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Publisher's Summary

A mysterious suicide. Horrific specters walking the streets. A drug that promises to change the world. An apocalyptic cult.  

Something is stirring in the city of Duluth, Minnesota. Ever since a celebrated researcher announced the creation of a new experimental drug - a drug with the potential to cure the mind of countless ills - people have been disappearing. When a grad student involved with the drug's development unexpectedly commits suicide, a private detective is tasked with unearthing the details of her tumultuous final days.  

This miracle drug may not be what it seems. Others touched by the drug begin to see things - horrible things - and find themselves transported into a nightmarish world where an ancient evil stirs.  

Those who taste the drug are left spiraling into horror. Dark figures tail them on the street, and the scenery of their nightmares begins to encroach upon waking life, blurring the lines between dreams and reality. Their terrifying experiences make up the individual fragments of a dire mosaic. As the pieces fall into place, they come to realize the unspeakable horrors that await all of mankind.  

Midnight is looming, and the sun may never rise again over the city of Duluth.

©2018 Ambrose Ibsen (P)2018 Ambrose Ibsen

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    56
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    49
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    37
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    17
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Performance

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    43
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    18
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • SEATTLE, WA, United States
  • 04-29-18

Have to be into it to be into it..

Brutal, weird, tough, gruesome, odd, abstract, intense, and not without merit.

Certainly not the "feel good book of the year" this is more of a Lovecraft-esque offering than anything else.

Approach with care. It is well done to be sure, just not my ideal.

I was provided this book by the author in exchange for this independent review.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

If Tarantino directed a film written by Lovecraft

Ok, I have to admit, I am a huge fan of stories that jump around and are nonlinear. That's one of the best things about Pulp Fiction and Resevoir Dogs, the story is all chopped up and you have to put the pieces together. This story has some light lovecraftian overtones to it, and feels like the movie Memento.

I wouldn't say this is a straight up horror story. It has horror elements, as well as some mad science fiction, but over all this goes for the psychological thrill more than anything. This isn't a bad thing. I was expecting something dark and twisted, and that is what I got. It's kind of like knowing you ordered a delicious steak and expecting it to come out served on a regular plate with its sides, but instead, you get a heated plate, gold silverware, and a silk napkin. It is more and better than what you were getting. I'm sure some people will have a hard time with the layout of the story, and that's tough. I know a lot of people who couldn't figure out how Vincent was alive at the end of Pulp Fiction after he was shot in the bathroom.

Hempel is really growing on me as a narrator. I enjoy his style more and more everytime I hear him, and this story fits him like a glove. He gets one star higher just for bringing his A game. I dropped a star in the other spots for some inconsistencies that I noted. 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!!!

23 of 25 people found this review helpful

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

could be a decent TV series

I recieved this book free of charge for an honest review. it's honestly more of a conspiracy that turns out true than a horror type story.its narrated well and the author is good. and the ideas behind it make you question how if some of them could be possible.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • ARCADIA, CA, United States
  • 04-23-18

Really Good Ideas

There are really good ideas here, primarily that of a pharmaceutical doorway into an alternate dimension (which is Hell). The book is firmly in the horror genre, with elements of science fiction and detective. The story plays out through the points of view of many characters, each with a vested interest in the drug, either to produce it in order to open the gateway for the "godhead," a gigantic Lovecraftian deity who is building a stairway to our world using the bodies of human beings who have "come to him," or to oppose that plan. Joe Hempel gives an excellent reading, making clear distinctions between characters, and evoking the lush prose without sounding affected. I liked the book for the ideas. There were a couple of surprises, where I thought a thread would lead and it went off in a totally surprising direction. The writing is really good too. You really root for the good guys towards the end, but remember, the book is horror, not fantasy, and no matter how much you want the good guys to win, the overall results are bleak.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Sara
  • Vermont
  • 04-20-18

Not too sure on this story

OK so I normally LOVE every single word these two give me. The deep and crazy story of Ambrose Ibsen to the deep and masculine voice of Joe Hempel. So while Mr. Hempel excelled, the story didn't so much. I felt like is was everywhere. It's so different from all the other books he's written... and I've loved. I don't know what it was... it had possibilities but the story fell short for me. There was some interesting areas in the story and that's what gave the story a 3 star. Joe Hempel made this audiobook for me. It was hard to follow along with the time line but with Mr. Hempel having that deep voice, it helped. He did freak me out a bit when he started changing his voice to some creepy parts... at least, I think that was him. It was freaky... and again, Mr. Hempel saved this book for me!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Don't drink the Kool-Aid

I have been a fan of Ambrose Ibsen for a while and really enjoy his haunted house stories. Wasn't sure what I was getting into with this story as it is a bit outside of what I usually listen to from him. I think it started out a bit disjointed as each chapter jumped around in the story line and between different characters so I was lost for a while. Finally it came together and did so quite nicely. Once I finally was on-board with where the story was headed I was hooked and was really enjoying it. Wasn't as happy with the ending and while it didn't ruin the story I would feel much better about it if there was a follow on book. All in all it was worth the listen though.
There are a few different story lines that are told separately until eventually the characters path meet because of the wonder drug. The storyline that really got under my skin was with Clay, his girlfriend, and daughter. The whole Kool-Aid scene was too much for me and really got me thinking. As a father that hands down was the scariest part of the whole book. Losing grip on reality is my biggest fear and accidentally being drugged with a reality altering drug, MKUltra anyone, is terrifying. This scene alone was well worth the listen. The feeling it gave me still lingers.
Honestly have to say that I didn’t even read the plot of the book before I got it, just saw Joe Hempel and Ambrose Ibsen and knew I had to hear it. Joe as always did a great job and impressed me when he didn’t stumble on the pronunciation of Die Meistersinger von Nürnber. I can’t get those words out without messing up. Hempel and Ibsen are a great pair and I can’t wait for their next book together.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Not as good as what I expect from Ambrose Ibsen...

