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Libertines by Grant Palmquist

Libertines: A Horror Story - Grant Palmquist

Samantha wants more in her sex life. She and her husband have been married for some years now and their lovemaking has become standard. She wants passion and perhaps experimentation. She starts bringing home various books and magazines and shares them with her husband. Oddly, he really has to be talked into trying something new. They shell out $50 for a recorded subliminal message that they have to listen to every day. At first, it works. But their passions get darker every day. After all, this is a horror story.

Samantha’s husband (does his name ever get used?) is telling this tale. We see everything through his eyes. He thinks the recorded subliminal message is a rip off but dutifully listens to it once a day to keep his wife happy. However, they start noticing changes in their psyche after a week’s time. Their sex lives become more passionate, and perhaps even too passionate. They both desire a bit of roughness, a little blood. And then things get dark. Sex between the two of them is no longer enough. They both have strong desires, and some of those desires are to explore what others have to offer. Then sex is not enough; they need something more. Enter the BDSM club for the husband. Meanwhile the wife takes things too far with a young man she invited home.

This book starts off kind of sweet. This older couple is attempting to recreate that old fire that they had at the beginning. Even the rough sex they enjoy after starting the subliminal recording was hot and spicy. They are both obviously enjoying each other. And then it gets twisted and needy and they both start down these dark paths. For a short story, the author does a great job of showing this full character arc from a sweet 40s something couple to evil characters. I was really impressed with how he showed the progression.

This book is not for the faint of heart. If you are squeamish about sex, horror stories, blood, and death, then this might not be the book for you. If you are looking for something a bit different that has a great story arc, then check this out.

The Narration:  David Winograd did a great job. He starts off all innocent and homey with the characters. But as they change, he manages to inflect their voices with those changes. Samantha goes from a caring wife to someone completely disconnected from other people. Meanwhile her husband goes from the reluctant guy to sex obsessed and finally his voice becomes hard as he has to deal with these changes and their repercussions. Winograd really brought all that alive.