Audiobook Review: The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

11 02 2018

The Gone World

The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch

Narrated by Brittany Pressley

Penguin Audio

Grade: A

Tom Sweterlitsch takes three well worn sub-genres, the procedural murder mystery, time travel adventure and apocalyptic fiction and twists them into a miasma of something truly original. Sweterlitsch has created a tale full of dark imagery. He creates settings like a visual artist, hauntingly beautiful, like a nightmare you can’t escape. Yet it’s not this dark landscapes that truly make this novel work, but the human characters he populates them with. No matter how strange the trip gets, and people, it gets pretty damn strange, you never lose the connection with the main character. It is both literary and accessible, the kind of fiction that appeals to those looking for a true work of art and those who just want to read a grand tale of adventure. It’s all topped off with a bittersweet ending that may have pulled a bit of feeling from my hardened soul.

Narrator Brittany Pressely only adds to the beauty of the tale. As our protagonist changes throughout the tale, so does our narrator but she never loses the core of the character. Pressley is like an anchor, always keeping our minds from going afloat. She reveals Sweterlitsch’s worlds with haunting beauty and makes us feel for these characters. The Gone World is the first great science fiction novel of 2018, and one that going to be hard to top.

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