Audiobook Review: I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells

22 04 2011

I Don’t Want to Kill You by Dan Wells (John Cleaver series, Book 3)

Read by Kirby Heyborne

Tantor Media

Genre: Horror

Quick Thoughts: The best audiobook I have listened to this year.

Grade: A+

I hate Dan Wells. For all of you out there who think I must have made a typo, perhaps meaning to write I ate damp whales or my hat digs wells, I will repeat myself, I Hate Dan Wells. I mean, let’s talk about this jack-ass. He’s like that harmless looking youth that stands on the corner that everyone is always stopping to ask for directions. Then, one day it dawns on you, he’s actually an independent business man who is pushing his product grass roots style. So, always wanting to support the local economy, you try his product. It makes you feel good, so, of course, you want some more. This time, it’s even better. Heck, the use of this product may actually become a life style choice. So it all comes down to that third time, you know, the charm, as they say. If that third time is as good as your first two experiences, you’ll be a fan forever, and this entrepreneur can probably sell you any rot gut, bottom barrel product he has on inventory and you’d kiss him for it. Open mouth, perhaps, even with tongue.  Yet, this urban auteur takes pride in his product, and constantly refines it, makes it better, more mind bending… Sorry, I have digressed, back on track. Oh, I remember, I hate Dan Wells. You see, he could go and write his third book, and give me a pleasant experience like he did with the first two, but no, he has to go and get all “I’m gonna write the shit out of this thing and blow peoples minds.” A**hole.

I enjoyed I Am Not a Serial Killer, despite some issues with the narration. I loved Mr. Monster. Yet, despite my admiration for the first two novels, I was not prepared for how devastatingly affected I would be by I Don’t Want to Kill You, the third and final novel in the John Wayne Cleaver series. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for me to write a true review of this novel, convincingly expressing just how good it is. John Cleaver is not the type of character you would typically expect to become emotionally invested in, a sociopath, who lives almost entirely within his inner dialogue, hiding his true self and projecting a seemingly autistic exterior. Yet, invested you become. And there are no cheap tricks to your attachment, it slowly builds, as the character shifts, and grows, as his world rotates and his risks increase, and before you realize it, you’re hooked into the net. John Cleaver is not the person who we met in the first novel, and throughout this novel, he forces you through his ordeal of self discovery. From his moments of nearly catatonic acceptance to his awkward emotional outbursts, you are there, feeling his instability, living in his crashing world. It’s a hell of a trip, but it doesn’t even begin to prepare you for the end. I cannot even talk about the end. You must experience it yourself. I have listened to 60 books so far this year, including some truly great works of fiction, this was the best. Simply put, the best.

Earlier in the review, I talked about how John Cleaver lived almost entirely within his inner dialogue, well, because of this, the narration of this novel was extremely important for it to work as an audiobook. The narrator had to be able to let the reader know what John was thinking, as opposed to verbalizing, without handy tricks like line breaks or italics. Kirby Heyborne, as the narrator, did an excellent job with this. His use of tone changes and fluxuation in volume allowed us listeners not to get to confused. Heyborne also did a good job modulating his cadence and finding the perfect rhythm for John’s dialogue depending on his mood. Calm John had an almost robotic tone, yet upset John was borderline frantic. If you are willing to take advice from some guy who started a free blog on the internet to post his reviews about audiobooks, well, here it is. Read this series. Before the aliens come. Or the plague. Or economic collapse. Or Glen Beck. Or whatever apocalypse floats your boat. Read/Listen to, e-mind meld with, this series of books.



2 responses

3 10 2011
Seven Questions with Dan Wells « The Guilded Earlobe

[…] I Don’t Want to Kill You […]

15 12 2011
My Top 20 Audiobooks of 2011 « The Guilded Earlobe

[…] My Review […]

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