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Saturday, June 6, 2015

HARMLESS: AN UNCONVENTIONAL LOVE STORY (audiobook) by Ernie Lindsey



Published in 2013 by Ernie Lindsey
Read by DJ Holte
Duration: 10 hours, 34 minutes
Unabridged

First things first - this is a weird book. It was written to be that way. The author, Ernie Lindsey, set out to write a book in which the main character is totally unlikable but by the end of the book the reader will be rooting for this unlikable fellow.

Did he succeed?

Well, Steve Pendragon is certainly unlikable. It's not like he is an evil man. Rather, he is a clueless, thoughtless man. He keeps on flirting with his neighbor long after he should have gotten the clue that she did not want him to flirt with her any longer (in an office environment it would have careened into sexual harassment territory long before). It's not like he backs her up in the corner and puts his hands on her. He just does creepy things like have her mail delivered to his house so he has to walk it to her door every day. He stares at her from his window as she sunbathes. He gets into her car to roll her windows up when it is starting to rain and also uses the opportunity to dig through her mail.

Plus, he is clueless about all of his relationships. He is Herb from WKRP in Cincinnati. He knows he is awesome but everyone else knows he is at best average and certainly annoying. He talks non-stop about stuff that nobody cares about and he never listens. 


Photo by Niels Noordhoek
One evening Steve's world is turned upside down. His neighbor is shot and thrown from her upstairs window. Steve tries to catch the murderer before he escapes from her house but he is knocked out. He digs through her belongings before he calls the police (why? Because he's an idiot, as noted above) and when the police rule that it is a suicide he knows that he has to solve her murder himself. Once he heads off on this quest, Steve is going to learn as much about himself as he will about his murdered beautiful neighbor...

It was sort of entertaining just listening to narrator DJ Holte introduce the listener to Steve Pendragon. His clulessness and creepiness should remind everyone of someone that they have known in their life. The first half of the book moves pretty well. But, the second half of the book, when Steve goes "on the lamb" (there's a long discussion about that phrase) the book just bogs down with incessant observations, a long extended scene in an abandoned post office. It just goes nowhere for too long.

The narration by DJ Holte was excellent. He captures Steve's undeserved arrogance and creates unique voices for every character. So unique that you can tell who is talking just by their individual voices if you are caught up in one of Steve's long meandering conversations. 

Despite the excellent voice work, I have to give the story 3 stars out of 5. Through the first half of the book I would have given it 4.5 stars. But, the second half just moved too slowly for me.

Note: I was given a copy of this audiobook for review purposes.


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