Nothing in the way of science. It's a very long "what if" story of natural catastrophe and the instinct to survive. Ok, for it's time.
Line of Vision is approximately 15 hours of listening, read by the estimable Dick Hill. This audiobook has been in my reading listing since 2009, about time I listened! Released by Brilliance Audio in early 2008, the book was originally published as a hardback in 2001 - so it’s been around a while. There are actually more ratings on Audible than reviews on Amazon, interesting. Maybe that has to do with audiobook fans searching for ‘Dick Hill’?
Dick Hill is one of those few readers that, with their talent, will take a mediocre story and create a terrific audiobook. Well, he has much more than mediocre to work with in Line of Vision.
The book is a good one, winner of the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Novel by an American Author. The story is told from the viewpoint of Marty Kalish. Marty is in the midst of an illicit affair with a married co-worker’s wife, Rachael Rhinheart. The reader immediately is convinced, as are the police, that Marty murdered Rachael’s husband. Mystery solved, right? Well, not really.
In this cat and mouse police procedural, the guilt of Marty Kalish seems to be cut and dried. But, as the story progresses, the reader is gradually made uncertain. Therein is the substance of Line of Vision. Did Marty commit this murder? Did Rachael? You’ll begin to wonder. And, at the same time, enjoy one hell of a nice murder mystery. Enjoy!
Narrated by Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan, Cold Fire is approximately fifteen hours of listening. The original novel was published in 1991. When I first heard the stigmata issue, I rolled my eyes and thought I was in for a boring, religious diatribe. Fortunately, my initial fears were unfounded, and I kept listening simply because the story was so intriguing. Koontz is an amazing story teller, and as has been said, story trumps all.
The lead character, Jim Ironheart, has a gift; call it clairvoyance. He knows when someone is in danger, and goes to whatever measures are necessary to save lives. Early in the tale a struggling journalist, Holly Thorne, witnesses this mysterious heroism. Holly smells a story that may salvage her career, and before long, the two become lovers. However, the love affair is secondary to the fact that together they journey through the macabre (It’s Dean Koontz, after all.) details of Jim Ironheart’s past to understand his amazing powers. Great plane crash scene.
The most wonderful aspect of this story is the audio reading by Carol Cowan. Just terrific. The male voices are read by Michael Hanson, and are nice … but Carol does an incredible job with the voice and thoughts of Holly Thorne. Both readers jockey through dialogue and narrative very smoothly. An enjoyable listen, well worth the credits.
If you’re looking for a book that reflects the television productions of either the late 1950s or mid 1970s, this is not the book for you. Although the fundamental basis is the same, the behavior of the lead character is not. In the television stories, our invisible man was a good guy, altruistic. This protagonist is more power conscious and although the distress resulting from an accidental experiment is understandable, his devilish behavior is evidence of a nasty human being.
Worth the credits, classic science fiction. This story was written in the late 1800s and is timeless in it’s appeal. Just over five hours of listening, nicely read by James Adams, released in 2000. Been around in audio format for quite a while. Enjoyed!
From Wikipedia: Alas Babylon is a 1959 novel by by Pat Frank (the pen name of Harry Hart Frank). It was one of the first apocalyptic novels of the nuclear age and remains popular 55 years after it was first published, consistently ranking in Amazon.com's Top 20 Science Fiction Short Stories.
I purchased Alas, Babylon as a result of an Audible Daily Deal. The audible version is approximately 12 hours of listening, read by Will Patton, so I wouldn’t exactly call it a 'short story' . Obviously, an old classic is terrific fodder for a new audio production in that Alas, Babylon is a 2012 Audie Award Winner. Will Patton does a great job. I wish they’d do more of this with classic literature. Possibly start out with audio versions of all Pulitzer Prize winners? Advise & Consent would be awesome in audiobook format.
At any rate, this story is one of survival, loss, triumph, death, and re-birth amidst, and post nuclear war. This nuclear war lasts one single day, a day the characters refer to as simply, The Day. A small town in Florida learns to do without pretty much everything and begin living in a post The Day world. Completely cut off from the rest of civilization, the town has no idea what has happened, if or not the United States has ‘won’ the war, the global implications, and to what degree the human race will move forward. Considering when this book was written, 1959, and 2014 headlines of today, I’m sorry to say the pulse of world politics has not changed. Alas, Babylon is a vision of world-wide holocaust brought about by the nuclear age that has been a real threat since WWII. The countries involved are the same, i.e., Russia, Syria, the middle east.
The only difference from today is that in 1959 there were no cell-phones. Eerie.Well worth a listen.
Narrated by the amazing Dick Hill, Black Cross is a long listen, over twenty hours. The story begins with the death of WWII veteran Michael McConnell, who, typical of all war veterans, has never conveyed any details of his service, neither to his wife nor his son. An old companion, aware of these secrets, seeks out McConnell's son, and deems that some amazing heroics and history needs told or forever lost. The book is the narration of Michael McConnell’s horrific tale.
