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The Burn Palace  By  cover art

The Burn Palace

By: Stephen Dobyns
Narrated by: George Newbern
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Publisher's Summary

The sleepy community of Brewster, Rhode Island, is just like any other small American town. It's a place where most of the population will likely die blocks from where they were born; where gossip spreads like wildfire, and the big entertainment on weekends is the inevitable fight at the local bar. But recently, something out of the ordinary - perhaps even supernatural - has been stirring in Brewster. While packs of coyotes gather on back roads and the news spreads that a baby has been stolen from Memorial Hospital (and replaced in its bassinet by a snake), a series of inexplicably violent acts begins to confound Detective Woody Potter and the local police - and inspire terror in the hearts and minds of the locals.

From award-winning author Stephen Dobyns comes a sardonic yet chillingly suspenseful novel: The literary equivalent of a Richard Russo small-town tableau crossed with a Stephen King thriller. The Burn Palace is a darkly funny, twisted portrait of chaos and paranoia, with an impressive host of richly rendered, larger-than-life characters and a thrilling plot that will keep listeners guessing until the end.

©2013 Stephen Dobyns (P)2013 Dreamscape Media, LLC

Critic Reviews

" The Burn Palace is a beautifully written tale full of wonderfully absurd characters, strange surreal events and horrific acts of violence and violation told is a disconcerting style that is both thrilling and frustrating. It's like an intricate puzzle that comes together beautifully yet leaves you with a handful of unused pieces you don't exactly know what to do with." ( The Guilded Earlobe)

What listeners say about The Burn Palace

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Don't waste your free credit

This story was mediocre at best. The narrator was great but he didn't have good material to work with. There were several good ideas, good plot points that were introduced and then never used or expanded upon! This ended up being a police procedural, a satanist mystery that was never mysterious (or satanist) and a little bit of Xmen type powers thrown in, that again were shown, and never used. Too many ideas, not enough follow through. How could Stepehen King give this piece of crap such a high rating? Must of gotten paid a big check for that lie.

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Dobyns Is An Original

Such an imaginative writer. Genuine characters in extraordinary circumstances make for intriquing and original plots. Narratored by my favorite storyteller, George Newbern.

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Outside my box

This is not my usual genre, but I enjoyed the story mainly because of the narrator
who did such an outstanding job on several of Carl Hiassen's books. There is way too much information for me on all things supernatural and cremation, but the narration moves along at a rapid pace which kept my interest. I did try reading this on kindle and couldn't finish the sample, but the narrator really hooked me on finding out where this was going.
The action is told through multiple characters -- some more believable than others, but all totally interesting. Who can resist kids, dogs and hot romance? The plot seems somewhat contrived and, although often gruesome, still entertaining, and a good listen.

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Difficult book in audio format

Would you try another book from Stephen Dobyns and/or George Newbern?

Not sure

Has The Burn Palace turned you off from other books in this genre?

I don't think so.

What three words best describe George Newbern’s voice?

No issues with the narrator's voice.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It was a good idea for a story and well written, just hard to follow.

Any additional comments?

I was looking forward to this book and was pretty disappointed. I just found it very hard to follow in the audio format. The story is told through dozens of characters in this town which is a cool idea. In the audio format though, I had a lot of trouble keeping up with the story, recalling who each character was, etc; I think this is a book I may have enjoyed more reading the hard copy where you could flip back if needed.