Narrator: Victor Bevine
Publisher: Audible Inc.
Running Time: 34 minutes
Listened to: 19-20 August 2013
Full Disclosure: Free download from audible.com
A well-written prequel is a marvellous marketing tool for the book to come. In The First, Edmund Blithe is the first to return, a year since he was killed in a bus accident and with no knowledge of his passing. He turns up to work early and is surprised that someone seems to have taken over his cubicle. As his co-workers start to arrive they are surprised, horrified and afraid. Meanwhile, at the urging of friends and family, his fiancée Emily has started to let him go, only to learn of his return on the evening news.
The concept of The Returned is fascinating, and this vignette serves as an intriguing appetiser. There is another prequel (a prequel sequel?), The Sparrow, also available on audible.com as a free download, and I certainly enjoyed The First enough to go back for a second helping.
I found the narration of this story okay, although I was always aware someone was reading it to me - it was like there was a low hedge between me and the characters. This may be the narrator, but is more likely due to my adjustment to the new medium. Either way, it made the morning commute far more interesting.
Update 21 August 2013: There's another prequel! A prequel sequel sequel? The Choice is another free audible.com download. I wonder how many more there'll be? I remember how excited I was when Stephen King's The Green Mile was published in serial form - this is a little like that. I'll report back when I've had a listen.