The Last Suspicious Holdout: Stories

HarperAudio. Mar. 2022. 7:06 hrs. ISBN 9780063226746. $20.99. F
Children play games both silly and serious, couples fight and make up, and neighbors navigate the twisted bonds of mutual obligation in a small community under constant siege in Hubbard’s new story collection. Set in an unnamed sprawling Southern city and covering the decade-and-a-half from 1992 to 2007, these stories are precise bites of culture and insight. Characters headlining one story become background players in another, and vice versa, as the neighborhood and its Black residents survive these tumultuous years. Veteran narrators Adenrele Ojo and JD Jackson play off of each other as the action rises and falls, taking it in turn to voice the women and men who inhabit this world. Ojo’s characters are often sweet or wistful with longing, until their circumstances force them into sharpness. Jackson’s husky tones force listeners to pay careful attention to what the characters he voices are saying as well as what they might be holding back.
VERDICT This is not an easy-breezy listen, but will reward those who value the quality of the experience Hubbard, Ojo, and Jackson create together.
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