[Audio Review] Condition Book 1 – A Medical Miracle? by Alec Birri

#audio #review Condition Book 1 A Medical Miracle? by @AlecBirri #4stars

Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 32 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Medical Thriller

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 1

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

The first in a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.
What if all brain disorders were treatable? Few would lament the passing of dementia or autism, but what if the twisted mind of a sex offender or murderer could be cured too? Or how about a terrorist or maybe a political extremist? What if we could all be “corrected”?
It’s 1966, and RAF pilot Dan Stewart awakes from a coma following an aircraft accident into a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore. Not being able to recall the crash might be expected, but what about the rest of his life? And what’s stopping him from taking his medication? Is it brain damage that’s causing paranoia about the red pill, or is Dan right to think something sinister is going on?
His horrific injuries don’t make any sense either – a post-crash fire caused him to suffer almost 100% burns. How is it even possible to survive that? Are the hallucinations and strange dreams trying to tell him something? They are, and he’ll soon find out what, but not before his doctor’s sure the shock won’t kill him.

Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

LinkedInIMDB

Alec Birri really knows how to write a dystopian thriller that really got me thinking, “this could actually happen in the near future!” (if it’s not already that is!) That coupled with the dulcet English tones of narrator Jonathan Keeble you will really get sucked into this story.

The Story:

You are thrust back to 1966 and Dan Stewart has just woken from a coma to find himself in a hospital and covered in 100% burns, but he can’t remember anything other than he’s a pilot and there was an airline crash.  He starts to try and piece things together but as the story progresses you soon come to realise that not all is what it seems for Dan and the others in the hospital,.

The first half of the book was a little confusing at times, but then I felt that added to the whole premise of what was going with Dan, the other patients and the infamous red pill, when you are presented with twists and turns it will really give you food for thought.  A magic pill to cure all mental illness, seems like a great idea right? but at what cost?

The Audio:

Jonathan Keeble had the perfect voice for this book, his English accent fitted the book well and his voice was easy to listen to. You were lulled into his use of different tones, accents  and it was easily distinguished between genders.

The recording was crisp and clear, with no background or white noise. and the narration flowed seamlessly.

Cant wait for book 2 this series has me seriously hooked!

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Q&A with Author Alec Birri
  • Tell us about the process of turning your book into an audiobook.
    • Painful! Just who do these producers/narrators think they are? How dare they suggest changes to my writing to make it ‘sound’ better. The very cheek of it! Don’t they realise the agonies we authors have to go through when giving birth to our creations? Now I know why directors/actors get more kudos than screenwriters – the best elevate everything they touch.
  • How did you select your narrator?
    • Don’t laugh, but as artificial intelligence features in my novels, I originally planned on using a virtual assistant like Amazon’s Alexa. It (she?) could do the job, but the staccato style soon irritated. I then moved on to a human ‘enhanced’ by AI – just as annoying. Essential Music got wind of what I was trying to do and brought me to my senses. AI is getting better, though – are robots on the verge of taking over more than just factory jobs? Listen to The Final Correction to find out!
  • How closely did you work with your narrator before and during the recording process? Did you give them any pronunciation tips or special insight into the characters?
    • I gave Jonathan a summary of the main characters and their traits i.e. male/female, age, personality type, general character arc, etc. but left it up to him as to how that should be interpreted. The trilogy starts in London, but moves on to the US, Argentina, Italy, Germany and even the Middle East – a lot of accents, so I asked him not to bother. To my amazement, he not only slipped into each like a native, but in a chapter featuring four Argentinians, used four separate Spanish accents!
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes – me! I’m the first to acknowledge thirty years in the military has affected me psychologically, and to the point where I feel compelled to commit my experiences to paper (albeit through science fiction). I write for cathartic reasons.
  • Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing?
    • Yes – me! I’m the first to acknowledge thirty years in the military has affected me psychologically, and to the point where I feel compelled to commit my experiences to paper (albeit through science fiction). I write for cathartic reasons.
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • Not in any one particular part – Jonathan’s narration lifts the work overall in my opinion, and to a whole new level. I’ve not had much respect for actors in the past (too many prima-donnas in my limited experience!) but I now realise what critics mean when they say an actor ‘owns’ a part, and Jonathan does that with each and every one of the trilogy’s characters. Simply superb.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series?
    • I think a series works better than a stand-alone when it comes to the business side of things, as the first can be given away, but that’s not how Condition started out – when it became too big for one novel I split it into two and then, as the words mounted, three books. I’m 25k into my current work, and have no idea if the word count will end up being 40k or even 400k. I write the story and stop when it’s told.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Unless you’ve been praised for your ‘easy listening’ vocals, forget DIY – anything other than a smooth experience for the listener will spell disaster, no matter how good the writing. Be prepared to get your wallet/purse out – the dulcet tones of a professional actor are well worth the cost.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    • Seek out danger. Nothing like a near-death experience for freeing the imagination! Seriously though, get out of your comfort zone. There’s a good reason why the likes of Frederick Forsyth have visited war zones or risked crossing deserts just as hostile. No money to do that? Then hang out with your local ambulance crews, paramedics, police and get the experience second-hand. Anything that brings you into contact with the uncomfortable.
  • What’s next for you?
    • Alt Truths will be out later in the year. Another dystopian novel, but where ‘fake news’ has become so prevalent, democracy is on the brink of collapse (tell us something we don’t know, I hear you say). To combat this, every news agency and social media company is legally obliged to accept an independent ‘moderator’ – a United Nations policeman whose sole purpose is to counter the organisation’s output with opposing viewpoints. Not to get to the truth, but to ensure everyone has access to a different ‘opinion’. Needless to say, that doesn’t go down well, and when one of UNPOL’s officers discovers he’s being used to cover up a genocide…

