Current/most recent audiobook
While I’m in the midst of SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin, I generally don’t comment on audiobooks I haven’t completed. So, my selection is the one I finished previously, Thomas Perry’s The Informant: A Butcher’s Boy Novel. This is the author’s third book with the characters he created with his début novel, The Butcher’s Boy, about a Mafia hit man betrayed by his employers and trying to survive. This novel returns the lead character from exile to the U.S., as his former cohorts have found him abroad, and covers his attempts to take the fight to the Mafia’s doorstep to protect his new life. Elizabeth Waring of the Justice Department, the only one capable of countering and anticipating his moves in the past, becomes his uneasy ally since she wants him as an important informant against his former organized crime colleagues.
Thomas Perry’s strength as an author are the characters and dialogue he weaves so wonderfully together with his stories. This one was no exception. The hit man, aka The Butcher’s Boy, is someone you’d expect to see as a villain, but the reader/listener can’t help but pull for the guy. His astute counterpart, Elizabeth, draws sympathy, too, for trying to do her job, through the years, while having to put up with a bureaucracy and departmental in-fighting that seem tailor-made to stymie such efforts. While there is a natural and logical antagonism between the two in the trilogy of books (Sleeping Dogs is the middle novel) chronicling their periodic brushes with each other, you just don’t want either to fail. The pleasure comes from the unexpected ways and situations Thomas Perry delivers each of them through it all, and having the reader marvel how the author got them invested with the characters so thoroughly. His ability to make you laugh, and shock you with twists, were never better. Narrator Michael Kramer, his often audio collaborator, turns out to be the perfect reader for Perry. His silky smooth delivery, along with that deep voiced tenor of his, matches perfectly with the subject matter.
Current Favorite Audiobook
Hard to pick just one. My list would include:
- L.A. Requiem by Robert Crais, read by Ron McLarty
- The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow, read by Ray Porter
- Savages by Don Winslow, read by Michael Kramer
- The Forgotten Man by Robert Crais, read by William Roberts
- Print the Legend by Craig McDonald, read by Tom Stechschulte
- I Am Legend by Richard Matheson, read by Robertson Dean
- Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, read by Frank Muller
- Metger’s Dog by Thomas Perry, read by Michael Kramer
- White Butterfly by Walter Mosley, read by Stanley Bennett Clay
- Fifty Grand by Adrian McKinty, read by Paula Christensen
- Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, read by David Drummond
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skoot, read by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin
One narrator who makes you chose audio over print
- William Roberts for the Elvis Cole and Joe Pike novels (Robert Crais)
- George Guidall for the Walt Longmire series (Craig Johnson)
- Gerry O’Brien for the Jack Taylor books (Ken Bruen)
- Tom Stechschulte for the Hector Lassiter novels (Craig McDonald)
- Simon Vance for the DUNE series (Frank Herbert)
Genre you most often listen to
I do flit across a number of genres, as I’ve done throughout my reading life. I’ll still do sci-fi, thriller, espionage, along with historical fiction and non-fiction (as you can note by my lists). But, I most often land these days on crime fiction, and even the true crime variety.
If given the choice, you will always choose audio/print when
I will always chose audio, if available, at this point in my life. Work and parenting make sitting down and reading print much harder these days. Having the audiobooks on my iPod means they’re always with me and available while driving in the car, at work, exercise, or whatever. Plus, the film nut that I am appreciates the performance and art the narrators create in my head by their expressive reading.