The Man Who Murdered His Mother-In-Law by Jeffrey Hatcher

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Why I Read It: Quite frankly, I wanted something humorous to fold my laundry to.

Where I Got It: From the publisher via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!)

Who I Recommend This To: If you enjoy audio theater, this would be a fun bit for a commute.

Performed By: Steven Hendrickson

Publisher: Audio-Visceral Productions (2012)

Length: 35 minutes

While this was a short piece (for me), it was very enjoyable. I listened to most of it while folding the daily laundry and it made the chore fly by. Gerald and Laura have been living together for a number of years, putting off the typical bout of marriage most couples go through. Laura’s widowed mother is very wealthy and when she receives some bad news, imminent kidney failure to be followed by death, she suggests something practical, yet gauche: Gerald should marry her so that he and Laura can inherit her wealth without the exorbitant death tax.

What follows is a humorous few weeks in the Florida for the listener, and a bit of hell on earth for Gerald. He’s separated from Laura and forced into a retired communities routine of naps, meals, and daytime TV. Jeffrey Hatcher gave us this bit of audio theater was put together of well-chosen words, turns of phrase, and use of voice and sound effects. This material was written especially to be performed, rather than read, and therefore is original; it cannot be found in book form, only as the recording. And it is definitely worth the time to listen to as it gave me many chuckles. The clever little ending was an appreciatively twisted.

The narration, or rather performance, was excellent. I could nearly see the performer rolling his eyes, or quirking a corner of his mouth, or hiding shock or dismay as the story required. The sound effects that accompanied the narration were well placed without being over powering.

What I Liked: An absurd circumstance made vivid; how society raises an eye at an older woman with a younger man is used for my amusement; unexpected twist to the ending; excellent judicious use of sound effects.

What I Disliked: There are two characters with very similar names (Gerald and Jerry) and in such a short piece, I felt that it was a little too easy to get these 2 mixed up.

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