cover image The Big Get-Even

The Big Get-Even

Paul Di Filippo, read by Keith Szarabajka. Blackstone Audio, , unabridged, 7 CDs, 7.5 hrs., $34.95 ISBN 978-1-5384-0461-4

Actor Szarabajka’s husky, educated voice is a perfect match for con man and disbarred-lawyer Glen McClinton, the charming narrator of Di Filippo’s witty caper. The scam, devised by Stan Hasso, an ex-con Glen saved from a drug overdose, is an act of revenge against realtor Barnaby Nancarrow, who hired Stan, his boyhood pal, to burn down some of his properties and then turned Stan in. Glen and Stan’s plan is for Glen to buy the rundown town of Bigelow Junction and convince Nancarrow that it’s worth $20 million because of its proximity to the site for a proposed casino. Szarabajka’s Glen is a likable mixture of wise-guy sarcasm and occasional self-doubt. The actor toughens his deep rumbly voice for self-confident, quick-to-anger Stan, gives it a faux sophistication for Nancarrow, and ages it for Glen’s uncle Ralph. He sweetens it for Nelly, an innocent local beauty who, like everyone else in the town, believes Glen and Stan will bring new life to Bigelow Junction. Szarabajka adds a pleasing layer of affability to the antiheroes, making the audio version of Di Filippo’s brisk, well-structured comedy-thriller irresistible. A Blackstone hardcover. (Mar.)