Cover Image: The Anatomy of Desire

The Anatomy of Desire

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Member Reviews

Outstanding! The multifaceted perspective and structure definitely contributed but this would be a compelling thriller regardless. Highly recommend!
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Cleo Ray is the hottest social influencer making a name for herself in the fitness world. Cleo has come a long way since she was Claire Griffith from rural Missouri. As Cleo, she has thousands of followers eagerly waiting for her every post. She has a handsome, successful boyfriend and life is better than she ever dreamed possible. But one day, Cleo goes out on a mountain lake with her friend, Beck Aldean. Beck is never seen alive again. When the police arrest Cleo for her murder, the story becomes a viral sensation. Was there more to Cleo and Beck's relationship? Did Cleo kill Beck? And if not, who did? 

Told as a podcast, The Anatomy of Desire will transport you to a different place. I "read" this book in audiobook form and it really felt like I was listening to a popular true-crime podcast. There is an entire cast of narrators that just add to the ambiance of the story. I was torn about Cleo as the main character. I really wanted to like her, but she was so narcissistic that it drove me nuts. I will say that I couldn't stop listening to this one. I just had to see how it turned out. I will not lie - I was shocked. Not by the verdict, but by what happened after the verdict. CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS. 

Bottom Line - The Anatomy of Desire is the perfect book if you listen to true crime podcasts like Serial. But to get the full effect, you must listen to the audiobook. Take my word for it. 

The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn
Pages: 320
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 5/11/2021
Buy it Here!
Thanks to NetGalley for the book in exchange for an honest review.
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I typically don't like full-cast audiobooks, and this was no exception.  I didn't find the story particularly compelling, and due to the full-cast narration, I found it rather confusing.  Perhaps reading a physical copy would have made it easier to understand, but I still don't think I would have liked the story.  The plot didn't lead up to much, and there was no real twist or anything to keep me interested.
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Although this story takes place in a small town, the local village green has been replaced by social media and those in the know are profiting as social influencers. This was the first book I have read that focuses on them. The main character is Cleo who is perky and a positive role model for her online followers in this full cast, audiobook version of The Anatomy of Desire written by a wife/husband team writing as L. R. Dorn. Cleo is in relationships with a woman and a man, and the story reveals how she deals with deciding which one to choose. A psychological thread runs throughout the story. From the impact of strict, religious parents to sexuality identity confusion to the idea of murder as a vehicle to achieve the life outcome that you desire, it is an intimate study in human nature, both good and bad. When reading, I often connect my experiences with the story or take away something that explains the motivation of people or the effects of their upbringing. This story gave me much food for thought.

Written like true crime, there’s a murder and a resulting trial. A large cast of characters are interviewed in preparation for the trial and each one adds detail and evidence to the attorneys' cases. Their distinct voices made it easy to follow the proceedings, even though I knitted my way through the audiobook! It was interesting to discover the intense behind-the-scenes preparation required for a trial and the psychology involved in that process as well. I wonder how the hardback book would handle so many characters speaking back-to-back about their knowledge of the case. I did want to know more about the main character’s feelings since she was a real cool cucumber!

I plan to recommend that our library add this May 11, 2021 audiobook to our offerings. Patrons would enjoy this fast-paced ingenious story. Book clubs could focus on social media influencers, and their online personas and how much, or little, they reflect their true lives.
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I've only ever listened to one podcast, not seen any of those true crime documentaries that have become so popular, so I totally surprised myself by how much I liked listening to this on audio. It starts as an investigation of a social media influencer accused of the murder of her girlfriend. There are many narrators in the cast but one soon becomes easily able to discern who is talking. A documentary filmaker soon enters the picture, and he follows this story to its conclusion. There is a trial, we hear from different witnesses and see exactly how the case is presented, prosecution and defense. I was completely gobsmacked by the ending. Yet, it made sense and completely brought everything full circle. Secrets, consequences and details of a life that was anything but easy brought to an ugly conclusion.

