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Shackled

Narrated by: Seth Michael Donsky
Length: 24 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Summary

Children disappear all the time. It's in the news every day. Where do they go? What happens to them? Who has taken them? While covering a story for his tabloid newspaper, reporter Bentley Noble accidentally stumbles onto something else entirely...a story about something so unspeakable, he doesn't know if anyone will believe it...a story that pulls him down into the depths of evil and depravity and threatens his very life. With the help of a best-selling true-crime writer, Noble descends into the dark world of human trafficking, where fear and pain are tools of control and innocence is sold to the highest bidder. As a handful of good and decent people try to combat a monstrously powerful and all too real evil, some lives will be shattered, others will be ended...but none will be the same.

©1997 Ray Garton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Creepy

This book had me gripped from the very start. At times very hard to listen as the subject matter is heartbreaking, but this is the first book by this author I have read and I will definitely be back for more. Even though it was written in the 90s it doesn't feel dated and I love the techno aspect in the book. Also big credit to Seth Michael Donsky for narrating this so well. Fab.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

good story, silly performance

The story is good, the reading, however, ist extremely silly: the speaker's imitation of people's laughter has you cringe with embarassment, and his exaggerated theatrical reading takes away quite a bit of the enjoyment.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • christine
  • Richmond, United Kingdom
  • 31-05-13

Terrible

This is the worst book I have listened to,the narration is overacted,and the story line is sick,I only listened to the first part,but it made me phisically sick.If you care about children do not buy this book as you will be upset by its contents

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An intriguing story that got me thinking

Shackled is a story about a parents worst nightmare
A child disappears and is taken by a group.of people traffickers.
The.story is.shocking and, hopefully unbelievable, but a good story, with a number of.characters developed through the book.

The narrator became annoying, with a strange range of accents / voices that irrate rather than add to theater. A particularly irrateing false laugh.

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  • Dannielle
  • 07-04-13

Disappointed

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this book in written form and not the narrated format as it is here. Seth Michael Donsky is the worst narrator I have ever cone across. He makes the characters sound like backwood idiots or B movie actors. The actual book is very good, however, the narrating really detracts from the overall enjoyment of this book. I will not buy another book narrated by Mr. Donsky.

Would you be willing to try another one of Seth Michael Donsky’s performances?

Not ever.!.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SimbaSu
  • 08-08-13

The narrator absolutely ruins this book



The subject matter in this book is gruesome, and although the introduction seemed to treat it with the seriousness it deserves, the narrator did not. He made a parody of many of the major characters- giving them voices that sounded as if some gross jerk was doing stand-up in a seedy bar. The geeky teen computer genius sounded as if he was dull, high, and sucking on marbles. The worst is the preacher, who slowly enunciates at all times as if he is a comedian mocking the delivery of a sermon to a very slow audience in a tent revival- even during those scenes I'm sure the author intended to be thrilling, and fast paced. I actually laughed out loud, which is a reaction I'm sure the author never intended. His rendition of characters who are supposed to be expressing really intense emotions during some really extreme situations renders this a grisly comedy.


Although the ending is a little clunky, regardless of the narration;
my advice is read the book- because without the comedic rendition, it's a good story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Linda
  • 01-08-13

great story, horrible narrator!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I think I might recommend this book to a friend, but I would say that you can only enjoy it if you can get past the narration. If you can get past the cartoonish characterizations. Every character sounds russian, or sort of british. The laughs are all the same for every character, sort of maniacal!

Would you be willing to try another one of Seth Michael Donsky’s performances?

Only if it had another narrator.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Trisha
  • 29-06-13

Pretty good story - awful narration

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend reading the book. The horrible narration was so distracting it was hard to really get into the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Miller
  • 31-07-19

Garton doesn't flinch...

Ray Garton always delivers, and SHACKLED is no exception.

A tabloid reporter uncovers a scheme where children are being kidnapped and brainwashed and forced into the sex/pornography industry, under the guise of what appears to be Satanism. A pastor's son is taken, and he teams up with the reporter and some others to get to the bottom of this nasty web of seediness and get his son back.

