By Kit Power
Narrated by Ⓟ 2015, Kit Power
5 hrs and 56 mins
This is a short but rather intense novel about a young man who walks into a religious revival/faith healing service with a block of explosive in hand, and his thumb on the release trigger. His demand? He wants to hear the voice of God speak to him, or else he is going to blow himself up and take everyone with him. The tension of the scenes, the palpable fears and concerns of the congregation in the face of an erratic stranger as well as the seemingly deaf God to whom they pray, lend this horror story some lit-fic bones, giving it weight against pulpy tales of the macabre. There are horrific things that happen, and with graphic detail; but they are grounded in reality and not gratuitous in nature.
The structure/shape of the novel itself allows the listener a Rashomon-style take of the scenes within the story; and the overall body of the story has a play-like feel – from the list of characters at the beginning, to the altar area cum stage that serves as the focus for the unfolding drama. This is Kit Power’s debut novel, and while perhaps some changes regarding the development/presentation of one or two of the key characters could have been made earlier or clearer, the point is moot as the author nevertheless portrays emotional complexity and tension deftly. An additional accolade to the writer’s skill is that the listener cannot know how the story ends until the last minutes, keeping the listener riveted for the outcome.
Chris Barnes tells the story with sure pacing and confidence with the material, and doesn’t stand in the way of the story or use it as a showcase for character work (however tempting that might have been!) He does have a very thick Scottish accent, and coupled with some idiomatically UK expressions, may make the first few minutes difficult to acclimate to; but if the writing is not particularly lyrical, there is a flow to the narrative à la Barnes that places the reader at the scene very effectively and quickly. That said, it’s probably helpful to have a passing knowledge of evangelical preaching and faith healing services; and that “tenobare” is actually a “tin of beer” (a can of beer.)
I’m really looking forward to more by this author and narrator respectively; and admittedly, would love to see this performed as a play onstage.
OTHER: I purchased GodBomb! (by Kit Power; narrated by Chris Barnes) from Audible.com. I receive no monies, goods (beyond the audiobook) or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. I am FB friends with the narrator; but he didn’t ask me to listen to the audiobook, and doesn’t know I have – unless he’s reading this right now 🙂
EDIT: 04/14/2016 – Added SoundCloud audio track (Dynamic Ram Audio Productions)