American Blasphemer

John Matthew Gillen
Narrator: John Matthew Gillen

This is an interesting audiobook. It’s obvious that the author is knowledgeable about various topics including literature, philosophy, Christianity and witchcraft. However, this isn’t a story in the typical sense of the word, but rather a journey from a place of questioning many things, to a place somewhat closer to answers. There are numerous drug and sex references within, and profanity is used generously throughout this series of interwoven vignettes. Readers meet various characters who have left a lasting impression on the life of the author, and can potentially do the same for the listener. There are nuggets of wisdom to be found here, mixed in with esoteric musings, and a couple of diatribes and drug-infused soliloquies. There is also a profound sense of loneliness in several of the characters that will haunt the reader for a time.

Although there are many parts that are intriguing, there are other parts that are confusing. As the author is narrating his own book, it is at times unclear who he is referring to, as he speaks in first person most of the time, but at other times he refers to John, assuming he means himself, in third person. There are plenty of memorable characters scattered throughout, which adds interest to the story. However, when a character is introduced early in the story, then left unmentioned until the end of the book, it’s sometimes hard to remember them, which also contributes to the confusion. Nevertheless, this audiobook includes some people and some encounters that will be remembered long after the story ends.

The recording quality is good. Since the narrator is intimately connected to the story, the inflections seem perfect and the message is conveyed in an appropriate manner. There aren’t any noticeable extra sounds or obvious breaks in the recording quality.

Carey Sullivan