08 September 2011

Martin Misunderstood, by Karin Slaughter (Audio Review)

Oh, Martin.

Martin is so sorely misunderstood, the poor guy. For cryin' out loud, he's been picked on by everyone since he was a kid, and even his mother (yep, still lives with her), is a manipulative mess who never misses out on a low blow insult.

And for whatever reason, Martin as an adult, has never moved from his hometown. In fact, he works as an accountant at Southern Toilet Supply, and every co-worker is either a former classmate, or someone who just picked up the bullying because Martin is just a simpletons' idea of a perfect target. Insults normally directed to women are even keyed onto his car. There is no end to it.

So when Martin, a fan of crime fiction novels, becomes a suspect in a murder, the out-of-control spiraling of his life takes an even darker turn. Ann, the delightfully ordinary detective with her own secrets becomes the lead on his case, and it becomes even more demented and confusing. And I mean that in an extremely good way. The compelling twists that come about for Martin are preposterously simple, but satisfying, and the characters surrounding him are unintentionally, but stupidly evil. I enjoyed every second of it and the final reveal was a bit of a shock, I must admit.

At only two and a half hours, this audiobook is simultaneously hilarious and also terribly gloomy. The characters were perfectly constructed and the plot was a tightly woven maze of one bad coincidence and mistake after another. I can't imagine anyone listening to this in an afternoon and not enjoying it. It really was, in an odd way, the perfect way to spend a day. There are some sex scenes in which I would advise that you turn the volume down if you have the windows open...it is an absolute riot.

I picked this audio copy up from BEA in New York City this year when I attended the APA Audiobook and Author Tea event. Karin Slaughter, Brad Meltzer, and Tony Horwitz were the featured speakers. I've never read a Karin Slaughter book before (I know, where have I been?), but she piqued my interest when she informed the audience that when she first started writing her crime fiction novels, the general response from the reading public regarding a female detective using the F-word was extremely negative. As she stated, "People didn't seem to have a problem with the rape and murder of women, but to have a female cop drop the F-bomb? That got a response." Can you believe it? I'm certainly going to read her other books. I'm a happy camper for picking up Martin Misunderstood - the writing was unique, unexpected, and absolutely demented with its humor. I mean, I can't believe I laughed at some of the things that happened.

About the Author
Karin Slaughter is the #1 internationally bestselling author of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.

Click here to visit the author on her website.
Click here to follow the author on her Facebook site.

About the Narrator
The audiobook narrator was (yes!!) Wayne Knight. You may know him from a little show called...Seinfeld. That's right, he was Newman, Jerry's nemesis. It was the first time listening to him and was also the first time I enjoyed listening to an audiobook with a male voice.

This is my second choice for the RIP Challenge. Again, I am surprised that I would have an audiobook as my next endeavor, but this one is fantastic.

You can read more RIP reviews by clicking here.


  1. I've heard of Slaughter's work but this title is new to me. It sounds like a great way to experience her work for the first time. I'm glad to see it's so good.

  2. My husband and I are listening to a Slaughter audiobook right now called Fallen, and are liking it quite a bit. I think that even though these two books by this author are in the same vein, that they actually sound rather different. It sounds like this one was more of a black comedy instead of a straight suspense novel, which really appeals to me. I am so glad that you liked it, and will be looking forward to it. I would probably laugh at the same bits that you did!

  3. I passed on this at BEA, even though I love Karin Slaughter and have read every single other one of her books! The audio aspect scared me though because I've only rarely listened to fiction on tape. Darn! I should have taken the chance! :--)

  4. This sounds great, and is the perfect length for a nice short trip. I may try to track this down for our camping trip coming up. It sounds like great fun!

    And Wayne Knight reading? How perfect is that?!?!

  5. I heard some pretty horrid reviews of this one so I've been afraid to try it even though I have the CDs from BEA. I'm glad you enjoyed it - that gives me the courage to try it myself. ;)

  6. I've read one Karin Slaughter book and really liked it but for whatever reason just never got back to the series. This audio book sounds perfect for me... I have trouble finishing them since I only listen in the car so short (and suspenseful) ones are good!

  7. I might have to look into this one. A great listen for a trip. Newman!

  8. I am not familar with this author, but this sounds like a great audio book. I laughed out loud when I read Martin's employer -- sounds like a great metaphor for his life!

  9. I keep hearing how good Karin Slaughter is ... I'm going to have to try her one day!!

    And I don't know if I could separate "Newman" from Wayne Knight and listen to him narrate a book!!!

  10. I haven't read a Karin Slaughter book either -- I'm not much for the pure suspense genre, but the dark comeday aspect to this one appeals to me. Thanks for the recommendation!

  11. I've never read Slaughter either, but this sounds like it would be great for working out to at the gym. Thanks Natalie!

  12. you cinched my interest with the word "demented." what a great review. I haven't read any of Slaughter's books, but I think I shall have to start with this one.

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)


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