Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother's tragic, premature death - and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea's ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl....
A young entrepreneur purchases a dilapidated Michigan Central Railroad Depot in Eaton Rapids with the dream of opening a hot new martini bar....
Two weeks after his 18th birthday, everything changes for Evan Nash. When he injures his head after being run down on his bicycle, he begins having strange, harrowing visions....
"I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger...." writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of a riveting confession....
FBI agent Mary Cantrell has been called to Minneapolis to hunt down a killer. It's shaking her to the core, and reviving dreadful memories....
Abby has been through hell and has survived one of the most brutal childhoods imaginable. To the outside world, she is just a loner with an attitude....
Flight is the hilarious and tragic story of an orphaned Indian boy who travels back and forth through time in a charged search for his true identity....
England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss....
Graduate students Zoë and Holli only mean to blow off some steam on their road trip to Las Vegas....
Some places seem too beautiful to be touched by horror. Summit Lake, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, is that kind of place....
The definitive account of Ed Gein, a mild-mannered Wisconsin farmhand who stunned an unsuspecting nation - and redefined the meaning of the word psycho....
A woman at home in Liverpool is disturbed by a persistent tapping at her back door. She's disturbed to discover the culprit is a raven and tries to shoo it away. Which is when the killer strikes....
When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask....
In her 20s Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown....
In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie theater employees were killed in an armed robbery while one inexplicably survived. Then a teenage girl vanished....
Rose and Elmer have created an idyllic sanctuary for themselves and their five daughters in Mexico's Baja California desert....
Kira Miller is a brilliant genetic engineer who discovers how to temporarily achieve savant-like capabilities in all areas of thought and creativity....
Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives....
A haunting and hopeful tale of discovering light in even the darkest of places.
For his whole life, the boy has lived underground, in a basement with his parents, grandmother, sister, and brother. Before he was born, his family was disfigured by a fire. His sister wears a white mask to cover her burns.
He spends his hours with his cactus, reading his book on insects, or touching the one ray of sunlight that filters in through a crack in the ceiling. Ever since his sister had a baby, everyone's been acting very strangely. The boy begins to wonder why they never say who the father is, about what happened before his own birth, about why they're shut away.
A few days ago, some fireflies arrived in the basement. His grandma said, There's no creature more amazing than one that can make its own light. That light makes the boy want to escape, to know the outside world. Problem is, all the doors are locked. And he doesn't know how to get out....
This book is dark. I like dark and twisted, like Herman Koch and Chuck Palahniuk twisted, so I loved this book. Until the last word was spoken I didn't know how it would end. At the climax, I sat frozen for 45 minutes waiting to see what would happen. I was more invested in the characters than I even knew I was until the very end.
This book is sneaky that way. It's not just the actual story that is dark, but the writing is very stark in style, leaving you feeling empty somehow. For example, you never learn any of the characters' names. They are all referred to as how they relate to other members of the family (father, grandmother, the boy). Just that detail leaves you with a ominous, sad, trapped feeling. Paul Pen is an artist at evoking feelings as he draws you in to the story.
The narration was great in that I didn't notice Merriman at all. He faded into the background and let the story come through.
I wouldn't recommend this story to most of my friends and family. It will be loved though by those who want to be truly surprised and taken aback by a book, even if the surprises aren't pleasant.
64 of 70 people found this review helpful
The Light of the Fireflies is a truly twisted and very, very dark story. Spanish author Paul Pen has beautifully written a novel that will likely haunt me. The book is weird in that the listener never learns the name of any of the characters; there's the dead girl, her father, the grandfather, the grandmother, the father, the mother, the sister, the brother, the baby, and the boy. Most of the book is written in the first person of the 10 year old boy.
Although I rate the book 5 stars I cannot recommend it except for people who like very dark stories. I will never listen to it again! I just hope I can forget it!
78 of 90 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I thought so until I got to the end of the book. Then I was left scratching my head.
Would you be willing to try another book from Paul Pen and Simon Bruni - translator ? Why or why not?
Don't think so.
What does Scott Merriman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Great inflection, mystery, tension, tenderness, scorn, etc.
Was The Light of the Fireflies worth the listening time?
I thought so until I got to the end.
Any additional comments?
First thing that comes to mind is how the sins of the father are revisited on generation after generation! Talk about twisted! This family is the definition of selfishness, self-centeredness and dysfunction - only doing what soothes their needs and desires. Forget about doing what's right or best for someone else! The ending......try explaining why your family lives in a basement to the next generation and continuing to suck them into the darkness of this sick, twisted family unit. <br/><br/>The mystery of the story had me hooked and kept me listening.
22 of 25 people found this review helpful
You can Google me for the rest of the review! I have a whole review of this book in my Blogger and Wordpress blog:
Well… this is when everybody in the family is good, white, fair and nice, but there is one little mother of a sheep that is bad, black, unfair, and totally not nice. However, in this book, this sheep is pitch black, evil, and totally unstable and crazy as a goat… so it is more like… Baphomet… Kind of… Yes… well… you will need to read it to agree with me, and trust me because you will agree with me.
I live suspended to this intrigue and anxiety that these books generate in me, particularly this author, who kicked me right in the guts with his style (it is something good). You are about to find out what has happened in this freaking basement when the author just decides to go back in time 11 years! Like… really dude? But it was necessary, so necessary.
The narration is a little bit slow for my taste, but you can always speed it up a little bit.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Very captivating story. Kind of bummed at what happened at the end. Don't want to give a spoiler.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is so depressing.......dark and weird! I would rather read a much lighter book. I don't think it's bad...just to depressing for me.
40 of 49 people found this review helpful
This book was definitely dark and twisty. Right from the beginning, you the "something in this milk ain't clean" vibe. The story followed a boy in his extremely sheltered and sad life, that, unbeknownst to him, thought was great. There are many secrets kept from him and a lot of unexplained scenarios. This books follows a 'coming of age' story in the most minimalist of terms at a moderate to slow pace.
One aspect that I liked about the story is that the "villain" is not cut and dry from the beginning of the book. Don't get me wrong, a lot of the characters make a lot of mistakes, but the writer takes you on a journey, where my "blame of the situation" varied between the characters at different times in the book.
The narrator did a great job. I enjoyed his work and the emotion he put in the various characters and situations. I thoroughly enjoyed Scott's work and look forward to future novels read by him.
I would recommend this book. Although I felt a few parts were too long, it still kept me interested.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
It started off good but towards the end, it became more and more ridiculous and difficult to follow. The author seemed to have had a lot of trouble trying to figure out how to end the book.
25 of 31 people found this review helpful
just way more depressing and dark than I was expecting. it was well written but just not accurate to how it comes off in summary
21 of 26 people found this review helpful
It's Room: Family Edition, but with an even less reliable narrator, no apparent research or logic, and a side dish of chauvinism. Female characters are presented either as shrews or as rosary-clutching damsels. No one in the book is ever given a name - including, inexplicably, Jesus. One gets the feeling that the author intended to suggest some profound philosophical meaning through these omissions, but couldn't be bothered to think of one. Instead, the constant use of "my/your father/sister/grandma" is an irritating and clumsy gimmicks. The entire premise of why they went to the basement is built on grounds so flimsy that it is utterly impossible to believe that four adults would all agree without irony that it was the only possible solution. Spare yourself the frustration and read Room.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
...right to the end. fabulously acted voices were excellent. would highly recommend foe something different.
Enjoyed every minute of this book.
( if you liked the book 'Room' this is definitely one for you.)