I don't think I would have liked this as much had I read instead of listened. The heard voices made it seem real.

ARC from Netgalley.
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The best thing about this book was listening to it! I am so glad that there was a full cast. I felt like I was listening to a real life podcast. However, with that being said, I found the story to feel dated. The townspeople were assumed to have political and sexual  biases because of where they lived or their religion. I wasn't buying it.
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Thank you NetGalley for an audio-ARC of The Anatomy of Desire by L.R. Dorn.
The audio version of this book was recorded as a docuseries with a full cast. I loved everything about this audio, from the narrators to the storyline. I found it was very easy to follow and got me hooked from the very beginning. The cast were perfect for the roles they performed. L.R. Dorn wrote a compelling story with a modern day twist, using social media influencers to appeal to a younger audience. This is definitely an audiobook I would recommend.
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I picked up Anatomy of Desire without knowing that it was an adaptation of An American Tragedy.  I liked it much more once I understood that!  I love seeing how people reinterpret older stories.  

I appreciated the docuseries format and the full cast on audio; I have no idea what reading the print book would have been like, but I suspect it may not have been as engaging.  This audiobook will work for fans of true crime podcasts, as long as they do not expect shocking twists and turns.  It was a quick and compelling listen, but may have a difficult time finding its proper audience.

Many thanks to the publisher and to #NetGalley for an audio copy for review.
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Great audiobook! Love the full cast, like a podcast/documentary. This book held my attention from the start. I binged the book in 1 sitting. 
In the end I am still trying to decide did Cleo do it or not? 
I like how the book ended. Just was not expecting it.
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More production than mere audio book the reader's draw you in and you have no choice but to invest in the characters.  Goal achieved of feeling like a true crime docu-drama.  There were a few times I wanted to go to my computer and look for news stories online and research the people involved.
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I loved the setup of this book - it was giving me Daisy Jones and the Six but with murder vibes. The full cast really brought the characters to life, and all of the narrators fit them perfectly. 

I didn't know this was a retelling when I went into it, and it didn't really matter since I haven't read the original. Maybe I enjoyed it more because of that? I enjoyed this story and all of the elements and issues of social media, race, and religion, brought up as everyday people saying their thoughts and opinions. It made me want to shake a couple of them - they felt too real! 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me listen!
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First, I love full cast audiobooks and that was 100% the right decision for this book. Having the different voices helped tell the story and add to the narrative. The only issue I had with the format of this book was that it took a little while to get into the story because the changing voices. As for the story itself I found myself wanting to keep reading and see what happened and why. It was like listening to an actual true prime documentary.
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I'm a fan of true crime podcasts and documentaries and found the audio format to be perfect for this story. While I'm not certain the world needs a story that seems to perpetuate the stereotype of bisexual individuals as unfaithful, I did enjoy this audiobook and felt that the multiple narrators provided a variety of compelling viewpoints. In particular, the actor who voiced Cleo was fantastic and believable at every turn.
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As a lover of podcasts I was intrigued by the format of this audiobook. It definitely felt more like listening to a podcast than listening to a book, which I enjoyed. Each narrator had a very distinctive voice so it was easy to tell each character apart. The social media aspect was super interesting as well. It was an easy listen with an interesting story! The courtroom scenes were particularly intriguing and dramatic!
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I really should avoid retelling of favorite books. I have read American Tragedy several times; the first time in HS. It made a life- long impression on me at 16. Dreiser’s morality play stuck with me more than any Bible verse. The authors wrote well, but I found the story and characters lacking because I kept comparing it to the original. And this was not that.
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The full cast narration of this terrific reimagining of Dreiser's work is phenomenal.  I am so glad that I chose to "listen" as opposed to reading the physical book as I think this medium fits the way the book is structured.  I usually am not a big fan of recreations of famous books, but I have to say that this one is really special.  Not to be missed.
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