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Audio Book Review

Book Cover

Everyone Says Hello


Author: Dan Abnett
Read by: Burn Gorman
BBC Audio
RRP: £12.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 67821 6
Available 04 February 2008

Across Cardiff a peculiar phenomenon is occurring. Strangers are approaching one another, saying "Hello" and sharing their most intimate thoughts - both the trivial and the deeply personal. All over town people stop what they would normally be doing and what starts out as an irritation for many soon becomes more serious. Without attention fires break out, ambulances and police cars are abandoned and the chaos grows. Beneath the street, in the Hub, Torchwood discovers an alien energy field covering the city, whose purpose is not at all clear. As they race off into the night to shut it off, the Heralds of the Light have other ideas...

Everyone Says Hello is another exclusive Torchwood audio book from the BBC. The story is written by Dan Abnett, who’s writing credentials would fill numerous pages. Apart from his prolific work in comics, 2000 A.D. especially, he has already written for both Doctor Who and Torchwood, having previously penned Border Princes.

The audio book is spread across two discs with a total running time of two and a half hours. The small booklet, which also doubles as the CD’s cover, has a little information about Abnett and the narrator Burn Gorman, who plays Owen in the television show.

The story is very similar to Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, with the majority of the population being taken over by the Light. That said this is a very cleverly written piece.

In the beginning, when single individuals are taken over and stop working in order to talk, Abnett takes us through the feelings of irritation that this causes. As more people fall prey to the Light I found myself smiling in amusement at the absurdity of the situation, but then Abnett is relentless in his description as more succumb. Soon what seemed funny takes on a more worrying aspect and finally, as the majority are taken and chaos ensues, worry turns to horror.

Gorman narrates the tale well and does a worryingly good imitation of Gwen Cooper (actress Eve Myles) and not a bad Toshiko (Naoko Mori), though his impression of Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) does tend to slip at times. This is a story with an enormous amount of characters to which Gorman gives an individual voice, so we can forgive the odd slip.

Overall this is a well read, impressive story, with enough action, changes in tone and tempo which should please Torchwood fans, without breaking a sweat.


Charles Packer

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