This is probably one of the oddest books I have listened to lately – and I liked it! Chase has a history of mental illness, self medicating, jail time, and psychiatric institutions. He’s currently out and trying to make a life on his own. He has a job and an apartment, but his mind might be unraveling and we are along for the ride.
We open with some performance spoken word poetry. It’s intense and a little bit sexual. The audience is either thoroughly caught up in it or offended. Grayson Chase and his poetry friends seem to be appreciated as much for the poems as for their mental breakdowns on stage. Chase sees a woman he knows to be dead as he gives his nightly performance and it nearly undoes him.
Several colorful characters come and go in this story and, honestly, I am not wholly sure how many of them are real, memory ghosts that only Chase can interact with, or simply other aspects of Chase himself. This is one of those books where you definitely have an unreliable narrator (Chase).
Yet all those unknowns added to the spice of the book. Chase has been through some traumas, both outside the psychiatric ward and inside. Sometimes he sees or hears something that triggers one of these traumatic memories and he has no choice but to sit down and relive the memory in full. Sometimes he will get so lost inside his own head that hours pass. Of course, this looks rather odd to all of his friends and associates, except for the one or two who where in the psych ward with him. Or were they? Are they just different aspects of himself? At any rate, it is very cleverly written.
My one little quibble with the story is that all the women are sex objects (with the exception of two, one of which happens to be a little girl) – lovers, girlfriends, potential bed buddies for the evening, etc. They all have names, but they don’t really add to the plot. They are just pretty scenery.
Despite my quibble, I still really enjoyed this book. This is a book you can dig into and experience again a few months later and walk away with something new. It is my first Piccirilli book but it will not be my last.
I received a copy of this book at no charge from the narrator (via theAudiobook Addicts Facebook group) in exchange for an honest review.
Narration: Jeff Hays is an amazingly talented voice artist! His female voices are incredibly believable. I had to double check the credits to see who the ‘other’ female narrator was. Nope, it is all him. He had a nice even voice for Chase. I especially liked Hays’s voice for Chase’s older black friend who gave a very sexy poetic performance. There is this one character that had to yell through an apartment floor to the one below and Hays did an excellent job making the voice sound muffled yet keeping the dialogue clear enough to easily understand. All around, an excellent narration.