The Internet provides! Mere minutes after I put out the call to see if anyone had seen the Locus review, it was emailed to me by Sean Wallace of Prime Books. Here’s the review in full:
Chasing the Dragon, Nicholas Kaufmann; narrated by Alex Foster (Iambik Audio 978-192667391-2, digital, $6.99, 3.5 hr., unabridged) November 2011. Cover by Erik Mohr.
This tightly written, gory novella offers an unusual twist on a classic legend. Georgia Quincey is the last of a long line of champions descended from St. George, charged with destroying the dragon that the saint did not actually manage to slay. Loneliness and despair have driven the young woman to a heroin addiction, but despite that, she must still follow her destiny to an epic confrontation with the creature in a rundown New Mexico town.
It’s extremely unusual for an audiobook’s narrator to have an English accent when the author, the characters, and the setting all happen to be American. In addition, both the protagonist and the antagonist are female, and the narrator is male. Perhaps the argument could be made that St. George and the Dragon is a quintessentially English story (not that that explains the gender issue), and certainly no fault can be found with Alex Foster’s dry, almost clinical, but certainly compassionate rendering. One can actually hear him take in a breath at several moments, which isn’t common in most recordings, but it doesn’t detract much from the production’s quality, which is definitely worth a few hours of your time.
I understand the concerns about using a male British reader for this particular book. I had similar concerns myself, but from the start Alex Foster blew us all away with his audition, and we all knew we had the right person for the job. His narration is exemplary.
If you’ve been putting off reading Chasing the Dragon because you’d rather have it on audio, now’s the time to pick up a copy. You can get it formatted for iTunes, iPods, iPads, iPhones, or any other media player, too. Easy peasy! And of course it’s still available in trade paperback and eBook form as well.