The Human Division Listen-A-Long: Episode 12: The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads by John Scalzi

5 04 2013

The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads by John Scalzi (The Human Division, Ep. 12)

Read by William Dufris

Audible Frontiers

Length: 38 Min

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade: B+

PREVIOUSLY ON THE HUMAN DIVISION:

Episode 11: A Problem of Proportion

The AudioBookaneers Episode 11

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Human Division Listen Along. It’s the penultimate episode of the series, and I’m letting you know this because I really love the word penultimate. This week’s episode is titled "The Gentle Art of Cracking Heads." I was looking forward to this episode since I saw the episode name lists, because I thought it was a pretty cool name. Plus, I knew I would get to use the word "penultimate." I am easily pleased.

In this week’s episode we again step away from the B-Team, yet revisit a character from an earlier episode, Danielle Lowen, the daughter of the Secretary of State who was the American reprehensive on the Clarke earlier. And of course, since it was Danielle, Scalzi gets to use the excellent Boozy Expositional trend, where we learn a lot of information during a slightly (or not so slightly) tipsy bar room exchange. In this episode, Danielle is investigating the murder/suicide that occurred during her time on board the Clarke. As she finds out more about the perpetrator, things don’t seem quite right. It doesn’t help that someone seems determined to impede her path, and are willing to go to extreme measures to stop her.

I really liked this episode. It was a change of pace from the intense storyline of last week’s episode, but still had its own intensity. Yet, this episode also frustrated me. It established that there is a secret cabal willing to go to extreme measures for an unknown reason. Yet, this has been well established in Episode 1 and Episode 2 and 3,4,5… The information we received basically only confirmed this. She was investigation an extremely complicated plot, set about by a shadowy group, and all she really confirmed was that the plot was even more complex than she imagined, and the group perhaps even shadowy. It did nothing to shine a light on what we really want to know, which is, who is this shadowy group, and what is their ultimate goal. In fact, I felt this episode was another example of just how complex this overall tale is. On the surface, it’s easy to see this as just another conspiracy tale, like a strange 24 in Space without Jack Bauer running around without bathroom breaks. Yet, for every move and countermove, I find myself making the conspiracy even deeper. Yet, I think when all is revealed, it will be such a simple "I should have thought of that" that I will be annoyed at all the calories I burned coming up with my own complex conspiracy within conspiracy theories. DAMN YOU SCALZI!

I was kinda sad that Dufris didn’t do as much of his drunk Danielle voice as he did in her first appearance, because I really dug drunk Danielle and she really did have a giant fruity alcoholic beverage. As an earth bound tale, Dufris wasn’t required to do much in the way of creepy aliens. Nor was there much true action, just lots of dialogue, some Brazilian’s and not-as-drunk Danielle. Still, it was a whole lot of fun, and Dufris has to rest up a bit for the big two hour commercial free season finale next week where all will be revealed!

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12 04 2013

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