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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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By espanolish on 08-20-16
Murder, Mystery, Poetry, Fiction—and FUN!
Guggenheim pumps this first-person work with humor, lessons in poetry, a dab of history, mystery, suspense, and a vestige of rankling love issues. Main character Skip Gershwin is a romantic poet and aspiring well-appreciated literary author. His solipsistic self-centeredness is well balanced with super good intentions, admirable empathy, a high tolerance for burning spermicide foam, and unabashed goofiness. His most likable characteristic is his quick recovery to rejection, berating, corny comebacks, bad decisions, naiveté, self-effacement, and overall life fumbling—albeit with the instant benefits of healing self-licking. Guggenheim skips us along the mind and life and loves of Gershwin and a murder that kind of plays along a as backdrop in the story as he introduces several other characters whose backstories and character development were surface-level and quick, and very appropriate for the strong undertone of wit and parody. Gershwin seems to use clever distraction techniques (thus the humor) as a deliberate ploy to take us off course of the who-dun-it and who’s doing it (the tongue in cheek can make you not care about these aspects of the story), which sweetens the surprise answers in the end.
I think the best audience for this book are those which a high appreciation for humor that manages to be both sophisticated as in the intelligent academia sort and also kind of silly. It wouldn't hurt to have a penchant for a protagonist who is smart and capable, but whose excessive blinders and blinding blunders are unaccountably no match for his ability to successfully dodge bullets with labels that ranged from humiliation to fatal.
The voice, tone, pace, and timing of narrator Joe Hempel were perfectly befitting the myriad temperaments of the protagonist and other characters, the varying depths of humor, and the seamless edge of seriousness. Hempel also nailed female voices without overkill—very well done.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you Audiobook Boom.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Cheri on 08-18-16
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.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful