Narrator: Matt Godfrey
Published by Valancourt Books on 27 March 2017
Length: 5 hrs and 27 mins
Genres: Horror, Noir, Science Fiction
Source: Narrator, Submitted
One of the great pulp writers, Fredric Brown (1906-1972) combined a flair for the horrific, a quirky sense of humor, and a wild imagination, and published many classic novels in the mystery and science fiction genres. But he was also a master of the "short-short story", tales only a page or two in length, but hard-hitting and with a wicked twist at the end. Nightmares and Geezenstacks (1961) collects 47 short gems by Brown, ranging from science fiction to noir crime to horror, including the chilling and unforgettable "The Geezenstacks". Long unobtainable, Brown's classic collection is available for the first time in almost 40 years and is sure to please both longtime fans and those who are discovering this brilliant writer for the first time.
"Might have been written by O. Henry in a black mood; alternately comic, horrifying [and] clever." (Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review)
"My favorite author of all time." (Mickey Spillane)
"A distinctive and unique voice...one of the genre's most incisive satirists and outstanding innovators." (Library Journal)
"One of the best pulp writers." (Booklist)
©1961, 1989 The Estate of Fredric Brown (P)2017 Valancourt Books, LLC
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Narrator, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
This book was originally published in 1961. Many of the stories feel charmingly dated by its mid-20th Century writing and observations. Venusians posing as humans, closets full of radio equipment and silly electronic weapons. The stories hold up well with time and this not a deterrent, just a message to the listener to understand what you are getting. The 47 stories are mostly quite short, a few minutes for many of them. They are quick and witty, rarely giving much depth into the characters, just a flash into bungled murders, foolish decisions, jaunty horror and unwise decisions. Often the stories are literary puns.
Brown is a noted author with an impressive resume and Nightmares and Geezenstacks may be a good introduction to his work for those discovering his work for the first time. Though it is fun to listen to very short stories, it may not be perfect for those looking to get lost in an audiobook. They are too quick to get into. By the time one starts, it’s over. It’s a personal choice, but for many, these stories would be much more appropriate in their written form, a couple of quick stories before bed or while relaxing on the sofa.
Matt Godfrey performs the stories well. He has an enjoyable voice appropriate for the humorous short horror stories. His character voices are easy to follow and he adds the right tone to them. He pauses when he needs to, like the timing of a comedian, which for many of the stories is exactly what you want.
For those looking to enjoy 1960s very short sci-fi/horror/humor stories, this will be a good listen or introduction. For those looking to get lost in a novel or more developed short stories, you might be disappointed. The stories are fun, quick and sometimes a little obvious. You might find yourself guessing what the twist will be in story, as there always is one. It is a throwback to simpler times and that’s sometimes what you are looking for.