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Fast Times in Navel, Utah: Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book by Adele Park

cover image of Yikes!For Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book, a send-up of reality shows, bestselling authors, sex addict editors, and potheads (among other things), longtime radio personality and writer Adele Park, writer and producer of Jitters: A Quirky Little Audio Book, returns to Navel, Utah – home to aromatic orange groves and insular natives who discourage unwholesome outsiders with the ten miles of bumpy dirt road that is the only way into Navel through the desert.

But in this companion book to Jitters, the peace and quiet isolationism of Navel is shattered once again. This time by an invasion of coffee-drinking, marijuana-smoking, scantily clad, exhibitionist performance artists from loose-living places like New York City and Boulder, Colorado.

With backstories straight out of National Enquirer or Soap Opera Digest, the main characters of Yikes! are Blue McKenna, a pot-growing, publicity-shy, bestselling author; her plastic-surgery-addicted sister, Moon; Chet Waterhouse, a sex-addicted NYC book editor who’s jumping ship to television; and Chet’s voyeuristic teenage son, Anthony; who are all involved in taping a pilot reality TV show called Yikes! about performance artists competing to win the prize of exhibiting themselves in a New York gallery. Along with the main characters, the contestants on the show take turns giving their own takes on the producers, the other cast members, and the events of the story.

Full-cast audiobook productions are a different experience than listening to a traditional audiobook. With a traditional audiobook, one or maybe two narrators essentially read a book aloud (often with great skill) but full-cast audio is more like listening to a radio show, minus the sound effects. On the one hand, a badly voiced character can be a problem in a full-cast audio. (In this case, for me, it was the voice of Anthony; it sounded too old and too much like the actor was reading from a script, carefully enunciating each word with a put-on Brooklyn accent.) On the other hand, the voice that bothered me is only one of many, so it doesn’t spoil the whole experience the way a solo narrator who gets on a listener’s nerves would.

There’s an occasional reference to events from Jitters (the first book set in the fictional town of Navel from Adele Park and Straight to Audio Productions) but Yikes! stands on its own and has almost completely new characters. As with Jitters, there is absolutely nothing enriching, educational, or heartwarming about Yikes!. It’s entertainment for adult audiobook listeners who enjoy the broad, occasionally offensive humor of Saturday Night Live or The Onion. Its satirical humor might make you think briefly about your own views on social issues such as reality TV, gay rights, or marijuana legalization, but a moment later, the crazy plot takes over and you’re off on another wild tangent. As Adele Park says herself in a guest post at Life Between Pages:

Using satire, I explore issues ranging from gay rights to freedom of religion.  By exploiting the absurd, I try to illustrate the effect certain attitudes and acts of discrimination have on society.  But mostly, I’m just going for the grins and giggles.

Be sure to enter the giveaway to win a copy of Yikes! on MP3-CD. (U.S. only)

Disclosure: I received several copies of Yikes! on MP3-CD from the author for review, to give away, and for the public library.

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