March WhispersyncDeal roundup: A Head Full of Ghosts, A Dirty Job, Three, Anno Dracula, Kurt Vonnegut, Tibetan Peach Pie, Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, and more

This one’s coming later in the month than I’d like, but I’ve been dumping my free time into Tom Clancy’s The Division and listening with rapt attention to Simon Vance’s narration of We, the Drowned. Of the 164 Whispersync-enabled titles in this month’s Monthly Deals for $3.99 or Less listings, there’s the usual crop of uninteresting (to me!) and the “not quite a deal, actually” titles. And then there are these gems, which I hope you (and your wallet) enjoy:

  

A Head Full of Ghosts: A Novel by Paul Tremblay, read by Joy Osmanski for $1.99+$3.99 — One of the best books of 2015, nominated for the Bram Stoker Award: “A chilling thriller that brilliantly blends domestic drama, psychological suspense, and a touch of modern horror, reminiscent of Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves, John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In, and Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia. To her parents’ despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie’s descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts’ plight.

With John, Marjorie’s father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend. Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie’s younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface—and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.”

A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore, read by Fisher Stevens for $1.99+$3.99 — Moore’s frequently hilarious 2006 novel, a setting and cast of characters he finally revisited last year with Secondhand Souls. Here: “Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy with a normal life, married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy. They’re even about to have their first child. Yes, Charlie’s doing okay—until people start dropping dead around him, and everywhere he goes a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Charlie Asher, it seems, has been recruited for a new position: as Death. It’s a dirty job. But, hey! Somebody’s gotta do it.”

Three (Legends of the Duskwalker Book 1) by Jay Posey, read by Luke Daniels for $1.99+$3.49 — Look, I’ve probably listed this book a dozen times in various deal roundups, daily deal alerts, and, oh yeah, as one of the best science fiction audiobooks of 2013: “The world has collapsed, and there are no heroes any more. His name is Three, a travelling gun for hire in a dying world. He has no allegiances, no family, no ties. Against his better judgment, he accepts the mantle of protector to a sick woman on the run, and her young son. Together they set out across the plains in search of a mythic oasis, attempting to survive the forces that pursue them, and the creatures of the dark. In these dark times, a hero may yet arise.”

  

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman, read by William Gaminara for $1.99+$3.99 — “With the versatile voice talent of William Gaminara, acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. It is 1888, and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders. Anno Dracula is a rich and panoramic tale, combining horror, politics, mystery, and romance to create a unique and compelling alternate history.”

Horrorstör: A Novel by Grady Hendrix, read by Tai Simmons and Bronson Pinchot for $3.99+$3.99 — A haunted IKEA, perhaps? “Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking. To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.”

Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse edited by John Joseph Adams, read by J. Paul Boehmer, Cassandra Campbell, Gabrielle de Cuir, and Jamye Grant for $1.99+$2.99 — “Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence – the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon. These are our guides through the Wastelands. Wastelands 2: More Stories of the Apocalypse is a new anthology of postapocalyptic literature from some of the most renowned authors in the science fiction, fantasy, and horror genres today, including George R. R. Martin, Hugh Howey, Junot Díaz, David Brin, and many more. This eclectic mix of tales explores famine, death, war, pestilence, and harbingers of the biblical apocalypse. Like its predecessor, Wastelands 2 delves into a bleak landscape to uncover the raw human emotion and heart-pounding thrills at the genre’s core.” And if John Joseph Adams-edited anthologies of apocalypse are truly near and dear to your heart, The End is Nigh (Apocalypse Triptych Book 1) is available for $4.99+$1.99…

CLASSIC SCIFI

   

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, read by John Malkovich for $1.99+$1.99 — Vonnegut’s 1973 novel, a finalist for this year’s Audie Award for Best Male Narration: “The core of the novel is Kilgore Trout, a familiar character very deliberately modeled on the science fiction writer Theodore Sturgeon (1918-1985), a fact that Vonnegut conceded frequently in interviews and that was based upon his own occasional relationship with Sturgeon. Here Kilgore Trout is an itinerant wandering from one science fiction convention to another; he intersects with the protagonist, Dwayne Hoover (one of Vonnegut’s typically boosterish, lost, and stupid mid-American characters), and their intersection is the excuse for the evocation of many others, familiar and unfamiliar, dredged from Vonnegut’s gallery. The central issue is concerned with intersecting and apposite views of reality, and much of the narrative is filtered through Trout, who is neither certifiably insane nor a visionary writer but can pass for either depending upon Dwayne Hoover’s (and Vonnegut’s) view of the situation.”

