After a couple years of distractions, I finally got to finish the podiobooks version of Myke Bartlett‘s science fiction novel, Electricity today. I have to say that this story was a real treat for anybody with a fascination for the bizarre. However, if you are sensitive to issues regarding drug use, you might find some of the dialogue a little confronting.
The story follows the life of an Aussie-expat, Aston Somerfield, living in London, whose life changes abruptly when the mother of Daniel, an Irishman that he met while touring Europe appears at his doorstep. She tells Aston that her son is dead, and is looking for answers that he cannot give her. As the story progresses, we meet Aston’s friends and various lovers, some with their own connection to Daniel. When Aston’s current girlfriend’s starts seeing Daniel’s ghost, Aston shrugs it off, but events are in motion that will soon lead to a dramatic finale in an underground laboratory.
Myke Bartlett’s strong narrative and his reading, brings the cast of this novel to life, with all of their darkness and their light. It is through their strengths and weaknesses that I felt a real connection with the characters of this story.Though I had a love for each character, I think it was the dialogue of Stephen, that led to the most laughs, of which there were many.
Bartlett’s use of flashbacks and reflections was expertly implemented as well, allowing the listener to gain further insight into the actions of Aston and those around him. Bartlett is careful to leave breadcrumbs throughout the story so that the reader can see the various clues about the place, but these same clues are often met with their own questions. The clues start from the first chapter, in the form of a news reel, and we see other seemingly insignificant events occur as the story progresses.
The action is paced expertly as well, giving you time to get to know the characters without losing sight of the plot. Bartlett doesn’t try to pretty up the action either, giving the story grittiness and drama. One of the things that we see as a direct result of the events of the story, is Aston’s transformation into someone unsatisfied with simple pleasures such as life and love, to one that treasures them.
All in all, I really enjoyed this podcast novel, and foresee listening to it again in the not-so-distant future. I highly recommend you guys give the following audio a listen, and subscribe if it catches your fancy.