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Reviewed by Michael Gardner for Readers' Favorite
Most audiobooks are stories read aloud. As works of art, they can also be enjoyed as a written text. As far as I’m aware, I Pitched A Tent In Hell is unique as an audiobook because it’s a distinctly aural experience. It must be ‘heard.’ As I entered Taylor Barton’s world, I expected a memoir about her music, the people she had met, and how various events had determined the course of her life. And then, at the end of the first section, she breaks into song. Wow, what a voice! Taylor Barton has the kind of voice I could happily listen to for hours on end. I did, experiencing the reading equivalent of ‘I couldn’t put the book down,’ listening to the entirety of the audiobook in one go.
Taylor Barton’s music is beautiful. It’s filled with pain, sorrow, happiness, joy, and ultimately the pure expression that comes from an artist who has found resolution in her sense of self. The ‘book’ parts explore some of the key moments of her life, not as a linear narrative, but more as a baring of the soul, with each section concluding with the song she was inspired to write from the experience. There’s nothing candy-coated here. It’s a frank look at her life covering everything from depression to being kidnapped in India to love, grief, and her recent disillusionment at society’s loss of humanity in what she eloquently describes as “the regurgitation of hate.” Overall, I Pitched A Tent In Hell is a deeply moving experience for the listener. It left this listener with one question though: where do I buy the album? I want to listen to her music again and again.