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  • What's Wrong with Valerie?

  • Valerie Is Only as Sick as Her Secrets...
  • By: D.A. Fowler
  • Narrated by: Heather Murdock
  • Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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What's Wrong with Valerie? cover art

What's Wrong with Valerie?

By: D.A. Fowler
Narrated by: Heather Murdock
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Summary

Valerie is only as sick as her secrets…

After the death of her hated grandmother, Valerie is, for the first time in her life, really free. The house belongs to her. She should be happy. But Valerie isn’t quite normal.

She’s taking in roommates to make ends meet, but, one by one, they keep ending up dead. Her young niece is crying out for a special kind of discipline that only she can provide. And there are the voices she hears...voices that want her to do terrible things.

Valerie is only trying to survive. If she stops doing what the voices tell her, something grotesquely evil will devour her soul....

What’s wrong with Valerie?

“One of the best horror debuts I’ve come across in a long time…” (Douglas Clegg, author of Neverland)

©1991 Debra A. Fowler (P)2019 Eric Hoheisel

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    4 out of 5 stars
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AND ... I still don't know but I enjoyed the ride

Valerie clearly has some issues but is she insane? Or haunted? Or both? She has inherited her house from her Grandmother whom her cousin believes may have been ‘helped on her way’ by Valerie, her cousin is not very pleasant and her Grandmother may, or may not, have been just as unpleaseant, this is one of the mysteries of this story.

Valerie then takes in a lodger in the form of Gavin, and with him arrive some unpleasant nocturnal creatures that lurk around her house. They demand to be fed, constantly, fed human flesh, so the ghosts of her dearly departed tell her how to deal with this problem, in fact they pretty much nag her until she does deal with the problem.

It goes from here, the blurb tells you a lot of it, but it cannot convey the creepiness of this nineties horror story (I very much enjoy older style horror) some of this could be the style of the narrator who gives a marvellous performance in this production, she brings the characters, especially Valerie and Tamara, to life which made me care about what happened to them. It is very much a rollercoaster ride that leaves you wondering if the entire family is (or was) insane.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this to fans of old-school horror, I think you would enjoy it.

I received my copy free of charge in exchange for my unbiased review which I am delighted to have done above.

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Very Disturbing But Unputdownable.

This is a very intense, disturbing listen. The atmosphere created is claustrophobic. It oozes horror as the plot twists and we become entwined in its grasp. Not for the faint of heart or squeamish. The writing has a light touch which emphasises the darkness. A narrator sympathetic with the characters adds to the immersive experience. This is a great novel and a wonderful listen.

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  • timj26
  • 11-09-19

Excellent

I love all these classic novels that are coming out on audiobooks
Valerie slips deeper into mental illness as she begins offing people to feed the monsters haunting her
Great narration and darkly amusing this holds up very well
I received a free review audiobook and voluntarily left this review

7 people found this helpful

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  • Spooky Mike
  • 17-09-19

Yes, There is Something Wrong with Valerie

Wow, was there ever something wrong with Valerie. This story is a trip into the mind of a schizophrenic who sees and feeds monsters. For eight and half short hours you are living in Valerie’s head while she tries to free herself of her internal and external demons. This was one crazy turn after another and once you are on the crazy train, you don’t want to get off.

The publisher’s summary was vague enough that I didn’t know what I was really getting into, but you don’t have to get too far into the book to realize that. Once you understand what is going on, you just keep going further down the rabbit hole. This rabbit hole has a lot of random twists and turns which keep the whole book exciting. The writing really added to the overall feel of how things are not right with Valerie and provide a steady escalation to the point I wanted out of her house and out of her mind.

I really liked how the plot presented itself. I don’t really want to get too much into the details, but thought the process of Valerie trying to get rid of the external demons only to increase her internal demons was awesome. I really liked the different characteristics each one had and how they all seemed to have a specific role based on their personality. The back and forth conversations she has with the voices in her head starts to drive you as batty as she is. Not sure if it was intentional, or if I just lost focus, but from time to time I felt the story jumped a bit without any clear path between the two places and that got me confused. I think that worked well for the story because as Valerie loses grip with reality, I too started to lose faith in what was real and what was just in her head.

Heather Murdock did a really good job voicing Valerie. Her tone and excitement really added to her downward spiral and I loved hearing her do the conversations with the inner demons. I really liked the typewriter sound effects when Valerie was typing, subtle, but one of those little things that really helps bring the story to life.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Simone
  • 02-01-20

Valerie Is Not Well

First of all, it is of note that this book was written in 1991. I saw some readers took issue with the way the characters were speaking to each other and I would posit that this would explain why.

It took a little bit to get into the horror aspects of this one, but once they arrived they were there to stay. I love a story about a person battling to locate reality and Valerie is definitely "out of touch," so to speak. The horror elements were fun and strange; they worked well for me. My only real complaint is the ending wasn't as strong as the rest of the story, but I think we all know endings are hard.

Heather Murdock delivers a fabulous performance in this one; I'll be seeking out more books voiced by her!

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 person found this helpful

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  • jaime
  • 21-09-19

Holy heck! What a spiral down into madness!!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Wow! Just wow! Totally insane spiral down into the mind of complete madness. This was gripping and twisted and totally absorbing.

Well written. Great twisted main character. Parts were hard to listen to because of the context, but the character was completely lost in her twisted mind, so it fit.

Narration was very very well done.

I enjoyed this one! Not for the faint of heart!

1 person found this helpful

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  • ssimon2000
  • 20-09-19

Nope!

I received this from Audiobook Boom in exchange for an honest review.

DNF@23%

I know I'm in the minority here, but this just didn't work for me. The writing felt... I'm not sure what the right word is, but like the author was taking normal dialogue and descriptions and replacing the words with what she maybe considered "better" or "smart". The audiobook was driving me crazy, because people don't have conversations like that, without contractions and without slang or colloquialisms.

I may not have noticed it as much if I were reading instead of listening, but I'm giving up. The premise sounded good, but the execution was off.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-02-22

loved it

This book was recommended on the horrorlit subreddit and it did not disappoint. It is a fantastically bizarre read.

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  • Kayla Krantz
  • 24-02-20

Unsettling

Turns out Valerie has a lot wrong with her. Schizophrenia has her seeing and believing things that aren’t there. This audiobook is a trip inside her mind, an insight into the struggles of the demons that she faces both inside herself and out in the world that she must still traverse inside. For Valerie, the demons that she sees are all charming in their own way, and it’s that which makes it harder for her to get rid of them.

This story has plenty of twists and turns. With a narrator like Valerie, that’s not a surprise. It was interesting to see the contrast of things that were actually happening in comparison to what Valerie believed. It made me think that there are mental illnesses that really affect people in such a manner like this.

Overall, the story leaves an uneasy feeling from the disconnect. Very well done.

The narrator gave an interesting excitement to Valerie’s character to balance the downward spiral of her life. It was an interesting contrast, and I liked the little background noises the narrator added as well.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Brian M
  • 09-10-19

Weird, Intense, Psychological Horror

There is a lot wrong with Valerie. She hears voices and sees monsters and is obviously mentally ill with schizophrenia. She finally has her own house with the passing of her grandma but they talk all the time. She has arguments with the grandma, aunts, uncles, and other people who aren't there. She also sees monsters, and feels the need to protect her niece from them by crossing lines that probably shouldn't be crossed. Things get intense and twisty as the story leads to a bizarre ending out of nowhere.

The listen is interesting and bizarre where they play up the voices part. There's the voices she "hears" and the voices she hears and the differentiation between those is the sound effects happening behind the voices. Some moments get pretty intense and threw me off pretty well, so I couldn't imagine dealing with that normally. I'm not sure if I'd listen again, but it was an interesting enough experience to recommend others give it a shot and the story is definitely good enough to support that experience.

I received the audio-book code for this at my request and have voluntarily left this honest review.

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  • PattyH
  • 21-09-19

What's Wrong with Valerie

Is Valerie phsycotic or is there really flesh eating creatures and ghosts plaguing her everyday?

Heather Murdock was perfect for narrating this audible.

I received this audible free at my request. I freely submit my review.

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  • cagles
  • 15-09-19

Well that was a wild ride!

I genuinely enjoyed this book. It had a slow start and I was thinking, where's the horror? This is just a qUIrkY GiRl that likes to talk to herself a lot but I'm glad I hung around as it really picked up after it started going. Valerie is certainly an interesting character.The childhood flashbacks were well thought out and made sense of bizarre adult behavior. I also liked how the narrator chose to differentiate the "real" childhood flashbacks by adding a subtle telephone like sound in the background. It helped by letting us know that was an actual childhood memory and not just another schizophrenic lapse. My only major issue with the book is the ending. It ended very very abruptly and without seeing any of the aftermath. I was somewhat expecting a different kind of ending but I couldn't help but feel there was one more chapter of story left to be told there.

Narrator Heather Murdock did a really good job. The southern accent was a bit cringe inducing and unintentionally comedic but as a southerner, I get it. I'm getting used to narrators using some caricatured version of southern plain speak. All in all, if I'm feeling iffy about a book, if I see Heather Murdock has narrated it, I will definitely give it go.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

ETA: I genuinely had no idea this book was made back in 1991! wow!