- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: ISIS Audio Books
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 8 May 2009
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQ7CJ6
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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Bad Things Audiobook – Unabridged
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I realised pretty quickly that he was trying his hand at an old school horror novel - the kind of thing King/Koontz used to do rather well - creepy small town, locals in cahoots with supernatural forces, mayhem ensues etc etc. Never mind that this plot has already been done to death I was still optimistic at this point thinking that maybe MMS could give it a sharp new twist. Boy was I wrong! By the time I was half way through the novel my enthusiasm had seriously begin to run out - the plot seemed totally generic, the characters underdeveloped and the writing uninspired. Clearly MMS was totally out of ideas and just trying to up the word count to a point where he could tag on a dreary generic ending and foist this effort on an unsuspecting public. In order for this kind of book to work you need a authentically creepy environment, menacing locals and a sympathetic hero/heroine to root for. All this was lacking here - the 'supernatural menace is never remotely believable, the female villain is no Annie Wilkes and the gang enforcers are about as scary as kids dressed up for Halloween. Worst of all the hero of the novel is totally unlikeable, an selfish idiot who has an affair when his wife is pregnant and doesn't seem remotely bothered about his (surviving) son. In fact the scariest thing about this book was the £6.99 I paid to download it to my Kindle!
I would advice any fans of MMS's early work to avoid this book like the plague - it seems he has turned his back on his unique talent to write pedestrian horror novels which any hack writer could produce. If you like this kind of creepy locals/supernatural forces novel there are plenty of better examples - King's 'Children of the Corn' and Thomas Tyron's 'Harvest Home' spring immediately to mind and Simon Clark's 'Darkness Demands' isn't bad either. But avoid this one like the plague!
The main characters are so cliched its frightening - a lawyer who just happens to have a past in 'shady military and secret service' type things, and as a previous reviewer points out, therefore seems to have unlimited access to funds, huge amounts of which he is willing to blow on his bosses daughter and her ne'er do well boyfriend - despite never having said more than 'howdy' to them before!
This past also seems to equip him to deal with super tough street gangs / drug dealers (who in real life would probably blow him away in his designer clothes before he finished his first sentence)yet his former wife seems to be completely unaware of all this - yawn.
The 'supernatural twist' in the novel is nothing more than the hackneyed old wicker man / children of the corn one yet again (why do people persist in living in these scary little towns?)
And whilst i sympathise with the previous reviewer (insomuch as the leading character of the novel was a wooden parody of a human being) I found the novel so sexist I actually was moved to wonder whether M.M himself is living through a painful divorce / affair - seeing as every single female character in the book is useless, pathetic, downright odd or homicidal and the male characters are just such lovely decent men who just cant help themselves for having an affair - or lovely decent men who are willing to get out the big guns (literally) and roar off to the help of their old army buddy despite knowing he's had an affair with their wife and they havent seen him in years! Yeah, right!
Truly a real let down, and I can only hope Michael Marshall gets back on track soon - or sticks to writing the fantasy novels he does so well! I should have known what to expect when the 'brilliant' reviews printed on the back of this book are from the Daily Mail and the Mirror - if thats the best you can do, its aint good, is it?!!
John is living a seemingly idylic life with his wife and two young sons in a beautiful lakeside house in the country of Washington State when tragedy strikes. His previous life is destroyed by grief and we catch up with him some time later working an anonymous life as a waiter and part time pizza chef.
An unexpected email with a promise of an explanation of his tragedy opens up the past and results in him returning to his previous house. Things then slowly get stranger and more frightening. The story of his past life is slowly and painfully revealed along with that of many other characters.
What are the 'Bad Things' of this story? Take your pick, there are numerous interpretations of that phrase.
Michael Marshall skillfully blends characters, places and history along with the ancient fears we all have. He also has a fantastic way of writing about the very real failures, flaws and troubled relationships that people have in a way that clarifies them without the need to necessarily understand why they happen.
A tense and gripping thriller that I can highly recommend.