Fortune Smiles: Stories! by Adam Johnson [in Library Journal]
In “Nirvana,” Jonathan McClain deftly voices a desperate husband who uses technology to soothe his ill wife. Dominic Hoffman – his narration resonating and growling both – reads “Hurricanes Anonymous,” about a man’s post-Katrina search for his son’s mother. Cassandra Campbell, the collection’s only woman, matter-of-factly brings a dead wife to life in “Interesting Facts.”
W. Morgan Sheppard is chillingly delusional as a former Stasi prison warden in “George Orwell Was a Friend of Mine.” The pedophile in “Dark Meadow” gets a convincing chance in Will Damron’s detached recitation. Greg Chun reads the titular standout, “Fortune Smiles,” moving with staccato force between two North Korean defectors trying comically, desperately, incongruously to adjust to their new lives in Seoul.
As diverse as the characters and settings are throughout Johnson’s lauded latest, so, too, are the narrators individually distinctive – and definitively seasoned (Chun, the only audiobook newbie, is a commercial and animation voice-over veteran).
Disturbing, riveting, devastating, raw, the collective result is a literary and aural revelation.