Bob Harper, Twisted Rhymes (vol 1). BHP Productions, 2006. Audio CD. 52 minutes. $16.95.

Reviewed by Lillith

I first must thank The Future Fire for giving me the opportunity to review this awesome piece of spoken literature! The authors are expert in painting the scene vibrantly with every verse, brought to life by the awesome music and superb narrators. This audio CD contains twelve tracks, "fully produced", that the author describes as "more of the bizarre than graphic horror".

On the narrators: the male voice is so smooth and versatile, his diction so precise that no word, no verse is missed or misunderstood. His voice adapts to the poem and the mood of each piece, accents mimicked exactly without being overbearing. The female narrator was equally proficient in her performance, sultry and sensual. Both draw you into the world of the author totally and completely.

1] ‘Royal Blood’: The piece itself needs to be made into a short film, reminiscent of an epic poem. The ending is priceless!

2] ‘Cobwebs and Candlelight’: The sound of hooves set the stage oh so well in this dark tale—surprise ending that chills the bone. Very melancholy... The poet knows how to weave a tale.

3] ‘Patient #9’: This is one of those narrations that you just go- ewwwww... Very darkly sensuous, like being wrapped in a black silk sheet eating dark chocolate and sipping espresso.

4] ‘When the Full Moon Comes Rising’: Music is awesome in this epic tale. Ahhhhh... can see the castle, the knights... the zombies.

5] ‘Cap'n MacKnee’: The narrator has so much passion in his reading of this beautiful, disturbing tale.

6] ‘VooDoo’: Rhythm is wonderful! Release this on independent radio, and the requests will be astonishing!

7] ‘Musical Murder Mystery’: Oh, the Law and Order beginning is great! All you musicians and mystery buffs will find this a great listen.

8] ‘In Laredo’ : Oh, they have remembered you lovers of old-school Westerns—with a little something for your vampire taste buds as well.

9] ‘Cup a' Joe’: Puts a bad rap on hole-in-the-wall roadside diners. But it is an awesome piece.

10] ‘And Nothing More’: A Celtic wonder, an eerie, beautiful tale. Classic ghost story told with a beautiful air.

This audio CD is for those who like a little bit (or a lot) o' strange—for those who maybe like poetry but don't like to or have time to crack open a book. A great listen in the car, or at home in a hot bubble bath surrounded with candles. Or, for the guys, kicked back with a cognac and a Cuban.

For lovers of dark poetry, this is indeed a treat! The pieces are so delicately brutal that it leaves one almost weeping for the sheer beauty! ‘And Nothing More’ and ‘Cobwebs and Candlelight’ are very touching in their melancholy, while ‘Royal Blood’ and ‘Patient #9’ leave you with chills running down your spine.

If you're not a fan of poetry, this collection may not be for you. But if you enjoy well-written verse by a master storyteller like Bob Harper, then you really need to take a listen to the tales rendered by expert narrators on Twisted Rhymes. Scored perfectly to compliment the mood of each piece, it instantly transports the listener into the mind of the storyteller's chilling world. All in all, I would recommend Twisted Rhymes for lovers of dark fiction and poetry lovers of any genre alike. Do not hesitate to be drawn into the twisted world of Twisted Rhymes!

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