At only 120 pages… and just over 2 hours of audio. Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke is a story that takes place over fake police evidence of email and instant messaging conversations between two women, who we don’t know much about. Agnes is a person who goes online to sell an item–an antique apple slicer. We gets and email from a person named Zoe, who wants to purchase it. During the initial communications, we find two strike up a friendship when Zoe offers to pay for Agnes’s rent, then agrees to take financial care of her via a Master/slave contract which Agnes agrees to entering.
Over the course of these two hours, Zoe pushes Agnes to do some vile acts which Agnes, again, agrees to because she is obsessed with Zoe. The books is not violent or gory, but more of a psychological play with the characters and reader.
Here’s where I think the story lost me… since I was listening to audio, I found the narration a bit daunting because every little but of text was read, such as duplication of email headers, email address, over and over. I am sure that if I had read the book, the reader would glaze over the subject lines and breakdown of email addresses, but to have to hear:
To: Agnes @ firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Zoe Cross @ blah blah blah
Even more so in the last chapters as things go wrong, the emails get more frequent and shorter… so this same batch of text playing over and over again became annoying. Like I said, if it was in book form, the reader could actually skim over it and it wouldn’t have grated my nerves. With this being recommended by extreme horror fans, I found it not extreme at all. There may have been some moments-like where she killed a salamander-where the descriptions were very gruesomely written out, but the story as a whole wasn’t extreme, wasn’t violent, and wasn’t frightening.