The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut, read by Jay Snyder for $1.99+$1.99 — I adore Snyder’s work on this audiobook: “The Sirens of Titan (1959) is an outrageous romp through space, time, and morality. The richest, most depraved man on Earth, Malachi Constant, is offered a chance to take a space journey to distant worlds with a beautiful woman at his side. Of course there’s a catch to the invitation and a prophetic vision about the purpose of human life that only Vonnegut has the courage to tell.”

A Fall of Moondust (Arthur C. Clarke Collection) by Arthur C. Clarke, read by Oliver Wyman for $1.99+$1.99 — Wyman has a fantastic way of bringing classic science fiction to life (Pohl’s Gateway) and here he takes on Clarke’s 1961 novel of disaster and survival on the moon: “Time is running out for the passengers and crew of the tourist cruiser Selene, incarcerated in a sea of choking lunar dust. On the surface, her rescuers find their resources stretched to the limit by the mercilessly unpredictable conditions of a totally alien environment. A brilliantly imagined story of human ingenuity and survival, A Fall of Moondust is a tour-de-force of psychological suspense and sustained dramatic tension by the field’s foremost author.”

Alas, Babylon (Harper Perennial Olive Edition) by Pat Frank, read by Will Patton for $1.99+$3.99 — Frank’s 1959 novel of post-nuclear apocalypse doesn’t quite measure up to its two great peers, Nevil Shute’s On the Beach (1957) and Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz (1960), but it’s remained a classic as well: “This true modern masterpiece is built around the two fateful words that make up the title and herald the end – “Alas, Babylon.” When a nuclear holocaust ravages the United States, a thousand years of civilization are stripped away overnight, and tens of millions of people are killed instantly. But for one small town in Florida, miraculously spared, the struggle is just beginning, as men and women of all backgrounds join together to confront the darkness. Will Patton’s narration paints this classic tale as an ominous picture of the terrible possibilites of the nuclear age.”

OTHER GENRES

  

Horror: Abandon by Blake Crouch, read by Luke Daniels for $1.99+$1.99 — “On Christmas Day in 1893, every man, woman and child in a remote mining town will disappear, belongings forsaken, meals left to freeze in vacant cabins, and not a single bone will be found – not even the gold that was rumored to have been the pride of this town. One hundred and thirteen years later, two backcountry guides are hired by a leading history professor and his journalist daughter to lead them into the abandoned mining town so they can learn what happened. This has been done once before but the people who went in did not come out. With them is a psychic, and a paranormal photographer – the town is rumored to be haunted. They’ve come to see a ghost town, but what they are about to discover is that 20 miles from civilization, with a blizzard bearing down, they are not alone, and the past is very much alive…”

Teen: From a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion, read by Kate Rudd for $1.99+$1.99 — “Seventeen-year-old Emma was the only one who hadn’t given up on her boyfriend, Lucas. Everyone else – his family, his friends, his doctors – was convinced that any moment could be his last. So when Lucas miraculously returns from the brink of death, Emma thinks her prayers have been answered. As the surprised town rejoices, Emma begins to question whether Lucas is the same boy she’s always known. When she finds an unidentifiable object on his family’s farm – and government agents come to claim it – she begins to suspect that nothing is what it seems. Emma’s out-of-this-world discovery may be the key to setting things right, but only if she and Lucas can evade the agents who are after what they have. With all her hopes and dreams on the line, Emma sets out to save the boy she loves. And with a little help from a distant star, she might just have a chance at making those dreams come true.”

Historical Fiction: The Last Kingdom (Saxon Tales Book 1) by Bernard Cornwell, read by Jonathan Keeble for $1.99+$3.99 — “The first installment of Bernard Cornwell’s bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit BBC America television series. This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.”