There is latitude taken by the author, as it pertains to point of view and writing technique. The story is supposed to be a documented history, as witnessed by Michael McConnell. Several scenes, most in fact, are such that McConnell cannot and doesn't witness them, the scenes include other ancillary characters and it’s never exactly clear how McConnell could be aware of these instances. For example, conversations between Churchill and his generals while McConnell is working in a lab at Oxford. Scenes that take place between two women in a concentration camp, or between a concentration camp prisoner and an SS agent. How can these events be conveyed without ever having been witnessed by McConnell himself? Much of the story is basically hearsay.
This conundrum aside, the tale is gripping and a sad commentary of the inhumanity inflicted by humans upon each other. Greg Iles thought Black Cross was one of his best efforts … it is, albeit distressing and terribly sad. Although fiction, the basics of the atrocities inflicted by Germany are true.
Excellent narration, of course, by Dick Hill. Well worth the credits.
Tami Hoag might have a crush on Channing Tatum … maybe? Not sure mentioning a current Hollywood heart-throb in a book, at least twice, is a good idea. Someone picks this book up in forty years and they’ll have no idea who she’s talking about. That said, The 9th Girl, is a decent police procedural. Not giving anything away that isn’t revealed within the first few pages. A teenaged girl pops out of a trunk in front of a party-limo that can’t avoid hitting her. The story moves on from this point, i.e., who is she? Why was she in the trunk? What caused the caustic burns on her face? What’s with the tattoo? The investigation proceeds through suspicions of parents, frustrated cops, deceptive teenaged angst.
The characters are oversimplified images, not fully rounded. It’s hard to root for anyone in particular. The cops act like cops, type-a and hard-boiled. The teenagers act like teenagers, hate everything and everybody, shave their heads and have earrings in their lips. Mothers are like mothers with cubs. Dads are stoic and distant. Nobody stands out.
Writing, in my opinion, begins with character development … followed with plot. Something is skewed in The 9th Girl, and although I had no trouble sticking with the story, something was just …. off.
Okay mystery, but not one of Hoag’s best. Narration was fine.
Close to 600 audiobook reviews, read by James Daniels and Sandra Burr, originally published in 2001, the unabridged version of Midnight Bayou is just under ten hours of listening. Typical Nora Roberts, i.e., a nice curl-up-on-the-sofa story. Not deep, not life changing.
The Roberts formula shines through the story. Take a dilapidated old plantation mansion in New Orleans, a young Boston lawyer (Burned out at a young age, which is a story in itself, I would think.), throw in a stubbornly independent, albeit beautiful, local, a few ghosts, a little southern Louisiana superstition and voodoo, some reincarnation … and ta-da … you have a winner.
Nice narration, fun listen.
Two parallel stories begin this tale. One centers on a scandalized journalist, Vargas, seeking to recover a shattered career by investigating a mass murder near the Mexican border. The other surrounds two sisters on a cruise, one a Holly-Go-Lightly named Jen, the other a straight laced attorney, Beth. The sudden disappearance of Jen in a Mexico port of call, sends Beth into a frenzy of searching. You’ll wonder how the author can possibly bring these two, completely unique, story lines together into a uniform plot. He does, very well. This is a page-turning thriller.
Read by the incredible Scott Brick, the story is approximately eleven hours of listening. Scott could read a cookbook and make it spellbinding; he uses his stellar talent in joining with Robert Browne to make a good book even better. Fun listen. Surprised that there aren’t more audio reviews; less than 50 at this writing. Lot’s of planning went into this story and all the pieces come together nicely. Enjoyed.
Pines is close to nine hours of listening, read by Paul Michael Garcia. There are close to 2000 reviews on Audible at this writing, and the book has a four-star rating. Not likely there is much I can add to what has already said, the story is a page-turner. A secret service agent is dispatched to a small town to investigate the disappearance of fellow agents.
The book should be part of a Sci-Fi listing, because although Pines is a thriller, the tale involves time leaps and the macabre. Any lovers of Dean Koontz or Stephen King out there? Pines is in the same vein. The main character goes through several physically abusive situations, more than necessary, in my opinion. Lots of narration defining his aches and pains … I actually muttered ‘I get it!’ a time or two, and fast-forwarded through repetitive torture scenes that were a bit gratuitous and added nothing to the plot.
Paul Michael Garcia does a great job, good narration.
Don’t expect a Tom Clancy/Vince Flynn type thriller or a Tami Hoag crime procedural - Pines is Sci-Fi, through and through. But, good Sci-Fi! Enjoyable listen.
Dick Hill. One of the best! Sorry to say, First to Kill isn’t one of the best. The lead character, Nathan McBride, will remind you of another type A, take no prisoners, kick-ass, fundamentally soft-hearted former military dude. Maybe it’s the fact that Dick Hill narrated First to Kill. If you read primarily via audiobook format, such as I, Connelly’s Jack Reacher is brought to mind. Hill is the voice of Reacher in all of that series, as far as I know.
First to Kill is a thriller, centering on high-level politics and skullduggery covertly pulling our main character into a revenge laced situation. Lot’s of characters to keep track of, a few twists, but the bad-guys are well known throughout. Mild love interest interspersed … just because it’s expected, I guess. Didn’t add anything to the story. A little trouble holding my interest and sadly, I didn’t rewind, just kept moving forward.
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