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Old Hippy

PA | Member Since 2013

450
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 99 reviews
  • 327 ratings
  • 646 titles in library
  • 58 purchased in 2014
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  • The Bat: The First Inspector Harry Hole Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (328)
    Story
    (337)

    Before Harry took on the neo-Nazi gangs of Oslo, before he met Rakel, before The Snowman tried to take everything he held dear, he went to Australia. Harry Hole is sent to Sydney to investigate the murder of Inger Holter, a young Norwegian girl who was working in a bar. Initially sidelined as an outsider, Harry becomes central to the Australian police investigation when they start to notice a number of unsolved rape and murder cases around the country. The victims were usually young blondes. Inger had a number of admirers, each with his own share of secrets, but there is no obvious suspect.

    Old Hippy says: "Glad I read the all the other Nesbo books first"
    "Glad I read the all the other Nesbo books first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Bat?

    Nesbo's fixation on Harry Hole's alcoholism just destroys this first novel of the series. And the whores, fights, and poor storyline. You can see the latent writing skills that get progressively better with each sequel. I've sought out and read all the subsequent Harry Hole novels before finding this audiobook (except Cockroaches), and they've been great. (The latest "Police" is a masterpiece".) But, if I had read this one first, I would never have gone further. It's THAT bad.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Jo Nesbø again?

    I've already read all the others in the series. All are good, some great! This one is just bad.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes, sure.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend avoiding this one, and start out with the next in the series, which is "Cockroaches". I haven't found "Cockroaches" in audio yet, the next one after that is "Redbreast", which was very good.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Innocent Ones: A Thriller

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Robert Gregory Browne
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (149)

    Assistant District Attorney Beth Crawford and her sister, Jen, take a much needed vacation in Baja California, but the fun in the sun doesn't last long when Jen disappears without a trace on the streets of Playa del Sol. Now Beth must navigate the underbelly of a city she doesn't know, and the only one who can help her is Nick Vargas, a disgraced newspaper reporter on the trail of a dangerous and deadly cult with big plans for its annual celebration...on the Day of the Dead.

    shelley says: "Another winner from Robert Gregory Browne"
    "Formulaic, Misogynistic, Soap Opera-like Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Nothing.


    Has The Innocent Ones turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, just turned me off for this author. Wait a sec ... is this gore and sex actually a "genre"?


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

    Almost any other narrator. Brick has this annoying trait of over-dramatizing things. Like trying to sound as if pulp fiction like this actually has something moving and compelling to say. Might work once in a while but he reads every paragraph as if it was from a radio soap opera ... within paragraphs he raises his voice higher up the scale and louder for each phrase. It doesn't help things that the story is mostly third person, and his reading makes an already terrible story start to take on the affect of a really bad Shakespearian stage production. This all comes to a head in the closing scenes, in which you'll marvel over pinpoint aim with Molotov cocktails from far away just as the sacrificial pyre is to be lit . It's enough to make you go lock yourself in the bathroom and slit your wrists. (I guess our author thought "fighting fire with fire" was quite the twist.)


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment over credit wasted. Disappointment over the wasted opportunity for a good yarn, given the good start out of the gate that is served up. Disappointment over the stereotypical and shallow female characters. Weariness with authors who churn out this stuff.


    Any additional comments?

    The story has a good gripping start as far as the male protagonist (Vargas ) is concerned. The two female leads are, sadly, pathetic right from the get-go. Beth - allegedly the "strong" Asst. District Attorney - first wanders around the cruise ship as an asexual mother figure for her ungrateful, wanton sister, who soon disappears. About halfway through the story - and it's a long and painful slog - she finally teams up with Vargas - who, of course, falls ludicrously in love with her and they have (as does the main bad guy) the most fantastic sex, many times a night. Spoiler: As a small example of just how bad this tale becomes, along the way she is shot two times in the chest, once in the brain, knocked in the head into unconsciousness at least three different times, physically assaulted a couple of times, raped repeatedly, tied up with rope and/or duct tape a couple times, and set up to be burned alive. And, not to be undone, Vargas and the sister also experience a similar hard row to hoe of torture and beatings, along with the killing of numerous nuns, prostitutes, and other loyal bad guys. If you like this kind of claptrap, then this is the story for you. You have been warned.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: The Official Movie Novelization

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Alex Irvine
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel
    Overall
    (175)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (167)

    A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth's dominant species.