Midnight in a Perfect World by Ambrose Ibsen...well, where do I begin. I tried to listen to this story probably half a dozen times before I forced myself to listen and (almost) finish it. Normally, the fantastic duo of Ibsen/Hempel are near to impossible to beat. I mean, I LOVE these two together. Mr. Ibsen always crafts really fun, unique tales that keep my attention from start to finish and Mr. Hempel always gives the characters life and emotion. Well, this story just didn't cut it for me. First off, unlike most of Mr. Ibsen's other stories, I felt that this book just jumped into things waaaay to quickly and without much of a backstory or setting the plot. The story itself was a bit confusing and though I did catch on, the beginning was spent rewinding and re-listening to try to get the characters down. I felt that this story was also a bit (a lot) more Lovecraftian than any of Mr. Ibsen's other tales to date. I just didn't like it. I really wanted to and listened to everything but the last hour or so, because I was hoping it would get better and to be honest, I just didn't care about the story or the characters at that point. If you're into Lovecraft a little bit and the book summary sounds good, I'd give it a try. Unfortunately for me though, I just didn't love this one.

Joe Hempel on the other hand continues to rock as a narrator. He continues to be one of my favorites and always does a great job bringing the characters to life and adding the perfect amount of emotion to their voices when needed. I'm not giving up on the Ibsen/Hempel duo though! I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher for an honest review.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • RJ
  • Cottage Grove, MN, United States
  • 06-11-18

A bit obscure, but stick with it.

A university professor develops a mental cure-all drug called Cerise, which was supposed to perform miracles in the brain, increasing performance and longevity. Of course nothing turns out as it should and chaos rises from well-meaning intentions. People given the drug find their mind opened to another world or dimension of this world. They begin to see things, evil ancient things reminding me of Cthulhu. Some people cannot handle the strain and commit suicide; others are on the verge of insanity. A private detective enters the scene to investigate one of the suicides. As he uncovers the bits and pieces of the drug and how it is affecting people he begins to see the underlying terror that is about to befall all of mankind. Although I am a big fan of Mr. Ibsen this story was on the outer fringes of entertaining for me. If you stick with it, it will make sense in the end. Three.point.five for exercising my imagination.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Brilliant

What made the experience of listening to Midnight in a Perfect World the most enjoyable?

Frightening story that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.

What did you like best about this story?

Ambrose Ibsen has created a twisted mythology that is like no other story that I have encountered.

Any additional comments?

This story is a bit different that Ibsen's other work, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a tale that will make them sleep with the lights on.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Weird, thrilling and everything in between!!!

I have to admit... I was terrified to read this, and not because I thought it would be scary, (duh, Ambrose Ibsen wrote it so it's bound to be scary!!) but because I've read some of the reviews and let's just say that some of them weren't glowing! I adore this authors books and didn't want to have one I hated. So I entered the story with a lot of trepidation and very little expectations, but I needn't have worried because I loved this!! I will say that it's not a book that you can read lightly, you actually need to take your time and savour the story, you need to pay attention and you need to listen/read it closely.

I know the way the plot was written was what had a lot of people disliking the story, but I actually really enjoyed it. It's totally different that what the author usually does, and I applaud him for taking the risk because it was worth it! The plot is centered around a new drug that has the potential to cure the mind and could see millions of people benefit from it, but when a grad student involved with the research commits suicide and the doctor who was overseeing it disappears, a private detective is hired by the grad students parents to uncover the truth. Strange things are happening to anyone who takes the drug and secrets are uncovered, but is it too late to stop?

I don't want to say anything else about the plot because it's better to experience it yourself. You will have to work a little bit to fully immerse yourself in the world that author has created, but once you do and once you get a grip of the way it's told, then you are in for one heck of a ride!! It's not a really scary read, but it is creepy, thrilling and will suck you in till you have finished the last page. This author continues to astound me with the creations he comes up with!! Give this a go, take your time with it and I think you'll be surprised with how much you enjoy it!!

When you have an Ambrose Ibsen book that's narrated by Joe Hempel, you know you have a winner. (Well... when you have any book narrated by this narrator, you have a winner!!) He is firmly on my list of favourite narrators and I always recommend him. I think I enjoyed this as much as I did because of the narrator. He was able to bring the atmosphere to life and was able to keep my attention from wandering. He knows creepy and he knows how to use inflections to bring it to life!! Brilliant performance from a master narrator.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful