Podcast Review #20: Tattoo

Title: Tattoo
Author: Paul Elard Cooley
Genre: Horror
Released: 11 September, 2009 – 18 October, 2009
Located: iTunes, Podiobooks, Author’s Site
Formats Available: Podcast, PDF

I often query my small network on Twitter for what they are listening to at the moment and I always get lots of great suggestions. Paul Cooley almost invariably provides titles written by horror authors (as well as other genres as well) so I wasn’t too surprised to find out that he writes in the horror field himself. A very good friend of mine recently started her very first podcast, and for it, she chose Tattoo (maybe I should be worried about her, hmmm….). Since I had been in need of a few new podcasts, I decided to give Tattoo a shot myself.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Scars. They remind us who we are, what we are and where we have been.
But when a scar takes away your identity, what would you do to get it back?

Jackson, a journalist in Houston, discovers links between several murders that have taken place in his city. His investigation draws him into the world of body art where he discovers an obsession worth killing for.

Production: I know I harp about The Story So Far quite often, but Tattoo not only doesn’t include one, it includes almost nothing in the way of chatter. Perhaps this is due to Mr. Cooley’s preferences or perhaps it was just the version I chose, but it is really quite impressive in it’s “clean” approach. All the audio is at a good level and the story is easy to listen to. One observation, when Mr. Cooley makes a minimum vocal flub, he just repeats the word and continues on. Maybe surprisingly, but this didn’t detract from the story at all. It reminded me of all the band directors I’d ever had. “Just keep going.” While the production is pretty simplistic, in no way did I find it lacking.

Cast: As previously stated, Mr. Cooley listen’s to plenty of podcasts himself, and so I would assume that he has heard many straight reads and many casted podcasts. Tattoo is unique in that it is mostly a straight read with one or two extra cast members thrown in. I didn’t really understand why this was done, but again, it didn’t detract from the story, so I didn’t really care. I will state that Mr. Cooley narrated most of the book pleasantly enough and I would have had no problem hearing him do the entire reading himself.

Story: Tattoo is very much a urban crime/horror story. It is also the first story I’ve reviewed that is labeled a Novela, and it really is. At seven episodes it was a very quick listen. The horror elements were enough to make my skin crawl at times. I am not a fan of tattooing. I don’t know why, it just has never appealed to me, but I enjoyed the peek into the subculture of those that do. I have no idea how much research Mr. Cooley put into Tattoo, but it felt like he knew what he was talking about. It was also apparent that he was well familiar with the setting, Houston, Texas.

Verdict: I’ve tried to be very upfront about stories that I like and stories that I didn’t care for. Truthfully, as mentioned before, this usually comes down to characterization for me. I don’t have to like the characters (and sometimes really hope one dies – hey, it’s fiction — don’t judge me!), but they DO have to interest me. Mr. Cooley’s characters did indeed interest me. I didn’t get to know them as well as I do the characters in some books because it was such a short work, but I stayed interested in the protagonist the entire story, and when the antagonist finally makes his appearance, you feel like you all ready have met him due to the character analysis completed by other characters in the story. I admit, physical torture is not something I generally have patience with. I do not watch the SAW movies because I find them distasteful. However, when slasher type horror Is included in my psychological horror, I have no problem with saying it can add to the mental anguish. Tattoo was able to walk this tightrope for me. It is not safe for work, nor is it safe for the minivan, but I do recommend it if you liked The Silence of the Lambs type horror.

Disclaimer: I do follow Mr. Cooley on Twitter (@paul_e_cooley) and enjoy watching him try to win (unsuccessfully) verbal sparring matches with various ladies on Twitter. However, he did not offer me, nor did I accept, anything in the way of incentive for this review. (Although, pink bunny slippers, had they been offered, would have made one heck of an incentive.)

~ by odin1eye on 15 March, 2010.

10 Responses to “Podcast Review #20: Tattoo”

  1. Another great review. This tells me everything I need to know to determine if I want to give this a listen without spoiling the story. Despite being a Sigler fan, horror isn’t my usual genre, but I plan to give this a listen after I get finished with my next podiobook.

    Thunbs up the “Disclaimers”. As Twitter follower of both these gentlemen & the ladies in question, I can attest to the accuracy of your statements 😉

    • Poor Paul. Someday Michelle and Katharina MIGHT let him win. Nahh… I doubt it too.

      • We will let him win in a “Who is the fluffiest, most lovey-dovey love-making honey bunny?” contest!

        • For those of you who don’t follow @kmlaw on Twitter, @paul_e_cooley obviously has his followers stalking their way onto the blog as well. Will @michbek be making an appearance as well I wonder?

  2. Ok so you are bribable with goats and bunny slippers? Taking notes here…
    Also, this is a great review 🙂

  3. Thank you very much for the review. I have to say that after an email beat down by two very respected members of the podfic field, I’m going to re-record Tattoo and remove my screwups. With my new novel, Closet Treats, I’m spending a lot more time on production and “getting it right” in order to make it the best quality I can.

    As for why I have Andrew Richardson reading Nigel…I wanted a REAL British accent instead of my terrible, awful, horrible attempt at it. Also, since Andrew narrated my short story, Canvas, and I very much enjoyed the work he did, the character of Nigel was written with him in mind. Although I could have done it myself, and actually did at first, I think Andrew’s performance brings something to the podcast that my own voice would not have.

    Thank you very much for listening to Tattoo and feeling it worth reviewing. Appreciate the support, mate. Cheers.

    • No thanks needed. Just keep writing good stuff. I hope others will enjoy it as much as I did.

  4. Tattoo is skin crawling creepy, both mentally and viscerally. I agree that the slight flubs, ignored and corrected, did not effect the delivery of the story.

    • Thanks for the comment! I was interested to hear from Paul that he did catch negative responses as they really didn’t bother me. Oh well, each to their own, as it should be.

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