Audiobook Review: The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons

7 03 2017

The Short Drop by Matthew Fitzsimmons

Read by James Patrick Cronin

Brilliance Audio

Grade: B

I think it’s telling that before I sat down to review this book I had to reread the summary to remind myself what the story was about. The Short Drop wasn’t a bad book, it’s an entirely serviceable thriller that I enjoyed listening to but in the end it was forgettable. Gibson Vaugh is a likeable enough character but it’s another case of an author telling you they’re some brilliant progeny of social engineering but shows you him acting pretty dumb throughout the novel. The mystery plays out on the clever side of paint by numbers and the ultimate show down offers enough ingenuity to leave the reader satisfied that it was worth the effort before happily moving onto their next book.

This book was nominated for an Audie so my expectation of being blown away by the narration may have weighed down my opinion. James Patrick Cronin is a good narrator. Early on in the novel his cadence seemed a bit to staccato, nor matching the rhythm of the book but that became less noticeable as you became a little more invested in the novel. His dialogue is strong and his characters distinct but all in all, nothing about his reading makes it stand out in the genre. 



One response

16 11 2019

I find Cronin to be highly overrated and of subpar quality. His cadence isn’t the issue. The problem is he’s fine doing narration, but when reading dialogue, he puts a weird upward lilt on statements, making them questions, he makes questions into statements that trail off, and he makes shouts and scream into somewhat stern words. If his female characters don’t have an accent, they have dull, shellshocked monotone voices or sarcastic voices where there was none in the original dialogue. I don’t know how he’s been getting jobs with this performance, but it’s been like this in every book he’s narrated that I checked out. An audio version of a novel should be on par with the original book, better if the narrator is James Marsters quality. JPC makes me groan and reconsider getting the audio version to go along with the kindle version.

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