Eric Bickernicks, "Artifice" literally had me falling off the treadmill. So hilarious, it was! Let me tell you, Bickernicks can really tell a story! Reminiscent of Neal Stephenson's, "Zodiac," but wittier and more intriguing, in my opinion -- and I'm a diehard Neal Stephenson fan. Also worth noting is, had this been a Neal Stephenson novel it would have been 20 bucks – and Artifice is out there for free – thanks Eric! It's gritty, irreverent, fast-paced action and suspense. It's also a pretty interesting (disturbing) look at the psyche of an independent artist – (writer, perhaps?) I think it holds a mirror up to any of us who have tried to impress the world with our own creative endeavors, or even just get noticed, remembered, acknowledged. Artifice effectively ignites the question, "what's it all for?"
I wish I could write a review as deftly as Bickernicks writes novels (or this novel, at least). Artifice had me alternately laughing out loud and gripping the edges of my Kindle with the comedy and suspense of this story. The dialog was sharp, the attention to details was even sharper. This is one of those books that runs through your mind as a movie as you're reading it. Very entertaining!
I downloaded Artifice by Eric Bickernicks because I loved the premise of a satirical look at the art world. Having a degree in art history and having worked at a major museum in NYC, this is a world with which I am familiar. I spent much of the time laughing at the portrayal of artists and patrons in this book. I loved the personalities of the different artists in Gavin’s circle, which were so close to truth! Gavin’s interactions with the billionaire and his company were hysterical and satisfying at the end. A truly fun read! Watch the trailer if you need more convincing!
thoroughly enjoyed the read and humor read it on sitting and laughed out loud at art scene characters I recognized. Thank YOU for writing this!
Great story, it has a little bit of everything: comedy, wealth, danger, girl-boy romance; a surprise ending! It even has good food in the background ! I lived in the keys in the 60's, & loved it!!
This is a fun book which kept me entertained and engaged through to the end. As an artist, I did enjoy the comments about art and artists. I spent most of my formative years in South Florida and yes, I know about that authentic key lime pie that cannot be found anywhere else on the planet. President Nixon used to have those pies flown up to the White House.
I liked how the story went from hope, to depression, then back to hope.
Funny in places and dark in others.
This is a fun read. It's just funny enough to keep the plot from being depressing.
Album playlist: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Z4PN3bdr1TyPKK3923pXF
Note: If you're using the free app, you can only play in shuffle mode. It's gonna drive you nuts. Here are your options.
Youtube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLGvYnTSL
ARTIFICE was such a gem of an audiobook. As an artist, this book was total ear candy for me. While this was a satirical book about the artworld and the artists who live in it, it was still pretty much right about how it is at times. At first I wasn't sure if Gavin was a serious artist but he was indeed. He scored a good gig for Gary Eastman doing commissions but I was thinking 'Nooo, don't sign a lifetime contract'.
The story was fantastic and the characters, especially Gavin and Linda, were awesome. All the supporting characters voices were so fun. In fact, this audiobook was like a painting full of vibrant colors. I hope Eric Bickernicks writes more awesome stories like this one.
I love that the author narrated his own book. He was exactly PERFECT for Gavin. Along with that the other forty guest voices were incredibly cool. I can't wait to see and hear what he does next. Definitely recommended. Two words: More please!
Elsie's Audiobook Digest Review - ★★★★★
This audiobook is fantastic! It’s dark humor combined with mystery. I can’t -recall the last time an audiobook made me laugh out loud so many times, It’s that funny! The character Gavin has a dry sense of humor that I adored. All the characters in this audiobook are memorable and Gavin’s interactions with them are hysterical.
Throughout this nearly 6-hour audiobook, I was wondering how this story was going to play out. It kept you guessing until the end.
I’m not a fan of author’s narrating their own works, but Eric Bickernicks totally nails this reading. His narration was completely engaging and I can’t imagine any narrator doing a better job than he did.
I hope this won’t be the last I hear from Mr. Bickernicks. He has a real talent for storytelling. This audiobook deserves to be heard. Artifice will surely increase your happiness quotient.
Audible.com/Dominique - ★★★★★
This was one of the coolest audio books I've ever heard for a couple of reasons.
First, the author got a hold of about 40 different voice actors to play the different characters, so that every time a different character spoke, it was actually someone different. This was unlike a recording where it's done with a full "theatrical cast performance" blah blah like some of the Star Treks I've heard (which I loved!), but instead it was a normal audio book except that when it was anyone but the narrator talking, you get the actual character voice. Original and cool, and like nothing I've ever heard. Some of the author's voice actor friends had crappy bathrooms to do their recordings, but those were only a few and I tried to gloss over that because the overall concept was so original that it's unfair to be nit-picky.
So that alone makes it worth the price of the book, or a book credit.
Next, the author Eric Bickernicks (who has such a weird last name that I will from now on choose to be on a first name basis with him) writes in such a visual style, you can imagine everything that happens quite easily. An example is a scene at an art show in a gallery where a crazy artist lights a piece of art on fire and holds it high over his head as he starts to pontificate in an art gallery, when all the fire prevention sprinklers go off. The art artists start scrambling around, trying to preserve their precious works of art, and Eric does a great job describing this chaos in a way that's both easy to envision, but also hilarious and realistic.
This story centers around a starving artist and the art world, and even pokes fun at the kind of art I've never understood, like when someone calls a couple of squares on a canvas "art" even though it literally took 45 seconds to paint and zero talent. I like that Eric didn't take himself or the art scene so seriously that he wasn't able to laugh or poke fun at it or himself/his character, who is an artist.
Eric's voice has an east coast, and non-unpleasantly nasal quality that I found charming after not very long. At first I wondered why the author narrated his own story, and then I got why: no one else could possibly have done justice to a story this quirky and funny except the man who wrote it - only *he* knew just where to put the emphasis and the snark.
I won't spoil the story, but will instead beg you to go into this story pretty cold and without much more knowledge than I just gave you. The main dude is a starving artist who catches a break. That's all you need to know. Now just sit back and enjoy this fun ride. And even though I was provided a copy of this book by the author in exchange for this unbiased review, I can only hope that you may also find yourself wishing your commute or workout was longer, as I did when I was listening. Highly recommended.
Audible.com/BradBritney - ★★★★
I'm so glad I listened to this audiobook. It's completely different from anything that I have ever read. The topic didn't interest me as much as I thought it would; however, I was able to relate it back to my life someway--asking the question "what does it mean to be a sell-out?"
I really enjoyed the performances in the audiobook. On top of Bickernicks who performed the main lead, we listened to 40 other voices whose tones, interest in the story, and voice acting skill were tremendous.
OK fine, you can still get a print copy from Createspace for only six bucks.