House Gone Quiet: Stories

S. & S. Audio. Oct. 2023. 6:17 hrs. ISBN 9781797162270. $17.99. F
Norris offers a wide-ranging debut collection where every story stands out, regardless of genre or tone. While some stories contain speculative-fiction elements and others are more at home in the real world, all have something to say about present-day society and culture. Norris’s bewitching prose is matched by the performances of Jade Wheeler, Machelle Williams, Kimberly Woods, and James Fouhey, who take turns narrating the stories. Several stories have a folkloric quality that makes them perfect for audio, lulling listeners into a story time space. One such story is “Air Space,” an in-depth character study told through the on-air banter of radio hosts, in which Wheeler’s nuanced performance highlights the dissonant parasocial relationship between the audience and their fictional hosts. Other stories follow a support group for people who’ve discovered dead bodies, a town finding new uses for the pedestal that used to bear a Confederate statue, and a group of war brides whose difficulty fitting in is complicated by a murder.
VERDICT Strong writing and consistently skillful performances make this a must-buy for any audio fiction collection.
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