Thursday, October 7, 2010

Audiobook Thursday - SOUL PATCH

First Line: "Nothing is so sad as an empty amusement park."

Moe Prager is called into service by his old friend Larry McDonald when Larry gives Moe a cassette tape to listen to. The tape is an interrogation; an interrogation in which the parties were not aware they were being taped. The tape reveals a perp offering up information about a drug dealer who was murdered in the 70s; part of the "Soul Patch" of Brooklyn. Shortly thereafter Larry McDonald commits suicide and Moe Prager finds himself investigating how the events tie together and exactly what his friend was trying to tell him.

While all of the Moe Prager novels delve into Moe, personally, SOUL PATCH does so from the perspective of Moe's relationships with his friends Larry and Rico. The Moe Prager series is one that demands to be read in order. Provider the reader has done so, he/she understands the importance of Moe's friendships with these men and the power they had to hurt him emotionally. Without that background, I don't think SOUL PATCH could be fully realized by the reader.

Another of the strengths of this series is the acknowledgment and depiction of Moe's day-to-day life; the mundane as well as the exciting. Coleman doesn't paint Moe as constantly in action and saving the day. Instead he shows how the drabness of ordinary is beginning to wear and chip away at his marriage to Katy.

Carmella is introduced in SOUL PATCH. Her anger at the world fires her drive to overcome gender barriers, age barriers, race barriers. She's determined to make something of herself and nothing will stand in her way. In a lot of ways, she is Moe's opposite. He bumbles and stumbles through life, pretty much taking what life hands him. Carmella demands life give her what she wants.

SOUL PATCH isn't lacking in Coleman's sarcastic humor or his rich Brooklyn setting. Dialogue is crisp and witty. Another all-around winner in the Moe Prager series.

I listened to SOUL PATCH on audio, narrated again by Andy Caploe. This is the third of the Prager novels that I've listened to on audio and I've now come to associate Caploe's sound with Moe Prager. It was natural from the get-go. Caploe seems to bring the Brooklyn sound out as well as the gruffness of many of the characters that inhabit SOUL PATCH. He seems to exude a positive energy while at the same time conveying the dark tones of the plot. The one voice that tended to be a little odd to me was Carmella's. While Carmella is young for her profession, she's already been hardened by life and I didn't feel that came across as powerfully as the other characters do. But overall, I think Caploe is an excellent fit for this series and I enjoy his narration.

SOUL PATCH was originally published by Bleak House as a hardcover (ISBN: 978-1-932557-35-0) in 2007. It is now available in trade paper from Busted Flush Press (ISBN: 978-1-935415-09-1) or as an Audible exclusive audiobook.

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helen October 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM  

Like you banner a lot! Will have to check your blog out more often!

Dorte H October 7, 2010 at 3:44 PM  

I like that first sentence. It is like that very scary scene of the horror movie: the empty swing in the night :D

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