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This book has what I have come to term the emperor's new clothes syndrome written all over it. In other words I'm not exactly surprised it won a horror award. it's just bad enough to be the kind of thing judges go for because they probably haven't read half the cooks shortlisted and it adds prestige to the title making it easier to sell to the public who love it just because it's won an award and they feel they just have to like it. They don't actually and not everybody does. I don't for one.
The narator is very good. it's just a shame she had to read such dross as this. It was written for television by a writer who, like so many others, is too dumb even to be aware that a question mark is not followed by the word 'said' but then as a reader you just have to get used to that.
If you like visual effects and have enough imagination to see the movie potential in this book then you might get something out of this. The plot is really pretty good. It's just the writing of it that lets it down.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
YES! The narrator! Laird Barron writes Horror Noir - a dark & scary cross of Mikey Spillane & H. P. Lovecraft. He is bound for not just being good, but being GREAT. He writes from a first person view of gritty tough-guys that have stepped right out of a violent 1940's crime pulp novel. His characters gruffly talk about their cocks, and middle age, and death, and killing, and horror. Audible, for some strange reason, chose the very beautiful, young, very feminine voice of "Emily Zeller" to read you this story. This story: of a tough old man facing cosmic inhuman mind-bending vile evil.
It's like picking "Hanna Montanna" to sing KISS's "Destroyer" album. It's as wrong as "The Captain and Tennille" singing Judas Priest's "Sad Wings of Destiny" Album, or Metalica's "Black" album. Julie Andrews should NOT sing Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe"!
Ya' gettin' me here?
It just don't work!
The greatest reader of H. P. Lovecraft work is "Wayne June". His voice is deep, rough, and sounds like he's had a life of first hand experience of... evil things, he's walked to the edge of the pit, looked in, and made it back.
Do you want to hear Laird Barron and a correct narrator? I urge you now to go to "Tales To Terrify" (the pod cast) and listen to episode # 40. Listen to "Frontier Death Song" by Laird Barron and read by "David Robison". David has a whiskey and smokes rough voice that turns Laird's tough, noir, words into cryptic-dark-spine-freezing passages punched out of the Necronomicon by way of a 40's detective radio show wearing brass knucles. Awesome.
Don't get me wrong, Emily Zeller is a fine reader.
I want Emily Zeller to read me "The Hobbit".
Or "Lord of the Rings". Something with Elves in it.
What I DON'T want is Emily Zelle, who sounds like my cute 20 year old niece, telling me about HER dick "shooting blanks"... I don't even want to think about her thinking about things like that, let alone trying her best to sound "tough" and "mean" and middle aged, and well, male.
OK, maybe a woman could have narrated this book. However, she needs to sound like she could eat bullets and spit nails. She needs "the chops" to do it - she needs the sound in her voice of a life of hard drinking, smoking, heart breaking, and ass-kicking.
Audible - you forgot the golden first rule on this one!!!
RULE #1.) You need to know the book, and you need to know the narrator and "IF" they will work together. This is maybe one of the worst choices of reader for this novel. We needed "Mickey Rourke" , instead we got "Annette Funicello"!
What did you like best about this story?
Laird Barron is a good talent, becoming GREAT!
How could the performance have been better?
You needed "David Robison", or "Wayne June" to read this, NOT "Emily Zeller".
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
Any additional comments?
Please know the material and put it together with the right reader! This is a good/ maybe great horror noir book, but it's hard to tell because the narration is done by the wrong person.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I really wanted to like this audiobook, but the narration really killed the experience.
What was one of the most memorable moments of The Croning?
The slow reveal.
What didn’t you like about Emily Zeller’s performance?
The decision to use a young female narrator to perform a hard-boiled story about an old man's masculinity in the face of cosmic horror was an audacious one that doesn't pay off. Zeller has poor cadence, spotty pronunciation, and wobbly voice acting skills. All the characters are squeaky and singsongy. A story which could have been rich, scary, sad, and dramatic just clunks along from dud to dud. Disappointing.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful