You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) – Audiobook Review

  • by Chris Wade
  • Narrated by Charlie Chuck
  • LENGTH 31 mins
  • PUBLISHER Wisdom Twins Books
  • Rating 7/10 Surreal

Publisher’s Summary

From writer Chris Wade (Cutey and the Sofaguard, Hound Dawg Magazine) and comedy legend Charlie Chuck (Smell of Reeves and Mortimer, The James Whale Show) comes You Only Live Once Thank Goodness, a hilarious new audiobook that combines everyday life with a very questionable reality. The plot follows the adventures of a man working in the most exciting stationery shop known to man, where he encounters such colourful characters as Dickie Bustrash, the Tiny Little Pea Gum Otter and a beautiful young woman he finds himself falling in love with. The day to day goings on are narrated by Charlie Chuck, who reads the story with his trademark lunacy, combining with Wade’s surreal style to create a unique comedy.

Tumpliner Review

If you’ve just finished reading a Robert Harris or Stieg Larsson tome, this is going to come as quite a literary jolt. I can quite safely say that I have never read anything like this before. It took me a while to get used to Yorkshire comedian Charlie Chuck’s best telephone voice, but I quite enjoyed Chris Wade’s surreal description of this alarmingly eventful world of stationery and accessories. The story only extends to around half an hour, but it is filled with such intensity that you feel as if you’ve consumed a whole shelf full of similes and metaphors. But the real question is, can Karen cut the custard?

A Night of Blacker Darkness – Audiobook Review

  • by Dan Wells
  • Narrated by Sean Barrett
  • LENGTH 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • PUBLISHER Audible Ltd
  • Rating 9/10 Very Good

Publisher’s Summary

The basic premise is this: it’s 1817, and a man named Frederick Whithers is wallowing in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, desperate to get out so he can go and commit it for real. He fakes his own death and escapes in a coffin, but when he gets to the graveyard and crawls out of the coffin, somebody sees him and assumes he’s a vampire. It’s pretty much all downhill from there. Frederick spends the rest of the book doing everything he can to steal a massive inheritance from a dead man, all the while running from constables, vampire hunters, ghouls, poets, proper young ladies, highly improper young ladies, morticians, mysterious figures, and the most pathetic collection of vampires to ever disgrace a work of fiction.

Tumpliner Review

If you have an aversion to drawing attention to yourself whilst standing at bus stops, then this book is not for you. On more than one occasion, whilst listening to this novella, I received bemused looks from passers-by and fellow bus travellers, as I lurched into fits of uncontrollable laughter. This very silly, and not in the least bit scary, triumph of a romp, is brilliantly read by Sean Barrett who brings the lunacy to life – even the undead bits. Great.

A Christmas Carol – Audiobook Review

  • by Charles Dickens
  • Narrated by Tim Curry
  • LENGTH 3 hrs and 33 mins
  • PUBLISHER Audible, Inc.
  • Rating 8/10 Good

Publisher’s Summary

This version of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, masterfully narrated by Tim Curry, is a one-of-a-kind performance that puts a unique spin on a treasured classic. Tim Curry performs this timeless holiday story in a deliciously dark tone, returning it to its Dickensian roots with a vivid imagining of Victorian London and just the right touch of outrageous fun.

Tumpliner Review

If, so far, you’ve spent your life avoiding Dickens, try this as a short introduction to the great man’s work. Tim Curry splendidly conjures up the desperate world of Ebenezer Scrooge with just the right amount of melancholy and humour. He brings the characters to life with a passion, and I loved every minute of it. God bless you every one!

Derby Day – Audiobook Review

  • by D J Taylor
  • Narrated by Gordon Griffin
  • LENGTH 16 hrs and 22 mins
  • PUBLISHER Whole Story Audio Books
  • Rating 3/10 Poor

Publisher’s Summary

As the shadows lengthen over the June grass, all England is heading for Epsom Downs – high life and low life, society beauties and Whitechapel street girls, bookmakers and gypsies, hawkers and acrobats, punters and thieves. Whole families stream along the Surrey back-roads, towards the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high, nerves are taut, hats are tossed in the air – this is Derby Day.

Tumpliner Review

A “Victorian Mystery” which still remains, I must confess, a mystery to me. Obviously heavily influenced by Dickens and Thackery, the prose is, to my taste, over-wordy and tedious. I have never abandoned an audiobook before but I was sorely tempted on several occasions with this one. Nothing happened for excruciatingly long periods, none of the characters were remotely likeable, and in the end I couldn’t have cared less what became of them. I found the narration uninspiring, and at times confusing, there being little in the delivery to distinguish between characters in passages of dialogue. 16 hours and 22 minutes of my life that I will never get back. Poor.