Violations of Causality

  • by Herb Guggenheim
  • Narrated by Joe Hempel
  • 5 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A tawdry tale of love, lust, and murder!
Professor Harold Berwyn has just been brutally murdered, but graduate creative writing student Skip Gershwin is too self-absorbed to care. His chief preoccupations are finding a girlfriend and becoming a famous American poet. When he meets Gudrun Frege, a brilliant Austrian au pair, it appears that his girlfriend problems are over. But he is soon lured into a torrid love affair by ultra-seductive art student Lana Fish. As Skip's romantic entanglements spiral out of control, the criminal investigation into Berwyn's murder turns white-hot. When federal agents knock on his door, Skip discovers that he himself is the number-one suspect.

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What the Critics Say

"I started reading this book, taking it as a straightforward mystery with a little romance - but I soon discovered it was so much more. This is a witty, thoughtfully written satire. I found myself laughing out loud at the outrageousness of some of the characters. (Won't spoil the fun by saying who.) The story succeeds on multiple levels, entertaining while imparting a little wisdom now and again. Love the academic world setting. I'll be looking for more from this author." (Kathryn Johnson, author of The Gentleman Poet)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Madcap Comedy With Sci-Fi Element!


Violations of Causality takes place in an academic environment straight from the 80's, with unique elements, that combines mystery, science fiction, humor and a little romance. It's been along time since I thought about cassette tapes, Tab soda, Trimline phones, Jimmy Carter etc. However, this book will certainly immerse you with many details from the 80's!

While the story is described as a murder mystery, it's more of a madcap comedy, and the suspense surrounding the motive for the murder, the device that defies physics, and how Skip's going to pull off seeing two women at one time was entertaining, and amusing to hear unfold.

Joe Hempel did a outstanding job narrating, and was a great fit for the main character. I liked how he used different accents, and tones to portray the various characters and emotions. It was easy to distinguish between the characters.

I received this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.
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- Cheri "Love listening to audiobooks, and being swept away by a great story and narrator. It's my therapy, and I need it daily!"

A funny story about college students in the 80's

Any additional comments?

I was offered a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

The complete title of this book is 'Violation of Causality: a Skip Gershwin Mystery', and there is a bit of mystery here, but the main subject in this book is Skip, a self-absorbed 23 years old student, obsessed about his poetry, which struggles trying to keep two different relationships: Gudrun, the Austrian au-pair, and Luna, the art student. Unable to decide between the two, he will try to carelessly keep both romances. In the meantime there is a mystery at the campus: Astronomy Professor Harold Berwyn has been murdered, but the killer has not yet been found.

I was expecting a bit more mystery, given the title of this book, but we are otherwise given a story set in the 80's about college students, full of surprises and hilarious moments. We discover every character and event in this book through the eyes of Skip, getting a colored vision of what really happened. We get introduced to many characters, so many that I had troubles to remember each of them from time to time, not knowing which ones could be of importance later on in the story. This is one of the key points in this book, since we will get surprised in many ways about what really happened.

There is also a bit of mystery, but that part will not get fully developed until the end of the book, and also a strange sci-fi element related to the dead Professor.

The sci-fi in this story is quite laughable, and I think it goes nicely with the rest of the story, bordering on the absurd.

The chapters are very short, and this makes it suitable for listening at random moments during the day. I tend to listen audiobooks while running errands or performing chores at home, so this length was perfect for it.

All in all it was a very enjoyable read, full of surprises and with very funny moments. The choice of Joe Hempel as a narrator was spot on. He delivered each character in a special way, imitating accents and putting emphasis on the funny aspects of the story. I had a blast listening to this book.

If you are looking for a book different than the rest, a relaxed listen, and something to laugh, I encourage you to listen to this book. Just don't be put off by the tacky cover.

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- lomeraniel

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-09-2016
  • Publisher: Herbert S. Guggenheim