Audiobook Review: Plugged by Eoin Colfer

1 11 2011

Plugged by Eoin Colfer

Read by John Keating

AudioGo

Length: 8 Hrs 26 Mins

Genre: Mystery

Quick Thoughts: Plugged is a  funny, fast mystery with an interesting but not overly bright main character. Colfer’s tone allows you to overlook some cornball moments and just have fun with the tale.

Grade: B

Watching the news is a perilous thing today. I used to be a very well informed person on current events, the state of the economy, politics and the like, but that road leads to utter depression and a desire to flip on the TV and switch over to some Kardashian based programming. This should not be. Even books today are often hyper-serious, dealing with issues of global chaos, exploitation of children, environmental breakdown and many other anxiety building topics. Every once in a while you need something light. A humor filled look at insignificant issues. If I remember correctly, reading used to be fun. It was full of adventure and the fantastic, it took you on trips that you could never actually go on, and in its essence reading was the ultimate in escapism. So, it’s not a surprise when every once in a while, I forgo feeding my dark side, and take on something just for fun. Now, I didn’t know much about Eoin Colfer other than the fact that he writes a light hearted and funny series for children. When I discovered he wrote an adult novel about an Irish Bouncer working at a sleazy New Jersey club, who gets mixed up in a mystery, I thought, hey, why not? When I learned that the book was named Plugged, not based on some colloquial slang indicating some sort of state of conectiveness, like being "Plugged In" but for the fact that the main character recently received hair plugs, I knew that I didn’t need to worry about the pressing political issues of the day spoiling a fun read.

Plugged was indeed a fun read. Irish Bouncer and former Peace Keeper in The Lebanon Danny McEvoy is just a working class guy looking to keep busy, avoid any PSTD, and maybe flirt with his favorite hostess. Basically he’s a likeable guy just trying to get along. Reading Plugged reminded me a lot of early Hiaasen, with a strange situation and a hero that sort of flounders his way around, until he figures out what happens. I like the fact that Danny really isn’t some super sleuth, and he repeated takes the wrong path to finding the right answer. He’s was just quirky enough to be interesting, and competent enough to handle things when things need to be handled. I did find some things annoying about Danny, but these things were mostly nitpicky moments where I had trouble suspending disbelief. These few moments that had my head shaking was saved by the light hearted and not serious tone of Colfer’s writing. It was almost like Colfer was saying, "Yeah, I know that’s a bit over the top, but hey, reader, let’s just go with it and have fun." I think readers with the proper mindset, looking for a fun fast read with action bordering on, but never actually achievement corniness, will really enjoy Plugged. People who just have to have everything make perfect sense down to the smallest minutia, should find plenty to pick apart here as well.  So, heck, everybody wins.

Now, I understand that John Keating’s Irish accent may have the girls all in a tizzy, but for me, I enjoyed but wasn’t blown away by Keating’s narration of Plugged., I thing his easy going, working class Irish tones worked well in this tale. Keating brought the right amount of sardonic wit, and tongue in cheek delivery that allowed Colfer’s jokes, even the bad ones, to hit their mark. I found some of his New Yorker and other American accents to border on cartoonish, but with the overall tone of the book, cartoonish worked fine. Overall, Plugged is a fun read for mystery fans looking for something quick, fast and full of humor. So, put down that dreary newspaper, and stop looking at the economic forecast, and picked up Plugged. At the very least it won’t make you want to watch The Kardashians.

 

Note: I received this audiobook as part of Audiobook Jukebox’s Solid Gold Reviewer Program. Thanks to the good people at Audiobook Jukebox and AudioGo for providing me with this review copy. Click on the badge below to sign up for Audiobooks to review though this program.

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