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Reviews

David Linski's voice conjures the heat and dust of the Australian Outback of the 1800s. Howarth's audiobook is a bleak tale in which childhood innocence isn't lost--it's obliterated. Two teenage boys, 14-year-old Tommy and 16-year-old Billy, are forced to seek revenge after their family is slaughtered. Sullivan, the landowner to whom the family is indebted, takes responsibility for the children; however, Sullivan's intentions, and the law enforcement with whom he's involved, have ulterior motives in their mission of retribution. Linski's stoic, tense narration complements the tone of this dark but compelling Western, which is both a gripping thriller and a powerful story of masculinity, race, and identity. S.P.C. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2018]

David Linski narrates as Simon, a teenager from Australia who loves music but, because of a stroke, has lost all hearing. Narrating in first person as a character who cannot hear is no easy feat, and Linski is up to the task. He makes the smart decision to speak slowly and clearly because Simon, who can talk but can't hear himself, would do exactly that. Additionally, Linski makes the choice to only do distinct voices for characters whom Simon would have heard before losing his hearing, such as his family and friends. The rest of the cast sound almost indistinct from each other—other than there being a slight variation for gender. Linski brings the listener on a painful but beautiful ride. A.R.F. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

Flanagan's novel comes to life because of narrator David Linski's ability to transform its characters into people listeners can relate to. The audiobook focuses on poverty-stricken writer Kif Kehlmann, who agrees to ghostwrite the memoir of Siegfried Heidl, a criminal with a history of fraud and other crimes. Linski is adept at gently exposing the internal conflict that arises as Kehlmann tries to determine whether he is writing a story, becoming part of it, or being manipulated in other ways. Linski does so using a deft mix of inflection and tone that work to bring out Kehlmann's varying emotions and create a fascinating experience for listeners. D.J.S. © AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2018]