Performed by: Christopher Lane.
Publisher: Briliance Audio.
Favorite character: Florence.
Favorite quote: "If you take a deep breath maybe you can look around for a minute after I cut your head off." ~One of the bad guys.
Synopsis: The bed and breakfast was hidden in the hills of West Virginia. Wary guests wondered how it could stay in business at such a creepy, remote location, especially with its bizarre, presidential decor and eccentric proprietor. With the event hotel for the national Iron Woman triathlon accidentally overbooked, competitor Maria was forced to stay at the Rushmore. But after checking into her room, she quickly realized she wasn't alone. First her suitcase wasn't where she put it. Then her cell phone was moved. Finally, she heard an odd creaking under the bed. Confusion quickly turned to fear, and fear to hysteria when she discovered the front door was barred and the windows were bricked over. There was no way out. One year later, four new female athletes have become guests of the Inn. Will they escape the horrors within its walls? Or will they join the many others who have died there, in ways too terrible to imagine? ~Amazon.com
Please Note: Some spoilers!
My Thoughts: Listening to Endurance was like watching a B-Horror movie at a drive in. Although I had issues with this book, it was a fun time with plenty of gore, thrills and unsettling characters as well as heroic ones.
The performance was spectacular. Christopher Lane did an amazing job of differentiating between character voices. The way he portrayed the bad guys was brilliant and very tongue in cheek. I was laughing out loud at some of his interpretations. He doesn't simply read the book, he acts it out and is very committed to the story.
Talk about chasing your characters up a tree and throwing rocks at them. Jack Kilborne seems to do this with glee, almost never giving his characters a break. The bad guys are so bad and disturbing they not only terrorize but they mock their victims as well. Kilborne also ratchets up the suspense by switching character povs, just as something chilling is about to happen.
I felt that Kilbourne had some really strong characters. I really like all of them (well except the bad guys). They are tough and tenacious without being over the top. My favorites are Florence, the kick-ass grandma and Mal, the reporter who keeps his sense of humor under the most horrific conditions.
The gore and imagery is very disturbing. One may argue that it is over the top and borders on torture porn. Kilborne went above and beyond in giving his readers a visceral reaction. Although I may not have always enjoyed the more detailed scenes, they were certainly effective. One I can't get out of my head is the tormenters putting old blood in the shampoo bottles for unsuspecting guests.
There were some plot devices that were a little convenient, but not too altogether hard to accept given the path of the story. It's also kind of hard to believe that the events of this story could actually happen, but hey, the world's a crazy place. There was also quite a bit of telling which I didn't think was necessary.
I also did feel that I had seen versions of this story before. In fact it reminded me of the 1996 X-Files episode "Home" which according to imbd.com was actually banned from Fox Television after its first airing.
Although a bit hokey, if you are looking for a gory, gruesome tale with strong characters and a touch of the silly and bizarre, this is the book for you. Try the audio version, it's quite an experience.