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  • A Time and a Place

  • Written by: Joe Mahoney
  • Narrated by: Joe Mahoney
  • Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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A Time and a Place

Written by: Joe Mahoney
Narrated by: Joe Mahoney
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Publisher's Summary

Barnabus’ nephew is behaving oddly.

Calling upon Doctor Humphrey for assistance has not been particularly helpful because the good doctor’s diagnosis of demonic possession is clearly preposterous. Even the demon currently ensconced on the front-room couch agrees it’s preposterous. But then, how else to explain the portal to another world through which his nephew and Humphrey have just now disappeared?

Barnabus knows their only chance of rescue is for Barnabus J. Wildebear himself to step up and go through that portal.

Thus begins an existential romp across space and time, trampling on Barnabus’ assumptions about causality, free will, identity, good, and evil. Can Barnabus save his nephew - and incidentally, all of humanity?

©2017 Joe Mahoney (P)2018 Joe Mahoney

What the critics say

"Mahoney’s work is great for those who like their speculative fiction thoughtful, eloquent, and messy." (Publisher’s Weekly)

What listeners say about A Time and a Place

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Engaging and thoughtful time-travel adventure

I really enjoyed Joe Mahoney’s narration of “A Time and a Place”. I had read this book before, but enjoyed his audio version even more. His telling of this fast-paced time-travel adventure captured the fun and humour of the book. However, it was the emotion behind the origins of the conflict that really got me. It seems frighteningly possible with today’s global politics. I highly recommend this audiobook!

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Great sci-fi adventure

A Time and a Place is the debut novel of Joe Mahoney, a local Ontario author. I first met Joe some time ago at a local book fest in Whitby, and his book has been on the back burner ever since. Finally he’s come out with the audiobook – he’s done all the voice acting and editing himself – so I got myself a copy. It’s a science fiction, quasi-fantasy story.

A time and a place follows our hero and narrator Barnabus Wildebear – which is an awesome name. He’s essentially a John Everyman type character. He’s living on Prince Edward Island, he teaches high school English, and he’s the guardian of his teenage nephew, Ridley. We very much get the sense that Wildebear is coasting through life. He’s somewhat lacklustre as a guardian, he’s passive and non-confrontational, and he, we learn during a truth serum session, has never been in a relationship. He does like a good scotch, though.

The book opens with him greeting his friend Dr Humphrey, who’s agreed to come in and speak to Ridley, who’s been acting quite strange lately. The two men discover a somewhat New Agey, occult type book in Ridley’s room, and, when Wildebear speaks the name of the book, he sets in motion the events of the novel.

The book itself is a portal and transportation device, controlled by a demon, a genie, or an alien, or something else, and Ridley, it seems, has been seduced by this creature. Now Barnabus must involve himself in affairs from other worlds so he can get his nephew back.

One thing about Joe's style - he writes with this sort of absurdist acceptance of the fantastical reality he's created. Wildebear is your average John Everyman character, not living, as far as he was aware, in a sci-fi universe of jinns and interstellar war. Then he gets sucked into this, with Men in Black invading his home and Helena Blavatsky’s book coming to life, and inhabiting the body of a seagull, and at no point does he break down in shock and awe, cradling himself in the fetal position. In other words, there's no realist commentary on the surreal. Instead, a blind acceptance - which was mildly jarring at first. It almost took me out of it. Until that absurdist acceptance came through - everything is just absurd and there's no point in dwelling on it. There's a comedy here too, slightly muted but there. I actually laughed out loud when Wildebear was arguing with Jack Poirier. This all interweaves into Joe's style, which is actually quite pronounced for a first novel.

There’s some good philosophical stuff in here too. He muses on issues of predestination and free will, good and evil as it relates to intentionality – some deep stuff for a first novel, especially one with squid-like supervillains and anthropomorphic cats.

As for the audio performance, Mahoney’s done all the voice acting and editing himself. The editing is completely seamless, and he does a pretty good job of portraying different voices – better than I’d expect from a production performed by the author.

I enjoyed this novel, more than I thought I would. Mahoney writes with a practised wit. Parts of the novel seemed a little rushed, and there’s questions left unanswered, but overall I enjoyed it.

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