📚 Change by Chris Selna

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Description⎮Reviewed Jan. 2016

Narrator: Ron Herczig
Length: 2h 19m
Publisher: Chris Selna⎮2015

4.5 ★ AudiobookChange is not the type of story that I have typically listened to in the past, so I was initially unsure of what to expect. The first thing that caught my attention before the listening experience even began was the length of the audiobook (less than 2.5 hours long). I’m used to listening to audiobooks that are anywhere from 8 to 22 hours long. I couldn’t imagine how an author could produce a literary journey in barely over two hours. Again, I went into this with a completely open-mind and no previous assumptions as to the direction this story would take. And let me tell you, I was entirely unprepared for the emotional effect Change would have on me.

The only thing I knew from the description was that it was about a man (Robert) who wakes up one day having been transformed into a bug. Yes, a bug. Sounds sort of sci-fi, no? It’s actually a modernized version of Franz Kafka’s early 20th century novella The Metamorphosis. I never had the opportunity to read The Metamorphosis in high school, but even if I had, I don’t think I would have given it proper appreciation. I generally try to review immediately upon completion oven audiobook, but this was a story that I had to “sit on” for a while after finishing in order to process my multitude of thoughts and emotions. The retelling was incredibly easy to comprehend and modernized in a way so that the average 21st century individual can not only understand its message, but relate to it, as well. I think that was the most surprising part. That the main character, who is a bug, is so relatable. Robert is never seen in the story in human form. He is an insect from the very beginning, yet he retains his core humanity which is what so endears him to the reader/listener. As a psychology student, the family dynamic in this story was extremely interesting from a more clinical view, as well. Even now, I don’t think the whole of this story’s message has registered with me yet and I doubt that Change is something I will be able to shake from my thoughts very soon. This is a story that will be with me for a while.

Narration review: The second most immediate thing that caught my attention about this audiobook (after the short length) was the narration. Now, don’t go thinking that I’m blowing smoke just because of the little disclaimer down below. I don’t play like that. If I don’t like something, I’ll say so (see previous reviews as proof). If you still don’t believe me, go to listen to a sample of his work. Ron Herczig is the real deal, y’all. I knew from the audio sample that this man was a true performer. And that’s exactly what this was, a performance. It actually feels like a disservice to call him a “narrator” because the term voice actor feels so much more accurate. I don’t think I have ever heard a narrator voice actor put so much emotion into an audiobook. His Boston accent alone had me hooked in the opening minutes (very Kennedy-esque) and constantly made me smile throughout. His voice was a pure joy to hear, even if the story was heartbreaking. I hope to be able to hear more of his work soon. ♣︎

 This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Ron Herczig, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Ron!

$ Available at The Book Depository (paperback) and Audible

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