Voice

Adult
Rated 4.25/5 based on 5 reviews
All Johnny ever wanted was to be lead singer of a famous rock band, but until a few weeks ago, he couldn't hit the right pitch if you painted a target on it and let him stand real close. Now he sounds amazing. . . and strange things happen every time he sings. Lights burn out. Whole rooms become cold and hushed. People get violent.

And sometimes, people die. More

Available formats: epub, mobi, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt

Words: 87,950
Language: English
ISBN: 9781458005403
About Joseph Garraty

Joseph Garraty is an author of dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction. He has worked as a construction worker, rocket test engineer, environmental consultant, technical writer, and deadbeat musician. He lives in Dallas, Texas.

Also by This Author

Reviews

Review by: Susan Helene Gottfried on Dec. 30, 2012 :
It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave.

And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin.

As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers.

While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her.

Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable.

So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions.

As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up.

That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it?

A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Susan Helene Gottfried on Dec. 30, 2012 :
It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave.

And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin.

As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers.

While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her.

Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable.

So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions.

As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up.

That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it?

A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Susan Helene Gottfried on Dec. 30, 2012 :
It's been so long now that I can't even remember how I came to pick up a copy of Joseph Garraty's Voice. I can see that I got it at Smashwords, where it was listed as free as of the night I finished the book and sat down to write this rave.

And rave I must. I simply adored this story of a man who sells … well, maybe not his soul and maybe not to the devil, but that's only the first of many riffs on the classic cliché. John does go down to the crossroads, but the trade he makes is great, unexpected fun that gives a clever nod to current—okay, maybe by this point, a bit passé—trends in literature. Saying more would spoil the read, and I have no intentions of spoiling anything. This is a book to share, not ruin.

As John's bargain pays off both in a set of golden pipes and a decline as a man, his guitar player, the harsh, abrasive Case, is molting her own skin—in the opposite direction. Case learns how to be a friend, to take a chance, to allow herself to care. As John loses his humanity, Case finds hers.

While some may point to John and his alter ego Johnny as the heartbeat of the story, for me it was Case. I related to her.

Don't forget, though, the other two members of the band: Quentin and Danny. Quentin's the conscience around here, and, of course, whenever evil's afoot, the conscience must pay. The way in which this happens is a bit … unorthodox, shall we say. Danny, though, flirts with the dark side. There's betrayal, and a steep price for him, also. Too bad; Danny and Quentin both are likeable.

So, too, is Erin, Case's friend who becomes the band's one-woman PR maestro. She's maybe too good to be true, but she's also smart enough to make the hard but brave decisions.

As Ragman puts all these elements together—John's new voice, the small hurricane that is Case on guitars, and Erin packing the clubs—and success follows, each of the five must figure out what price they are willing to pay for it all. They're paying all right, and it's a bill that comes due long before many of the clichéd Rock Fiction works would have you believe: not when they are headliners, but when they are paying their dues on the way up.

That's how it usually works, after all, and Garraty shows it to us. Maybe it's a bit exaggerated. But then again, is it?

A definite West of Mars Recommended Read.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Caroline Cryonic on Nov. 27, 2011 :
(Cross-posted from the Adarna SF book blog)

Voice is a supernatural horror novel that follows a rock band from obscurity to fame, with bits of gore trailing the way. It’s terrifying, tragic, and freaking amazing.

It’s an absorbing and intense read from cover to cover. The musician who makes a pact with the devil at the crossroads is a well-known rock and roll myth, and the horror elements themselves aren’t unique, but Garraty’s delivery is pitch-perfect and will make your hair stand on end. The author masterfully executes the classic “less is more” approach to horror, letting your own paranoia fill in the blanks and scare you sh*tless.

What makes it great is that the supernatural horror blends into the setting naturally. The creep with thinning hair at the back of the dive bar could be either a man with unfortunate features or a demon creature out to disembowel you. I was glad that I didn’t read some scenes in public because they made me scream like a crazy person. You know that time when you watched Alien for the first time and didn’t see that chestburster coming? Yeah. That.

The everyday tribulations of being a musician are convincing and immerse you into the character’s lives. I loved details like when Case, the lead guitarist, explains to someone that their band wasn’t hard rock like Nickelback but more like the New York Dolls or Motörhead, she’s promptly met with a blank look. Garraty is as much an expert in music as in horror, and has a way of fleshing out details without overburdening the reader with obscure trivia.

I could go on and on about why I love this book, but I definitely must praise Voice for the characters. Everyone’s fascinating with great internal conflict, adding layers to the plot. There’s illicit relationships, band drama, and the daily struggle to prove their worth to themselves. Heck, even the minor bit characters are intriguing too, and I wished there was more uncovered about them!

The entire line-up is strong, but two characters steal the spotlight. Case is a fantastic heroine, a no-bullsh*t woman in a macho scene. While she walks around in leather pants and knows Krav Maga like nobody’s business, she’s a multidimensional tough dame and not merely a caricature of one. You could call her the spiritual successor to Ellen Ripley.

But Johnny’s internal conflict–that’s main star of the book. Johnny, Johnny, Johnny. What do I do with you? Every time I read a chapter in his POV, my heart soared or twisted itself in sympathy. He’s the lead vocalist whose talents are unremarkable compared to the rest of the band, and it’s his hunger to prove himself which leads to the pact with the devil. No matter what the reader thinks of his choices, deep down, you feel that you would same thing. It makes the story even more chilling, and that is the mark of an outstanding horror novel.

As Johnny would scream to the audience between his Elvis sneers, “Is it hot enough for you, m*therf*ckers?” Yes, it is m*therf*cking hot. Read it.

Note: a free review copy was provided by the author.
(reviewed long after purchase)

Review by: Evan Grantham-Brown on June 05, 2011 : (no rating)
"Voice" is a great read, mixing the backstage life of a rock band with gruesome horror. It starts off a little uneven, but soon picks up and rolls hard all the way to the end, and Garraty knows how to keep a reader off balance. The horror elements are suitably chilling, and Garraty writes about the details of music-making with the knowledge of somebody who's been there and done that.

However, the real strength of "Voice" is the way it follows the development, and in some cases the unraveling, of the protagonists, four musicians who each have to face the question, "What's it worth to you to succeed?" The trappings of superstardom are mostly absent from this decision. It's not about groupies and limousines, but about taking a chance on making a living at something you love. The choice has real and different consequences for each of the characters, and the way they grapple with those consequences keeps the pages turning... or the screen refreshing, as the case may be.

This is a book well worth your time. Pick it up and give it a try.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)

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