1/2/13

Broken World, Andrew Biss, Narrator: Wayne Farrell


Broken World omnibus edition
1. Cafe Grotesquerie
2. Foreign Bodies
3. The Joneses
Andrew Biss
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Music by: Kevin MacLeod

Broken World by Andrew Biss



Narrator: Wayne Farrell

Wayne Farrell does a striking and stirring, job of bringing out the cynicism and psychopathic behavior in all three tales. His voice is rich and expressive, and he does very respectable female characters, not by changing his voice to imitate, but by just a hint of the feminine, with emphasis on the tone and content of what she is saying. He spices it up nicely to bring out the more humorous lines, and is empathetic enough with what he's reading to bring out the sinister. Wayne Farrell, knows when to be whimsical and when to be forceful. Farrell, is a very talented narrator with a good many books to his credit. He is equally good at narrating young adult, children's books, murder stories or the bizarre. It is always a treat to settle down with a good book he has narrated.

I loved the title and the introduction music is up beat and deceptively cheerful. Andrew Biss has written three short stories depicting and over dramatizing the pompous aspects of what thankfully may represent, if over blown, a very small percentage of the worlds population. I did have some good laugh out loud moments with all three of the tales. They are wonderfully ironic and funny.


In Cafe Grotesquerie, we have a spoiled and petulant woman being sulky and difficult
because she is not the center of attention. Nothing makes her happy, not even the best of anything. Aubrey tries to placate her, but she rebuffs and critizes his every attempt. Audrey even manages to give the condescending sommelier a taste of her acidic tongue. They are both completely uncaring about some of the most deplorable things going on around them. This is a tale of getting your just deserts.


Foreign Bodies, Victoria and Max are taking their get away vacation. To Victoria the foreign country they are visiting is exotic and fascinating, to Max it is just another place, nothing to special. It doesn't take Max long to realize it didn't pay to get a bargain rate vacation. The true price is quite high. They both are insensitive and egocentric and totally oblivious to the precarious situation they are in, not even in the, not to surprising ending, do they get it.

The Jones, a middle aged couple, have adopted two children from a broker, the boys are from a destitute country, and are not what the Joneses anticipated, not what they can warm up to and embrace. The  boys are constantly fighting for territorial rights, and are pretty vicious. It's not long before we wonder who is unhinged, the parents or the children. The Jones's hang on to their vainglorious ideals of being the beacon of goodness in their community, to the acrid end.
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