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Tears of Glass by David Lake is an unusual listen with its unique production of the written word and weaving it successfully with a sound track of music representing the late 60’s-80’s time period. The music connects with the listener reminding them of a time long gone and yet hooks the listener with its beat and lyrics.
Morgan is a man who finds himself a failure at everything he has done from his jobs to his career in songwriting to relationships. Now he finds that his friendship circle is growing increasingly smaller due to weird accidents. Accidentally, he becomes involved with government secrets, nuclear war, international espionage and more all because of his passion for 60’s-80’s blues music and a rejected demo tape from a blues artist. Not overly aware at first, he finds himself on the run – confused and having to deal with things larger than ever. Given his penchant for failure, will this be yet one more or will he manage to live a long life?
It is sometimes hard to keep up with all the conspiracies and characters. Lake is a masterful wordsmith describing vividly his characters and the plight they find themselves. The plot and music are cohesive and enhance one another brilliantly. The characters are well-developed and are clearly flawed but real. Lake’s skillful writing and the music choice takes the listener and dumps them smack in the middle of the action. Mixed with dark humor and action, one cannot help but become part of the story.
The audiobook was very well written and performed by Fred Filbrich. Filbrich is a talented narrator who spoke clearly and concisely but also became the characters. I thought he kept a steady pace with his reading. His voice was steady and calming, delivering the dark humored responses appropriately and well.
The book, in my opinion was unique and well done. With that being said and my passion for classic rock, I found the music distracting at first. But after listening carefully to the words and recognizing how they interconnected with the story, I was fine with it. Could it have been done without the music? Yes, but it might not have been as powerful.
The audio production of this book was good except for hearing Fred Filbrich swallow all too often. I suspect the mike was too close. Other than this, the production was high quality.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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4 of 4 people found this review helpful
This story centers around a washed-up man named Morgan in the afterthrows of a divorce. When he discovers a friend murdered, he finds himself on the run from the killers, who are now targeting him, and he has no idea why. With the help of his accomplices Sera and Paul, he travels to London, only to find he's hunted there too, becoming entangled in a massive plot involving govenment, intel, and threats of destruction.
The narrative is interspersed with recorded songs by the character Paul, and music that echo the current situation and compliment the story. This concept is what initially drew me to review this book. As a musician myself, I loved the idea of music being incorporated. However, the music itself did not connect with me, but that may be because I'm not much of a Blues fan.
It was a little hard to get into at first, but I think that was partly because the scene shifts around a lot, and the scenes are short, so I wasn't sure who was the main character, but once I got used to that I enjoyed it more. The description is vivid and well-written. There are a lot of twists and unexpected turns which kept me guessing what would happen next. I really appreciate a story that's not too predictable; I like a good balance. That said, there is one particular twist near the end that really made me angry as a listener who is emotionally invested in the story, and I nearly stopped listening right then, but I'm very glad I stayed to the end. The story has many subplots and plenty of action, but some parts just seem to ramble on and my attention waned.
Production quality is mostly good. The narrator's voice is soft and calm, his pace is good and he has good expression and timing. However, except for a hint of accent, or slight pitch, there is hardly any change in his voice between the different characters, which to me is extremely important, as I sometimes lost track of who was speaking, until a tag came up. It would also really help if there was a little pause between the scenes to queue the listener, instead of seamlessly sailing into the next one, and the listener has to catch up. This made the story confusing at times, at least until I got used to it. Additionally, there is some distinct noise in the earlier chapters which is very distracting, sounds like a combination of mouth noise and breathing. Eventually it either stopped, or I stopped noticing. Overall I enjoyed the book; I just had to take it in small chunks rather than extended listening.
I was given this audiobook for a review, but that did not influence my review.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Simply brilliant.<br/>When i was gifted a copy of Tears of Glass by the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom, i knew nothing about it other than it was different in presentation. So i was unprepared for the perfect symbiosis of story, narrator and music. This latter not used simply as an occasional backtrack, but to actually further enhance the atmosphere and be an integral part of the story itself. The main protagonist, Morgan, has been given a taped recording of tracks of a singer-songwriter-pianist, Paul Millns, a Brit who had come to America to try to further his musical/recording career unsuccessfully. The girlfriend who gave Morgan the tape is murdered and, following further deaths, he decides that someone seems out to get him so goes on the run, taking the music tape with him. Somehow, the tracks on it reflect his feelings each time one is played.<br/><br/>The story is a real mystery thriller with so many dimensions to it that it more far reaching than a simple police chase, including not only murder and mayhem but also international political intrigue, deception, and involving not just the Americas, London and Moscow but pretty much everywhere. Yet it is so easy - no, a joy - to hear with excellent characterisations, natural dialogue and a feeling of reality despite the very fast paced action. And the music! <br/>Of course, the whole is also dependent on the skill of the narrator and here Fred Filbrich excels. His is far more of a reading than a performance, with only slight attempts to distinguish different voices from each other. And yet they are completely recognisable for who they are within the plot. He is pace perfect and so in synch with the text, it almost felt, when i thought about it afterwards, that he had somehow managed to bypass speech and simply planted the entire story in my mind. Masterful.<br/><br/>One thing puzzles me - who provided the music for this recording?<br/><br/>This is a book i want to talk about, and one where i am having to hold back on giving away the complete story. So i will stop now, other than to say, buy it, listen to it and enjoy.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Where does Tears of Glass rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I don't know how to describe this book as I found it very difficult to understand till very near the end and even then I am not sure I did. I loved the music and the tongue in cheek humor that popped up now and again but the actual story was so difficult to work out. It kept jumping from one person back to another and it took so long to find out who was trying to kill Morgan the main character.. Then it all seemed to go to pot and was a messed up shambles. So many dead bodies and killers everywhere. I think maybe it was just too clever for me. I know it was a good story and I did understand it by the time I had worked through most of it. But then right at the end, I am not sure what happened, if I am right I am not happy at all.<br/>I am really sorry my reviews are really usually much better than this but this book so confused me. It is well worth listening to it, the narration is excellent and I intend to listen to it again because I think I may understand it better the second time. So please do not let me put you off, buy a copy and see what you think.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful