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Ted

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

5122
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 491 reviews
  • 578 ratings
  • 576 titles in library
  • 17 purchased in 2018
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
363

  • Oath of Office

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Michael Palmer
    • Narrated By Robert Petkoff
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (576)
    Performance
    (464)
    Story
    (464)

    From the New York Times best-selling author of A Heartbeat Away and The Last Surgeon comes a shocking new novel at the crossroads of politics and medicine. What if a well respected doctor inexplicably goes on a murderous rampage? When Dr. John Meacham goes on a shooting spree, his business partner, staff, and two patients are killed in the bloodbath. Then Meacham turns the gun on himself.

    NYNM says: "Corny!!"
    "Flat As Imitation Cola"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You've drunk the stuff... Looks like Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper, maybe smells like one of them - and then you taste it. Ewwwww! There's no there - there. And that's the problem with "Oath of Office". Palmer is an imitator, good enough to get published, even good enough to have an audience of franken-writing people guzzle it, But for folks like me who've ingested the Pepsi, Cokes, and Dr. Ps for years, the book is like a sugar-free doughnut with all the gluten, trans-fats, and most of its taste excised. Think of it as say... Robin Cook's med-thriller plotting and narrative after lipo-suctioning away too much muscle.

    Palmer's frank in the ending interview in explaining that his knowledge of politics is Google-grazing thin. And yet, this is supposed to be a political thriller. Instead it's an off brand of Hubris Cola, all looks and smell but a gassy tease that leaves my taste buds really frustrated. Ditto the pointless action sequences sufficient to create the weight of a novel.

    I cared about no one in this cast in spite of Robert Petkoff's journeyman voices. The only one surprised over who-dunnit, or why-dunnit is Dr. Lou Welcome the novel's half-dimensional hero. This book stirs at ideas with an itsy-bitsy swizzle stick. Perhaps doctors should keep to doctoring, or at least write about doctoring and leave geo-political existentialism to people who do that? Or, as Dr. Palmer admits in his interview, he's careened around through extra-curricular interests a lot and has settled upon political thriller writing because some of his best friends do it.

    Judging by all the books he's had published, well, he's found an audience. And maybe there's such an appetite among people who like Robin Cook's medical thrillers that they're easily sated between Cook's books?

    Dunno... But just as I've learned to pass when a server offers me Milly's Cola instead of Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. P... This experience with Michael Palmer's flat characters and clattering action scenes... leaves me yearning for the truthiness of writers who either know what they are writing about, or have learned to fake it.

    Beware, this book's the Milly's Cola of franken-novels.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Niall Ferguson
    • Narrated By Elliot Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (235)
    Performance
    (206)
    Story
    (206)

    Most history is hierarchical: it's about emperors, presidents, prime ministers, and field marshals. It's about states, armies, and corporations. It's about orders from on high. Even history "from below" is often about trade unions and workers' parties. But what if that's simply because hierarchical institutions create the archives that historians rely on? What if we are missing the informal, less well documented social networks that are the true sources of power and drivers of change?

    says: "Ferguson's unique perspective of world history"
    "Power? Does it come from hierarchies or networks?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Niall Ferguson is a scholar and this is a serious work of scholarship. I recommend it, but you can probably use fast forward or set your device to 3X during chapter 5 where he explains the theoretical constructs of his attack upon historical process.

    Ferguson argues that historians for a range of reasons, examine hierarchies to explain the past. Wrong! At least that's the author's persuasive argument and he instead looks at relationship management to instead understand why historical events occurred. No, he doesn't argue that hierarchical research is invalid, but that it merely explains only part of the engine that's led us to this moment in time.

    It's a fascinating premise, and except for chapter 5, he's quite clear and interesting as he applies his theory to so many epochs and tipping points. It's a thesis that resonates with me now and I'll look for it as I listen to other books.

    It does take 17 hours though for Elliot Hill to read us this book. And though he reads it very well, I think that some sharpened-pencil editing could have either removed or abridged some of Ferguson's examples to achieve the same end.

    For me though, this is an important book and finishing it has rewarded me. Be prepared though to study Ferguson as you listen to Hill.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Rock Hole: A Red River Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Reavis Z. Wortham
    • Narrated By Traber Burns
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1681)
    Performance
    (1524)
    Story
    (1522)

    In 1964, when Ned Parker, farmer and part-time constable, is summoned to a cornfield one hot morning to examine the remains of a tortured bird dog, he discovers that there is a dark presence in their quiet community of Center Springs, Texas. Ned is usually confident handling moonshiners, drunks, and instances of domestic dispute. But when it comes to animal atrocities—which then turn to murder—the investigation spins beyond his abilities.

