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Roam

Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Length: 4 hrs and 32 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (42 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Kevin finds Sarah stranded by the side of the road, he’s more than willing to give her a ride. Young, beautiful and distraught—she’s everything a single guy could ask for in a girl. What he doesn’t know is that she already has a guy: an abusive, drunken boyfriend who left her there in a fit of rage. And when that boyfriend comes back and finds Sarah missing, a simple ride will turn deadly. 

Like Josh Gaylord and Daniel Kraus before him, author Erik Therme explores the angst of disconnected youth in his enthralling and powerful Roam. Therme’s darkly tinged novel is an unforgettable tale of three errant souls brutalized by life’s cruel circumstances, and a remarkable night of discovery and violence that will change them forever. 

©2017 Erik Therme (P)2017 Erik Therme

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Roam

What made the experience of listening to Roam the most enjoyable?

Joe Hempel's narration is perfect for this audiobook.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Roam?


I like mysteries/thrillers/suspense books that carry all the way through the book and Roam certainly does that. From the beginning, when we meet Sarah and Marc to the very last page where a surprise twist is revealed, Roam kept me on my toes, wondering what was going to happen next. Very suspenseful and entertaining book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Suspenseful.

Sarah is supposed to be having a brilliant birthday date, but her boyfriend isn't exactly doing his best. She finds herself stranded on the side of the road with her drunk boyfriend. She sees a side of him that frightens her and she decides to start walking down the road. Along the way a car pulls up and Kevin offers to help her. Sarah has about reached her limit with her life and goes off in search of her old Best Friend, Scot. Kevin decides to take her and what follows is something out of their worst fears!

I didn't really connect with Sarah. I found her to be little too.... I don't know, maybe impulsive and impetuous!! She gets into a strangers car in the middle of the night, then gets him to drive her home, has a big fight with her mom and then travels with the stranger to find Scot. She didn't know him and I didn't understand why she would head off with him!! I wanted her to be a little more bad ass, though you can see why she is the way she is!

I did love Kevin though. His life was extremely hard and it broke my heart, yet he was such a kind and compassionate person. I was so rooting for him throughout. Scotty scared me!!! His behaviour was self destructive. All the characters were well written and developed though and really made me feel.

In all, this was a decent read. It had plenty of suspense to keep you reading and was relatively fast paced. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.

Joe Hempel was amazing. He really brought the characters emotions and quirks to life. He captured each of their personalities perfectly and read this well. He is one of the reasons why I kept listening!!

I was voluntarily provided this audiobook for free from the author, narrator, or publisher. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • timj26
  • ontario canada
  • 08-15-19

Loved it

A well written tale ofTwo people in similar situations starting to fall for each other
Not just a love story this deals with abuse both mental and physical
Joe hempel provides excellent narration proving why he’s one of the best
Overall a suspenseful read that will have you longing for the days when you could drive around all night
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A story you will want to finish in 1 session

To be honest, this story didn’t quite go how I expected it to and I am happy it didn’t. I will say that the publisher’s summary doesn’t quite explain the story right. What I expected was a long cat and mouse type story with lots of violence, but what I got was a intermingled story of two separate couples that eventually come together and how their night ends. The two couples stories were told quite differently. On one hand you have two strangers Kevin and Sarah, Kevin chauffeuring Sarah around from place to place in his car trying to help her get to a friend. Then you have Scott and Mandy, Mandy working the front desk at a hotel while her boyfriend, Scott, hangs around with her more or less being a nuisance. I really liked how these separate pieces were told and ultimately come together.

I really liked the story of Kevin and Sarah. It is the part of the story that keeps you needing to keep listening so you can find out what is going to happen next. I really liked how their story was just driving to a new destination over and over again and how they slowly learn about each other as we learn about them too. The story of Scott and Mandy was more the story of Scott which just happened to include Mandy. Scott’s story is definitely the more twisted and bizarre one which keeps you on edge as you want to know more about what is really going on inside his head. When everyone comes together things definitely take a turn and finally we get the boyfriend back. The ending is just as great as the rest of the story. This was a roller coaster ride and at no point did I want to get off the ride.

