Life Stuff

Audiobook Adventures

Happy Fourth of July week to you all! I hope you’re out there enjoying the weather. I don’t know how it’s been throughout the rest of the world but here in Iowa, it has been just glorious. Sunny days with cool-ish temperatures–especially for late-June/early-July.

I’ve been spending a lot of my summer indoors because all of my jobs are inside jobs. I do get to go out on bike rides and long walks during the evenings. But I often stare longingly out the windows when I’m at most of my jobs. One of my jobs doesn’t have a window and it is a pretty monotonous job. So, I decided to tackle one of the items on my yearly list and listen to an audiobook. Previously, I had been listening to podcasts, mainly, Stuff You Should Know. One of their ads was for Audible. A one-month trial membership with one free audiobook. How could I resist? I looked through the list of books I wanted to read and chose Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes as my free book of choice. Later, I found out that I could’ve rented this audibook from my library. Now, I’m a newbie when it comes to audiobooks and had I known that I could rent audiobooks from my library, for free, I would’ve chosen something that I couldn’t get from the library for free. But either way, this book was free.

This was a first for me on a couple of levels. It was my first audiobook. It was also my first Stephen King novel. I haven’t had someone read me a story for a long time and I wasn’t sure if I would actually retain the plot if it were read to me. I’ve always had a frustrating time with reading and retaining information. Which is one of the reasons grad school is annoying–so much reading, not a lot of retaining information. Usually when I read books for pleasure, I don’t remember specific details about the book, I just remember how the book made me feel. Like when I read Still Alice, I remember liking the book and feeling moved at the end. But if you ask me to recall specific scenes, it would be difficult for me to do. This whole reading comprehension thing has plagued me my whole life. I remember getting terrible scores on standardized tests in reading comprehension. Eh, I digress. I found that I retained more details when I listened to the audiobook! Even now, after have “read” (aka listened) to two other books, I can remember specific scenes from Mr. Mercedes. Which may not be impressive to you, but it is to me!

I really enjoyed King’s novel. I’ve read other reviews that say that Mr. Mercedes ventures away from King’s typical writing style. This is basically just a murder mystery without his supernatural tendencies. I’m a fan of mysteries and thrillers so this was right up my alley. It’s about a retired detective who is haunted by an unsolved case–a man drove a Mercedes into a crowd of people waiting in line outside of a job fair. Years have passed since the incident but it remains unsolved. “Mr Mercedes” reaches out to the retired detective through a letter and taunts him about never being able to solve the case. Instead of turning the letter over to the police, the detective begins to investigate on his own. There are some disturbing passages about the life of “Mr Mercedes” sprinkled throughout the book–he obviously has some issues since he chose to drive a car into a crowd of people. Overall, this was a great first audiobook to listen to. The second book in the trilogy, Finders Keepers, came out last month and I am in line to rent it from the library!

Overall, I’d rate Mr. Mercedes as a good mystery novel. It’s a light read/listen but you do have to pay attention.

Since my first experience with Mr. Mercedes, I have started two additional audiobooks! I started The Alchemist, but couldn’t finish it…I did not have the same experience that apparently everyone else who read it did. I’m currently listening to Lock In by John Scalzi which is great, so far! But if you decide to read or listen to it, you’ll want to read the prequel novella Unlocked first, it explains a lot and will help you to understand what is happening from the beginning.

That’s all for now, tune in next time for another installment of Audiobook Adventures.

That might not happen. Don’t hold your breath.

Until next time, fellow BFs!

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