And, for the most part, I was.
Martin Reed, a grossly overweight schmuck who would probably be unattractive even if his weight was under control, lives with his witch of a mother and is still being tormented by some of the same people who made him miserable in high school. He holds a senior accounting job with Southern Toilet Supply but is such a wimp that even the company’s worst employees mouth off to him with no fear of reprisal. Simply put, the man is a mess. He has no friends, especially female friends, suffers constant verbal abuse from his mother, and his only escape is to lose himself in the countless mysteries, thrillers, and sci-fi novels he reads on a continuous basis.
When some of Martin’s co-workers become victims of a gruesome murderer, and blood is found on the bumper of his car, others in the office seem almost eager to help the police pin the murders on him. And for lots of weirdly personal reasons, Martin seems almost content to let it happen even if he winds up on Death Row as a result.
“Martin Misunderstood” is a jarring combination of comedy and violence, something by itself that would probably earn it an “R” rating, so parents of young children should be warned to listen to this one without the kids around. The “F-word” makes an appearance or two, the sex scenes tend to be extremely graphic (and, on occasion, borderline disgusting), and the murders are detailed in all of their gruesome glory.
Wayne Knight, of Seinfeld fame, does the reading of the story in a largely straight-ahead fashion, not making much of an effort to give each of the characters a distinct voice or accent. For example, the voice and accent that Knight uses for Martin is almost exactly the same one that he uses for the female police officer trying to prove that he is a killer. Those who prefer that their audio books be “read” rather than “acted” will likely appreciate Knight’s approach, but those who prefer more of a “presentation” than a “reading” might be a little disappointed.
“Martin Misunderstood” is interesting enough that I will probably take a look at Karin Slaughter’s books next time I visit a bookstore…might even buy one if they aren’t all along the lines of “Martin Misunderstood.” I’m not ready for a steady diet of guys like Martin Reed.
Rated at: 3.0