According to my Audible app, I’ve listened to 127 audiobooks. You might say, I dig audiobooks. I listen to at least one a week. Which makes me feel that I can say, with the utmost honesty and accuracy, that Hex, written by Thomas Olde Heuvelt and narrated by Jeff Harding, is the worst audiobook I’ve ever had the displeasure of listening to.
The story isn’t half bad. Just the opposite. It’s half good. The plot and pacing and horror is really effective once you get past the halfway mark. But that narration… Holy shit on a piss-soaked cracker, Fatman, that narration is horrible.
The book itself starts out by lulling the reader into a false sense of security and joviality. Goofy shit goes down and everyone’s having a good time. Then the author steers us into more serious territory and the dread builds. The tension mounts. And then everything explodes in the final chapters. Seriously, the end of this book is nuts. If for no other reason, you should read Hex for the ending.
Which makes Jeff Hardy’s shitty narration all the more unforgivable. I don’t know who approved the final product, but they need a swift kick in the genitals. What the fuck were they thinking? Some of the characters actually sound like 1950’s cartoon villains. Take for instance Grizelda (sorry, not sure on the spelling because I don’t have the text version). She sounded like a witch from one of those old Halloween spooky sounds cassettes we used to listen to as kids. You know the kind. The fucking tape was orange with black writing on it. You’d shove it in your dual-deck boom box and press play and sit in the dark to the tune of wind blowing and wolves howling and coffins creaking and witches cackling. ‘Member? Yeah, you ‘member. That was what Grizelda sounded like in this book. And Grizelda isn’t even the fucking witch! The witch’s name is Katherine (again, not sure on the spelling).
I dug the theme of the entire book. But telling you why is a spoiler, so I’ll see you in the Spoiler Discussion.
In summation: I wish I had read this one instead of listening to it. I probably would have given it four stars. Instead, I’m putting it firmly behind three stars. One day, when the price of the Kindle edition drops below what amounts to a month’s rent, I might reread it. But, for now, all I can review is the audiobook. And the audiobook is hot garbage dipped in dirty kitty litter.
Final Judgment: I’ve heard better produced EVP recordings on Ghost Hunters International.
The theme of the witch not being the bad guy but the townsfolk being the villains was well done. Dug the hell out of that. That whole scene where the boys are punished was fucking brutal.
The final few pages were all very Pet Sematary, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The chaos and gore and all-around epic nature of the ending was mind-blowing. I would love to see all that committed to film. Give this book to James Wan or some equally talented director, like Darren Lynn Bousman, and let’s get this shit on tape. One of the best endings in a horror novel I’ve come across.
The scene where they hear the dog yowling freaked me out. It’s bad enough that the dog died the way it did, but I’m kinda glad it died, if only because we got the scene we got afterward. Righteously scary.
The buildup to Katherine getting the stitches over her eyes cut was so well done. Very impressed with the mounting dread. And the payoff was perfect.
If you want to join in on the Spoiler Discussion, please use spoiler tags. Thanks for joining me!