Oline Cogdill
altI am a major fan of audio books. No, they do not replace the joy of holding an actual novel, but audio books have gotten me through many a long, traffic-ridden drive.
While I have no actual statistics for this, I wouldn't be surprised if audio books prevented road rage. Who wants a fight when you're at a crucial part of book?
So it makes perfect sense to me that as authors find new platforms to get their work to readers that a novel would be written specially for audio.
Readers can now enjoy the only-in-audio novel Narrows Gate by Jim Fusilli. It is performed by Emmy Award-winning actor Joe Pantoliano (The Sopranos) and narrator Joe Barrett (A Prayer for Owen Meany). It's available at Audible.com.
Fusilli has published a number of excellent mysteries, inclucing Closing Time, Tribeca Blues and Hard Hard City in the Terry Orr series. Fusilli also is a Wall Street Journal music critic and contributing writer to 2008 Audiobook of the Year, The Chopin Manuscript.
With Narrows Gate, Fusilli shows a new leap in his writing. Audible.com describes Narrows Gate as "a powerful epic in the spirit of The Godfather and On the Waterfront, Narrows Gate follows the fates of three men as their lives intersect with the dangerous and seductive power of the Mob in a vividly imagined, fictional version of 1940s Hoboken."
I'd say that description is right. In the couple of samples I listened to, Narrows Gatehas the makes of a well-plotted novel with strong, believable characters. It also helps, too, that Pantoliano, who is a Hoboken native, captures each character's distinct voice. Set in the first half of the 20th century, Narrows Gateis set in Manhattan, Hollywood, Las Vegas, Havana, Miami, and Hoboken, NJ, where Fusilli was born and raised.
Straight to audio is a trend I think we will see more of. And Fusilli's Narrows Gate is just the beginning.