...  

Flash forward four and a half decades: Midlands is a ghost park. Closed long ago and nearly forgotten, even by the locals, it sits shrouded in undergrowth and hill-topping forest surrounded by upscale new homes. Ringed with a decaying fence, hidden from sight, it presents a huge temptation to a group of bored, thrill-seeking youths who are about to learn that terror is, in fact, immortal. 

(Strong language, adult content, graphic violence, sexual situations. Not suited for younger listeners or sensitive types.)

©2018 Kevin Candela (P)2018 Kevin Candela

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

Candela Clowns around with time travel

I'm an unabashed Candela fan, have been ever since I read his book the Oz Files. He dishes out some crazy stuff, but he does it with such reverence (check out Little Women with Big Guns, Ether Bunny, Night of a Thousand Wings, Imp, and Sinbad and the Argonauts) that you can see his love for the things he is writing about with ease. Now, while this story is inspired by a real place, it is not based on real events. Somehow that part makes me a little sad, because (aside from John Wayne Gacy) I've never seen any evidence of evil clowns doing things. This is my Moby Dick, so to speak, because evil clown sightings have been happening since I was a kid, and people panic over them for some reason, and I always want some ol story to come out to be true just so there is some validation to all the hype.

Candela gives us not one, but three naughty monsters in greasepaint to terrorize a group of meddling kids who trespass onto the grounds of an abandoned amusement park. Naturally, bad things happen as they go deeper into the "funhouse", and one by one they all start getting cacked off in spectacular ways. The story is NOT a straight up slasher book, nor is it an It homage. Nope. Nope. Nope. Candela has something a bit trippier and deeper at play here, something that involves time travel and regret, and hopefully the possibility of redemption for at tleast one of the characters. So, in a way you get it all, crazy deaths, evil clowns, odd happenings, a dark secret that will not stay buried, and some time travel thrown in for kicks. Stephen King sucks. Just going to put that out there. You want a real clown story, stop here. There are a lot of characters, and the lead perspective changes as they all go ever so gently into that good night, so don't get too attached. Some make it out, but probably not who you expect.


Bennet hits the ground running with the narration, and plays each characte to a tee. You really feel his inner jerk coming out, as well as his shy introvert. He gives each character a voice of their own, even the ones that don't talk. He fits with this story, and is easy to listen to. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

If this review helped, please press the YES below. Thank you immensely!!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Clowns - NO!

'It's Only Funny If You Laugh' was a short and very satisfying listen. A group of unlikely friends decide to break into an abandoned amusement park only to find scary clowns lurking about. The turns that this story take are... not anticipated. I won't say more for fear of spoilers but I will say that Gary Bennett delivers (as always) a fabulous performance in this story. If you're a fan of the totally bizarre and truly horrific, then 'It's Only Funny If You Laugh' is a good one for you!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

clowns

this was a short but really good book. A gang of friends get together to go explore the deserted Midlands Amusement Park. What they didn't know was most of them would never leave.

The book is horror as well as time travel. This was my first book by Kevin Candela but I will be looking for more. I was able to listen to this book in one shot. The book was narrated by Gary Bennett. He done a really good job with all the voices. Even the female voices. He kept my attention all the way through the book as well.

I was given this audio book at my request and chose to leave this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • Sacramento, CA
  • 07-09-18

Fun slasher story. Creepy and graphic. Very good!

I really enjoyed this story. The scares are subtle and often sudden. The gore flowed heavily and the characters were pretty well developed for such a short story. The clowns were actually creepy here and they were secondary to the actual frights. The back story gets fleshed out really well and you learn slowly what is really going on. It was a breath of fresh air to see this type of story get the treatment that it did. It was intelligent and witty while still maintaining the subtle horror of what is going on.

The narration was handled quite well by Gary Bennett. He was able to convey the sense of urgency that the characters feel trying to escape the nightmare that has befallen them.

I requested a free review copy of this audiobook and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting.

This was a different kind of read...I mean listen. The story itself held my attention the majority of the Rome, although there were a few slow/boring times.

The narrator did a pretty good job, although I didn’t realize until the end that the character, Marly, was male. Additionally, for whatever reason, it sounded like he was trying to speak somewhat quietly, I confirmed this through both headphones and my car stereo.

Questions/Comments:

There was a part when...not sure which character it was but he described the air as smelling like funnel cake...yet, “I didn’t notice...” That’s a contradictory statement.

The scary female in the mirror is described as having “bright eyes.” But how would they be bright if they’re further described as being “dark and empty”?

When The one smaller girl is “attacking” Linda on the ride (sucking face), why didn’t she try kicking out or anything?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Killer Clowns

Part Killer Clowns, part Stephen King's "It", totally creepy fun.

A group of kids sneak into the local abandoned amusement park to see what they can find. Of course, what they find isn't what they had planned.

One by one, they start disappearing and soon we are introduced to a trio of creepy, red haired clowns. But, who or what are these elusive clowns? Homeless people trying to protect their place of abode? Supernatural beings? Ghosts?

I will admit that I was a little confused at times and had trouble following the story because of the names of some of the characters. I wasn't sure which were males and which were females. Also, I thought that these were younger kids until the author delved into the male characters obsession with the females' anatomy.

The story had plenty of twists and scares, but I did find myself thinking about "It" a lot and also the cheesy movie "Killer Clowns from Outer Space". This is not necessarily a criticism, but I was a little distracted by it.

The story was a good one if you are looking for a mild fright or a good Halloween read. The author definitely has a great imagination and I enjoyed going along for the ride.

I received a copy of this book through Audiobook Boom and chose to review it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 10-13-18

Pick this up for a spooky night!

"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.”

This was a treat to listen! I’ve enjoyed the partnership between author Kevin and narrator Gary.

This was a quick almost-slasher listen. If it was a movie, it’s definitely a B movie; as an audio, it was a lot of fun/thrill/shrill. It wasn’t too deep, the reasoning was mediocre, the ways-to-die were interesting.
I liked the characters, even though they were only surface deep.

I would definitely recommend it to those who want a “quickie horror” and not mind boggling. I’m definitely looking forward to more from this duo.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Chilling Haunted Amusement Park story

This book had everything I look for in a haunted house/haunted amusement park story plus a little more (the ending was quite surprising, which I like, hate predictable endings).

A group of teenagers go to a haunted amusement park for fun (to their credit, they didn't know it was haunted) and discover not just a haunting but killer clowns. The situation can't get much worse than that. As the death count ranks up, we discover the chilling truth behind the haunting.

With lots of unexpected twists in the story and a little humor thrown in occasionally, this was a very satisfying and entertaining read.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Raul
  • Paraguay
  • 08-13-18

Killer ghost clowns strike again

Very entretaining short story. Lots of teen angst right from the start and beggining in a creepy old carnival. I've always been a fan of this type of horror where reality means nothing. The story also adressed the touchy subject of sexual abuse. Like all classic horror the most innocent survive and the rest don't. Also had a good production and distinctive voices. It really made the story stand out and make it better. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Its only funny if you laugh

I enjoyed this twist on haunted amusement parks and clowns.It was a well thought out,satisfying story.Gary Bennett was a fine narrator.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.