🎧 The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz #ChanelleBenz @therealbahnit #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMel

Posted August 25, 2023 by Melanie in Book Review / 5 Comments

🎧 The Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz #ChanelleBenz @therealbahnit #LoveAudiobooks @AudiobookMelThe Gone Dead by Chanelle Benz
Narrator: Bahni Turpin
Published by HarperAudio on June 25, 2019
Genres: Life Fiction
Length: 8 hours 6 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Billie James' inheritance isn't much: a little money and a shack in the Mississippi Delta. The house once belonged to her father, a renowned black poet who died unexpectedly when Billie was four years old. Though Billie was there when the accident happened, she has no memory of that day - and she hasn't been back to the South since.

Thirty years later, Billie returns, but her father's home is unnervingly secluded: Her only neighbors are the McGees, the family whose history has been entangled with hers since the days of slavery. As Billie encounters the locals, she hears a strange rumor: that she herself went missing on the day her father died. As the mystery intensifies, she finds out that this forgotten piece of her past could put her in danger.

Inventive, gritty, and openhearted, The Gone Dead is an astonishing debut novel about race, justice, and memory that lays bare the long-concealed wounds of a family and a country.

Chanelle Benz is a new-to-me author, but when I saw that Bahni Turpin was the narrator, I decided to look further into the story. I liked the sound of the book blurb, so I decided to give this book a go. I’m really glad that I did. I had a great time reading this story and trying to figure out what was going on this small town on the Mississippi Delta.

Billie James is a half white, half black girl who is originally from a small town of Greendale, Mississippi. She moves to Philadelphia with her mother (the parents were split up prior to his death) when she was just a toddler after her father dies in an apparent accident. Now she’s going back to Greendale to cleanup her father’s house that she has inherited thirty years after his death.

After some strange occurrences around the house, she starts asking about things more. She’s talking a lot with the closest neighbors, a white family that has had connections with her family, going back to slave times. She’s also talking with her father’s brother and her father’s girlfriend at the time of his death. The more she digs, the more questions she has.

I really enjoyed this crime mystery set in the South, where there is a lot of history. Even in the present, you can see the differences between the different races, but this really isn’t a story about race. Race is brought up as it is part of the culture in the town and does have its place in this story. But this is mostly about Billie trying to learn more about her father and what happened to him and even what happened to her around the time of his death.

If you like crime stories set in small towns where everyone is connected in some fashion, this would be a great story for you to try. I really look forward to reading more books by Chanelle Benz.

Narration:

As I said, Bahni Turpin is the reason this book really caught my eye. I’ve listened to her narrate several different types of stories and I always enjoy her narration. I really believe that she brings out the characters in the stories, with a wide array of voices and the perfect inflection in their tones to match their personalities. If you’ve never listened to Bahni Turpin, you’re really missing out and should give her a try.

Listen to a clip: HERE

About Bahni Turpin

Bahni Turpin is a Los Angeles-based actress with many television and film credits in addition to being an award winning narrator. She is honored to have been awarded an Audie for Best Female Narrator, 2015, Audible Narrator of the Year, 2016, and American Library Association’s Voice of Choice for 2017. In 2018, Bahni won best female narration again, and was also inducted into the Audible Hall of Fame. She is a two-time Odyssey Award winner, and was also named as one of Audiophile’s Golden Voices for 2019.

Bahni Turpin is also a famous TV and film actress. She started her career in 1987 with the film called “Tiszta Amerika”.

2010 Best Voice in Fiction: PRECIOUS

The talented narrator is now a devoted listener, too, but she came to audiobooks with a bit of skepticism. Another actress referred her to Books on Tape, where she later auditioned. “It was very strange to me at the time because I didn’t listen to audiobooks then.”

In time, Books on Tape engaged her to read A PIECE OF CAKE, by Cupcake Brown, and Bahni was hooked. She had always liked reading aloud and found the assignment to be a comfortable and enjoyable gig. Of course, she’s continued. But sometimes she’s surprised at a director’s requirements. “I auditioned for a new company, and the director was so picky,” she says. “Every time you cleared your throat, you had to restart the paragraph.”

Bahni, who now loves listening to women’s stories as she tools around Los Angeles, was mesmerized by her own voicing of the character Minny in THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett. “While listening, I forgot it was me I was listening to,” says Bahni, who enjoyed the book’s rich emotions and vivid characterizations of several female characters.

The experience of absorbing audiobooks can be challenging for some modern listeners, Bahni feels. The heavy reliance on television for entertainment has led some to forget how to listen without a visual component. But she doesn’t draw a line between acting and narration. Bahni reads each book before recording and makes notes about how each character should sound. “I like to give each one a characterization and really try to read the way I feel the text should be heard. I especially enjoy doing dialects.”

Rating Breakdown
Narration (Audio)
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
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Posted August 25, 2023 by Melanie in Book Review / 5 Comments


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