The Extra is set in a future California where members of a desperate populace sign contracts to participate in reality death films, knowing that less than 20% of them will survive. It’s a view of the future—and Hollywood—as delightfully cynical as Kurt Vonnegut with sympathetic characters, Hollywood executive sleazeballs and much more.
This expansion of a short story from Polyphemus - also by Shea - adds a lot without losing the feel of the original. Would be great to see more of his short stories receive this treatment.
The storytelling is enjoyable and makes the novel worth listening to. The only problem is the actor's whispering in parts of the narrative. Yes, the characters are whispering but the result is missing the words. This detracts from the full telling. Great characters to care about. Expert telling from multiple points of view. Look foreword to reading the next book.