    AudioBookReviewer says: "retelling of a classic tale"
    "Actually better than I expected ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Dawn of the Planet of the Apes?

    Well, I didn't "love" it, but I enjoyed it. It was certainly way better than I expected.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I believe this is a novelization of the movie - so, hard to say. All these post-apocalyptic yarns tend to be pretty formulaic. It holds your interest, and the narration was top notch. But, really now, you kinda really know how it's gonna end, right?


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

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tell No Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Gregg Hurwitz
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (571)
    Performance
    (503)
    Story
    (504)

    The scion of an old-money San Francisco family, Daniel Brasher left his well-paying, respectable money-manager position to marry his community organizer wife and work at a job he loves, leading group counseling sessions with recently paroled violent offenders. One night he finds an envelope - one intended for someone else that was placed in his office mailbox by accident. Inside is an unsigned piece of paper, a handwritten note that says, "Admit what you've done or you will bleed for it."

    karen says: "The purgatory of group therapy"
    "Head the other direction and run!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Zombies ...


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something European or Nordic noir ...


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Scott Brick?

    Not applicable - the material he had to work with was so bad, ... but he has this way of narrating where his voice starts to rise and becomes more uber-dramatic - I don't like it at all.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Tell No Lies?

    Ha! The only scene worth keeping is the part where our hero finds the mis-delivered threatening letter.


    Any additional comments?

    You've been warned!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cockroaches: The Second Inspector Harry Hole Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    Overall
    (352)
    Performance
    (313)
    Story
    (315)

    When the Norwegian ambassador to Thailand is found dead in a Bangkok brothel, Inspector Harry Hole is dispatched from Oslo to help hush up the case. But once he arrives Harry discovers that this case is about much more than one random murder. There is something else, something more pervasive, scrabbling around behind the scenes. Or, put another way, for every cockroach you see in your hotel room, there are hundreds behind the walls.

    L. O. Pardue says: "The Rest of the Harry Hole Series is Excellent!"
    "Not as good as his later work ..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    If i understand correctly, this is only the second in the Harry Hole series. I've read all the others, and have been addicted to the characters and plots. I'm a big Baltic Noir fan and Nesbo doesn't disappoint. Except for the first two in the Harry Hole series. This one and the one before (set in Australia) just didn't work for me. I was disappointed big time.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • 14

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Peter Clines
    • Narrated By Ray Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10933)
    Performance
    (9922)
    Story
    (9944)

    There are some odd things about Nate’s new apartment. Of course, he has other things on his mind. He hates his job. He has no money in the bank. No girlfriend. No plans for the future. So while his new home isn’t perfect, it’s livable. The rent is low, the property managers are friendly, and the odd little mysteries don’t nag at him too much. At least, not until he meets Mandy, his neighbor across the hall, and notices something unusual about her apartment. And Xela’s apartment. And Tim’s. And Veek’s.

    Magpie says: "Super solid listen!!"
    "Another promising story that fell down at the end."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I really like this story, until it went off the rails about 75% of the way through. It really was too bad. I liked all the major characters a lot. They were believable and credible. They reacted to weird developments like normal people would. I don't even have a problem with the notion of the building being more than it appears. But once they go through the door into Apartment 14 ... well, the author's story unravels into increasing silliness. I could come up with half a dozen ending scenarios that would make more sense than what's written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Colony

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By F.G. Cottam
    • Narrated By David Rintoul
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (307)
    Performance
    (282)
    Story
    (287)

    For over a century, the New Hope Island vanishing has tantalized the world. How did 150 people disappear from a lonely Hebridean island, leaving no trace and no clues? Media magnate Alexander McIntyre decides to solve the mystery, and gathers a team of experts to mount an expedition to the island. He hopes running the story as a rolling exclusive will revive the fortunes of his flagship news-stand title. He hopes to find conclusive answers to questions that have teased a curious world for decades. And he wants his own secret theory triumphantly vindicated.

    Amanda says: "Solid atmospheric horror"
    ""Could have been a contender""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Two aspects: one is that it's a modern day setting (with flashbacks) but told in a style reminiscent of Victorian novels (it actually works very well) and second is the well-told horror story line.


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

    The opening scenes where the urchin is captured in motion on film. Creepy.


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this story right up tp the last couple chapters - it never got bogged down and moved at just the right pace to advance the mystery. The ending really should not be a surprise, you're given all the information you need to figure out how this is going to wind up. That's actually the disappointment. It's too predictable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Locked Room: A Martin Beck Police Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Maj Sjöwall, Per Wahlöö
    • Narrated By Tom Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (55)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    A young blonde in sunglasses robs a bank and kills a hapless citizen. Across town, a corpse with a bullet shot through its heart is found in a locked room - with no gun at the scene. The crimes seem disparate, but to Martin Beck they are two pieces of the same puzzle, and solving it becomes the one way he can escape the pains of his failed marriage and the lingering effects of a near-fatal bullet wound.

    Old Hippy says: "Great puzzler, another good Nordic noir tale!"
    "Great puzzler, another good Nordic noir tale!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Locked Room again? Why?

    No. Never re-listen to books.


    Any additional comments?

    Sjowall & Wahloo wrote some really fine Nordic noir procedurals, and this is another one.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Daybreak

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson
    • Narrated By Benjamin L. Darcie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (25)
    Story
    (25)

    Several goose hunters are found shot dead in rural Iceland, and detectives Gunnar Maríuson and Birkir Hinriksson are assigned to the case. Lead after lead goes cold before a mysterious letter arrives at the Reykjavik police department that reads, “My nature is to kill. I hunt men and never let go.” Gunnar and Birkir set a trap for the one they call “the Gander.” But the killer sends them on a deadly wild-goose chase, as lives hang in the balance.

    Old Hippy says: "Another fine Nordic noir tale."
    "Another fine Nordic noir tale."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, sure.


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

    Not really, I'm not generally a marathon reader. But it's a good tale.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Police: A Harry Hole Novel, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (573)
    Performance
    (488)
    Story
    (491)

    The police urgently need Harry Hole…. A killer is stalking Oslo's streets. Police officers are being slain at the scenes of crimes they once investigated but failed to solve. The murders are brutal, the media reaction hysterical. But this time, Harry can't help.... For years, detective Harry Hole has been at the center of every major criminal investigation in Oslo. His dedication to his job and his brilliant insights have saved the lives of countless people. But now, with those he loves most facing terrible danger, Harry is not in a position to protect anyone. Least of all himself...

    Charles Atkinson says: "Simply the Best Detective Series In any Language"
    "Fabulous, great, best Harry Hole in the series!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up Police in three words, what would they be?

    Complex, Gripping, Surprising.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Police?

    When the villain(s) murder one particularly memorable officer.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

    Harry


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

    "Someone is brutally killing police officers previously linked to unsolved and unrelated murders - but, why?"


    Any additional comments?

    I thought I had beat Harry in figuring out who was the murderer, but not why. Turns out I was right ... but there's more to the story. Kudos to Jo Nesbo for such a thriller and such a puzzler, ... even up to the second-last chapter I was still questioning whether I had it right. And, it was only in the last chapter that Nesbo makes all the pieces fall into place.

    What a great story!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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