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Thomas

Alleline

FARMINGTON, NM, United States | Member Since 2013

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 15 reviews
  • 16 ratings
  • 210 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015
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  • The Land of Laughs

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Jonathan Carroll
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (340)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (308)

    Thomas Abbey is a man stuck in a rut. To kick-start his life, he takes a sabbatical to work on a biography of his favorite writer, the mysterious Marshall France. Although Abbey has been warned that France's daughter, Anna, has blocked all previous attempts at her father's biography, he is surprised to find her the soul of small-town hospitality and quite excited about Abbey's proposal. Even stranger than Anna's behavior, though, is the town itself. The people seem to know what their future holds - freak accidents and all - down to the hour.

    Daryl says: "It's Not You - It's Me"
    "Clever plot, well performed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Land of Laughs rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a very entertaining mix of the mystery and fantasy genres, and translates well to audio format.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Land of Laughs?

    The most memorable moment comes when the protagonist, Thomas Abbey, realizes that the small town of Galen, Missouri, is not as it appears. The plot, which had been developing in an apparently predictable course, as Abbey struggles to write his first book, the biography of his favorite childhood author, suddenly takes on unexpected


    Have you listened to any of Edoardo Ballerini’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first of Edoardo Ballerini's performances I have heard. I was deeply impressed. None of his characters are annoying, they are all clearly identified as he read his way along. It reminded me of an old radio play more than listening to someone read a book out loud.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Just One Damned Thing After Another: The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Jodi Taylor
    • Narrated By Zara Ramm
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1355)
    Performance
    (1223)
    Story
    (1223)

    Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

    Sires says: "Action Adventure Time Travel Novel w/ Good Reader"
    "Not My Cup of Tea, but Maybe Yours"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Jodi Taylor and/or Zara Ramm?

    I would certainly listen to anything Zara Ramm narrates. I think she is wonderful. If Jodi Taylor tried a straight mystery, I would listen to it. But for me, the fantasy genre needs to be handled lightly, or it kills my willingness to suspend disbelief. This novel takes itself a bit too seriously for a time travel fantasy about a society of zany British dons who defend the world from catastrophe in the form of sociopathic British dons.The serious tone of this featherlight concept provoked my internal naysayer I was too busy mentally poking holes in the plot to give myself over to it. I could not grant Taylor the space she needed to develop her plot and I found myself saying "No, no, no" to my car stereo. So, my bad, but not my cup of tea.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It didn't make sense. In a time travel novel, the timeline has to be traceable so that, when all the secrets are revealed, you can go back and see how the people who got fooled were tricked, and how the people doing the fooling managed to get ahead of their dupes. Listen to a Jasper Fforde Thursday Next novel to see how this can be done right. This did not happen for me in Just One Damned Thing After Another.


    Which character – as performed by Zara Ramm – was your favorite?

    Zara Ramm did a good job making the main character charming, As usual with Audible narrators, I was blown away by how easily she changes sexes. Ms. Ramm can do dialogue on behalf of a female character, and one breath later summon up a male voice so instantly recognizable as that character that my subconscious accepts without noticing. I wonder how these narrators do it. I like the richness of Ms. Ramm's voice, too.


    Was Just One Damned Thing After Another worth the listening time?

    Sorry, only just. I was down to my last audiobook while taking a tedious road trip, but I needed some breaks, here and there, to listen to the voices in my head because they were slightly more amusing. I never skip through books, but I came close here.


    Any additional comments?

    If it's not going to bother you that you have to take seriously the idea of time-traveling British dons and their predators, you likely will enjoy this book. I'm just a grouch and I prefer mystery to fantasy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Reversal: Harry Bosch, Book 16 (Mickey Haller, Book 3)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Michael Connelly
    • Narrated By Peter Giles
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4092)
    Performance
    (2188)
    Story
    (2196)

    Longtime defense attorney Mickey Haller is recruited to change stripes and prosecute the high-profile retrial of a brutal child murder. After 24 years in prison, convicted killer Jason Jessup has been exonerated by new DNA evidence. Haller is convinced Jessup is guilty, and he takes the case on the condition that he gets to choose his investigator, LAPD Detective Harry Bosch.

