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Ted

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

5107
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 487 reviews
  • 574 ratings
  • 576 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
365

  • The Cold, Cold Ground: Detective Sean Duffy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Adrian McKinty
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3372)
    Performance
    (3057)
    Story
    (3037)

    Adrian McKinty was born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. He studied politics and philosophy at Oxford before moving to America in the early 1990s. Living first in Harlem, he found employment as a construction worker, barman, and bookstore clerk. In 2000 he moved to Denver to become a high school English teacher and it was there that he began writing fiction.

    Alan says: "What a stunning book"
    "A Gripping Sense of Time & Place"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Belfast in the 1980s defines.... (get ready to look it up..) dystopian. There, I finally worked that word into a conversation, but it fits like a mercury-switched bomb beneath an Ulster cop's car. The Troubles are rumbling all about with the caprice of Northern Irish weather when a psycho-sexual serial killer challenges the police. Adrian McKinty's ear is laser aimed at the moment, and he hears for us the way average people struggled to create a sense of normalcy, even if normal meant solving a kinky murder mystery during the heat of a civil war.

    I wish that Gerard Doyle, whose own wonderful accent delivers us believably into this space, was just a tad broader at capturing the various Irish dialects which the author assigns to certain of this ensemble cast. But, that's a piddling complaint. Sure n'-I'm-thinkin' that this is both a cultural and procedural investigation which takes the reader on a trip to what's, thankfully, history now: For at least as long as the truce that Clinton and Mitchell so powerfully negotiated between Irish and Brits some fifteen years ago.

    I'm off to find me a bit more from Adrian McKinty.

    29 of 30 people found this review helpful
  • Bad Things Happen

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Harry Dolan
    • Narrated By Erik Davies
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (49)
    Story
    (49)

    The man who calls himself David Loogan is leading a quiet, anonymous life in the college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He's hoping to escape a violent past he would rather forget. But his solitude is broken when he finds himself drawn into a friendship with Tom Kristoll, the publisher of the mystery magazine Gray Streets - and into an affair with Laura, Tom's sleek blond wife. What Loogan doesn't realize is that the stories in Gray Streets tend to follow a simple formula: Plans go wrong.

    FRITZ STOOP says: "Potential, but too mechanical"
    "Less Energy than JEB!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    So mix satire with enough twists to thicken a clot then with characters duller than a knife that won't slice through water and, Bad Things Happen. No, actually bad is too strong an adjective, actually the book's like a knife that will just barely slice through water, y'know.

    But it still slices, just took a lot of work: from me. See, it's pace that drives Harry Dolan's story about the way a '68 VW Bug will drive a U-Haul up a hill. But I digress, which is dull thing huh?

    This story is all about murders that surround a man-of-mystery. The problem is, neither Dolan or Erik Davies as hard as they work - and they reeeeeely work hard - made me care about allusions, murders or man.

    Nor the huge cast with (endless) speaking parts. Zzzzzz.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Equalizer

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Michael Sloan
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (654)
    Performance
    (613)
    Story
    (611)

    Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector, and an investigator. People in need find him through a newspaper ad: "Got a problem? Odds against you? Call the Equalizer.” Aided by a group of sometimes-mysterious contacts (some of whom date back to his spying days), McCall traverses the streets of New York City, visiting justice upon those who prey upon the weak.

    Ann C says: "Look! It's another Nike product!"
    "This Thing Is NOT a Novel"
    Overall
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    Story

    So it's like...

    “McCall’s Slingshot Auto Z46 undearm micro-holster slammed the Rock FS 10mm pistol’s grip into his leather-tough palm twirling its arc toward Grizgirg as the massive Serb enforcer leveled his ugly Zastava’s Balkan CZ99 .9 mm 15 round digital sites onto the once- US government's super secret company enforcer’s blood-spurting mouth all while Grizgirg’s other hand jerked Indira’s luxuriant hair forcing the bound beauty’s face farther through the razor-sharp Gintra-glass shards slicing deeper into each intimate part of her naked body. Two simultaneous pistol booms mixed their acrid smoke with the woman’s agonized ear-searing squeals. Just then the Iranian QP7Z2 IED ignited the BP-gasoline drenched ballroom both blinding and deafening them all.

    “A moment later – things got worse.”

    Yeah, that’s the way I recall how almost every paragraph was written (??) in … well THIS IS NOT A NOVEL. Apparently Michael Sloan carries a notebook where he scrawls spontaneous unrelated scenes of violent adventure.

