Title: Olive Juice
Author: TJ Klune
Narrator: Derrick McClain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Run Time: 5 hours and 11 minutes
At a Glance: There is no doubt this narrator was near perfection for the story and in less capable hands, much of the impact of this novel has would have been lost.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:
I want to see you.
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.
Phillip offers redemption.
Review: The Story: Something happened to David and Phillip—something that changed their lives forever. That loss, that unbearable and senseless loss, would drive them apart, causing their marriage to falter, their love to nearly break. Being with each other became too painful for both of them, but unlike David, Phillip would never give up hope that his husband would come back to him. In one last attempt, these two men come together, but it’s David who must reach beyond his pain and allow Phillip in, share with him this terrible thing that happened to them both, and determine to live beyond it—to hope and love again.
This story nearly broke my heart, but oh golly, the ending, the incredible, heart-wrenching and cathartic ending, was so worth all the sadness. Author TJ Klune writes sorrow like no other, but he never leaves us there without some ray of hope to anchor our hearts. Olive Juice is a gorgeous story of bravery and hope. Keep your tissues handy; you will need them.
The Narration: Voice actor Derrick McClain absolutely hits this one out of the park. The raw emotion he achieves in his narration is spot on and just breathtaking. He breathes incredible life into Klune’s characters and makes an already poignant story that much richer. His well-balanced speed of narration coupled with carefully placed pauses and an occasional hitch in tone and pitch combine to create such pathos and feeling in all his voicings. The way in which he gives a slight lilt to Phillip’s voice, a tenderness that steals into his speech, clues in the listener as to how much Phillip still loves David. But it’s the raw cry of pain when David finally must confront the past, and his fear that Phillip has moved on and left him behind, that is absolutely stunning to hear.
My only complaint with Mr. McClain is the tendency he has to overemphasize the ending of his sentences. It’s as if he vocally puts the punctuation mark on each thought by giving an over-pronounced feel to the final word in a sentence. It’s that sharp breath he takes, that emphasized inhale which makes the last syllable seem forced and a bit contrived. I wanted his delivery to be smoother, less dramatic at places, simply because I felt the wrong emphasis was being placed on the ends of sentences where there didn’t need to be any. But in comparison to the rich and glorious way in which Mr. McClain infused each moment with just the right amount of emotion, this tiny flaw was pretty inconsequential in the end. There is no doubt this narrator was near perfection for the story and in less capable hands, much of the impact of this novel has would have been lost.
You can buy Olive Juice here:
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