  

Fiction Collection: A Good Man Is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O’Connor, read by Marguerite Gavin for $2.99+$3.99 — “This now classic book revealed Flannery O’Connor as one of the most original and provocative writers to emerge from the South. Her apocalyptic vision of life is expressed through grotesque, often comic situations in which the principal character faces a problem of salvation: the grandmother, in the title story, confronting the murderous Misfit; a neglected four-year-old boy looking for the Kingdom of Christ in the fast-flowing waters of the river; General Sash, about to meet the final enemy.”

Thriller: The Devil’s Waters (A USAF Pararescue Thriller Book 1)The Empty Quarter (A USAF Pararescue Thriller Book 2), and The Devil’s Horn (A USAF Pararescue Thriller Book 3) by David L. Robbins, read by Benjamin L. Darcie for $1.99+$1.99 each: “A giant freighter in the Gulf of Aden holds secret cargo that could bring down the governments of four nations. When Somali pirates grab the ship, the order comes down: get the freighter back, at all costs. Only one combat group is close enough to respond before the hijacked freighter reaches Somali waters: the elite US Air Force pararescue unit—the PJs—stationed in Djibouti. Though their mission is to save lives, and their oath is “That Others May Live,” the PJs are battle-tested. The team doesn’t hesitate because one of their own, Sgt. LB DiNardo, is already onboard the hijacked ship. LB has three tasks: provide intel on the pirates, stay alive until the team arrives, and withstand the humiliation of breaking the PJs’ cardinal rule: Never be the one who needs rescuing.”

Non-Fiction: Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life by Tim Robbins, read by Keith Szarabajka for $1.99+$3.99 — “Internationally best-selling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long-awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. Tom Robbins’ warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels – including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, andFierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates – provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless fans to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads. In Tibetan Peach Pie, Robbins turns that unparalleled literary sensibility inward, stitching together stories of his unconventional life, from his Appalachian childhood to his globetrotting adventures – told in his unique voice that combines the sweet and sly, the spiritual and earthy.”

2 KINDLE BOOKS FOR THE PRICE OF 1

I haven’t seen these Kindle Pair Bundle Deals in previous months, so either it’s new or I just had missed it. I’m not sure what I think about it, but it is indeed another way to save on Kindle titles, some of which are Whispersync enabled. Here’s the bundle that most caught my eye, but don’t wait too long to do your own browsing as these deals expire March 24, not the end of the month:

The Fantasy Novels (2 book set) includes The Seventh Bride by T. Kingfisher and The Wretched of Muirwood by Jeff Wheeler. Both are Whispersync enabled with $1.99 Audible add-on prices, and are both regularly priced at $3.99. This bundle has the pair for $3.96.

SOMETHING RANDOM

Two titles from outside of Amazon’s monthly deals listings that I ran into this month:

 

The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastards, Book 1) by Scott Lynch, read by Michael Page for $1.99+$3.99 — One of the absolute all-time great fantasy books and audiobooks: “An orphan’s life is harsh—and often short—in the mysterious island city of Camorr. But young Locke Lamora dodges death and slavery, becoming a thief under the tutelage of a gifted con artist. As leader of the band of light-fingered brothers known as the Gentleman Bastards, Locke is soon infamous, fooling even the underworld’s most feared ruler. But in the shadows lurks someone still more ambitious and deadly. Faced with a bloody coup that threatens to destroy everyone and everything that holds meaning in his mercenary life, Locke vows to beat the enemy at his own brutal game—or die trying.”

Salvage Merc One by Jake Bible, read by Andrew B. Wehrlen for $3.99+$3.47 — Published earlier this year and only just published in audiobook last week, this is the ridiculously prolific Bible’s latest: “Joseph Laribeau was born to be a Marine in the Galactic Fleet. He was born to fight the alien enemies known as the Skrang Alliance and travel the galaxy doing his duty as a Marine Sergeant. He loved the life. But when the war ended and Joe found himself medically discharged, the best job ever was over, and he never thought he’d find his way again. Then a beautiful alien walked into his life and offered him a chance at something even greater than the Fleet, a chance to serve with the Salvage Merc Corp. Now known as Salvage Merc One Eighty-Four, Joe Laribeau is given the ultimate assignment by the SMC bosses. To his surprise, it is neither a military nor a corporate salvage. Rather, Joe has to risk his life for one of his own. He has to find and bring back the legend that started the Corp. He must find Salvage Merc One.”

Enjoy! And as always, happy #WhispersyncDeal hunting!

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