• The Unhappy Medium

  • A Supernatural Comedy
  • By: T.J. Brown
  • Narrated by: Marston York
  • Length: 15 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (159 ratings)

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The Unhappy Medium  By  cover art

The Unhappy Medium

By: T.J. Brown
Narrated by: Marston York
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Publisher's Summary

Meet the ultra-rational Dr Newton Barlow. Cool, cynical, scientific, he’s the last man you’d want to be a bridge between the living and the dead. But with his academic reputation in tatters, and nothing to lose but his few remaining marbles, the great skeptic is about to discover that the past that haunts him will be nothing compared to his ghost-ridden future.

Thrust into a rollicking struggle between good and evil, can Dr Barlow forget everything he ever believed in to save this world...and the next?

Thrilling, chilling, and utterly hilarious, The Unhappy Medium is a bone-dry British comedy in the great tradition of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

©2014 Tim Brown (P)2020 Tim Brown

What listeners say about The Unhappy Medium

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Funny & Entertaining

The Unhappy Medium is the first novel in a new series by British writer T.J. Brown, with two more books planned to be available later this year.

Although released in audiobook format almost 6 years after its original publication date, I think the wait was worth it as The Unhappy Medium is a great paranormal comedy, beautifully written, filled with hilarious events and unforgettable characters.

Author T.J. Brown pulls us into this interesting story with his compelling writing style, reminiscent of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Those in search for an immersive narrative experience should look no further than the adventures of the eccentric Dr Newton Barlow and his friends.

The story starts with some necessary introductions for the main characters and locations, then it picks up speed and quickly evolves into a battle between Good and Evil. In the end, you'll be laughing out loud because there are some truly gut-busters throughout the almost 16 hours long audio production.

Actor and narrator Marston York delivers a strong performance by bringing all the characters to life with crazy, hilariously amusing voices and accents. His narration style, coupled with the author's brilliant writing makes The Unhappy Medium a treat for all ears!

If you liked this review please vote Helpful below and find more of them here and on theAudiobookBlog.
I also post honest reviews at the author, narrator, or publisher's request, you can get in touch with me for more details.

Thank you & stay safe,
Victor

34 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Forge beyond the initial exposition and enjoy a GREAT story

Seriously, brave through the first hour or so and get caught up in a rollicking fun adventure! Would love to see a sequel T. J. Brown (and publishers/audible)!

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Technically well written, but not engaging

First and foremost, this author's writing bears no resemblance to the brilliant humor of either Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams (the claim made in the Audible advertising). The claim makes even less sense because the book doesn't try to be funny aside from a handful of jabs at reality TV and mocking an effeminate man. The former did make me smile a bit, the latter comes off as plain old homophobia/misogyny from the author.

It's mildly entertaining. Clearly the author's passion is shown in a love of how science works. This passion is unfortunately lacking in how history works. People 500 years in the past act with the same pragmatics and motivations as those today.

6 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Don’t waste your time

Ugh! I didn’t finish it. It was truly that bad. Spend your credit on something at least halfway interesting.

2 people found this helpful

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not all that funny but not a bad story.

okay storyline, entertaining and we'll thought out.
cookie cutter bad guys. moderate humor. smiles but not a laugh fest.

2 people found this helpful

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A Haunting Good Time

This is an interesting and fun book, although it is heavy on background information at first. It was interesting and vital to the story to understand where Dr. Newton Barlow came from and his familial background. Otherwise, his new profession would not have been so interesting or funny.

Dr. Barlow comes from a long line of males that are narcissistic physicists to one degree or another. When Newton fails in his career and his marriage, he discovers to his horror that he has an ability to see and speak to ghosts … this is when it becomes interesting and fun.

He discovers that the deceased may continue on earth to wreak havoc if they have left artifacts behind with bits of their soul – much like a horcrux! Newton has to track down the artifacts that have allowed him to return in human form (possession) and battle the human followers at the same time. When an ambitious and evil inquisitor returns, Newton has to use his wits to defeat him and retrieve his new girlfriend and daughter from the evil cardinal’s clutches.

TJ Brown does a solid job of building the story, moving it forward and bringing it to a climactic end. It is not a chaotic adventure nor is it action-packed. It is a story that moves at a steady pace with twists and turns that can be funny and eventful. The dialog is clever and realistic. I enjoy hearing Newton talk to himself; probably because you get to see the character more deeply.

The narrator, Marston York, was a delight to hear. He is English with an appropriate accent. Each of his character voices was nearly perfect for the characters (as with most he struggled with a realistic female voice) but at least they were distinguishable. I thought his performance was solid and he moved the story along.

It is a very enjoyable and fun book. I hope to see what trouble Newton finds himself in the next book.

There were no issues with the production or quality of this audiobook.


Disclaimer: This Audiobook was provided free of charge by the author, narrator, and/or publisher in exchange for a non-bias, honest review.

2 people found this helpful

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More, please!

More, please! And quickly. Wonderfully entertaining and enjoyable. I am anxious to hear more about Newton and Bennett, Gabby and Viv, the ghostly professor, the old Citroen and the rest. May they have many more adventures

Just to be ridiculously picky, I have to point out that "narated" on the cover image seems to be missing an r.

