Title: Given the Circumstances
Author: Brad Vance
Narrator: Brad Vance
Run Time: 7 hours and 20 minutes
At a Glance: Narrated by the author, this is a fine book. The story is believable and is more of a read than a performance. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, regular listeners of audiobooks may take a while to get into the narration.
Reviewed By: Mike
Blurb: Two promising college athletes meet, each needing something only the other can give him….
When Roger and Brian lock eyes on the first day of school, a friendship is born. Both men are hungry for connection – Brian needs the acceptance, encouragement, and support he never had growing up, and when he finds out his new best friend is gay, it brings his own sexual identity into question. Roger needs a big brother, a best friend, but that will never be enough, especially not when he’s this close to big, strong, handsome Brian.
And both men want something more – careers as professional athletes. For Roger, the demands of the closet, the need to reject the love of a man to fulfill his love of the game, will be a crushing burden. For Brian, his downfall will be the substances he uses to get an edge over the competition, and to suppress his gnawing self-doubt and guilt.
One set of desires will bring them together, the other will force them apart….
Review: Roger and Brian meet. Sparks fly. They are both college heroes in sports that are not so open and accepting of the relationship developing between the two men. One of the men works hard to get to the top of his game because of the support of a loving father. The other needs to work just as hard but is willing to take shortcuts to get to the top that aren’t always ethical. Both need to keep their relationship as quiet as possible so that they can play in the professional leagues and finally make their dreams come true.
Told in flashback style, the book takes us on their long journey to make it professionally and as a couple. There are roadblocks, pitfalls, and a professional suspension to overcome. But nothing is harder than admitting that what you really need to feel complete as a human is to love and be loved in return.
Narrated by the author, this is a fine book. The story is believable and is more of a read than a performance. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, regular listeners of audiobooks may take a while to get into the narration. The story deserves an audiobook because of the interesting plot and interaction between the main characters. These men are clearly in love, the story tells us all about it, the narration gives us more depth than just reading the book. While the narration is above average, it could have been better. Since the author reads the book, there is no mistaking the intent of the words. Hopefully, with more experience, Vance will get much better at reading, or hand off the narration of his books to someone else.
The reading is average, the pacing is fine. If you have the money, or if this one goes on sale (that happens often with Audible), buy the book. The story alone is worth the money.
You can buy Given the Circumstances here: