Podcast Review #114: Underwood and Flinch (Season 1)

Title: Underwood and Flinch
Author: Mike Bennet
Genre: Vampire Horror
Released: 18 January 2009 – 27 November 2009
Located: PodiobooksiTunes, Author’s site
Formats Available: podcast only
Rating: R for violence, language and adult content

Back in October of 2009, before I began reviewing podcast fiction, I had stumbled upon Mike Bennet’s Hall of Mirrors Podcast. Hall of Mirrors is similar to one of the old time television horror magazines. It much reminded me of Night Gallery (for those of you that remember that far back). I enjoyed most of the few eps I had a chance to listen to, but with the beginning of these reviews, I found I had little time to listen to anything that wasn’t a novel, so Hall of Mirrors fell off my listen to list. Recently I discovered Mr. Bennet had been working on a vampire novel and part one was complete.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: All David Flinch ever wanted was a normal life.

But when you’re a member of the Flinch family, normal has never been easy.

For hundreds of years, the eldest male Flinch has been servant and guardian to the Lord Underwood. While the Flinches have changed through the generations, Underwood, a vampire, has been eternal. David had hoped to be spared the horror of serving his family’s lord and master, but when he is summoned to the Flinch home in Spain by his dying older brother, he knows his luck has run out. Underwood must be resurrected from the grave in a ritual of human sacrifice, and David must be the man to do it. Because if he doesn’t, an even greater evil than Underwood will rise: the evil that is David’s sister.

Underwood and Flinch is an epic horror-thriller that spans the centuries. From the teeming slums of 17th Century London to an ex-pat community in modern-day Spain, this is the new novel from Mike Bennett, author of ‘One Among the Sleepless’ and ‘Hall of Mirrors’. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: Mr. Bennet does a fine job with the production of Underwood and Flinch. There isn’t any atmospheric noises to jar the listener out of the story. There is also no use of sound affects other than the occasional bit of music which I found to add atmosphere and authenticity. Overall, I enjoyed the production very much.

Grade: A-

Cast: Mr. Bennet does Underwood and Flinch as a self read, and he does it very well. His grandiose, at times, over the top narration is perfect for the story he is telling. This is one of those cases where I truly believe there is no one that could read the story like the author. You truly get the feeling this is what it sounded like in his own head when he wrote it.

Grade: A+

Story: Underwood and Flinch is a vampire story. A vampire story built on the mythos of Dracula and other vampire stories from my youth. You know the kind. The vampire is unrepentant of his need for blood. He is not good, or gentle, or sparkly. He eats people. He takes what he wants. It is also the story of David Flinch. His caretaker. This is the sympathetic character and he does a good job even if he wallows a bit in his own pain.

Grade: A

Verdict: Once again I find myself the victim of not reading closely enough. Underwood and Flinch is “in progress”. When I first subscribed, I just assumed it was complete as it hadn’t been updated for a couple of weeks and had 40 episodes. Rather long episodes at times. I wish it had been complete because I greatly enjoyed it and want to know how the story ends. However, the first season (or part) is complete and tells the tale of David Flinch and his familial obligation to serve the Lord Underwood and help in his resurrection after a long dormant hibernation. One thing I truly liked about this story is that it truly DID end some elements of the story by the end of season one. This has become a pet peeve of mine lately. If a podcast is going to claim “seasons” then it has the right to leave storylines open, and even to cliffhanger me. However, I truly believe that it must end some elements of the story rather than just “quit”. Mike Bennet made sure Underwood and Flinch ended season one at a natural point, but it will definitely leave you wanting more.

Disclosure: I”ve never met or tweeted with Mr. Bennet. I don’t even know if he’s on Twitter (though I remember hearing something about that on the podcast). I was offered nothing in return for this review.

Comment Pages

There are 8 Comments to "Podcast Review #114: Underwood and Flinch (Season 1)"

  • Thomas says:

    Do you NOT read my bitstrips? Shame… (Do I need to post the link?) I adore anything Mike puts out. Check out his “One Among the Sleepless”. it is brilliant. Mike has a way of making the tried and true, new and intriguing. whether it is his novels or his short stories or his banter (What’s in YOUR refrigerator?). Mike does it very well.

  • I also love Mike and his work. I was in familiar with him very early in my podcast listening. He got me through many tough workouts at the gym with his stories.

  • Mike Bennett says:

    Thanks for the great review Odin. I found it after Googling the U&F page at Podiobooks, so it was an unexpected – but most welcome surprise. I’m delighted to hear you’ve enjoyed the podcast so far, and am confident that you will enjoy the rest of it as we draw to the novel’s conclusion (I obviously can’t comment on the nature of the conclusion, but I can say that the book will definitely have an ending).
    Oh, and a big hello to Thomas and Arlene too 🙂

  • Jax says:

    swim in the dark depths of another great novel from Mike Bennett. Hooked from the start , I wriggled on the end of every line in this beautifully paced & sneakily humerous story,

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