Welcome to the October 18th review stop on the blog tour for Time is a Fine White Lie by William Steffey, organized by The Audiobookworm Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of this action-packed tour for other reviews, interviews, excerpts, and more!
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About the Book
Time is a Fine White Lie
by William Steffey
Narrators: Greg Chun, Andrew Weiss, Aaron Goodson, Abby Trott, Karen Strassman, Kathleen France, P.J. Ochlan, Ritesh Rajan, and Todd Haberkorn
Print Release 12 April 2020
Audiobook Release 22 September 2020
Genre: Magical Realism
Page Count: 46
Audio Length: 1 hr 20 min
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
An Australian shamaness traveling in the body of a Chicago bartender leads to a surreal rendezvous with a presumed-dead rock star. An OkCupid encounter turns into blissful madness when souls connect over a national tragedy. A bloody accident at a city bus stop gives way to an absurdly rewarding feast.
This collection of seven short stories poses the question: What phenomena are occurring under our nose, right now, that appear completely random but are consistent and solid periodic events we simply lack the scope to see, the comprehension to grasp, or the vocabulary to name? Time is a Fine White Lie may be the closest thing we have to a traveler’s journal from that latent, ephemeral possibility—at once a tribute, warning, antidote, and gateway—to that which we take for granted.
My Rating: 4 Stars
I was granted access to listen to the audiobook performance of Time is a Fine White Lie by the author via The Audiobookworm Promotions in exchange for an honest review as part of my participation in a blog tour for this title. Thank you to all involved for this opportunity! This has not swayed my review; my thoughts are my own and my review is honest.
Time is a Fine White Lie is a collection of short fictions of varying lengths, all set in what appears to be our modern world, but with a major difference of one sort or another, usually ending in an absurd and unpredictable way. I know the designated genre is “magical realism,” but I’m tempted to say this is “magical surrealism,” because this is most definitely one of those books that’s quite likely to leave you wondering what you just read, not because you’ve forgotten or didn’t understand the words, but because it takes a lot of thought with an open mind to try to grasp the meaning behind those words.
The Transponder reminds me of the way astral projection is presented in The Men Who Stare at Goats, and although the plots have little to nothing in common, Banged Up made me think of The Book of Stanley. I also quite enjoyed 96% Match (they knew what had to be done!) and Eden. On the other hand, Earth Water Sky Trilogy felt more like three disjointed shower thoughts than a story that belonged in this collection, and the remaining stories didn’t make as much of an impact on me either way.
As this review is for the audio performance, I should comment on the narrators. Each story was narrated by a different performer (besides the opening and closing, which were also performed by the narrator of The Transponder, Greg Chun.) Greg’s voice is perfect for this genre, and I enjoyed the effects applied to dialogue that was spoken telepathically. Andrew Weiss (Forward) sounded a little bored with his material, and if the entire project had been his narration I might not have finished it. Aaron Goodson (Earth Water Sky Trilogy) was a delight to listen to, even if I didn’t like the story he was assigned. Karen Strassman (Goodbye Cassiopea) and Kathleen France (Orange Light) spoke painfully slowly and made me wish the listening platform I was granted access to had playback acceleration like Audible does. Ritesh Rajan (Bullets), Abby Trott (Eden) and Todd Haberkorn (Banged Up) all gave entertainingly lively performances that I quite enjoyed. P.J. Ochlan (96% Match) was also easy to listen to, but I wanted to note separately that his voice sounds like it would be great for educational material and non-fiction, and makes me think of the man who announces “This is Audible” on all of their files.
Overall I call this a 4 out of 5 stars. It’s entertaining and thought-provoking, though not all of the stories are on the same level, and the narrations was mostly a pleasant experience that would be improved with the ability to turn up the playback speed just a little.
Meet the Author
William Steffey has been scribbling in colorful notebooks and making music on any instrument he can find since his early teens. After brief spasms of higher education in Iowa City and Chicago, he doubled down on the art life and released a string of twelve albums in the ‘sophistipop’ style. Press reviews are voluminous and wildly polarized, while the music enjoys airplay on hundreds of radio stations worldwide.
