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Audio Book Review


You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness)


Author: Chris Wade
Read by: Charllie Chuck
Wisdom Twin Books
RRP: £1.99
Available 01 November 2011

You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) is an audio tale by Chris Wade, read by Charlie Chuck who has appeared on both The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer and The James Whale Show. Wade has previously written and recorded Cutey and the Sofaguard, an interesting, if flawed surrealist tale. This latest short tale is more of a shaggy dog story, in that it ultimately doesn’t really go anywhere.

The tale opens with our hero encountering a seemingly familiar drunk being sick into a condom. This idea is quickly discarded, never to be mentioned again, as Wade moves on to a short story about a lovelorn clerk working in a stationery store, itself full of interesting characters. In fact Wade has made sure that every single character has their own quirk, which means that in a world where everyone is unusual, ultimately this becomes the norm, therefore no one in unusual.

The tale suffers in much the same way as Cutey and the Sofaguard, with far too many attempts to write sentences where things are like other things, the juxtaposition of the two presumably providing the humour, the problem is that many of the pairings just aren’t that funny. There is also an over reliance on juvenile swearing to, once again, generate humour.

The whole thing is not helped by having Charlie Chuck read your short story. At a little over half an hour long, it felt like Mr Chuck had decided to read the whole thing through without a rehearsal. There are unexpected pauses and breaks in the natural flow of the speech as if he were trying to understand what he was reading at the same time as speaking the words.

Like Cutey there is something here which is fighting to get out, but has been strangled at birth from a desire to over create cleverly surreal images and sentences and Chuck’s delivery.


Charles Packer

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You Only Live Once (Thank Goodness) - Single - Charlie Chuck & Chris Wade
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