    Andrew Pollack says: "Brilliantly executed"
    "Another Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Connelly doesn't write bad books. He has clearly spent the time to imagine his characters and their world in detail. Mickey Haller is a charming rogue and as consistent as Bass Ale.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Mickey Haller, because he is the main character. Sheesh.


    What about Peter Giles’s performance did you like?

    Giles does a great job with the voices and accents, making each character pop. It is so easy to slip into seeing a room full of people talking, because he can change voices in a breath. A gifted narrator makes the book more fun to listen to than to read, and Giles is gifted.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back into the Courtroom"


    Any additional comments?

    This is just a fun read. I love Connelly's primary characters, but I wish he would give Rachel Walling a book of her own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • World of Trouble: The Last Policeman, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (90)

    With the doomsday asteroid looming, Detective Hank Palace has found sanctuary in the woods of New England, secure in a well-stocked safe house with other onetime members of the Concord police force. But with time ticking away before the asteroid makes landfall, Hank's safety is only relative, and his only relative - his sister Nico - isn't safe.

    Big jim Picotto says: "I love this trilogy...I really do"
    "Satisfying Ending, But Takes Goodwill to Get There"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you listened to/read The Last Policeman and Countdown City, and enjoyed them, you will be glad to read the last part of the trilogy. it is a satisfying resolution of the threads that Ben Winters spun in the first two instalments.


    Would you recommend World of Trouble to your friends? Why or why not?

    But as a stand-alone book, it is pale. The story draws down on the goodwill that the first two novels established. The charming quixotic-ism of those stories becomes a bit strained here. Henry Palace gets just a bit too weird, unless you have already come to love him.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last one, which I will not spoil by describing.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    As the great mystery begins to be resolved and Henry's quest draws to an end, it actually pulls you into his world, which is about to end. It is a sad book.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator, Peter Berkrot, departs from the verbal style he used in Last Policeman and Countdown City, and ruffles Henry Palace's easy calm. This Palace is hectic and talky, the annoying monologger sitting behind you on the Greyhound bus. I think it was appropriate to the change in mood of the story, but it was a bit wearing. I am giving full marks for the performance because I think it was a good artistic choice for a book that is, let's be frank, a bit hard to take.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Cold Dish: A Walt Longmire Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Craig Johnson
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4135)
    Performance
    (3186)
    Story
    (3189)

    Award-winning author Craig Johnson's critically acclaimed debut Western mystery takes listeners to the breathtaking mountains of Wyoming for a tale of cold-blooded vengeance. Four high-school boys were given suspended sentences for raping a Cheyenne girl. Now, two of the boys have been killed, and only Sheriff Walt Longmire can keep the other two safe.

    Dataman says: "Not Your Ordinary Western Novel (Series)"
    "Classic of the genre"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Cold Dish to be better than the print version?

    The performance adds a lot to the text. The narrator, George Guidall, brings a lot of life to the story and his characters change so rapidly it is hard not to imagine a room full of people interacting.


    What other book might you compare The Cold Dish to and why?

    There's a little bit of Hillerman's Leaphorn in the focus on locale (Bighorn Mountains instead of Navajo Nation) and a little of Charles Todd's Ian Rutledge in the main character's anomie. But The Cold Dish mostly reminded me of Henning Mankell's Return of the Dancing Master, because of its themes of dislocation and culture clash set within a plot where a small community's population is killed off by an unknown malefactor.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the protagonist, Walt Longmire, and his best friend Henry Standing Bear, visit the Cheyenne reservation and meet Henry's family and friends. It brings the book into focus and calls the status of the "victims" into question. Unusually thoughtful for a genre novel.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listened to about fourteen hours of it on a snowy drive from Farmington, New Mexico to Alamagordo and back. So, yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I am so glad to have found this series. In many long hours of travel I have worked my way through all of Chee and Leaphorn, Martin Beck. Kurt Wallander, Harry Hole, The Peculiar Crimes Unit, Harry Bosch (and Michael Connelly's other creatures), Collins & Burke, and Thursday Next. I was afraid I had worn the genre out.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Obit: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Anne Emery
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (40)

    Long ago, Declan Burke fled Ireland in the dark of night, started a new life in New York City, and has never looked back - until one morning when he picks up the newspaper and reads the obituary of one Cathal Murphy. He sees at once that the obituary is a coded summary of his own life and probably a thinly veiled death threat. He turns to Halifax lawyer Monty Collins for advice, but when Monty starts to investigate the obit’s allusions to Declan’s IRA past, Declan decides to keep his lips sealed.

    cristina says: "A tad disappointed"
    "Captivating story from beginning to end"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Obit the most enjoyable?