    When enough of them pile up, he mounds them into some kind of order (??) then goes seriously drinking with buddies to invent ways to tangle them together: ways that sort of resemble plot. Editors then giggle at the way Sloan satirizes how Mission Impossible movies are filmed without scripts. And how Sloan tosses in Clancy techno-brands with every weapon while exaggerating the cliché fight scenes that start Jack Reacher, Win Lockwood, John Milton, Court Gentry, and at least a half dozen other big sellers.

    But this isn't supposed to be funny. Nope, you've got your Ludlum-America-hatred here along with wriggling distressed damsels, and the prey of some super secret alphabet named killer agency determined not to let their ex machine-like killer resign after he abruptly grows a conscience… and… and… Well it’s a reeeeeely awful stew of non-sequitur clichés and disposable scenes with way-over-saturated characters.

    Jeff Gurner’s an ordinary reader here: probably not his fault since the author's velocity's cranked to warp 10 from the start leaving Gurner no way to build... BTW: The book’s description on Audible mis-represents whatever motivation this mess’s lead character seems to have. Did the reviewer read the book? Odd.

    NOTE: I erroneously posted this review to a John Sanford novel which I liked. Thanks to Audible techs, that posting was deleted. Sorry for any confusion my mistake caused. How'd it happen? Well, when stupidity is sufficient explanation, why look farther?

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Phantom Prey

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By John Sandford
    • Narrated By Richard Ferrone
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1324)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (964)

    Lucas Davenport has had disturbing cases before - but never one quite like this, in the shocking new Prey work from the #1 New York Times best-selling author.

    Linda says: "Another great "Prey""
    "Uh-Huh - Another Nifty Lucas Davenport Installment"
    Overall
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    This novel's got Richard Ferrone reading a John Sanford novel about Lucas Davenport. That's it. 'Nuff said. This team's a standard of escapist excellence. It made me walk my dog, clean the basement, and gym sweat... just to clear enough life space to listen.

    NOTE: I erroneously mis-posted a toxic review of Michael Sloan's messy book, The Enforcer to this Sanford novel. It was a mistake that was as bad as the Sloan book. Fortunately the Audible techs quickly deleted that critique and I apologize for any confusion the error caused. How'd it happen? Hey, when stupidity alone is sufficient explanation, well, why look farther?

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Somebody I Used to Know

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By David Bell
    • Narrated By Andy Paris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2744)
    Performance
    (2513)
    Story
    (2511)

    When Nick Hansen sees the young woman at the grocery store, his heart stops. She is the spitting image of his college girlfriend, Marissa Minor, who died in a campus house fire 20 years earlier. But when Nick tries to speak to her, she acts skittish and rushes off. The next morning the police arrive at Nick's house and show him a photo of the woman from the store. She's been found dead.

    Snoodely says: "Definitely Worth a Credit"
    "This Is A Romance Novel!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Remember when adults were different from adolescents? David Bell doesn't, and that's what frames this story. Not one of his key characters grows between the ages of 20 and 40, or at least their motivations don't. No one can learn, mature and move on. In fact that implacable infantilization is the goo that coats every motivation.

    Okay, there's an interesting mystery here but its solution demands minds made fuzzy by a puppy-love narcotic. Romance buffs will most enjoy the way virtually every motivation is fueled by pre-drinking-age hormonal combustion.

    Me, I just couldn't relate to the protagonist, Nick Hansen's bizarre ability to have a life filled with women-of-his-youth while lacking even one male friendship. Especially since Nick's life is, well a mediocrity at best... no, in any other setting, this guy's a wimpy-failure. In what world is Nick a chick-magnet? We'll the world of this odd story.

    This book will probably work for readers who fantasize about magical mailboxes that communicate with lovers in different life-zones. The rest of us, expecting men to be men, will like it not so much.

    Once again, Andy Paris does a workman-like creation of cast - however too many of the characters lacked sufficient voice variations to totally keep them straight.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Janson Directive

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Robert Ludlum
    • Narrated By Paul Michael
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1640)
    Performance
    (647)
    Story
    (652)

    Peter Novak, one of the world's greatest men, has been kidnapped! Running out of time and hope, Novak's people turn to Paul Janson, legendary covert operative and assassin. Janson is retired, and nothing could lure him back - nothing except Peter Novak, who once saved Janson's life. " Ludlum's best since The Bourne Identity," raves Kirkus Reviews.

    A Grady Williams says: "Captivated me from the beginning"
    "Sado-Pornography!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Ludlum hates America, but that's not what's awful about this stinking piece of sadistic porn. Repetitively I at first sped through awful scenes of torture, then began skipping them, until finally I found myself trapped in the shower when a depraved/detailed scene of detailed torture played.

    Decades ago as a talk show host I found that producers arranged an interview with a KKK leader. I looked forward to broiling this awful character's white supremacist garbage. And then, on the air, I realized he didn't care that I revealed the bankruptcy and dangers of his drivel , he was there to alert like minded dements that his depravity could be contacted and joined by looking him up in the phone directory. Instead of me using him to reveal his social sickness, he used me to market his movement to those of similar depravities.

    So I hesitate to even review this maniacal sickness that Ludlum repeatedly and in ever deepening depravity revels in detailing to readers of The Jansen Directive. The talent this man has as a writer serves as a setting to hold onto an audience until he can test their willingness to join him in his ever darkening and perhaps compulsive sado/eroticism.

    So my desire to warn you away from this piece of neurotic advertising has overwhelmed my fear that some people will, much like that KKK trash who I unwittingly allowed self-promotion, be drawn to and suck nourishment from Ludlum's wallowing in sadistic details.

    This is an awful book. Paul Michael should have rejected this gig. I wonder how many prospective readers did?

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Grant

    • UNABRIDGED (48 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ron Chernow
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2935)
    Performance
    (2676)
    Story
    (2656)

    Ulysses S. Grant's life has typically been misunderstood. All too often he is caricatured as a chronic loser and an inept businessman or as the triumphant but brutal Union general of the Civil War. But these stereotypes don't come close to capturing him, as Chernow sows in his masterful biography, the first to provide a complete understanding of the general and president whose fortunes rose and fell with dizzying speed and frequency.

    Amazon Customer says: "Excellent Book (BUT WHERE IS THE PDF FILES)????"
    "DEFECTIVE! DO NOT BUY!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried downloading this book 3 times. I tried to run it on three different iPods and on an iMac and two different Mac Book Pros. It will not play anything but garbled sound beyond Chapter 26.That is 23 hours into the book! Almost everything beyond Lincoln's death is inaccessible. Pity, Chernow's text to that point and Bramhall's reading are excellent but either the recording is DEFECTIVE or the text is somehow too long to be interpreted by my Apple iPods, portables and desktops.I shall return it.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Man in the Crooked Hat

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Harry Dolan
    • Narrated By Joel Richards
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Private investigator Jack Pellum has spent two years searching for the man he believes murdered his wife - a man he last saw wearing a peacoat and a fedora. Months of posting flyers and combing through crime records yields no leads. Then a local writer commits suicide, and he leaves a bewildering message that may be the first breadcrumb in a winding trail of unsolved murders....

    Ted says: "Crazy Glue'd Me To Story"
    "Crazy Glue'd Me To Story"
    Overall
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    Story


    It's the story and perhaps Joel Richards' ingeniously eccentric reading. Of course it's Jack Richard, the novel's protagonist's, monomaniacal fixation. In addition it's the complexity of the really really really bad guy's own sociopathic drivers.

    Oh... sorry, I'm thinking with my fingers here, trying to answer why or what works so well in Harry Dolan's "Man With The Crooked Hat" to have - well...

    Year's ago there was a TV ad for some crazy glue that bonded a man's hat to a high steel girder with the guy dangling below. And that's the way this book kept me suspended. Hmmmm.... suspended... suspense. Uh-huh, Dolan and Richards have made a suspense novel here.

    In fact, this is as much a perilous chase story as a murder puzzle since the who/why bafflers evaporate about Halfway into the book... Leaving one question, um, dangling: How's this all going to end? What happens when a monomaniac meets a sociopath in a death match?

    Here's what happens in "The Man With The Crooked Hat". Which has baited me to hunt out another book by Harry Dolan.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Hope to Die: DS Nathan Cody, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By David Jackson
    • Narrated By Jonathan Keeble
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (268)
    Performance
    (259)
    Story
    (259)

    On a bitterly cold winter's night, Liverpool is left stunned by a brutal murder in the grounds of the city's Anglican Cathedral. A killer is on the loose, driven by a chilling rage. Put on the case, DS Nathan Cody is quickly stumped. Wherever he digs, the victim seems to be almost angelic - no one has a bad word to say, let alone a motive for such a violent murder. And Cody has other things on his mind, too.

    Ted says: "I'm Hooked"
    "I'm Hooked"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This DS Nathan Cody guy is so frustratingly complex... Yet it's a frustration that's become a tractor beam for my imagination. CAUTION... DO NOT START THIS SERIES ANYWHERE OTHER THAN BOOK 1 - "A Tapping At My Door". While the clever whodunnit stands alone in this serial killer puzzle, the inner workings of Cody demand the setup in the first book. And those workings have captured me enough to wait impatiently for April of 2018 when I expect the next DS Cody will drop from David Jackson's keypad to my downloader.

