by Graeme Cameron
Narrator: Julian Elfer
Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
Genres: Horror, Thriller
This is a love story. No, really.
He lives in your community, in a nice house with a well-tended garden. He shops in your grocery store, bumping shoulders with you as you pass him and apologizing with a smile. He drives beside you on the highway, politely waving to let you into the lane ahead of him. What you don't know is that he has an elaborate cage built into a secret basement under his garage. And the food that he's carefully shopping for is to feed a young woman he's holding there against her will--one in a string of many, unaware of the fate that awaits her. This is how it's been for a long time. It's normal...and it works. Perfectly.
Then he meets the checkout girl from the 24-hour grocery. And now the plan, the hunts, the room...the others. He doesn't need any of them anymore. He needs only her. One small problem--he still has someone trapped in his garage. Discovering his humanity couldn't have come at a worse time.
After reading reviews from fellow bloggers, I decided I needed to listen to Normal by Graeme Cameron. I love twisted stories and the main protagonist of our story is a serial killer. Normal shares what happens when a serial killer falls in love. Dark, creepy and often hilarious I found myself listening into the wee hours.
Delivered through the mind of a sociopath and narrated by Julian Elfer in a dry English accent I slipped into the story from the first few pages. Cameron opens the tale as our protagonist is disposing of a body. The author offers us no name or description of our POV. Heck, I cannot even tell you what he does to earn a living.
While our protagonist is definitely, a killer he does not fall into the stereotypical parameters of a typical serial killer. His victims seem to be random and his methods change from killing to killing. Dare I even say he feels empathy? I would liken him to Dexter minus the meticulous evidence removal. It is a wonder to me that he has not been caught.
Normal was strange, creepy tone riddled with wry humor.Despite issues and the lack of gore and details typically associated with this type of novel, I had a flippin’ blast listening. I actual felt sorry for him. Seriously. I was worried he would be caught and found myself holding my breath. His newest victim is difficult, cops are sniffing around his door and he really likes this girl. He is a constant contradiction and that is why I liken him to Dexter. He helps folks, pays compliments and is at times downright charming. All of which is disturbing in itself because you know what he did last night. It added a creep factor I loved. I get the same way when I see clowns – they can be funny and interesting but dude they are creepy as hell.
So is it a romance? Eh, not really it is more of a glimpse inside the life of a serial killer when things get complicated. It is hard wooing someone with a girl caged in your basement. Cameron infused a dry, witty humor into a dark subject and despite all that was wrong, I kept listening and found myself wanting more. I found Cameron’s dark twisted humor to be witty and frequently involuntarily giggled . Sick right? I know, I know I should be ashamed but I seriously had a good time listening.
The ending is open folks. Whether to make you ponder or to allow for a sequel I cannot say but it worked for me. I have a wicked imagination but I am sure many will be looking for the missing page.
I know my dear friend Loupe did not like the narration but I felt Elfer’s dry tone conveyed the hilarity of the story and added that “clown” creep factor to our protagonist. I will let you decide for yourself.
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