    The plot is at once straightforward and very tricky. It was easy to keep track of what was going on, even as I drove or gardened, but the ending took me completely by surprise (in a good way). Completely unpredictable, to me, but also completely consistent with the story told.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The elder Mr. Burke, Brennan's father, is a complicated character, like Fr. Brennan himself. I knew a crusty old I.R.A. sympathizer in Boston in the 1980s, a complicated man of high moral standards - standards that he had regularly violated in God's name, if you believed his stories. The elder Burke is very much like him, and I found his internal contradictions completely convincing.


    Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favorite?

    Mr. Rummel has a dab touch at voices and accents, to the point I stopped listening to him as a single voice and recognized the characters without thinking "Who is he doing now?" It was impressive that he could voice Bridget, half-seriously coming on to Monty Collins and immediately switch to Monty playing along, without making me twitch. So, maybe Bridey was my favorite character.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, I liked picking it up in pieces over the course of a few days.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a charming series, and for anyone from the East Coast who grew up Irish Catholic, it's a taste of home.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fatal Affair

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Marie Force
    • Narrated By Felicity Munroe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (667)
    Performance
    (546)
    Story
    (553)

    Washington, D.C., Metro Police Detective Sergeant Sam Holland needs a big win to salvage her career - and her confidence - after a disastrous investigation. The perfect opportunity arises when Senator John O’Connor is found brutally murdered in his bed, and Sam is assigned to the case. Matters get complicated when Sam has to team up with Nick Cappuano, O’Connor’s friend and chief of staff...and the man Sam had a memorable one-night stand with years earlier. Their sexual chemistry still sizzles, and Sam has to fight to stay focused on the case.

    Chrystal says: "Great Story"
    "The narrator outshines the quotidian plot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Fatal Affair?

    The narrator's voice breathed life into a bunch of somewhat flat characters. She gave them such emotional range and personality that they were interesting.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Marie Force? Why or why not?

    No. I did not realize that the genre of this book is erotic crime fiction Everyone was so aroused by so many of the other characters that I felt it detracted from the main plot. The plot was not all that densely woven and the big reveal at the end felt forced. It was hard to suspend disbelief.


    What about Felicity Munroe’s performance did you like?

    Munroe went beyond the text to give the characters more depth than the author did. She must be a gifted actress. There's a lot of dialogue in this book, and Munroe made it feel like you were listening to a radio play.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    An erotic thriller with all the traditional roles and body parts.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sign of the Cross: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Anne Emery
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (162)
    Performance
    (140)
    Story
    (141)

    Monty Collins is a sharp-tongued public defender who just wants to represent an upstanding character for a change. A priest with something to hide isn't quite what he had hoped for, but when the literate, arrogant, and tight-lipped Father Brennan Burke is implicated in the strange murder of a young woman, Monty doesn't just take the case - the case takes him. When Burke won't come clean, Monty is forced to play private detective, traveling into his client's past. Things look good for the case until another body is found....

    connie says: "Hybrid Mystery"
    "A Classic in the tradition of Dick Francis"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Sign of the Cross: A Collins-Burke Mystery, Book 1?

    The plot was well thought out and gripping. It kept me listening until 2:00 am to find out whodunnit.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoy Dick Francis because all of his characters have a backstory and motivation, even the villains. This was similar. Anne Emery wants you to understand why the crimes happened, and I found the motivations credible and even moving.


    Which character – as performed by Christian Rummel – was your favorite?

