*This book was supplied to me by Audiobook Reviewer. This review was originally published on ABR’s website.*
It’s a rare humor book that’s laugh out loud funny, clever, and complex all at the same time. Humor is a difficult genre to write, especially since it’s easy to alienate readers who don’t share the same sense of humor as the writer, therefore unfortunately appealing to one type of reader instead of a variety of readers and often attracting heavy criticism. Getting Rid of Matthew by Jane Fallon is a joyously uncommon book that’s humor can be appreciated by a mass audience at the same time as it maintains the elusive ideal quality of any book that involves romance: unpredictability.
Fallon gets her characters into situations that seem impossible to get out of, stretching the limits of the reader’s expectations constantly. I found myself saying, “I have no idea how she’s going to get out of this one” and, “I can’t believe that just happened!” many times throughout the novel. Any book that truly takes me by surprise is appreciated by me, but a book that continuously keeps me on my toes with absolutely no clue as to how the characters’ situations will resolve – or whether they will at all – is refreshingly brilliant.
I have listened to this book at least two times and I know I’ll listen to it again and again. I have only ever listened to one other audiobook more than once, and I’ve listened to a large amount of audiobooks in my time, so that should tell you just how well written this book is. Aside from the comedy aspect, the clever turns of phrase used in place of cliches and dry description add so much color to the narrative, even in droughts of dialogue. Fallon dips into smaller characters’ lives as necessary and in details that matter, leaving out anything the reader might not find useful or interesting as well as anything that doesn’t apply to the current situation. In times that delving into a minor character’s past seems unnecessary, just wait – there’s always a reason, soon to follow, that it has been described. Fallon doesn’t waste words.
The voice talent, Rosalyn Landor, is the perfect pick for this hilarious read. Her line delivery is perfect to the point that I would never want to read a text version of the book; it would be severely lacking now that I’ve heard her dead on interpretation. Her voice is very nice to listen to, and she effectively uses a different timbre and accent for every character, making them easily distinguishable. Her accents also add to the character development and comedy throughout the book. She was a pleasure to listen to, and I’d certainly listen to any other audiobook with her as the voice talent.
I’m left almost in fear of reading another book by Fallon in case it isn’t as good as this one, but I don’t think I’ll be able to resist forever. Getting Rid of Matthew presents big audiobook shoes to fill, and I know I’ll be listening again and again throughout the years.