- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 44 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Angry Robot on Brilliance Audio
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 28 May 2013
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D1I7ODY
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Blue Blazes Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
Chuck Wendig isn’t one of these. He is the real thing. This is most evident in his actual writing. Wendig’s writing is thrilling: brash, fast, trashy, often obscene – and at its best, inventive and evocative, a pleasure in itself: whether you like it or not, it is unquestionably stylish and accomplished. His characterisation is typically very vivid and his imagination is off-centre (again, at his best), so even when dealing with familiar material he can surprise. He also writes actual stories; beginnings, middles, conclusions. That’s not to say he is without flaws. Although vivid, his characters don’t develop much, and his stories don’t take you on a journey (they ain’t gonna change your life) – but in doing what they do, they can be pitch-perfect.
His weakness seems to be quality control. Wendig can write BLACKBIRDS, but he can also write DOUBLE DEAD, which reads like it was dashed off in a weekend and lacks many (most?) of the positive qualities described above.
Which brings me to THE BLUE BLAZES. If I were comparing this to the best of Wendig’s own novels, I’d give this four stars – but as I’m comparing it to everyone else’s, I’ll give it five. Okay, stories in which a supernatural world lurks beneath the life of a modern city are not exactly rare. But how many feature an overweight gangster thug with a butcher’s cleaver and a penchant for cured meat products as their hero? A gang of rollerblading post-punk street girls with tartan skirts and Bowie knives? A dynastic struggle taking the form of a supernatural drugs trade and breaking into a gang war? And all of it wrapped in fast, vivid writing. It may be your thing or it may not, but the very least you will get your money’s worth.
This is a hard-assed, no-holds-barred blend of black-humoured noir and the sinister supernatural, with substantial action set pieces thrown in. There’s little philosophising or moral debate, but a whole chunk of inventive concepts stitched together into a convincing construct and peopled with realistic characters (and that’s surely saying something for half-men half-goats, or the living corpse of a fire victim). It righteously rattles along, deftly pulls the plot lines together, and offers a far more substantial read than the average ‘wizard high jinks’ urban fantasy. There’s quite a few tributes to ‘golden age’ horror tales in here, too.
There's more about the plot and characters over at murdermayhemandmore.net
The Blue Blazes is also blunt, violent and bloodily explicit, so not for folks who lean more towards the ‘romantic’ side of the supernatural spectrum. This is hard-boiled and reasonably hard-core, and a blast from beginning to end.
Some people would say that Mookie is a mountain of a man, however mountains are likely to take this amiss. They would be offended by this metaphor since mountains have a richly deserved reputation for not hunting people down and beating them to a pulp or, just as another example, driving garbage trucks into them. Don't get me wrong, Mookie wouldn't do this to you unless you deserved it, or his boss told him to do it, or unless you happened to be one of the creatures which started climbing up from below since a gateway to hell was opened up below New York City.
This is the world in which Blue Blazes is set, where creatures, evil and not so evil, have climbed up into our everyday existence and are infiltrating our lives, crime syndicates and sometimes our bodies. The novel barrels along with the exuberant energy of the best graphic novel but with the turn of phrase of an author who clearly enjoys his characters, his writing and words. If you read this book in company, warn your companion that you are going to be reading out some of the choice phrases which you encounter: trust me you won't be able to resist it! With these phrases Chuck Wendig creates characters whose company you quickly come to enjoy and some of whom you might miss when you finish the book. Speaking of which, it would be best to start this book when you have a free day because you aren't going to want to put it down until you have finished and can start whining about there not being a second Mookie Pearl novel available...yet...are you listening Chuck?