    Fr. Burke. Rummel has a great range and does children and women well, too. But the slight Irish accent and clipped intonation he gave Burke were perfect for the character.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The revelation of who the killer was and why did bring tears to my eyes. I bought it; it did not seem forced or manipulative.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Story Time

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Linell Jeppsen
    • Narrated By Amy Gramour
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    In the not-too-distant future, a young woman bears witness to the end of her world. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions rock the planet, reducing cities to smoking rubble, burying entire islands and coastlines beneath cataclysmic waves. Religious fervor and human evil erupt and entwine, becoming a maelstrom of madness in the days after, bringing with it the horror of apocalyptic war.

    John says: "Oh...My...God...Becky...."
    "Fun story - distracting narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The story is entertaining, but not very sophisticated. Pople have the stock reactions of so many fantasy novels: They receive bad news by getting angry at the messenger; they spend pages telling each other there's no time to waste; and men need to be violent to each other to maintain their self respect. An editor could have helped.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Story Time?

    There are fun moments, as when a character comes to meet an alien race and dubs their repreentatives "Uncle" and "Aunty."


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    I seriously checked to see if the narration was some sort of AI experiment. The cadence and emphasis is not quite human. "She ran her hands over her face" is renderedd "She ran, her hands over her face." And thousand of more odd line readings. Voices and accents are okay. It was in the paragrpahs of that the odd, inhuman rhythm sometimes became distracting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Broken Harbor: Dublin Murder Squad, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Tana French
    • Narrated By Stephen Hogan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2852)
    Performance
    (2460)
    Story
    (2451)

    In Broken Harbor, all but one member of the Spain family lies dead, and it’s up to Mick “Scorcher” Kennedy to find out why. Mick must piece together why their house is full of cameras pointed at holes in the walls and how a nighttime intruder bypassed all the locks. Meanwhile, the town of Broken Harbor holds something else for Mick: disturbing memories of a childhood summer gone terribly wrong.

    barbara says: "Stunned"
    "Classic and Perfect - Narrator deserves a Tony"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does Broken Harbor rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I am blown away by this book. This is the third "Dublin Murder Squad" novel. The first, In The Woods, is an intense and wild ride. The next, The Likeness, is sort of difficult to take but well-built and intriguing, This one is the payoff. It may be the best audiobook I have ever listened to.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Broken Harbor?

    The way the plot unfolds is like taking a walk and rounding the corner to show you a new panorama. You forget it's a book. I have a hard time picking just one of these moments.


    Any additional comments?

    The narrator is a talented actor and his line reading is perfect. Every character has such a distinct sound you don't need to wait for the author to identity him or her. This is one of those books that pulls you in so completely that you can't do much else while listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Policeman

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Ben H. Winters
    • Narrated By Peter Berkrot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (653)
    Performance
    (586)
    Story
    (590)

    What’s the point in solving murders if we’re all going to die soon, anyway? Detective Hank Palace has faced this question ever since asteroid 2011GV1 hovered into view. There’s no chance left. No hope. Just six precious months until impact. The Last Policeman presents a fascinating portrait of a pre-apocalyptic United States. The economy spirals downward while crops rot in the fields. Churches and synagogues are packed. People all over the world are walking off the job - but not Hank Palace. He’s investigating a death by hanging.

    Amazon Customer says: "There was trepidation ..."
    "Fun hybrid story, very well told"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Last Policeman to be better than the print version?

    Peter Berkrot's acting skills add more to this book than the print version can deliver. I don't "hear" characters' voices when I read. Berkrot gives everyone a distinctive voice, and reads brilliantly. Absolutely perfect. I was completely captivated.


    What other book might you compare The Last Policeman to and why?

    This reminded me a little of "Land of Laughs," where there is a very straight narrative going on that's just a little tongue-in-cheek. "The Last Policeman" has a nice, light touch and is lots of fun to listen to. Ben Winters has avoided the irritating aspects of the police genre, while having fun with many of the conventions - In some respects, this reminded me of Ed McBain, only set in Concord, NH, as the world starts to end. In other respects, it reminded me of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."


    Which scene was your favorite?

    It was a minor scene, but when Detective Henry Palace sends a message to his old girlfriend via the barrista at a pirate Starbucks, that was classic. You'll see why when you hear it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I did.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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