    Oh, BTW, this ain't a book for the feint of heart. Yep, it gets brutal. Not to worry, there's always another "Murder She Wrote" somewhere that you can buy if you feel a need for a warm murder tale :-)

    Oh yeah, I can't imagine this ensemble from any lips but Jonathan Keeble's. He nails it.

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Alphabet House

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jussi Adler-Olsen
    • Narrated By Graeme Malcolm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1362)
    Performance
    (1251)
    Story
    (1254)

    British pilots James Teasdale and Bryan Young have been chosen to conduct a special photo-reconnaissance mission near Dresden, Germany. Intelligence believes the Nazis are building new factories that could turn the tide of the war. When their plane is shot down, James and Bryan know they will be executed if captured. With an enemy patrol in pursuit, they manage to jump aboard a train reserved for senior SS soldiers wounded on the eastern front.

    Tango says: "Don't start Adler-Olsen here"
    "The Grating Escape"
    Overall
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    Story


    It's as if the introduction never ends. This is an interminable one act play. Adler-Olsen's books are frequently strengthened by protagonists embattled by melancholic turmoil. I've always put it down to the months of days with only fleeting, yet frigid sunlight in his home country. In Alphabet House he's rid himself of the pesky need to write a gripping mystery (his strength) and instead he's penned a wallow in depression of spirits and gloom. This book hasn't a vision of hopelessness, nope it's an obsession with the stuff.

    About sixty percent of the way into this thing I cranked the speed up to 200%, a handful of chapters later I started to just skip whole hunks of the book, and yet wherever I stopped the cast made no progress against the syrupy gloom encasing them.

    So finally I punched up the last chapter hoping for some dim light on the horizon, you know, as if the first glow of Spring arrived in the Scandinavian north country? But nope. You want to feel really bad? Or maybe if you are already feeling bad: you want to feel worse? Well hey, get this book and prepare to take a never ending train ride to hell.

    I'm returning it.

    Oh, and Graeme Malcolm can't save this thing, in fact, it's dragged him down with it.


    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • The Stone Man: A Science Fiction Horror Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Luke Smitherd
    • Narrated By Matt Addis
    Overall
    (2305)
    Performance
    (2201)
    Story
    (2195)

    Nobody knew where it came from. Nobody knew why it came. When an eight-foot-tall man made of stone appears in the middle of a busy city center one July afternoon, two-bit (and antisocial) reporter Andy Pointer assumes it's just a publicity stunt. Indeed, so does everyone else...until the Stone Man begins to walk, heading silently through the wall of the nearest building, flattening it, and killing several people inside as a result.

    JoanneG says: "Totally Original Story of Horror and Courage"
    "Asimov, Clark, Bradbury: Like That: 15 Stars!"
    Overall
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    Story

    Matt Cates of the "Futurism" website wrote of Isaac Asimov, "His completed works have been called difficult to critique because he laid out everything so coherently, spelling it all out and leaving nothing to interpretation." Arthur C. Clarke was known as a casual exploiter of his own epiphanies that were intuitively obvious to the meanest of intelligence just as soon as he explained them to us. And Ray Bradbury? The New York Times explained his genius as a story teller when they explained, "....the sort of sensational subjects that fascinate children are the stuff of Ray Bradbury's fiction."

    Their success was built upon s secret that Asimov revealed when he explained that accomplishment in science fiction plotting happens when the science of a story is what drives the fiction rather than the other way around. Too often now, science is exploited to allow an author to wallow in some variant of an ideological obsession. Instead of wondering what a scientific puzzle's revelation will offer the future, many modern SciFi writers look for scientific possibilities to show how terrible modern culture is. It is the old chestnut of dystopian versus utopian fantasies (Star Wars Vs. Star Trek).

    These proselytizers' SciFi wants us to believe then preach their fearful certainties, but Clark, Bradbury, and Asimov - and here Luke Smitherd - wanted to share their ambiguous dreams. It's the difference between agitprop and Socratic revelation.

    Anyway, Smitherd's reviving the wonders of the classic imagineers. Here's a book that will niggle at me for a while. He gave me a takeaway of possibilities... possibilities driven by a scientific idea, rather than scientific ideas exploited to justify an author's conclusions or even politics.

    Here's a cool book. I want to listen to more of this guy's mind-pops. It'd be nice to hear them read again by Matt Addis who's a solid actor. Smitherd's original voice is secured by a talented understanding of craft. He can tell a coherently scary story just like Asimov, Bradbury, and Clarke.

    Pretty good company, huh?

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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