eAudiobooks – digital books you listen to, either on a computer or a portable listening device – are becoming increasingly popular and easily available in libraries. My local public library has a selection of ‘classics, new releases, nonfiction and bestsellers’ and since I’ve always been a fan of books that I can listen to when I’m stuck with mindless tasks (i.e. any kind of housework), I borrow as many of them as I can.
Writers’ Week revived my enthusiasm for Megan Abbott’s work: classic crime noir by a modern author.
Her first book, Die a Little, was published in 2005; the paperback caught my eye in a bookshop because of the gorgeously lurid cover illustration by Richard Fahey, an artist who specializes in ‘pulp artwork’. The eAudiobook is narrated by Ellen Archer, Audie Award -winning singer and actor:
“Ellen Archer takes Megan Abbott’s stylish exercise in noir and delivers a dynamite performance.” —AudioFile
So you get two for the price of one: classy reading of elegant prose! Abbott writes brilliantly, evoking a truly believable nightmare world, the sinister environment of 1950s Los Angeles with its criminals and drug addicts, seedy clubs and dingy bars. Her protagonist, Lora King, is a suburban school teacher who becomes enmeshed in this dark world when her brother Bill marries glamorous, corrupt Alice Steele, a Hollywood wardrobe assistant. The story that follows is as intriguing as it is frightening, ‘a tale that smoulders like the night’s last, forgotten cigarette’, as one reviewer astutely says.