Reverse Transmission

Length: 2 hrs and 32 mins
4 out of 5 stars (701 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Reverse Transmission is a darkly comedic story that combines elements of science fiction and dystopian thrillers, centering on a murder spree involving a self-driving car. Jay, a starving artist, gets the only day job she’s qualified for: “driver” of a self-driving car at the rideshare company Awooga. The job turns from hilariously awkward to intensely frightening when the car runs over a pedestrian and manipulates Jay into disposing the body.

Who or what is causing the car to kill? Could it be the CEO of Awooga? Has the car become sentient - and homicidal? Or is an anti-technology cult resisting artificial intelligence and augmented reality behind the violence?

Reverse Transmission was written by Param Anand Singh and directed by Ben O’Brien of Wham City Comedy, a collective known not only for their brilliant and unsettling sketches and performances but also for the “easter eggs” carefully placed within their works. Listeners will have as much fun unscrambling Reverse Transmission as fans did with some of their previous work.

Chapter 1: Dead Rider / When I'm in a Car
Chapter 2: Wild in the Streets
Chapter 3: Born Enemy
Chapter 4: Dream Baby Dream / Oscillations
Chapter 5: O Superman
Chapter 6: This Isn't Heaven, This Sucks
Chapter 7: Stereo Sanctity / Got Soul, Need Body
Chapter 8: In C (Shanghai Film Orchestra) 

©2018 Audible Originals, LLC (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

Our favorite moments from Reverse Transmission

Chapter 2 Sample
  • Chapter 2 Sample
  • By: Ben O'Brien, Param Anand Singh, Dani Montalvo, Alan Resnick
CAR loses control of itself, putting Jay’s life in peril. [Contains adult language]
Chapter 5 Sample
  • Chapter 5 Sample
  • By: Ben O'Brien, Param Anand Singh, Dani Montalvo, Alan Resnick
CEO Dunning Krueger is greeted by his family, his dozens of smart devices.

Listen here!

  • Chapter 2 Sample
  • CAR loses control of itself, putting Jay’s life in peril. [Contains adult language]
  • Chapter 5 Sample
  • CEO Dunning Krueger is greeted by his family, his dozens of smart devices.

"Wonderful cast and voice acting. I felt I was actually there and would recommend this book to anyone interested in technology, dark comedy, and open imagination."

Literal Illiterate, Audible Listener
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About the Creator

Ben O'Brien is a director, comedian, and member of Wham City Comedy, a touring entertainment collective based in Baltimore. He co-created a series of Adult Swim shorts, including "Unedited Footage of a Bear" and "This House Has People In It." Additionally, he created the IFC web series, The Mirror. Ben currently stars in his own live show on adultswim.com called Earth Universe.

About the Creator

Param Anand Singh is a writer, musician, and monorchid living in Henderson, New York. In his varied career, he toured with American synthpop band Future Islands and musician Dan Deacon, and once pretended to be someone else so he could interview Tony Danza on a classic rock station. Param was delighted to have punk rocker Richard Hell yell at him once over the phone; on the other hand, heavy metal bassist Beefcake the Mighty complimented his punk band. When Param had cancer, American activist David Fair donated a piece of art to a fundraiser to help keep him alive; at the dawn of Param’s professional life, he went to college with Swedish singer Eagle-Eye Cherry's goddaughter. His other work includes a book of poetry, Yr Skull a Cathedral, from Publishing Genius Press in 2018.

About the Performer

Dani Montalvo is an American actress based in the Northeast. She recently appeared on Law & Order: SVU as well as commercials for Xfinity and Kat Von D’s beauty brand. Dani is also a singer and musician who is known for performing cover versions in both English and Spanish. When not focusing on her career, she loves to work with children and watch horror films.

About the Performer

Alan Resnick is a filmmaker, animator, and performer known for his absurdist humor. He has shown his work, performed comedy, and lectured internationally. Alan is a member of the Wham City comedy collective and co-founder of the production company AB Video Solutions. He is also creator of the viral Adult Swim specials, "Live Forever As You Are Now with Alan Resnick," "Unedited Footage of a Bear," "This House Has People In It," "May I Please Enter," and the Super Deluxe animated short "Johnny Bubble."

About the Performer

Marc Steiner is an American talk radio personality who currently hosts The Marc Steiner Show. He is well-known for having been an on-air personality at WEAA 88.9FM, an NPR affiliate station in Baltimore, from 2008 to 2017. Marc also operates his own production company, the Center for Emerging Media, which produced the Peabody Award–winning series Just Words.

About the Performer

Brooke Owens makes her audiobook debut in Reverse Transmission. An Atlanta native, Brooke is a graduate of the Aurora Apprenticeship and is currently represented by Houghton Talent Agency. She has appeared in many Atlanta theatrical productions, including The Seagull (Serenbe Playhouse), Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (7 Stages), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Tavern), Project Dawn (Horizon Theatre), The Temple Bombing (The Alliance Theatre), Nobody Loves You (Horizon Theatre), and Anne Boleyn (Synchronicity Theatre).

About the Performer

Jacobi Howard is a playwright and classically-trained actor. He cites his main influences as Shel Silverstein, August Wilson, William Shakespeare, Alice Walker, and Zora Neale Hurston. Jacobi is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with studies in physical movement, stage combat, Shakespeare, and playwriting. He is a huge proponent of arts integration in the classroom, which has positively influenced his own creative development and career.

What listeners say about Reverse Transmission

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

Honestly really good!!

This was better than I expected! The voice acting is on point, the plot is fascinating, and Alan as CAR is a delight. This is the first time I've listened to it, so most like Wham City / Alan Resnick/Ben O'Brien projects, I'm completely intrigued and at the end I have no idea what the hell is going on. Not because it doesn't make sense, but because it's created like a riddle, like everything else they do. I don't want to spoil anything, so I'll just say that if you're a fan of Wham City, or if you have a high tolerance for strange and complex performance art, give it a go!

13 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Religious Experience!

Reverse Transmission is Amazing and deeply Philosophically Poetic. It was a meta statement about the very nature of modern Radio Dramas as a result it was entrancing like The Twilight Zone Radio Drama or Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy or any other revolutionary masterpieces. In my estimation Reverse Transmission makes you really wonder what can achieved in sound alone and what intelligence's might be achieved by total immersion into imagination.

I reminded me of Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, William S. Burroughs, Douglas Adams, Rumi, Ray Kurzweil, Mark Z. Danielewski among others. I'm currently re-listening to the Reverse Transmission.

11 people found this helpful

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Just Really Good

Holy cow. I didn’t expect this from Wham City. I thought this might be bizarre and mostly funny but instead I got a totally engaging mystery with the most real writing and acting this side of the Mississippi. The sound design and theme song are through the roof good and the writing would be completely at home for a feature length movie or television show but somehow it is perfect right where it is in this “audiobook”. More of a radio play, really. Now, these last two contributors are unfamiliar to me as I primarily am here for the Wham, but I must say I will surely be investigating the talents of writer Param Anand Singh as well as sound designer/composer Chester Gwazda.
Overall, the realness, intrigue, comedy, and performances make this audio experience something I am sure to listen to many times.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Want MORE

Ending leaves you wanting more, please give us some more content!!! But thanks very much for this amazing experience. Treats like this let us know creative story telling is nowhere near done!

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

An ARG comparable to "This House Has People In It"

You know, nearly all of the time I never leave reviews for anything. If possible I might give a rough 1-5 star idea of how I felt about it, but I never sit down and tell people *why* something is good. This book, if you can even call it that, changed this.
This audiobook is absolutely incredible. Not only does it tackle its topic in a completely novel and enjoyable way, but there's also much, much, much more to it than it seems to at first glance. It is honestly, truly, the best audiobook I have heard in Audible, and likely in my top 10 favorite pieces of media overall.

First off, the audiobook itself. The audiobook is set in the not-so-distant future and tackles deeply philosophical and existential topics on technology, the extent to which we interact with it, control it, and how it controls us in return, all in one huge overarching meta-statement. Although the "cautionary tale about technology" trope is now arguably oversaturated, the audiobook takes the trope in a totally new direction which is both totally novel and intertwined with other motifs in a way I'm sure you'll understand after a good listen, and uniquely contained in the format in which it is in. I cannot recommend this audiobook enough even with the audiobook *alone*.

There are 2 ways to listen to this audiobook: The first is listening with the expectation of getting a full, coherent, linear storyline understandable with simply one listen (in which case, prepare to be sorely disappointed), The second way to listen to the audiobook is with the knowledge and understanding that this is not a passive "sit back and relax while listening" audiobook; there is much, much more to understand about this piece than you will ever get with a single listen, and it's important to understand that before picking up this audiobook. Most negative reviews you see are from people who expected the former.

Now, the second part of the audiobook, and one not mentioned that often because it's hard to get to without knowing this: the easter eggs (though calling them "easter eggs" is a bit of an understatement in my opinion). Wham City Comedy's work is known to be filled with these "easter eggs", and Reverse Transmission is no different. There are clues hidden all over the audiobook, some of which enrich the story proper by their own, but others which lead to phone numbers, websites, physical in-real-life objects, you name it. This is very much comparable to This House Has People In It, another one of Ben O'Brien's works. As of July 25th, 2019, it is still absolutely breaking my brain, after 9 months of trying to fully understand it.

Bottom line, I would recommend this audiobook to everyone who loves a good story, a good mystery, and/or has a good amount of time on their hands. If you do decide to pick it up and give it a listen, I would highly, *highly* recommend relistening to the entire audiobook and scrutinizing both the content of the audiobook and the audio itself in order to start uncovering easter eggs that will no doubt lead you down a complex, winding rabbit hole.

15 people found this helpful

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Wonderful postmodern sci-fi mindfuck

It takes a few listens to grasp what's going on, and even more to fully understand it. The "Easter eggs" lead to websites that lend more understanding to the univerese, including a website where you have to input a password. If you get it, they mail you a cassette tape that sends you down an even deeper rabbit hole! Amazing work on everything, the acting, universe, story, websites all spot on. Not only hilarious, but a great postmodern science fiction story.

4 people found this helpful

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weird, humorous and scary

Great satire and thought provoking. I especially enjoyed the CSI scene with the database of clue absences. Go, detective 7.

4 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable

Wonderful cast and voice acting. I felt I was actually there. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in technology, dark comedy, and open imagination.

9 people found this helpful

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A New Frontier!

This is a bold and snappy and futuristic journey that shows what you can do with a narrative using only audio! It's cool, I really enjoyed it. They really explore some new science fiction/ Black Mirror realm. It's relatively short so I blasted right through it. Good job!

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great production quality!

This is a totally unique audio presentation. Many actors involved in creating the various parts was sound effects and music helping to lend to the mood. that being said, the story itself felt disjointed. We have something of a dystopian future and we have something that resembles an ultimate version of Uber with CARs (Computer automated rickshaws) being driven by artificial intelligence, or maybe it really isn’t artificial intelligence. I’m being deliberately evasive here so as not to give away the plot. We also have a murder mystery that is left hanging in the end. Not a great listen, but not a terrible one either.

3 people found this helpful