    Amazon Customer says: "A Must Read"
    "Very Average And The Trope's Become Boring"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I know that stereotypes are VERY useful in genre writing. A stereotypical bad guy can be poked into a reader's mind with very few words. Then, character development out of the way, the author can drill into his story to lay out a narrative. Problem is with Wortham's Red River Mysteries... the ensemble cast of characters are so thin, you can read texts right through them... particularly the two kids who romp through these stories.

    As a result of an Audible sale, I started these books with Burrows, the second in the series. While it was over all OK, it had distinct stretches of tedium. Still, I'd hoped by going back the beginning with The Rock Hole, that the provenance of the characters would come clear. Well they have, and frankly I don't much care about them.

    Soooo... This is a very ordinary book with few surprise and a lackluster plot. 3 Stars means to me that the book didn't do me any harm and that I finished it without regret. Still, I'm finished with this series with the Fock Hole.

    Oh, Traber Burns reads well and unlike say, Scott Brick, I'd not pass on a book merely because he is the presenter.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • But for the Grace: A DC Smith Investigation Series, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Peter Grainger
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (829)
    Performance
    (780)
    Story
    (779)

    When another resident of the Rosemary House care home is found dead in her chair one Saturday evening in December, no one is very surprised - not until the results of a routine post-mortem reveal something extraordinary. Sergeant DC Smith and his team have to tread carefully as they investigate what took place, and Smith himself has to confront some difficult memories. Others, meanwhile, seem intent on getting him to leave the force altogether.

    Ted says: "I Like Sergeant DC Smith. He Doesn't Disappoint. "
    "I Like Sergeant DC Smith. He Doesn't Disappoint. "
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The setting is British. DC Smith is now a Sergeant of Detectives who was once among the top administrators in the police force. Why? Start this series with the previous book, An Accidental Death to find out why. Here we've got a nursing home death and a drawing room murder mystery. You will probably recall the details of But For The Grace maybe for three days after finishing the book. Not to worry, Peter Grainger's written a police procedural entertainment. And it entertained me well. I'll buy the next in the series, Luck and Judgement.

    What more can I say? Oh, Gildart Jackson's read is fine. He NEVER intrudes, creating an ensemble cast that is uniquely defined in each character's own voice. Which makes Jackson a very good actor at the least.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Criminal Intent

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Sheldon Siegel
    • Narrated By Bill Godfrey
    Overall
    (230)
    Performance
    (212)
    Story
    (211)

    You can pick your friends, they say, but you can't pick your family. And lately, Mike Daley's family has been keeping him very busy. An ex-priest, ex-public defender, and ex-corporate lawyer, Daley and his former wife, Rosie Fernandez, now run their own San Francisco criminal defense firm. Most of their cases are fairly small-time, which is why it would be surprising that the person accused of murdering movie director Richard (Big Dick) MacArthur is calling them - except that the accused is Rosie's own niece, Angelina.

    Wayne says: "Lots of intrigue and suspense!"
    "Want Entertainment? Buy This"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Criminal Intent IS NOT The Great American Novel. It is a legal/murder mystery. Mike Daley & Rosie Fernandez have had fine chemistry since Special Circumstances -the first novel in Sheldon Siegel's series. In fact, you'd do well starting with that book and enjoying their growth through Criminal Intent.

    Here they wrestle with movie moguls, real estate developers, community organizers, and shabby politicians in San Fransisco. Apparently neither Bill Godfrey nor any of the production staff have ever visited that city or they'd pronounce place names accurately. The mispronouncing is repetitive and ripped my attention away from the narrative. Still, even with this irritant, it's the sort of book that makes cleaning the dishes, or mowing the lawn totally bearable.

    3 of 3 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
    (658)
    Performance
    (617)
    Story
    (614)

    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
    Performance
    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
    (1327)
    Performance
    (964)
    Story
    (968)

    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
    Performance
    Story

    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?

    7 of 8 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
    (2750)
    Performance
    (2519)
    Story
    (2517)

    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
    (1641)
    Performance
    (648)
    Story
    (653)

    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
    (2969)
    Performance
    (2706)
    Story
    (2687)

    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

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