William has kept an online journal since the late 20th century, filling the glowing screen with post-modern musings, dreamscapes, and short stories that encompass both. This year, the pandemic gave him the opportunity to compile his favorite written works and publish Time is a Fine White Lie.
Following the sage advice of his wife Maux, William embarked on the challenge of producing the audiobook version. He reached out to high-school bandmate Greg Chun—now a voiceover artist in Los Angeles—who corralled an impressive array of actors to read each of the seven chapters in the book.
The stories draw largely on William’s experiences with bipolar disorder, and often tease out the mythological archetypes that would routinely emerge throughout his adventures.
Falling smack dab in the middle of a Venn diagram with Haruki Murakami and Joseph Campbell at the poles, Time is a Fine White Lie may be the closest thing we have to a traveler’s journal from that latent, ephemeral possibility—at once a tribute, warning, antidote, and gateway—to that which we take for granted.
Meet the Narrators
Aaron Goodson is a classically trained actor from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and a former public school drama teacher. He entered the voiceover world in 2018 and is already making his mark having voiced commercials for Sprite, Boost Mobile, Dell, the NBA, Atlanta Braves and many more.
Karen Strassman is an actress who can be seen guest-starring opposite David Arquette in CREEPSHOW She also appears in PENNY DREADFUL and HOMECOMING. Karen plays the recurring characters D.D.A Laura Tribe in BOSCH, evil German Dr. Lois Slotnick in PREACHER and cutthroat Hooli Lead Lawyer in SILICON VALLEY.
Originally from New York, you can see Ritesh Rajan’s work as Farran in the Emmy award winning hit RUSSIAN DOLL and as the voice of Ken in Netflix’s BARBIE: DREAM HOUSE ADVENTURES.
He recently wrapped up his first feature as a lead in Sujata Day’s DEFINITION PLEASE, making its world premiere at the Bentonville Film Festival. Other credits include, Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, Freeform’s STITCHERS, NCIS LA, STAR WARS REBELS and the new Hulu original, DOLLFACE.
A multiple Audie Award winner, Odyssey Award winner, multiple Earphones Award winner, and multiple Voice Arts Award winner, P.J. Ochlan’s work behind the microphone began in 1987 as a young voice actor with many commercials and promos. Since then he has lent his diverse talents to virtually every voiceover genre. Most notably, he is a widely acclaimed and record-setting audiobook narrator with hundreds of fiction and non-fiction titles to his credit.
An actor/singer originally from Attleboro, Massachusetts, Abby Trott has lived and worked in Tokyo, NYC, and is currently based in Los Angeles.
You can hear her as Ivy in Netflix’s CARMEN SANDIEGO, Windblade in the TRANSFORMERS: PRIME WARS TRILOGY, and singing the English version of “Lifelight,” the theme for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Abby reads the short story “Eden.”
Todd Haberkorn is a two time Audie nominated narrator, multi-Earphone Award winner for narration, and a SOVAS award recipient for narration. Fans worldwide recognize Todd as the voice actor for some of their favorite video game and animeharacters. He’s the voice of Natsu Dragneel on Fairy Tail, Ling Yao on Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Hikaru Hitachiin on Ouran High School Host Club, and many more. Todd has nearly 450 credits on IMDB and the list keeps growing.
Kathleen France is a Two-Time New York Emmy Award Nominee (2006 & 2007) for her television narration work as a Voiceover Artist on BLUEPRINT NYC: an historical documentary series highlighting various New York City landmarks. She also has the honor of being the voice of Lincoln Center in New York City.
Greg Chun works as a voice actor and composer in Los Angeles, CA. He has recently narrated the audiobooks This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear by Matthew Salesses, Almond by Won-pyung Sohn, and NVK by Temple Drake. You may also recognize Greg’s voice as Yagami from Judgment, Date from AI: The Somnium Files, Yu Nanba from Yakuza 7: Like A Dragon, and Dr. Harold Winston from Overwatch.
Follow the Tour
Westveil Publishing (Review, Author Interview)
4 the Love of Audiobooks (Spotlight, Audio Excerpt, Top 10 List)
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