There is a good mix of characters in this story, few of them, but solid nonetheless. Kevin by far was my favorite as I was just as skeptical about him as Sarah was. I found him the most intriguing, while the most bizarre one was Scott, I just didn’t like him as a person and was really attached to Kevin the whole time. The story only takes place over a few hours so there isn’t much development of the characters, but you get good background on each that creates well rounded characters. Sarah was the only character who seemed to develop throughout the story. She is forced to do a lot of self-reflection and in the end, I would say she is a better person for the chance encounter with Kevin.

As always Joe Hempel does a great job narrating. He puts you right in the back seat of the Camaro as Kevin drives Sarah around and right in the hotel lobby with Scott and Mandy. Hempel is one of those narrators that I will pick up and audio book because solely because it has his name on it.

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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A very well written story

I received a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

Sarah's twenty-one birthday is not as special as she expected. With her car broke down in the middle of nowhere and her three month boyfriend drunk and showing signs of becoming violent at any moment, she decides to start walking alongside the road. A car stops by and Kevin offers her a ride home. Later on they will meet again, and Sarah, desperate to find her friend Scotty, will make Kevin drive for many hours that night.

This is a complex story with complex characters. None of them is especially likable, but the tale born from their intertwined lives is one of extreme beauty. They all have baggage, which is subtly suggested, but their pictures are not complete, leaving some past and future events to the imagination of the listener.

There is also suspense, a dark figure creeping in the dark, and a completely unexpected twist at the end of the book. One could feel that the story is not complete, that we have just glimpsed a moment in these four people's lives, like a photography of what was and what could be. It was a seed of a full grown tree, a mirage of that final twist.

Joe Hempel did a wonderful job, as always, narrating this story and bringing to life each one of the characters. One simply cannot go wrong with a book narrated by Hempel. He has a unique ability to transmit the characters' emotions and make you forget that you are listening to a book, carrying you to a new world. Top notch narrator!

I absolutely recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys a well written story with realistic and complex characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great thriller

This is a short but well-written thriller, with an ending that stays in your mind long after the story is done. It is suspenseful and somewhat sad, and it takes you on a rollercoaster ride of emotions and keeps you guessing what will happen next. The narrator did a great job bringing the characters to life; showing the aggression, dysfunction, guilt and sorrow the characters feel. Between the great descriptive writing and the good narration, you can literally feel the emotions the characters are going through. It is an entertaining tale of abuse, guilt, love and insanity.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • Denver, CO, United States
  • 11-14-17

Fun short suspenseful story

Roam is a well written short story with some relatable, hatable, and realistic characters. I enjoyed the ending and would love to read more from Erik Therme. The narration was done very well and really helped to immerse in the story!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Just WOW!

I must say this is probably the best modern fiction I have read in a long t

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A Solid Story That Won’t Be For Everyone

Author, Erik Therme introduces us to Sarah Cate, Kevin Reed and Scotty Mason. Each of which has enough life problems to support short stories of their own. Their paths eventually cross as the story continues to unfold. It eventually leads to a hotel with a sinister past. I chose “Roam” because the story intrigued me and I really like the narrator, Joe Hempel. As I began the story, I started out liking “Roam,” but somewhere along the way, the story had a let down for me. I went from being excited to listen/read it, to just wanting to get through it. I’m not exactly sure why that happened. The story really isn’t bad. There isn’t anything specific I can point to for the downfall. It just didn’t grab me the way I would have wanted. I’m sure there will be a large percentage of people who will enjoy “Roam.” For me, it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

Finally, this audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an honest review, courtesy of Audio Book Boom.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The book was different than I thought it would be.

The book was different than I thought it would be, but it was great. I received a copy for an review, and I thought it would be about a physical fight with demons, but it was really more about the mental demons that every one carries with them. The characters were thought out and well developed. The story started slow and then sped up and slowed a little in the middle but I could not stop listening to it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for DubaiReader
  • DubaiReader
  • 12-02-17

Damaged youth.

Why am I finding this audiobook so hard to review? I finished it over an hour ago and haven't been able to put pen to paper to express my feelings. I'm thinking it must be down to the characters, they all seemed so lost and sad, dragged down by their dismal pasts. I guess I'm feeling 'there but for the grace of God....'

During the passing of one night we meet Sarah and Matt, broken down in her car on her 21st birthday, Kevin...and Scott. All living their lives in the middle of the night, somewhere in a run-down area of America. All lost souls in their own way.
A night that will have a profound effect on all four characters, for better or worse.
Finally, day breaks and the story draws to a close.

Almost a five star book, just a bit confusing early on, as to who was who and why the characters had suddenly switched in the narrative.

Finally, my review would not be complete without mentioning the excellent narration by Joe Hempel, who let me forget completely that I was listening to him at all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Melanie Preston Lewis
  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 11-13-17

Enjoyable listen

Erik Therme consistently writes stories with characters that are likeable and easy to relate to. Roam is no exception and the two main characters very quickly wrap you up in the story of their lives. The pace is brisk throughout and before I knew it the book was over. An enjoyable tale excellently narrated by Joe Hempel

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • TerryHeth
  • 11-05-17

Enjoyed

I did enjoy this, at 1st story was bit lost, then it pulled the characters together.
A coming of age story in my opinion, choices to make, dangers along the way, when lead female was doubting the lift, was it genuine or something else, that felt real, I know I would've been thinking the same.
Friendships and being tested. Not sure how Erik gets into the heads of the youths like he does.
Narrator was good, nice flowing voice and tempo.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Erin Lewy
  • Erin Lewy
  • 10-10-17

This did not hold my attention

I don't feel like the way that this book was put together was the best. It felt jumpy and lacking in flow. A few of the scenarios seemed repetitive. It does tackle some important issues, and some would want to know in advance there are heavy themes of domestic abuse. I really wanted this to be more cohesive so that I could understand, beyond that, what the point of it really was.

The narration was fairly good, but not a big stand out to me. I also wondered at times why it was narrated by a male reader.

I received this book in exchange for a fair and balanced review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Norma Miles
  • Norma Miles
  • 07-17-17

"In the fading light of Millennium Park ..."

Any additional comments?

This unusually constructed book focuses on five main characters and three, in particular, whose intertwined activities are followed over the course of one evening and night. For Sarah, this evening was to have been special: it was her birthday and she and boyfriend, Matt, were to have celebrated it together. When it all goes wrong, Sarah goes in search of old friend, Scott, hoping to stay with him overnight, if only she can find him, and is helped in her quest by a young man named Kevin, a secretly aspiring author, who offers her a lift in his car. Eventually she just books into a room at the hotel where Scott's girlfriend is the unpleasantly offensive night time receptionist. It is here that the book draws together in it's climax.

Initially, the story feels disconnected, switching, in the present tense, between locales and people, but like an elegantly drawn sketch, the full picture slowly emerges. We follow the happenings at an almost real time speed which propels the story forward in a very tactile​ way. Each of these main protagonists is cleverly drawn, slowly emerging as fully formed people with their personal sadnesses, guilts, fears and hopes. The book is filled with teenage angst and introspection, small cruelties and aggression, and I would certainly not want to live in their home town. Nor did I find any of the protagonists particularly sympathetic but they were eminently compelling, nevertheless.

Joe Hempel, as narrator, is superb. The text is read briskly, but not too fast, is clear and his use of intonation helps define the emotion.. Each of the characters, too, has a clearly distinctive voice, lending to each a further reality of their personalities. An excellent performance, and, overall, a great listen with a perfect symbiosis of author and reader. A great peek into the troubled minds of an equally troubled generation, trying to find a future where little is there to give hope, all presented in an unusual thriller. I was freely gifted a copy of Roak, at my request, by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks. It really does give hope that, whilst things are very likely to go wrong, sometimes they might just come out right instead. Recommended to anyone enjoying detailed character representation and a thriller that is just that little bit different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful