Aural Noir Review of Dimiter by William Peter Blatty

April 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Aural Noir, Reviews 

Aural Noir: Review

Audiobook - Dimiter by William Peter BlattyDimiter
By William Peter Blatty; Read by William Peter Blatty
8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2010
Themes: / Thriller / Religion / Christianity / Espionage /

In 1973 a nameless prisoner is being tortured in an Albanian prison, where “grace and hope had never touched.” Colonel Vlora, known as “The Interrogator,” is frustrated and mystified by a man they have come to call The Prisoner because they cannot even make him speak. Is he an American spy, Paul Dimiter, known as the “agent from hell?” The solution to this stalemate while expected on one level is a complete surprise on another. This turns out to be emblematic of William Blatty’s book. Part 1 is an appropriate foretaste of this complex, suspenseful, and fast paced thriller.

The scene shifts to Jerusalem where we meet Moses Mayo, a neurologist, who is investigating a series of seemingly natural deaths that are nevertheless linked. He also is plagued by a gruesome murder, reports of apparitions and mysterious miraculous healings. We also meet Mayo’s life-long friend, Peter Meral, an Arab Christian, who is a police detective. Among other things, Meral is investigating a strange car explosion and the mysterious disappearance of the men involved, a CIA cover-up, and a body found at the Tomb of Christ.

The body count climbs and complications arise from the interweaving of all the events. This sounds somewhat like a standard thriller, however, it is anything but. We know the deaths are real but what about the reported miracles? Is everything really connected and, if so, what could possibly be the logical link? The solution is not only surprising but also provides an extremely moving moment of redemption.

Dimiter‘s suspense keeps the listener fascinated while also raising it above the ordinary by not being afraid to have characters who care about spiritual searching, loss, redemption, and love. The spiritual element will make this work especially interesting to those who are drawn to themes that investigate good versus evil. This is not an element that should surprise those who remember that Blatty is the author of the justly famous horror novel The Exorcist. Although this novel is strictly in the thriller vein, I must admit that I did find the torture scenes rather horrific and did fast forward through a few of them.

The author narrates his work and does such an effective job that I often forgot I was not listening to a professional voice talent. The only downfall was that during fast-paced scenes with more than two male characters, such as CIA interrogations, there was not enough differentiation between all the voices to make it easy to tell when dialogue shifted from one person to another. This was not a huge problem but it did require me to back up a couple of times until I figured out the tempo. Otherwise, William Blatty’s reading was a sheer pleasure, especially in voicing his more eccentric characters who he brought to life in a most vivid fashion.

Highly recommended.

Posted by Julie D.

Recent Arrival: Dimiter by William Peter Blatty

March 23, 2010 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Recent Arrivals 

SFFaudio Recent Arrivals

Audiobook - Dimiter by William Peter BlattyDimiter
By William Peter Blatty; Read by William Peter Blatty
8 Hours – [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: 2010

William Peter Blatty has thrilled generations of readers with his iconic mega-bestseller The Exorcist. Now Blatty gives us Dimiter, a riveting story of murder, revenge, and suspense. Laced with themes of faith and love, sin and forgiveness, vengeance and compassion, it is a novel in the grand tradition of Morris West’s The Devil’s Advocate and the Catholic novels of Graham Greene.

Dimiter opens in the world’s most oppressive and isolated totalitarian state: Albania in the 1970s. A prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is held by state security. An unsettling presence, though subjected to unimaginable torture he maintains an eerie silence. He escapes—and on the way to freedom, completes a mysterious mission. The prisoner is Dimiter, the American “agent from Hell.”

The scene shifts to Jerusalem, focusing on Hadassah Hospital and a cast of engaging, colorful characters: the brooding Christian Arab police detective, Peter Meral; Dr. Moses Mayo, a troubled but humorous neurologist; Samia, an attractive, sharp-tongued nurse; and assorted American and Israeli functionaries and hospital staff. All become enmeshed in a series of baffling, inexplicable deaths, until events explode in a surprising climax.

Told with unrelenting pace, Dimiter’s compelling, page-turning narrative is haunted by the search for faith and the truths of the human condition. Dimiter is William Peter Blatty’s first full novel since the 1983 publication of Legion.

And here’s an excerpt!:

Posted by Scott D. Danielson