By Michael David Wilson
I listened to the audio version of The Girl in the Video, narrated by RJ Bayley. I was curious going in how he would create the voice of the female character. It would be easy to do a poor and distasteful impression of an Asian female by a white male. However, RJ nailed it. He brought to life the story, which made my drive to and from work so very enjoyable. There were parts in there that I know were intended to be humorous, and I must have looked like a crazy person to other drivers, because I was cracking up during those scenes.
The singing, Bayley. That singing was hilarious!
We’re all told to be careful about hackers, phishing scams, and to never click on links without being absolutely sure what they lead too. I guess it should be obvious that you should never-ever-ever, under any circumstances, click on a link from a stranger. It’s essentially the digital version of don’t take a ride with a stranger.
Our protagonist clearly never heard that lesson before. A shame, because had he, this whole mess would have been avoided. Then again, if he had heeded that lesson, this story would not be very interesting. It’s a novella that’ll ruin Hello Kitty for you. Wilson made sure of that. I’m putting words in his mouth, but that’s how I took it. TGITV is a tale of how modern tech can be turned against anyone. It’s a lesson in why you need to be careful, that just because you’re behind a screen, doesn’t mean you’re safe.
Wilson writes with the ultra-realism to match the likes of horror legend, Jack Ketchum. Most notable in his writing voice is his word choice and the cadence of his prose. Being an ardent listener of This is Horror, even through RJ Bayley’s voice, I could feel Wilson’s intelligent and perpetually curiosity, which even in the grimmest of descriptors, put a smile on my face. The protagonist is someone you can root for, which makes this story all the more tragic. Had I put myself in his shows—in a strange land where most people probably don’t speak my native tongue, and there’s someone targeting me, threatening my wife—you bet your ass my mind would go into hyper-paranoia mode.
I wasn’t sure how this one would end. Wasn’t sure if it was possible to make it predictabe or not. Wilson assured me, as a reader, that he will lead you down one path, when in reality, you’re headed in the opposite direction. He formed an ending that had grace, devastation, and pure horror. If nothing else, this book taught me to not click on the unknown link, cross the road if I see someone with a Hello Kitty mask on, and to never watch the girl in the video.
I purchased the audio book via audible for review consideration.