1 person found this helpful

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  • BB
  • 10-05-22

Couldn’t get past chapter 2

Narration was good, and the writing was funny, dry and entertaining, although a little long winded at times. But I couldn’t get past the sexist attitudes in chapter 2 — the main character’s new wife wanted to have a baby (the author gives the impression this was selfish and inconsiderate to her husband); she then selfishly decided to stay home and look after the baby, and then selfishly wanted her husband to change jobs so he would earn more money…. the author continually implies this was all done *to* the poor innocent husband by this apparently awful, mercenary woman. I just couldn’t cope with the misogynistic stereotyping. I imagine it was meant to be a funny caricature, but I just found it offensive.

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  • J
  • 10-02-22

I wanted to enjoy it but…

I found the sexism a barrier, alas. The backstory of the MC’s scientific family both nuclear and family of origin is rife with women who dropped out of science. Although there’s a nod to this being their choice…I couldn’t help but think of several generations of the Curie family in which it’s a choice that didn’t have to be made.

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Love this book!

Unusual story, engaging characters, and very funny! I really wanted to listen to the sequel, but it’s not available on Audible for some reason.

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  • Gaynor JJ
  • 07-05-20

Great fun

A bit of a punt this one. Subject sounded interesting but author unknown to me. Glad I went for it. Looking forward to more from these characters. Took a while to warm to the narrator, who got better and better once he got going.

9 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra K.
  • 12-15-20

Could barely stand it long enough to finish it

I really wanted to enjoy this book as it is the sort of genre I usually enjoy and it has a light hearted nature. But I just couldn't. The narrator spoke in the style of a local news presenter. Nearly every sentence started high and bright and descended down to a low tone, over and over again. Once or twice he lapsed into actually telling the story and I was lost in what was happening. Then he was back to his announcement type style which brought me back out again immediately. He used a similar voice for the first two of the main character's friends despite one being an elderly man and another being a younger woman. I began to wonder if it was purely the narrator putting me off but unfortunately it was also the actual writing so I wouldn't even consider reading the book myself. Some humour hit the mark but it was mostly puerile, too forced and sometimes undermined a dramatic or more serious part. I think even the funniest books can have moments of seriousness, e.g. a death or the divorce mentioned in this book. Sometimes they can be most impactful if balanced well but they're not here. Many of the supporting characters were cliche or stereotyped. There were times when similes and metaphors were used well but more often, they didn't suit the situation and were so incongruous that again, I was dragged out of the story I was just getting into. This was such a shame in places when a lot of the writer's effort had clearly been given to creating an atmosphere or tension, which was broken by a random reference to something unconnected to the scene. There was a lot of preamble in the first few chapters describing the backstory of the main character and setting. I wish this had been shared more cleverly through conversations, added as we went along, through explanations for his actions or even left to discover as the book progressed. Instead the first few chapters thickly plied us with roots for the story and it didn't really move into telling the story until several chapters in which was heavy going. I am really surprised as so many of the other reviews are so positive. Maybe I'm missing something but my honest opinion is that I really didn't enjoy this and I only listened to the end as I hate giving up on a book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • CM
  • 07-17-20

What a romp !!

Great fun , perfect for lockdown . Really bad baddies and very good goodies . I hope the next book will be recorded and Audible will list it I did send them an email requesting it. If anyone else feels the same they should send a request .I hope there will be more in the series .

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jay
  • 12-02-20

Not impressed.

I lack the vocabulary to adequately criticise and critique this audiobook so here goes......what a load of wank.

I’m not sure if it was the author or the narrator that ruined this but either way, don’t waste your time.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Glenys Wilson
  • 09-09-20

Too much detail

Really enjoyed the story and the characters, but there was so much unnecessary detail that was thought needed to provide background or set a scene. It really distracted from the plot. I’m keen to hear the next book and see if the writing has tightened up. Very good

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs Joanne Ferrari
  • 08-20-20

Fantastic dastardly characters

Loved this book when I first read it. Laughed so uncontrollably that my husband downloaded it straight away. I love the triplets & my favourite part of the book is the fight between Ascot & Newton, reminded me of the fight between Bridget Jones's love rivals, so funny. Excited to listen to the book on Audible & was not disappointed, just as funny as I remembered.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • themakingspace
  • 07-14-20

A generally enjoyable silly fantasy yarn.


why not the full 5 stars? A couple of dodgy accents marred an otherwise solid performance. The primary storyline is engaging, but suffers from a few unnecessary rambling asides meant to provide backstory that almost lost me at times.

still worth a listen.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jo Protherough
  • 10-06-20

Laugh out loud funny

Loved this..... very funny and a gripping plot. Hope there will be a second one.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea Kennedy
  • 09-03-20

An absolutely brilliant storyline

Wow, I loved this book! there were a series of events dotted along a huge timeline with various stories here and there but they all fell together so perfectly. Please can I implore the author...... this book is perfect for a series. I will be forever in your debt if you write book 2 😍😍!

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Bruce.t.hillier
  • 07-09-20

Not good

If the book was meant to be funny, it failed and if was meant to be serious fiction, it wasn't.

2 people found this helpful

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  • elizabeth Giles
  • 09-21-20

Worth the wait

This book was brilliantly narrated. It takes a while to build up to the main story but it is worth it. I restarted a few times but really enjoyed the story once I had the attention to go with the seemingly random jumping from story to story a t the beginning. The author's sense of humour made the exposition quite fun as well.