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Summary

Mike Sager is to drugs, porn, and crimes of desperate delusion what Dominic Dunne is to the society murder. In addition to his long-classic Rolling Stone story "The Devil and John Holmes" (which helped inspire the Val Kilmer film Wonderland) and his groundbreaking GQ piece about murdered Irish investigative reporter Veronica Guerin (also the subject of a major film starring Cate Blanchett), Scary Monsters and Super Freaks is a wonderful rogue's gallery of up-close pieces about the most public failures of the American dream. From Rick James and his drug-fueled detour into white slavery to the life and suicide of porn starlet Savannah, from deep inside the beating of Rodney King and the Heaven's Gate cult suicides to Chuck Berry's sexual predilections, this book brings to high-profile true crime a highly identifiable voice and style. Currently Esquire's Writer-at-Large, Sager takes us along for the ride with a raft of other figures including the late NWA Rapper Easy E. Winner, the FBI agent who fell in love with his informant, and the highest ranking DEA agent to be busted for drug trafficking. This is a brilliant debut collection by one of America's most respected and stylish crime writers.

©2003 Mike Sager, Copyright 2012 by Mike Sager (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stantana Jones
  • 16-07-13

George Orlando needs to invest in a dictionary!!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The stories were interesting yet I found them to be told in a one sided manner, however, the odd thing about it was that throughout nearly each piece the author would flip his sides/takes. Obviously, most stories aren't black and white, yet I found the author wasn't capable of writing in "grey"...perhaps the tone of the reader takes some of the blame?? He was awful, more on him later..

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I think they were all fairly interesting, some more annoying than others thanks to the readers attempt at various dialects...the Rodney King and Savannah stories for example, he gave me douche chills.

What didn’t you like about George Orlando’s performance?

Where do I start..I could be here all day, but instead I will simply state the most obvious and inexcusable, his butchering of pronunciation. For example in the DEA story he actually pronounced "tryst" as "tr-EYE-st" ...that one, after a series of others, actually lead to me turning the book off and having to take a break..otherwise I may have smashed my phone. I am so disgusted that this terrible reading managed to see the light of day..how can countless mispronunciations, incorrectly read names and so on make it past an editor?? How do I get this job? I can read and do lame accents as well, but I also know how to pronounce words properly...

Was Scary Monsters and Super Freaks worth the listening time?

Despite the reader, yes, it was.

Any additional comments?

The narrator is easily the worst I have encountered, thus far,in my career as an Audible listener..however, taking a shot every time he mispronounces a word or screws up a name would make for a brutal drinking game at the wild audiobook clubs I like to imagine existing in smaller towns across America. George, I feel embarrassed for you...Tryst? You botched TRYST???!! Please feel free to point out all my spelling and grammatical errors..just keep in mind I am "no pro" and my only editor is my iPhone with its spiderweb cracked screen ;-)

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • aaron
  • 08-06-13

Terribly misleading title.

First of all, if you're going to have a title like "Scary Monsters and Super Freaks", you'd better have some INCREDIBLE stories contained therein. There aren't any. Not one.

The "Super Freak" is a reference to Rick James. Ok... seriously?! I was expecting stories about all sorts of depraved, terrible individuals that committed unspeakable acts....and you give me RICK JAMES??!! That joke would ALMOST be funny, if i didn't value my time and money.

There are some good stories in here. Nothing great, and certainly nothing that lives up to that title. There's one about Rodney King which was interesting, and a few about cult figures, that I found noteworthy.

Overall, I feel incredibly misled by the title of this book. It takes every ounce of self control I have for me NOT to give this 3 stars. Based on the fact that the narrator is good, and some of the stories were actually memorable, I'm giving it 4. In truth, it's a 3.5. Had I not been misled so badly by the title, I'm sure my view of this book would've been more favorable.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D. Lynn
  • 05-02-18

Narration...How?????????????????

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Get a narrator that has:
a.) at least a passing familiarity of the subject matter;
b.) the slightest command of vocabulary and pronunciation;
c.) the names of the protagonists/characters in the pieces.

What other book might you compare Scary Monsters and Super Freaks to and why?

Any similarly pulpy, pop-culture journalistic anthologies; literary junk food.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of George Orlando?

Anyone who can properly read the language.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not at a theater, but definitely on cable - maybe even PPV.

Any additional comments?

It is amazing to me - unbelievable, actually - that this recording was even made public. I know everyone makes mistakes sometimes, but this was ridiculous. It was odd at first, then funny, then it just became infuriating. I can't listen to this for more than a chapter or my head will explode. I believe audiobooks usually have Director that helps guide the performance - no evidence of that here. At the very least, I would expect that the publisher has someone perform some type of Editor function and at least listen to the thing before it hits the shelves - nope. I don't know George Orlando and I don't want to pick on him - he actually has a very good voice - but come on, dude! This was nuts.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Synthpulse
  • 03-06-13

Doppler traffic and cornflower blue eyes... again!

What did you like best about Scary Monsters and Super Freaks? What did you like least?

I was hoping for salacious and shocking moments, but really, these stories are pretty tame.

Would you recommend Scary Monsters and Super Freaks to your friends? Why or why not?

Maybe. It's a very casual listen, and best in small doses; one story per listen.

Did George Orlando do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Very enjoyable reader. Character's were distinctive but never over-the-top. Good job.

Was Scary Monsters and Super Freaks worth the listening time?

I skipped a few of the stories because the subject or character did not interest me.

Any additional comments?

Doppler traffic and Cornflower Blue Eyes. Keep this in mind while listening!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful