Podcast Review 116: One Among the Sleepless

Title: One Among the Sleepless
Author: Mike Bennett
Genre: urban psychological horror
Released: 5 December 2006 – 25 June 2007
Located: Podiobooks, iTunes, Author’s site
Formats Available: podcast only
Rating: strong R for heavy violence, language and explicit sexual content

Subscribers to this blog might find the name Mike Bennett familiar. I would hope so anyway, because it was only two weeks ago that I reviewed Mr. Bennett’s superlative vampire novel (or at least part one of it) Underwood and Flinch. That story was so good, and so fun, that I decided to check out Mr. Bennett’s only other long form audio project out. Mr. Bennett has been podcasting for some time. As you can see from above, he started this podcast way back in the early days of podcast fiction. How does the story hold up?

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: “One Among The Sleepless” is a contemporary fiction novel set in Brighton, England about sex, death and noisy neighbors: a thriller with a rich vein of dark humor that flows from both the narrative and the dialogue of the characters. It’s a largely character-driven story; the people and their various shifting relationships compel the plot forward through sometimes subtle, sometimes brutal plot twists towards the final, nail-gnawing climax. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: While not as slick as Underwood and Flinch, Mr. Bennett again does quite a commendable job with One Among the Sleepless. All audio levels are pretty much stationary and the listener is able to get hooked on the rhythm of the voice work (more below). It seems Mr. Bennett doesn’t really know how to write a short book, and One Among the Sleepless clocks in at over 30 large eps. The production isn’t perfect. Occasionally, Mr. Bennett will repeat a line (this happens rarely, but it was noticed at least once). Of more irksome notice was the stereo balancing in the last episode especially. I quite often listen to podcasts at home using a single earbud. This allows me to listen to not safe for children content while still be an attentive parent. In the last episode, Mr. Bennett added panning to the mix and effectively limited me to half of several conversations before I figured out what was going on. Also, there was a small lack of consistency. Sometimes there was a TSSF, sometimes there wasn’t. Sometimes there was an excess of metadata after the story, sometimes it simply ended. These things did throw me from time to time.

Grade: B

Cast: Mr. Bennett is an amazing voice actor. He’s so good in fact I’ve wondered on more than one occasion if he ends up doing voices around the house or gets into “narrator voice” at the day job. I can’t imagine how he couldn’t, he seems to have so much fun being “on”.

That doesn’t mean he does every voice perfectly. In fact, there are a threesome of guys in this book that sound like British dopplegangers of Beevis and Butthead. Yeah, I could have done without that, but really, that isn’t much to complain about, and really is just my own personal preference.

Grade: A

Story: One Among the Sleepless is one of those stories, like Love Actually (which I adored) or Crash (which I detested) that have a series of separate story threads going on that you have no idea how they’ll play together, and yet somehow by the end, they weave a single seamless story.

In One Among the Sleepless, Mr. Bennett follows several characters around and you’re never really sure who the story is really about. By the end, all I can say is, I was glad the ones that made it out alive, did. And no, I don’t count that as a spoiler.

Grade: B+

Verdict: One Among the Sleepless might quite possibly be the most adult oriented podcast I’ve ever listened to. The content and language are very much at the upper end of what I’ll put up with for the sake of a good story. I did enjoy One Among the Sleepless, and I will recommend it to those of you that aren’t easily offended by adult content. As I listened to this podcast it struck me how very like a screenplay this story was. There are threads that, while complete, didn’t get woven into the final tapestry as tightly as I would have liked, and we’re still unclear of the motivations behind one of the major characters. This is forgivable though in the context in which it was presented.

Disclosure: Nothing has really changed in the two weeks since I last wrote about Mr. Bennett’s and my relationship. It is still nonexistent. The check must still be in the mail. Nothing was offered or accepted in return for this review.

Comment Pages

There are 2 Comments to "Podcast Review 116: One Among the Sleepless"

  • Mike Bennett says:

    Many thanks, Odin. Gmail alerts notified me about this review, which might be the first time it’s ever done so other than to tell me that I myself have posted something somewhere, but that’s nether here nor there. Glad you enjoyed One among the Sleepless. It is a bit racy in places, so much so that I still haven’t been able to tell my mum I’ve written it. Ho ho 🙂

    • odin1eye says:

      You’re quite welcome. You have a real talent. Also, thanks for not “Americanizing” One Among the Sleepless. It is nice to have the colloquialisms of an area give the extra flavour to a story.

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