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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the critically acclaimed cult novel Anonymous, comes a dark, psychological, suspenseful thriller about love and loss.

Meet Jeffrey.

Jeffrey is turning 40. He has a good job, a loving wife, and a beautiful house. When the love of his life passes suddenly, his seemingly normal world turns upside down.

The sudden death, along with his midlife crisis, causes Jeffrey to grieve the five stages in unnatural ways. He trades in his Toyota Corolla for a Corvette, smokes pot with the neighbor kid, and dresses up in cheerleader outfits with his pals William and Lena in order to feel young and beautiful.

William and Lena agree to do whatever it takes to help Jeffrey during his grief, even when it means committing minor crimes such as burglary.

All is kosher until William notices a downward change in Jeffrey. Distraught by memories of his wife, and despite William's and Lena's best efforts, Jeffrey begins to slowly derail into a dark place that only he could get out of. An internal battle with his emotions and himself, Jeffrey takes matters into his own hands to pull through.

Drama Dolls is an intimate, dark, psychological, suspenseful thriller about loss and obsession, survival and grief, and the desiring need to take control of your own life.

©2015 Jason Tanamor (P)2016 Jason Tanamor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

An unusual and fascinating story

A strange but fascinating book. Drama Dolls is a very well written story dealing with the unusual way a middle aged man, Jeffrey, tries to deal with the death of his wife, and the slow devolution of his psyche. It is poignant and thought provoking, not only dealing with the strange and detrimental effects that grief can have on an individual, but also with themes of friendship, acceptance, depression, intolerance and deviations from the norm. Dressing as teenage cheerleaders and hiding behind makeup and masks, the middle aged adults, Jeffery, William and Lena assume their Drama Doll alter egos and rob houses, all as a means of coping with their emotional pain. I wasn't sure if I would like this book, as it is very different to what I would normally listen to and a bit confusing initially as to which alter ego belonged to which character, but the captivating writing, dark humour and surprising twists got me hooked. The narration fits the book perfectly, Kruse's voice draws you into the characters and allows you to feel their pain. All in all this was an unusual, heart wrenching story with more than a few surprises.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

This is definitely a dark story

Not sure where to start with this review as I'm still processing this book long after I have finished it. I am finding it difficult to write this mostly because  it was an extremely intense listen. This does not mean that I didn't enjoy every minute of this book. This is definitely a dark story that starts off a little confusing as you try to digest which character goes with which alter ego, but once it gets going you become part of the insanity.  The characters dress up as drama dolls (cheerleaders) to commit crimes and also to feel beautiful while committing these actions. As much as I say that I cannot relate to the characters' actions, in contrast, their feelings are very real and you will experience and be influenced by every emotion during this story. The author does a fantastic job with the main character Jeffery, who definitely has the most intense story in this book as the story starts off after he recently lost his wife. I was transfixed with every bit of Jeffery's story as it slowly unfolded through the book, and how his psyche was dealing with it. As small pieces of information are smoothly brought into the light of the story, another twist or turn will leave you absolutely clamoring for more. The ending was brilliant as it brings everything together but also will leave you shocked.

The narrator, Tom Kruse, would not have been who I selected although I'm not sure of the authors vision for the audiobook. The narrator sounded like a deep-voiced older gentlemen speaking in a very soothing and mono-toned voice that brings a calming feeling to an otherwise very creepy story, which may have very well been the authors intent. However, I was a little disappointed as I felt as if someone with a little more inflection had narrated, there could have been an even more heightened intensity to the story.

Audiobook was provided for review by the Author.

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

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

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • blake
  • Fort Lee, NJ, United States
  • 02-21-16

Gripping and poignant

I got pulled into this story so unexpectedly that I didn't have time to get my bearings before the plot twist began. This book was nothing like I have ever come across before yet it was so much more than I expected. It was poignant and heartbreaking at times. I don't think it is possible to fully understand the characters but you really don't have to, you just feel for them. The story stays with you long after the last sentence. I'm excited to see more from this author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Great twists on depressing story

Where does Drama Dolls: A Novel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the better stories; storyteller could have been better.

What other book might you compare Drama Dolls: A Novel to and why?

Nothing like I've ever read.

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

He delivers content in a matter of fact kind of way. Not sure if that was the best method.

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

Roller coaster of emotions. Sad for the ending but happy for the message.

Any additional comments?

A book not just about grief. A book about life and the choices people make to live it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A mid-life crisis on steroids.

I didn't know what to expect going into this novel - knowing little more than it was described as transgressive fiction & it had a cheerleader on the cover. Well, it certainly fits squarely into the transgressive category and definitely features a lot of cheerleaders - but not the type we are used to seeing.

