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I picked this up as a Daily Deal and didn't have any expectations going in, but I loved it. I listened to it in two days--as close to non-stop as sleep and work permitted.
I'm not sure why, exactly--maybe because the friendship between Abbie and Gretchen felt so authentic? Hendrix writes fully-fleshed characters with real flaws and zits, gives you enough time to get to know them and like them, and then begins the crazy stuff, a lot of which is gross, and some of which is legitimately scary.
One thing that I found hard to take, though--there is an incident of animal cruelty. You'll see it coming. If that's something that bothers you as much as it does me, you can easily avoid it by fast-forwarding for a few minutes.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
Where does My Best Friend's Exorcism rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I listened to this book in two sittings during a long road trip with my friend, and we kept busting out laughing or saying "ewww" or making faces throughout. It's one of the more entertaining stories I've listened to, both due to the way Grady Hendrix handles the topic (I mean, 80's "It" girls where one of them gets possessed? Come on!!) AND because the narration is more of a performance than someone reading to you.
What did you like best about this story?
My Best Friend's Exorcism strikes a good balance between horror, humor and friend-drama. It truly is "Beaches meets The Exorcist," as the synopsis states. Emily Woo Zeller puts a lot of emotion into the dialogue and as a narrator she has amazing comedic timing. I honestly think I would have missed some of the humor and playfulness in this book if I had bought the paper version (which I almost did)
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I don't think I could ever do that, but I did listen to it in two sittings, which is a first. It's just so entertaining.
Any additional comments?
If you prefer audiobooks with straight narration, I would pass on this one because the performance elements are so strong. But if you do pass and you were curious about this story, then DEFINITELY read the paper version!
Another reviewer mentioned that some lines of dialogue are very quiet and you have to turn up the volume to hear. We had to do the same thing but it wasn't a bother in the car. (This is an audio production thing, not the voice actor.) Turn it back down once the quiet part is over, because when the characters are loud, Emily is loud. As it should be :)
Lastly, I gave the story four stars instead of five for a couple reasons. It's written from Abby's point of view, and because of that we don't get to see things that happen to and around Gretchen (the girl who is possessed) unless Abby is present. There are some things I wanted to "see" firsthand in the story that either we never get to know, or we find out secondhand when Abby finds out. Also, I didn't always believe the way the different parents acted. But overall I loved it!
26 of 28 people found this review helpful
I was a little dubious to begin with, the first 20 minutes or so were quite slow but I gave it a chance and found it gripping! I love Hendrix's style of writing and am looking forward to reading more from her.
The narration was great too, with no voices sounding silly.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
The exorcism story came only close to the end. There was no need to go through the childhood elongated story, it only made it boring. The performance got exaggerated sometimes.
Great story. High school was hell for most of us & feel like yourself or some of your class mates were possessed at some point. This story brings that to life. Its starts with Gretchen being the only one who comes to Abby's birthday & how their friendship started & was built up to best friend status from there. I loved that it was set in the 80's away from todays technology age, where people actually had to see each other or call or write to communicate. Music references are littered throughout & mark the start of every chapter. It did seem a little slow to start, but it was setting for all the ground work for all the friend/relationships later to be torn apart. Once events started unfolding you knew where it was going & couldn't wait for it to happen & it didn't take long.
But one thing that did bug me & I don't know who to blame more, the writer or the narrator. I am not a writer by any means but I did read somewhere that a author should steer clear of using 'said'. This book is a great example of way. It was constant, Abby said, Gretchen said, he said, she said, said, said, said etc. It just became more pronounced every time & the narrator seemed to pause just for a second before she read SAID. It became very grating.
And after all the events unfold, its never answered how they came to be. Never once did Abby seem to ask how this all happened while trying to save her friends & herself. This was probably most let down of the story.
I loved this book from start to finish, I was born in the 80's and a big fan of old horror movies so this was perfect.
The narrator was great also I never got lost while listening as I do with some narrators.