Sunday, June 7, 2009

Four in a Row

I'm on a hot streak. No-doubt-about-it. With the help of bloggers The Drowning Machine and Pop Culture Nerd, I'm on a roll with regard to the last four audiobooks I've consumed. The latest was Don Winslow's current, The Dawn Patrol (which also comes out in paperback on the 16th of this month). It's killer... gnarly... righteous. Dude, it's just fun, surf 'n sun drenched crime fiction. Although surfing plays centrally in both books, this is a much different experience than the author's previous book, The Winter of Frankie Machine. I cannot bring myself to say one is better that the other--the antihero aspect of Frank Machianno is nostalgic for me (hey, I survived the 70's). Luckily, this author has more books that I've yet to read. As well, it's worth noting too, the Dawn Patrol characters are returning.

With regard to the audiobook, Blackstone Audio has produced another winner (in audio CD and MP3). Especially in using veteran voice actor/audiobook reader Ray Porter for this particular work. I'd listened to his work prior to this, and I can honestly say I was blew away with his range and versatility, here. He effortlessly moved between the distinct dialects and various characters that made up the crew of The Dawn Patrol. From the SoCal surf local Boone to the Samoan High Tide to the female type-A Brit lawyer, Petra, and a stable of others. Nothing the author had on the page challenged this narrator. He was amazing with all of the patois, slang and intonations the book demanded. I'll admit it, this was one of better book-narrator match-ups I've experienced in the years listening to the audio format.

So, I'm two-for-two in regard to Don Winslow books, and four-for-four in this run of wonderful audiobooks. And, I'm thinking (with Jen's Book Thoughts help) I'm going to extend that streak, soon.


  1. Enjoy the ride, Michael. Those times when everything you read seems touched with gold, those times never come as often or last as long as you'd like. But they are what keep pulling you back into books again and again.

  2. Thanks, Corey. Yeah, streaks never last. A Bridges of Madison County is sure to show up--the book, not the Eastwood-directed movie ;-).

  3. I'm so glad you liked it! I might have to check out the audio book now based on what you said. I can't imagine one man voicing the entire patrol plus Petra. I'd like to hear how he handled that strip club scene where they took Hang Twelve to celebrate his birthday. I spewed water through my nose while reading it.

    I don't know why we can't get The Gentleman's Hour here yet. Winslow said that Knopf will only say "next year" but won't give him a date.

    BTW, there will be no Bridges of Madison County for you if you pick up Charlie Huston. Start with Caught Stealing and you'll want to burn through the entire Hank Thompson trilogy. Based on what I've read about your taste, I guarantee you will like it. If you don't, you can publicly call me offensive names. Seriously.

  4. PCN: Porter's the man on this audiobook. He really won me over early when Petra came to the shop to find Boone and got his co-horts. The BD party had me cracking up, too.

    It seems a (bad) trend that Europe is getting book releases before U.S. (pun). The new Gregg Hurvitz book, Trust No One, was released under a different title last year, there. No like--we should complain (using the Squeaky Wheel statute).

    You know, we have this psychic connection, yes? I got the rare audiobook of Caught Stealing only recently. I need to move it over to my iPod, soon. Thanks.

  5. Hooray! Yes, move Caught Stealing over and enjoy. It's hardcore crime fiction but, like TDP, also hilarious.

    Funny you should mention the squeaky wheel theory. Winslow told me at the book festival that we should do just that--write letters to Knopf and demand a U.S. release date. Their email is

    And funny you should mention Gregg Hurwitz (the psychic connection continues!). I've read Trust No One aka We Know---it's goood---and will be posting an interview with him close to the June 23 laydown. Look for it!

  6. Thanks for the Knopf email address. They'll be hearing from this old wheel.

    Looking forward to your interview with Gregg, PCN.