I have a first for me today on my blog, an audio book! “Six Stories” by Matt Wesolowski published by Audible Studios, this is also available in paperback and eBook format by Orenda Books. Take your pick of format and BUY HERE
It’s 1997. Scarclaw Fell. The body of teenager Tom Jeffries is found at an outward bound centre. Verdict? Misadventure. But not everyone is convinced. And the truth of what happened in the beautiful but eerie fell is locked in the memories of the tight-knit group of friends who took that fateful trip and the flimsy testimony of those living nearby.
It’s 2017. Enter elusive investigative journalist Scott King, whose podcast examinations of complicated cases have rivalled the success of Serial, with his concealed identity making him a cult Internet figure.
Featuring a full cast narration using 17 different voices!
I have never really properly sat down to listen to an audio book before, they have been background noise like a radio would be, so when I spotted Amazon running a free trial I decided it was about time I gave them a go. Where to start and what to pick was a problem, you have 1 free purchase of any book and there are millions, literally millions to chose from. So my choice was based on just browsing until something cropped up. This is when I saw “Six Stories” I have this one on my wish list, it is there because of the book reviews I had seen from fellow Bloggers and also on the Blog Tour for Orenda Books organised by Anne Cater. It seemed like a good choice as I had not read it, wanted read it but finding the time to fit it in was a problem. I agree not the most scientific choice, but it worked for me. What I had not realised, or more like had forgotten about was that this book was set out as a podcast and it soon became apparent, either by pure luck or fate this book was already a good choice given its written style. I listened to this as I was digging my garden, you may think this odd, but NO DISTRACTIONS! so it worked for me 🙂
So enough waffling, onto my thoughts. This is story is set out as a series of podcasts by 6 different people as they recount their version of events from 1995/6 when a Tom Jeffries body is found. The podcast is produced 10 years later and is the work of Scott King and he has interviewed those who knew Tom.
OH WOW!!!! What a story, twists, darkness, atmospheric details, suspense, drama it has the lot and a hell of a lot more. As I listened to this story there were times when I forgot I was listening to a book or a work of fiction. You get a real sense of the characters and also the environment of Scarclaw Fell. The characters conveyed many emotions as they told their tale, some with hesitation and nerves, a sign of embarrassment or guilt maybe. The interviewees have a reluctance about them that adds to the air of mystery, also adds to the feeling of them having more involvement than they want to admit. I really liked the way Matt used Scott’s character by adding little asides about the little nuances he picks up from the characters as they tell their tales. He relates a reluctance a hesitation or little visual quirks he notices in the characters, whether they are coincidental to the story they tell or just something he notices. Again another great way to build up suspicion and suspense.
The description of the Fell were very well described, an area containing geological, historical and industrial descriptions. A place of danger from abandoned mine shafts and marshes, with the inevitable folklore tales of a mysterious, legendary character that will trap the unwary. There is a presence of bullying in this story, it is not nice listening to someone tell of how it had affected them it is an essential element that has been very well portrayed and Matt has not held back on this issue but has also not over dramatised it.
So as a bit of a summary, this is a real gritty, atmospheric and superb listen. I think this is one I will definitely read as a book even though I have listened to the audio. I did get a real sense of suspense, drama and there is a little bit of a horror element to it. It has a feel of something very different, new and exciting about it. On the audio side of it, the voices of the characters were good, I did find a couple of voices that I was not that keen on but it didn’t take away any of the enjoyment. It helped that with remembering the characters, but not as much as I would remember them in a book. I think this is a skill that can be developed over time.
This is a story I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND who want a something that is full of mystery, tales, folklore, that is atmospheric, gritty and dark. It will keep you on the edge of your seat as the tale is told, and what a tale it was. I absolutely loved this one.
About the Author:
Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North.
Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies.
Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at ‘Bloody Scotland’; Crime Writing Festival 2015, his subsequent debut crime novel ‘Six Stories’ was published by Orenda Books in the spring of 2017
Follow Matt on Twitter
About the Audio Book:
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Audible Studios
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 15 Mar. 2017
- Language: English
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