Ginger Nuts of Horror
I received a copy of the audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was previously familiar with the story from the limited hardback edition.
And honestly, that should tell you something right there. I was keen to revisit this story in audio form, see how it held up. And the short answer is, very well indeed.
One thing the audiobook version highlighted was how much humor there is here. I think I hadn’t realised just how conversational and jokey Cesare’s prose style was until I heard it spoken aloud. In this regard, narrator Joe Hempel does a superb job - his light ,laconic delivery lands the comedy well, without ever hamming it up or overplaying it. It was a welcome discovery of a layer I hadn’t fully appreciated on my first read through.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the characters - they were as strong and vivid as I remember. Hempel does a superb job with the voices, finding ways to clearly delineate between the characters without overplaying it. I was especially impressed with his handling of Dan Boden. Let’s face it, it’s a nightmare brief for a narrator - portray a character with a speech impediment, induced by a stroke. It’s a gig fraught with peril - underplay it and you lose a vital part of the character, overdo it or slip into caricature and, well, yuck. Hempel navigate this with real skill, delivering a brave and honest performance of Dan that doesn’t minimise the disability, but categorically preserves the humanity and dignity of the character. And sure, a lot of that is there in the writing, but still, it could have gone horribly wrong, and it didn’t and Hempel deserves a lot of credit for that.
Overall, it’s a superb narration of a gloriously fun horror story, and I really enjoyed revisiting the claustrophobic arcade of Zero Lives Remaining.
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Somebody wants answers.
North Devon, England. 1995. A born-again revival meeting in a public building. The usual mix of the faithful, the curious, and the desperate. And one other – an atheist suicide bomber. He's angry. He wants answers. And if God doesn't come and talk to him personally, he's going to kill everyone in the building...
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