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If you Craig Spector and John Skipp’s other two novels on Audible, you know they’re REALLY good writing horror. I couldn’t download The Scream fast enough based on their other work. And I was not disappointed by their inventiveness, depth of character and general achievement that would have this book up in Stephen King’s best work if this had his name on it. I’m still surprised I hadn’t heard these guys much sooner.
So when I saw the other Audible review sinking this book’s score due to bad narration, it kind of annoyed me. Because I see bad scores all the time for narration that is not really bad at all. The people in my life I try to get to try Audible always complain how they can’t get used to so and so’s voice, etc. It seems infantile to me. So I figured it was that kind of sitch.
No. No way. I was wrong. I’ve heard bad narration like this on a few other books. I can get to a point where I ignore his voice after a while and just follow the story. It takes a level of meditation that isn’t easy, haha. Dufris seems to be channeling a 90s style of narration I heard from Ron McLarty on Black Sunday, like this weird breathy delivery that seems like it’s meant to recall an old folktale via an ominous dream. Here it goes all over the place in parts reminding me of McLarty and later Jeff Gurner from Whiplash River performance where he goes from sounding like a movie trailer voice to game show host. Man I hated that performance.
Dufris engages the story like your little brother trying to be scary on Halloween. It was like reading a book in that green monster font that nobody takes seriously. The voice always on the verge of “muah-ha-ha-ha!” But then it changes later depending on the character, but always going for the most cliche, cardboard version possible.
Did the audiobook’s director tell Dubfris to suck on purpose?? “Hell, a book about a rock band called The Scream? These idiots will buy anything! Just sell the mood, Dufris and I’ll be back in a few hours. Any questions, the guy running the board can tell you what to do.”
That’s assuming Dufris didn’t just record the files on his iPhone while running errands.
The narration IS rather hard to take. I am not wondering any more why the other Spector/Skipp books weren’t made available on Audible. This book probably spoiled the catalogue.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
Didn't make it that far.
What didn’t you like about William Dufris’s performance?
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I am a great lover of Audible, and its offerings. I have listened to many, many audio books over the duration of my membership, and even though the majority of the narrators are stellar, there are some that understandably are not. This has never deterred me from finishing. I have never before stopped listening to a book until it is completed. This was an exception. I really could not stand one more second of this fellow. I do believe the storyline was good, and worth finishing, but as I have stated, I just could not continue. I probably will get the hard copy and go from there. Sorry if you liked his performance, but I found it just too much to handle, with the singing, the baby noises, all much too much. The snippet I listened to prior to purchases didn't seem too bad, but after multiple hours it became like nails on a chalk board for me. If I could give the narrator half a star I would.
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