Review – Audiobook: The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Humor
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Publish Date: August 28, 2012
Format: Audio, 9 hours | 14 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy – Intermediate
Rating: 4 of 5
Benjamin Benjamin (not a typo, that’s his name) has lost everything: his job, his wife, his children. Ben is depressed and for over a year he didn’t even bother to look for work. But now the former stay-at-home dad is almost flat broke and down to his last few thousand dollars. In desperation he enrolls in a night class called The Fundamentals of Caregiving at a local church where her earns a certificate making him a licensed caregiver.
The Department of Social services lined Ben up with an interview and he soon had a job caring for 19-year-old Trev, a young man with Muscular Dystrophy. Trev is looking for someone he can relate to. Ben needs a job as soon as possible. And so begins the unlikely relationship between Ben and Trev, which becomes much more than patient and caregiver, and turns into a friendship and an adventure as they hit the road to visit Trev’s dad.
Humorous, even comic at times, I enjoyed the way the author handled serious subjects. Trev’s attitude in spite of his many disabilities is uplifting and inspiring, and his influence on Ben is a positive one. Together they deal with what life throws at them as they embark on their road trip. There’s a little bit of crude humor, what I call ‘guy stuff, but it lightens the tone and makes what could have been a tragic and depressing story into a fun time.
From the beginning we know that something tragic occurred which caused Ben to lose his family, an event he refer to as ‘The Disaster’. Bit by bit Ben reveals what happened and how he feels responsible. At the same time his relationship with Trev is helping him to heal.
The characters of Ben and Trev are likeable, nicely developed and supported by a group of fun minor characters that add more than a little life to their adventure. The audio production was fantastic. Jeff Woodman did a great job narrating and moved the story along at a nice pace. His voice conveyed just the right amount of emotion and seriousness while easily shifting into comic adventure and excitement.
I almost overlooked this book because the cover didn’t call out to me in any way at all. I saw the groovy script and a bus and thought ‘hippie road trip’. After I read a few reviews I realized I had it all wrong. So the lesson here is don’t judge a book by its cover. Read this one, you’ll enjoy it. And maybe the next edition will have a more attractive cover!
Source: Review copy.
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