Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Shelter Cycle by Peter Rock

Rating: WARTY!

I don't know if Peter Rock is the author's real name or not. If it is, his parents evidently didn't know that Peter and Rock mean the same thing. It would be like naming him Rocky Rock! Or more a propos, naming me Woody Wood. And yes, I know where you're going with that, but I'm not going there with you!

I did not like this audiobook. Amy Rubinate's reading was flat and uninspiring, and the story itself was boring and so far out there on the edge as to be lost in the haze. The story is of Francine, who used to be friends with Colville fifteen years before, when they were children and a part of a religious cult (full disclosure: to me all religions are cults!), but they haven't seen each other since the religious prophecies predictably failed, as they always do, and the cult broke apart under its own unsustainable weight as all religions do in one way or another.

Now Francine is married to Wells and they're expecting a child. Perhaps at this point, you see why I opened this by talking about the author's name. I couldn't help but wonder if he had been somehow marked for life by his name, and this is why his characters (male ones at least) have such unusual names like Colville and Wells. But Anyway, Colville shows up out of the blue having tracked Francine down. He claims he is there to help find this young girl who has disappeared from the village, but he really doesn't help in the search and seems much more interested in reconnecting with Francine than in anything else, and perhaps connecting with her as yet unborn child from what I've read in reviews of others. I wisely DNF'd it.

Colville is so creepy as to be stomach-turning, yet neither Wells nor Francine really view him that way, although Wells is predictably more inclined to do so than is his wife ever is. She voluntarily meets with her childhood friend in his motel room at one point because he asked her to. It was at this point that I quit listening because the story was a drag. It was taking forever, going nowhere, and everyone seemed so passive that I imagined the author manipulating them like clay animation figures when he wrote this: people who had to be meticulously positioned over lengthy periods of time before the next vignette in the series could be snapped. Yawn. They felt to me to be the very antithesis of dynamic, and it when I realized that it was never actually going to be animated, that I quit listening.

The author should have dedicated this: For Mica, it was so thin. I cannot recommend a pile of schist like this. I would have preferred a stony silence. I have no desire to read anything else by this author.