cover image Unholy Night

Unholy Night

Seth Grahame-Smith, read by Peter Berkrot. Hachette Audio, 10 hrs., $26.98 ISBN 978-1-61113-394-3

Grahame-Smith’s retelling of the story of Jesus and the Three Wise Men follows an infamous thief called the Antioch Ghost—aka Balthazar—as he escapes the clutches of King Herod and the forces of the Roman Empire, only to be eventually humbled by the newborn Jesus Christ. After receiving a vision—and contrary to his atheistic beliefs—he swears to protect the child against Herod and the Romans. Peter Berkrot provides an enjoyable performance with a mixture of character voices and strong narration. His reading is steady throughout, becoming more emphatic during pitched moments. Additionally, Berkrot’s voice has a sardonic edge to it—and this works well with the overall tone of the novel. The narrator lends appropriate voices to the characters, including the young Virgin Mary and the humble Joseph. And his slightly raspy voice is a perfect match for the tough and skeptical Balthazar. A Grand Central hardcover. (Apr.)