Doctor Cerberus, by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Okay, so, not technically a book, but it’s audio theatre, and if I read a play, I’d post it, right? Ah, who cares about rationalization! There is Simon Helberg to be had!

That’s really why I picked this recording up. It came down the line with Simon climbing out of his television at me, and I just knew it was meant to be. And the description, which says things about a nerdy teenager who’s way too into those Saturday night horror movies… I’m not that nerd, but I love that nerd.

Also, the recording is like two hours long, since it is a play and all. You don’t even have to put that much effort into listening!

So, the story: there’s this nerd, Franklin, and he’s way too into those Saturday night horror movies, and has a sort of crush on Doctor Cerberus, the host of said movie nights. He also has a real crush on his older brother’s best friend, who happens to be the high school quarterback. He also has low self-esteem and weight issues. I’m sure you can identify with something here! Anyway, Franklin’s uncle shows up to live with the family for a bit, and he turns Franklin on to the idea of being a horror story writer, and this makes Franklin’s life awesome, except then his uncle goes away and his parents don’t know what to do with him and it’s all a dysfunctional mess. And then it gets better, as all lives tend to do.

It’s an adorable little recording, and there was a lot of on-the-nose dialogue from all of the characters, all of whom you enjoy and hate at various points during the play. They’re not exactly fully realized, there being only two hours of them, but certainly none of them end up exactly where they started, or even where you expect them to end up. And I like that.

Also, Simon Helberg. Come on.

Also also, I’m kind of liking this idea of plays on audio, because maybe I’ll actually get around to “reading” some. And L.A. Theatre Works knows how to sell its stuff — Macbeth with James Marsters? I’m gonna need my library to go buy that right now.

Recommendation: For nerds, nerds-at-heart, people who root for nerds.

Rating: 7/10

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