An audiobook review of My Absolute Darling

For my first re-read in about two years, I chose to listen to the Audible version of My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent, which I read and reviewed a proof copy of in 2017. I am so glad that I chose to listen to this novel even though it’s so dark, because it is truly atmospheric and Alex McKenna is a truly great narrator.

I loved this book the first time for the dark themes it explores, as well as Tallent’s use of language and setting. It is a novel which made me view California very differently and provided me with a new outlook on family dynamics. McKenna as a narrator brought my first experience of reading the book to life. I felt that she used the younger qualities of her voice to make Turtle seem more innocent and vulnerable, while using the rougher elements of her voice to make sure the characters all reflect their personal inner darkness.

With an author like Tallent and a narrator like McKenna, this book become more of a masterpiece than the first reading. It is still gruesome and some characters truly contemptuous, but if you can handle it, I would recommend listening to this as an audiobook as it is outstanding.

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