Someone will download this audiobook because of my freakish exuberance and will think I've gone crazy. SO BE IT.
Guys, it is completely ridiculous. It is hauntingly weird. It is fantastic. But, this is not for everyone.
This was AWESOME. Finally, people, I have come across an audiobook that I don't "just enjoy" but that I LOVE. And I loved both this crazy, crazy story and the narrator. Everything fell into place, and oh my, was I hooked.
Carl is a lonely widower in his forties. As a reporter, he starts writing an article for the newspaper he works at about the sad topic of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A curious link to a poem, either sung or spoken, to children before they go to bed is uncovered and is the only common event for all of the deaths he's researching. The only problem is that it's not an innocent poem at all; in fact, it's actually a tribal death chant.
Carl and a real estate agent named Helen, her secretary Mona, and Mona's boyfriend known as Oyster, go on a quest to pull all of the books that have this lullaby in it and rip the pages from the books. It's their way to save the world, and for Carl especially, a way to overcome the death of his own wife and daughter. As Carl goes through the process to find each and every single copy, he has to stop himself from using this on people he doesn't like. He knows he needs help when he's beginning to wildly wield it on not just enemies, but on random, innocent people. He certainly didn't realize that along this insane path, he might actually come to terms with the horrible things in life, and maybe, just maybe, fall in love.
I'll go over my thoughts on the narrator below, but let's just say he is AWESOME for this story. I couldn't stop listening to it and I got pretty ticked off when I had to pause it.
At the heart of this story is just a lonely man who has an inordinate amount of pain and suffering in his life that he's experienced, as are the people he teams up with to track the whereabouts of the poem in every part of the country. But, it's not just what's at the heart of this that makes it so unique, it's the entire story, the peculiar method of storytelling, the characters that could be loyal or maybe not. Lullaby is certainly not for the faint of heart in several scenes, but it certainly is memorable. What a sad story wrapped up in creativity.
This is my very first time with a Chuck Palahniuk story and it will absolutely not be my last. I have this sneaking suspicion that his books might be even more fantastic in audio; I can assure you this one certainly is. It is odd, unique, filthy, ridiculous, hilarious, and heart-wrenching. And it is WEIRD. If you are a fan of straight-forward stories that don't have creatively uncomfortable and odd ways of telling the story (with a dash of crudeness), then this may not be for you. However, if you want to try something a little different and don't mind a little bit of contemptibility in some of the characters' actions and events, than oh my, pick this one!
Audio Notes: As I've already gushed, Richard Poe ROCKED. This was like some fantastic stage play come to life for audio only. His voice is smooth and he easily voiced the emotions so effectively that in the earlier spots when there was a considerable amount of heartbreak and sadness over his personal losses, my heart felt the character's pain. Richard Poe's breathing, his enunciation for certain feelings, was just PERFECT. I am a brand-new fan of his. Look at me! I'm downloading all of the audiobooks he's narrated! You know what I wish? I wish that Audible.com has the ability to "favorite" a narrator, so that way when a new audio comes out that they narrate, you'd get an alert letting you know. Isn't that a great idea? Do they do this already? If they don't, this is my idea!
Oh, yeah, click here for the sample from Audible.com.
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release Date: 01/17/05
Audio Time: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Narrator: Richard Poe
FTC Disclosure: I purchased this audio from Audible.com
About the Author
Chuck Palahniuk is most immediately known for his popular book Fight Club, which some guy named Brad Pitt starred in back in the 1990s. It was an awesome story on film, so I can only imagine what it's like to read it.
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