review of The Secret of Ventriloquism by Jon Padgett

I had the perhaps unusual experience of having heard several interviews with the author before listening to this book. This gave quite a bit of context that richly enhanced my enjoyment, without (as it turned out) any spoilers (except for, y’know, that one time where the guy finds that thing in that place). I don’t necessarily recommend this approach, it just happened to work out nicely.

So, having already listened to his voice for hours, already accustomed to him telling his own tales, I was psyched to learn that he performed this audiobook. He’s frickin’ great. Oddly enough, this background didn’t prepare me for the exquisiteness of his writing. I found him so engaging in those interviews, I didn’t really think about the text itself.

Hypnotic, evocative prose plays out an alienated vantage, transporting us sideways into an uncanny world almost exactly like ours. But askew. Unsettling and beautiful. From things as mundane as air pollution, self-help, and ventriloquism technique, these tales unfold with elegant gradualness into revelations of something cosmically horrific.

If the world unfolds as I hope, someday I’ll see a production of the creepy one-act play in this collection. (If you’re a theater person looking for sinister material, the piece in question might just make yer head spin….)

I love this book.


buy it here I guess

great interview, part 1 of 2

great interview, part 2 of 2

another interview

audio excerpt