Title: The Gorilla Poet
Author: Keith Hughes
Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Released: 10 October 2010 – 30 December 2010
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks
Formats Available: podcast
Rating: R – for violence and adult situations
Keith Hughes was first reviewed on this blog with his wonderful time travel story Borrowed Time. Even after having enjoyed that story so much, I was a bit hesitant to try The Gorilla Poet. I really don’t know why. I just was. I finally decided to give it a listen in May of this year.
So, on to the review.
Synopsis: What if by simply Writing a Word you could build a wall, light a fire, or cloud someone’s mind? In an environment like this Alan Porter struggles to use his talents to overthrow a totalitarian government that controls the masses by controlling Words. Access to Writing materials is restricted, and creating Verse without a license is severely punished. Raised in this atmosphere of systematic censorship, Alan heeds the irresistible call of Words to create a better world.
Now Alan gathers people who will fight with him to bring about a society based on freedom. In a war where the weapons are stylus, paper, and Words, he is the only one who can lead the battle and show the way to victory, a fight that Alan Porter wages even long after his death, because he is the Guerrilla Poet. (Stolen from Podiobooks.com)
Production: Mr. Hughes does a good job of editing and producing his own podcasts. There isn’t a lot of production that is obvious, and unless you are adept at production, there really isn’t a better compliment I can think of. I like listening to podcasts like The Gorilla Poet that don’t try to impress me with anything but story. It also makes it easy to grade.
Cast: Mr. Hughes does, to my knowledge, all of his stories as self reads. The Gorilla Poet was not an exception. Mr. Hughes has a reading style that is a bit unique and I suspect readers will either like it or they won’t (way to cover my bet there, eh?). For me, the style of the narration fits his stories well and I quite enjoyed it.
Story: The Gorilla Poet is unique among the many stories I have read or heard. That in and of itself goes a long way towards keeping my interest. Add to that it was a truly good story and that makes it a slam dunk. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have an issue or two with it. The Gorilla Poet is a story imbedded within a story. You know the kind told in flashbacks. You know, the kind that – if you’re like me- you hate. I truly believe this story could have been told as an initial story and perhaps a sequel. I’m probably a minority, but I would have preferred that. I truly do hate flashbacks. But as you can see, my personal preference holds no sway in the grade here.
Verdict: So, why did I wait so long to listen to The Gorilla Poet? I have no idea. I shouldn’t have. And if you haven’t listened to it yet, I recommend you rectify that. However, I do warn you, it can be a bit of an emotional ride.
Disclosure: My disclosures have changed. Although I still follow Mr. Hughes on twitter (@edgizmo) and found him to be a nice addition to my stream, I’m no longer active on twitter and haven’t had an open conversation there in over 4 months. Needless to say, I was not asked, or offered anything, for this review.