Narrator: Tavia Gilbert
Published by Audible Studios on 09 September 2014
Length: 4 hrs and 14 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
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Harrison is the Monster Detective, a storybook hero. Now he’s in his mid-30s and spends most of his time not sleeping. Stan became a minor celebrity after being partially eaten by cannibals. Barbara is haunted by the messages carved upon her bones. Greta may or may not be a mass-murdering arsonist. And for some reason, Martin never takes off his sunglasses.
Unsurprisingly, no one believes their horrific tales until they are sought out by psychotherapist Dr. Jan Sayer. What happens when these questionably-sane outcasts join a support group? Together they must discover which monsters they face are within, and which are lurking in plain sight.
©2014 Daryl Gregory (P)2014 Audible Inc.
We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory is original and unique. I love Urban Fantasy and was drawn to this book because of the unusual way the narrative is presented; it’s told from the point of view of several characters attending a support group hosted by the only psychotherapist, Dr. Jan Sayer, who believes that their experiences are real and not mostly a result of some sort of psychosis.
All the characters are sole survivors of supernatural traumas which cause them to live as social outcasts and Dr. Jan Sayer seems to set the support group up to encourage healing through the sharing of their inexplicable and traumatic experiences. What is particularly enjoyable is the way that Daryl Gregory reveals each character’s experiences and character; because of the support group setting I expected there to be more ‘telling’ but Gregory cleverly presents us with what we may initially consider as stereotypical personalities only to develop them through the novella into rich and unique people. It’s incredible just how well all these unique characters are developed within what is a fairly short narrative. I was initially rather irritated by Stan, he seemed to love being a victim and demanded a certain amount of recognition for his fame as the sole survivor of a strange cannibalistic attack. His story proved to be quite horrific as did Barbara’s; Barbara, a survivor of an attack by a supernatural psychopath, seemed to be the most ‘collected’ of the group, and perhaps she was, I’m still pondering on that point. Harrison, a Monster Detective, whose experiences are largely believed to be fictional is cynical and seems uninterested and of course there is also the seemingly selfless and empathetic Doctor, again she may be exactly that… I hate to give away too much in my reviews, I prefer them not to be an analysis and summary of the plot but rather an encouragement to read or listen to the book yourself. I recommend that you do exactly that.
The audiobook is narrated by Tavia Gilbert, to start off with I was distracted by the way all the male characters sounded angry and gruff and all the female characters sounded apologetic, especially the psychotherapist, I would have expected her to sound more assertive. However, Tavia adds a lot of emotion into her narration, it is very clear and once I got used to her particular style I conclude that her narration does add to the narrative.
Daryl Gregory’s novella is certainly surprising, although it is a complete story in itself I hope there is a sequel, Dr Jan Sayer’s personal story still has lots to reveal and personally I’d love to meet Stan and the rest of the group in a continuation of their story.