Top 10 List

Ten things I’d rather my readers didn’t know about me by Alec Birri
  1. I write in my downstairs toilet. No windows, no distractions – perfect for concentrating the mind. The location is convenient for other things too.
  2. I rise at 7am each day and start writing immediately. Well, almost immediately. Seriously – everything else comes after I’ve written at least a thousand words and that can be as late as 5pm.
  3. Which means by around 6pm I’m ready to face the world. My writing habits may seem strange to some, but a wide and varied social life compensates – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it.
  4. Not that I’m not a complete hermit. I have been outside my flat – once. As a writer of ‘end of world’ dystopias, I felt obligated to make sure it was still there. Sadly, pain between the eyes caused by a big bright yellow thing in the sky forced me back inside, so I still don’t know. Typical.
  5. I did catch a glimpse of a dog. Maybe pets have taken over the world? Grateful if someone could tell me.
  6. On second thoughts, don’t. Writing or tweeting about people is one thing, but engaging with them directly? I’m not sure about that. One never knows where it might lead. Something called ‘normal behaviour’ apparently. Now there’s a title for a dystopian novel if ever I saw one.
  7. And while we’re on the subject, I don’t do ‘happiness’ either – that’s the last thing someone needs to read in a dystopian novel and anyway, there’s far too much of it going around the real world in my opinion. Nothing better than a good moan. Grumpy Cat is my hero!
  8. Don’t get me wrong – I can let my hair down if I want to. Way past eight o’clock by the time I got to bed the other night.
  9. Of course, by “bed” I mean my downstairs toilet.
  10. So, there you have it. Ten things about me I’d rather you didn’t know. What? Only nine? Okay – I’ve been told my sense of humour is best described as ‘weird’.

Giveaway

The Condition Trilogy Giveaway: $100 Amazon Gift Card

Book One

Mar. 6th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 7th:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 8th:

AudioSpy

Mar. 9th:

The Writing Train

eBook Addicts

Mar. 10th:

Lomeraniel

Blätterflüstern

Mar. 11th:

Bound 4 Escape

Buried Under Books

Mar. 12th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Two

Mar. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 14th:

AudioSpy

Mar. 15th:

The Writing Train

Blätterflüstern

Mar. 16th:

Lomeraniel

Mar. 17th:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 18th:

Bound 4 Escape

Jazzy Book Reviews

Mar. 19th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Buried Under Books

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

eBook Addicts

Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Three

Mar. 20th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 21st:

Blätterflüstern

Mar. 22nd:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 23rd:

Lomeraniel

Mar. 24th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Mar. 25th:

Bound 4 Escape

Buried Under Books

Mar. 26th:

The Book Addict’s Reviews

Bookworms Corner Blog Spot

eBook Addicts

➜Sign up as a host here

Fiona

I am Fee, a 30 -something SAHM bookworm! I love to read, and will read almost anything and everything. I am not afraid to try new genres of books and my main genre is horror, thriller.

3 thoughts on “[Audio Review] Condition Book 1 – A Medical Miracle? by Alec Birri

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: