Posts Categorized: Will Patton

Audiobook Review – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen King

June 16, 2016 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2016 5 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – End of Watch (Bill Hodges Trilogy #3) by Stephen KingEnd of Watch by Stephen King
Narrator: Will Patton
Series: Bill Hodges Trilogy #3
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on June 7th 2016
Length: 12 hours and 54 minutes
Genres: Horror, Mystery
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads

Also by this author: Doctor Sleep, Cujo, Pet Sematary

four-stars

Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, where eight people were killed and many more were badly injured, has been in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic for five years, in a vegetative state. According to his doctors, anything approaching a complete recovery is unlikely. But behind the drool and stare, Brady is awake, and in possession of deadly new powers that allow him to wreak unimaginable havoc without ever leaving his hospital room.

Retired police detective Bill Hodges, the unlikely hero of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers, now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney, who delivered the blow to Hartsfield's head that put him on the brain injury ward. Brady also remembers that. When Bill and Holly are called to a murder-suicide with ties to the Mercedes Massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put not only their lives at risk, but those of Hodges’s friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Because Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Bill Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city.

In End of Watch, Stephen King brings the Hodges trilogy to a sublimely terrifying conclusion, combining the detective fiction of Mr. Mercedes and Finders Keepers with the supernatural suspense that has been his trademark. The result is an unnerving look at human vulnerability and up-all-night entertainment.

Bill Hodges Trilogy

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #1) [PurchaseReview]
Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy, #2) [Purchase]

style-3 review

Seven years have passed since Brady Hartsfield drove a stolen Mercedes through a crowd of people, killing many, and paralyzing one survivor by the name of Martine Stover. Despite her disability, she still lives a peaceful life with her mother who is her primary caregiver. That is until the day the police are called to her residence in what appears to be a murder/suicide, but is in all actuality anything but. This crime has Brady Hartsfield written all over it, but he’s in a mostly vegetative state in the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, how could such a thing even be possible? But when more and more suicides begin popping up, the only thing that connects them is Brady and Bill Hodges just might be the only one that could believe such an impossibility.

“End of watch is what they call it, but Hodges himself has found it impossible to give up watching.”

The gang is all back together for one last hurrah: Hodges, Holly Gibney, and Jerome Robinson. Hodges and Holly were doing their fair share of investigating the strange evidence piling up around the recent increase of suicides, but it’s not until one of these attempted suicides hits close to home that the ante has been upped. Despite the impossibility of Brady being the backstage conductor, readers that have been with this series from the beginning will have been given a glimpse at where King was heading at the end of Finders Keepers. Mr. Mercedes, the first installment, seemed to at first be a bit of a departure from King’s typical style, going for your basic mystery/detective thriller, yet slowly but surely he deftly infused it with his trademark supernatural horror. Whether it’s due to the blow that Holly landed or the experimental drugs being delivered by his doctor, Brady has developed the ability to influence the minds of others. With his technological genius, he manages to find a way to increase the way he spreads his infectious thoughts so that he can finally commit the massive crime he was prevented from carrying out before.

Despite the fact that King doesn’t fully flesh out the supernatural aspects of the novel, it doesn’t take much suspension of disbelief for it to still work. The powerful effects of video games are evident in society even without the supernatural aspects involved and King uses this to bring that effectiveness to life in this novel of horror. Suffice it to say, the cover may have been intriguing before reading the story, but after? You won’t want to maintain eye contact for long. And this song is definitely ruined. So, King subsequently ruined the ice cream man and a Mickey Mouse song in one fell swoop with this series. A most impressive feat.

The initial working title for this book was The Suicide Prince and while I was disappointed when it was announced it would actually be End of Watch instead, it’s so much more fitting. King didn’t disappoint with this ending, not leaving us hanging with unresolved questions but not coating the ending in unlikely perfection. I may have started this trilogy skeptical that King could pull off a convincing mystery but by the end I’m hoping that he experiments with this genre more in the future.

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Audiobook Review – Deliverance by James Dickey

June 13, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2014 3 Comments

Audiobook Review – Deliverance by James DickeyDeliverance by James Dickey
Narrator: Will Patton
Published by Audible on 1970
Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
Genres: Southern Gothic/Country Noir
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Amazon | Audible
Goodreads


three-stars

The setting is the Georgia wilderness, where the state's most remote white-water river awaits. In the thundering froth of that river, in its echoing stone canyons, four men on a canoe trip discover a freedom and exhilaration beyond compare. And then, in a moment of horror, the adventure turns into a struggle for survival as one man becomes a human hunter who is offered his own harrowing deliverance.

This classic tale is vividly read by movie and TV star and Audie Award-winning narrator Will Patton.

Deliverance
de·liv·er·ance [dih-liv-er-uhns]
noun
: the state of being saved from something dangerous or unpleasant

Deliverance is the deceptively simplistic story of four ordinary men from Atlanta that decide to go on a canoe trip in the Georgia wilderness. The river they plan to traverse is destined to disappear soon because of a new dam that will flood the area. Soon into their trip, they encounter two men who live in the nearby mountains and their weekend wilderness adventure quickly morphs into a struggle for their very survival.

‘The river was blank and mindless with beauty. It was the most glorious thing I have ever seen. But it was not seeing, really. For once it was not just seeing. It was beholding. I beheld the river in its icy pit of brightness, in its far-below sound and indifference, in its large coil and tiny points and flashes of the moon, in its long sinuous form, in its uncomprehending consequence.’

Unlike most who have either read this book or experienced the movie, I went into this story completely blind, oblivious of the horrors to come. Being a fan of southern gothic fiction though, it was essential I read the original classic that helped to generate the genre. Published in 1970, Deliverance was Dickey’s first novel and the one he went on to be most known for. In 1965, he won the National Book Award in Poetry and those poetic abilities showed through the darkness of Deliverance. The surprisingly beautiful poetic quality added a much-needed delicacy to this tale so as to make it a much more agreeable read.

“Here we go, out of the sleep of the mild people, into the wild rippling water.”

The river itself, the Cahulawassee River, has much more symbolism than one would initially recognize. The Cahulawassee River is being forced into modern times and will cease to exist in a matter of weeks. These four men are forced into changes as well due to the harsh situations they are involuntary put through. It changes their mindset and state of being and forces them to make choices they never expected to have to make. These changes necessitated the realization that while they felt like ordinary men in comparison to the abominations that they faced, they were more than able to transform similarly all in the name of survival.

Deliverance is a dark and dismal read but is permeated with skillfully beautiful writing that makes it a completely necessary read for any fans of the genre.

The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock {PurchaseMy Review}
Child of God by Cormac McCarthy {PurchaseMy Review}
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad {Purchase}

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Audiobook Review – Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen King

October 18, 2013 Bonnie Audiobooks, Book Reviews, Read in 2013 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review – Doctor Sleep (The Shining #2) by Stephen KingDoctor Sleep by Stephen King
Narrator: Will Patton
Series: The Shining #2
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on September 24th 2013
Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
Genres: Horror, Paranormal
Format: Audiobook
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Cujo, Pet Sematary, Mr. Mercedes

three-stars

Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance (the boy protagonist of The Shining) and the very special twelve-year-old girl he must save from a tribe of murderous paranormals.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and spunky twelve-year-old Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of devoted readers of The Shining and satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

I’m a total Stephen King newbie, so when I first decided to dive into his book of works I started at the very beginning with Carrie and was an immediate fan. Next up was Salem’s Lot and then finally The Shining which became an instant favorite. His books in print already have that creepy effect that manages to latch on to your insides, but listening to the audiobook really took the terror to the next level for me. Since it was a recent read, I was fairly shocked to hear about a sequel coming out especially when you consider The Shining was originally released in 1977. Albeit, I was on board and full of anticipation.

Doctor Sleep picks up shortly after The Shining’s explosive (literally) ending with Danny and his mother residing in warm and sunny Florida desperately trying to overcome the trauma they endured in Colorado. Danny is still haunted by the rotting corpse-like ghosts of the Overlook and essentially compels him to enlist the help of Dick Hallorann, the chef from the Overlook. He gives him the only knowledge he has of controlling his psychic gifts, but Danny’s has always been strong so it only does so much.

The book flashes forward in time to feature a middle-aged Dan Torrance who has followed the path of his father and is an alcoholic for the sole reason that it dulls the shine. An incident causes him to hit a rock bottom of sorts and we flash forward again by three years to find Dan working at a hospice, using  his gifts to aid patients in the transition between life and death. They call him Doctor Sleep.

Next, we’re introduced to Abra Stone, a young girl who’s psychic abilities make Dan’s look like a parlor trick. We’re also introduced to a group of individuals that go by the name of the True Knot who travel the country in RV’s searching out children with gifts like Abra’s. They torture and kill the children so as to fully harvest the ‘steam’ that escapes their bodies upon their deaths. Abra is the strongest child they’ve yet encountered and she’s next on their list.

Phew. That summary may have been long, but so was the book itself and had far more pages than was actually required. The middle lagged and the build-up to the ‘epic’ showdown between good and evil was fairly unsurprising. As highly anticipated as Doctor Sleep was for me, I can’t help but feel in the end that leaving The Shining as a stand-alone would have been far wiser.

What worked well for The Shining was the true horror aspects. The isolation of The Overlook, the claustrophobic effects of the encompassing storm and the transformation of a loved one into a terrifying monster. (The rotting corpse in the bathtub definitely helped as well.) Doctor Sleep leans more towards the supernatural and fantasy aspects making it less real and giving it a very fabricated feel. I greatly disliked the vast array of pop culture references strewn throughout the novel. They served no obvious purpose and should have been edited out. Game of Thrones, Twilight, Sons of Anarchy and Hunger Games were among the few I caught. I did enjoy the references to characters from his son Joe Hill’s novel NOS4A2 though.

While I was clearly left unimpressed, there were a few facets that I really enjoyed. I absolutely loved the beginning; it not only held promise but felt like a true sequel to The Shining. (The rest of the story veered a bit too far off track for my liking.) I loved the inclusion of Halloran and how we got to see the events following The Overlook without immediately jumping to Danny being middle-aged. It was fantastic to see the effects of The Overlook on Danny and how he grew up to be (and the almost inevitable fact that him and his Father ultimately took the same path). Tony also plays a part in the story as well as the original site of the Overlook is included. It was fantastic and I loved returning to those aspects of its predecessor, at least until the story took a side street into Strangeville.

Despite my issues with the book as a whole, the beginning bits were totally worth it. I listened to this on audio and narrator Will Patton did a fantastic job. Listen to a clip below to see for yourself.

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