When marijuana enthusiast Blue McKenna suffers an apocalyptic case of writer's block, reality TV seems like an easy way out. A conglomerate of kooky contestants invades the polygamist community of Navel, Utah, to compete in a reality TV show called Yikes! Participants include Steven Finch, a lovable stoner who develops a conspiracy theory involving a rock band called the Rectal Surgeons, and Randall Smoot, a member of the Gay Mafia. When marijuana and reality TV collide.... Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book features a cast of 11 actors who portray the characters in funny, engaging narratives.
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Adele Park's writing style reminded me of Joseph Heller's "Catch 22" (one of my favourite books); every new character is introduced with a neat little anecdote that tells you everything you need to know about them. There are no blunt phrases, no cliched descriptions, just a lively tangent into their background, and then you're back to what's happening now. The storyline takes it's time, but the characters are so amusing to be around that you don't really mind how long it takes to get where they're going; you're just enjoying their company.
Each chapter of the book is from a different character's perspective, and here's where my only criticism comes; maybe there are too many voices. Adele Park's writing style is so rhythmic and, after a couple of chapters, so recognisable, that even though each character's voice sounds completely different, they also sound sort of the same... But that's a very minor negative for me.
My favourite moment so far is Moon describing using her mother's home lab to create lotions and scents. For me, listening to someone describe how beautiful something smells, even if they're just listing the ingredients, is much more evocative than reading the words.
The quality of the recording is really good. I've listened to some audio books that sound as though they've been recorded outside using a phone, and some where the narrator clearly doesn't understand what they're reading. This is extremely well balanced, contains some unexpected additions (rapping!), and all of the artists get big ticks for clarity and character.
So - the story itself. It's wry, it's dry, and even the characters who are of dubious moral disposition are enjoyable to listen to.
Narrated by: Steve Campbell, Melissa Sandberg, Alexandra Harbold, Garry Morris, Brittany Shamy, Jesse Pepe, Rhett Guter, Kent Hayes, Kiki Thompson, Adam Schroeder, Lesley Mendenhall
Length: 10 hours, 27 minutes
Genre: Humor, Fiction
Release Date: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Straight to Audio Productions
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
*** This audiobook has adult themes and might not be suitable for younger listeners. There are scenes of drug use and sexual situations.
Twin sisters, Blue and Moon McKenna were born on a hippie commune on Halloween in 1974. The family left the commune when the girls were five years old, but their parents still lived a very unconventional lifestyle.
Despite being identical twins, the two sisters are very different.
Blue and her parents were travelling in a crop duster when the pilot went into convulsions after eating a magic mushroom sandwich. The plane crashed killing Blue's parents and injuring Blue.
Now, all grown up, Blue is an author, but Moon is the one whose name appears on the books. That is just fine with Blue. It allows her to indulge in her favorite pastime: growing and smoking marijuana.
However, there is a problem. Blue has a book due and she is experiencing a major case of writer's block. Her editor, Chet Waterhouse, has an idea. He wants to set up a reality television show and Blue can use the show and the contestants as inspiration for her new book.
Living in the mostly polygamist community of Navel, Utah, Blue does not get out much. Chet's idea just might work, so they decide to give it a try.
The contestants arrive to compete for a chance to win the opportunity to showcase their talent at a prestigious New York gallery.
The contestants are a varied group and they all have some sort of issue. There is Steven Finch who smokes almost as much weed as Blue does and has a vendetta against the rock band The Rectal Surgeons. There is Randall Smoot who is a member of the Gay Mafia and has unlimited funds. There's the bible thumper, the slutty up-and-coming actress who will do anything to succeed and more.
This audiobook is definitely hard to describe. It seems like one long "Saturday Night Live" sketch of absurdity and yet it works. This audiobook will definitely make you laugh.
The large cast of narrators makes this book all the more enjoyable. Whoever chose the narrators did a wonderful job. As an avid audiobook listener, I found that each character having a distinctive voice that was all it's own made the audiobook more interesting and I was never in doubt which voice belonged to which character.
If you are looking for a serious read, this is not the audiobook for you. But, if you want to laugh out loud and just be entertained, YIKES will fulfill that wish.
I rate this audiobook as 4 out of 5 stars overall and the narration as 5 out of 5 stars.
* I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.