Drama Dolls is a slow motion train wreck that right until the last quarter of the book slowly unpacks the layers of reason behind why Jeffrey dresses up as a cheer leader and breaks into houses. The narrative jumps nicely between Jeffrey the guy mourning his lost wife & Brittany the drama doll, Jeffrey's alter-ego.

This novel is captivating, depressing, entertaining & at times shocking. Everything one wants in a transgressive tale. Enjoyable!

This was one of my first audio books in a long time. It took almost half the book before I stopped hating the voice reading it to me. I particularly didn't like his "female" voice. At times I struggled to keep up with the story as I was so distracted by my dislike of the voice, but that may not be such an issue for others.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A different kind of read

Any additional comments?

At first I wasn't sure I would be able to get into this story, due to the grief part, but I soon found out this was a different kind read. A different way the grief was dealt with. Yes, it has the sad parts but, it also has funny parts. hopeful parts and awesome plot twists that will keep you listening. The narrator did a fantastic job with telling the story, If your looking for a book that will make you think an make you feel the feels then this is the book you need to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

A Novel About Dark Places

Any additional comments?

What an intense novel. Tanamor has crafted a tale that comes off as if one is wearing a suit of depression and insanity. The whole time listening to this audiobook I felt like I was trapped within Jeffrey's downward spiral. This is not a book, this is an emotion. One that I could not stop listening to.

Not only did this book consume my thoughts and mental state while listening to it, but it is also extremely well written. The details were masterly crafted, and I was easily pulled into scenes and situations that were uncomfortable and strange for me. The characters have voice, and they feel alive. There were more than a few times that I wanted to grab onto Jeffrey and shake him; scream at him to get a grip on his failing mentality. I also found other moments when I wanted to punch William in the face and tell him to back the f**k off.

Yes, this is a novel of dark spaces. It is about one man’s loss and how he tries to come to terms with this loss. It is also a story of love, and what friends are willing to do to help one in a time of need. The question this book asks is how far is too far when it comes to grieving, and who will break first, Jeffrey or William?

Absolutely amazing novel. The ending wraps it all up beautifully, and is quite shocking.

Five out of five stars for this dark novel.

Now for the man reading the novel Tom Kruse, I thoroughly enjoyed his performance. I found his voice oddly soothing, despite the dark material he was reading about.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Excellent story about grief!

This was a beautifully written novel for being such a dark themed story. You almost feel sorry for Jeffrey, and you justify his actions because of what he is going through.

During the course of the plot, readers cheer him on, even though he is robbing houses to keep him sane.

And although Jeffrey's actions are self-serving, readers discover the true reason behind his motives.

The author does a fantastic job keeping the reader engaged in order to deliver the ending in a way that the reader never sees it coming.

A dark love story at its finest!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Not what I expected

This book was an interesting take on dealing with grief. However, I found it to be misrepresented. It was labeled as a dark, suspenseful, psychological thriller. Yes, it was dark but in no way was it suspenseful or a psychological thriller. There was no suspense whatsoever. It was more like a dark contemporary novel about grief and loss.
It's about a man, Jeffrey, whose wife suddenly dies and the ways he attempts to cope with his grief. He and his friends dress up as adult cheerleader dolls and rob houses.
This book is really an in depth study of Jeffrey. Jeffrey's character is sad and lonely. He doesn't know what to do to get past his wife's death. His new friends and fetishes aren't enough. He slowly self destructs as the book goes on.
Lena and William are Jeffrey's friends. He met Lena in his bereavement group. She is a formerly rich widowed housewife. She is very supportive of Jeffrey and tries to help him keep things positive while letting him grieve in his own way. William met Jeffrey online and shares in his love for the cheerleader fetish. He wants Jeffrey to try to move on past his grief instead of wallowing in it.
There were a ton of wordy descriptions in this book that made it seem longer than it was. The narrator does not help with this problem. He sounded like an old man. His voice did not fit the setting of the book. I couldn't get used to it. His speaking was measured and slow. There were a lot of unnecessary pauses. It just didn't work for me. Perhaps I would have enjoyed this book more if I hadn't listened to it and had read it in print instead.
The story had potential but because of the narrator I was put off from the get go and found I couldn't fully get into it.

I was gifted a copy of this audiobook by the author/narrator/publisher. This is an unbiased review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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

A sad AND happy love and death story

This was a well told story about the death of Jeffrey's wife and how he emotionally deals with it until the end of the book. I won't spoil anything for readers but the narrator did an excellent job keeping you on edge until the very end. Definitely worth the time.