I've been trying to decide how I would classify this novel. Garton is likely most well known for his brilliant horror novels LIVE GIRLS and RAVENOUS, and he's pumped out several other gems like THE NEW NEIGHBOR and THE LOVELIEST DEAD. I've read the sequels to LIVE GIRLS and RAVENOUS, both of which are top quality as well. He also writes some thrillers, like TRAILER PARK NOIR (delightfully twisted little tale) and others, and while the story falls more in line with the thrillers in his bibliography, I've just about decided this one must be considered horror.

SHACKLED is brutal, unflinching, uncompromising, and devastating. Garton slaps you around for a while, knocks the wind out of you, and while you're on the ground trying to recover, he gives you a nice triple-kick to the gut to make sure you don't forget him. And it was absolutely perfectly executed. You get to know a young girl and a very young boy who've been abducted and not only do you begin to care for them, but you actually come to love them. The main character shifts to a supporting role in the final third and this transition not only worked but felt seamless and was a nice break from the norm of watching your MC make it out unscathed. This guy is VERY scathed by book's end.

There are several unexpected developments along the way, the cast of characters is large and diverse, and Garton's signature frankness when it comes to depravity is on full display here. All aspects of this book work very well. While it was first published in the late 90s, I actually didn't feel it was terribly dated, even with the now outdated state of the internet chatrooms and such that lead our characters to uncover the sinister goings-on. It is a novel of its time but transcends that time very well because the characters are so well drawn that it all rings true. Horrifyingly so.

There were parts of this book that were hard to read, not because they were poorly constructed, but because Garton was making sure you looked at what he was showing you, reminding you that this kind of thing DOES happen in the real world, and all too often. The mechanics of the baddies' cover story may vary, but unfortunately, this is an all-too-real situation for many victims in the world, and I feel like he wanted to make me look at it and get me angry. And it worked. You want to get your hands on these vile villains, wring their necks, pull out their tracheas, and THEN get nasty with them. The idea that there are people so soulless in the world is haunting, and that reality is still weighing on me since finishing the book.

If you've read Garton before, you're aware of his talent. I couldn't be more pleased with my latest read, and if you haven't read this one yet, I urge you to do so. You'll have to grit your teeth more than once, hold your rage in check, but the way it all pans out is glorious and masterfully written by a true great in the genre. I don't think anyone should miss this, but be warned: Ray Garton doesn't blink. So don't think you're going to stare him down, especially in this one.

Unfortunately, the narrator does ridiculous caricatures of many of the characters, making it sound completely silly, but Garton's writing pulls through anyway, making this an enjoyable listen, despite the sub-par narration.

5/5 Stars.

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  • Dann
  • 15-03-19

great story, horrible reader.

the overall story was great, but it was extremely hard to get through with how the narrator read it. all the bad guys sound like old school vampires, and the laughing was terrible. just read. this book took place mostly in California. I've never heard people talk like this in California. all the characters sounded like they were over 75 years old.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray
  • 15-05-18

Horrible narration

I liked everything about this book except for the narrator’s voice.It was grating & forced sounding.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bill
  • 30-07-16

Dark and disturbing story with sub par narration.

This one is about as brutal as it gets. Every bad thing that could possibly happen, happens. In spades. Yep, this baby has it all.

Clocking in at over 24-1/2 fricking hours, the narration was not very good and that was a big problem for me. I honestly don’t know why I listened to the whole thing. Evidently, I didn’t have anything better to do. I wish I would have read it instead, because the story was good and dark, but it lost at least a full star for the Toontown-esque narration.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kent Knopp-Schwyn
  • 10-07-14

Decent story, terrible narration

The author was very passionate about the story and the background info which is readily apparent from the "data dump" provided in the first third of the story. After that the tale devolves into something of a cliched 90 action movie but with more sex, child abuse and faux religion. Usually I enjoy Ray Garton tales for the fast pace, great monsters, and gratuitous sex. Unfortunately, by the end, this one seemed like a James Bond villain rehash. But the narration was truly bad. If the narrator had just read the book without inflection or trying to change his voice it would have been MUCH better - but all the bad accents, terrible inflections, racist portrayals, maniacal laughter, and bad pronunciation made it a chore to listen to. The story moves fast but the narrator s l o w s everything down by doing such a poor job.