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Ted

Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

Lancaster, PA, United States | Member Since 2010

834
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 248 reviews
  • 323 ratings
  • 626 titles in library
  • 98 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
4
FOLLOWERS
118

  • All Cry Chaos: The Henri Poincaré Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Leonard Rosen
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (417)
    Performance
    (355)
    Story
    (349)

    All Cry Chaos is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens. The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster’s Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers.

    Ted says: "Fizzled"
    "Fizzled"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    End fell apart. Contrived? Uh-huh. Pity since the puzzle was intriguing, but I'm guessing that Rosen didn't have a solution so he kind of crammed one together. The trip to the end though is exciting and the characters are compelling. Can't recommend it though.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Technologists: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Matthew Pearl
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (160)
    Performance
    (132)
    Story
    (130)

    The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between the past and the present, tradition and technology. On a former marshy wasteland, the daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is rising, its mission to harness science for the benefit of all and to open the doors of opportunity to everyone of merit. But in Boston Harbor a fiery cataclysm throws commerce into chaos, as ships’ instruments spin inexplicably out of control. Soon after, another mysterious catastrophe devastates the heart of the city.

    Ted says: "Mediocre - Can't Recommend It"
    "Mediocre - Can't Recommend It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a strange story, told in the archaic lingo of the 1860s. Strange? Uh-huh. It's a historic invention, truly historic fiction, about science and particularly the founding of MIT. Pearl's a Harvard grad, yet there's a lot of Harvard hating here. Hmmmm...

    The author has a powerful ability to create serial tensions. But they begin to feel like the kind that were once built into Saturday matinee cowboy serials where each week ended with some new peril facing the heroes. Do they still do that? Or has the compulsion for immediate gratification made them go away. Oh yeah... "24" the TV series did that.

    Here though they become contrived and I began to mutter about another plot distraction. Instead of speeding things, they slowed them. Pearl does a credible job of allowing cultures to smash into one another particularly at that transformational moment in history as old orders were about to die...

    In spite of that potential, the whole thing just feels, well, old-fashioned as Lawrence Welk on PBS. And Stephen Hoye is almost monotonic. Nope, can't recommend this thing, even though I'll probably remember it, not unpleasantly.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Promise Me

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Harlan Coben
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (232)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (120)

    The school year is almost over. Anxious families await word of college acceptances. In these last pressure-cooker months of high school, some kids will make the all-too-common and all-too-dangerous mistake of drinking and driving. But Myron is determined to help keep his friends' children safe, so he makes two neighborhood girls promise him: If they are ever in a bind but are afraid to call their parents, they must call him.

    Robert E. Scarcelle says: "Weak Effort"
    "Okay… But maybe I saw this TV show before?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hmmmm….Perhaps I shouldn't have read "Live Wire" out of sequence, then come back to "Promise Me"? I'll tell you, I missed Steven Webber's voice on this book, although Coben himself does an adequate job… much better than most authors who take a stab at self-reading.

    Any way… I felt like I'd been to this movie before. I'm guessing that Myron Bolitar's a guaranteed pay check for Coben, so he goes back to that machine to goose the bank balances. Actually, I'm liking Coben's non-Bolitar books more and more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Grass Roots: A Will Lee Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Stuart Woods
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (55)
    Story
    (57)

    Will Lee has returned to his roots to kick off his campaign for the Senate. A prominent lawyer, he has come back to his hometown of Delano, Georgia, to plan his strategies...and to argue an explosively controversial case that could seriously damage his political career. For Delano is a town with a dark secret - a smoldering hotbed of racial hatred and moral outrage, held in the thrall of a sinister white-supremacist group called The Elect... a breeding ground for violent, evil forces that will stop at nothing to keep the candidate out of office.

    Ted says: "Sainted Democrat Vs. Zealot, Evil, Racist GOP"
    "Sainted Democrat Vs. Zealot, Evil, Racist GOP"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is well written (and masterfully read) propaganda that doesn’t present ideological differences so much as represents an extreme side of one of them … the progressive side. The hero is a Democrat saint (note the capital D).. perfect in every way. His opponents are indolent womanizing drunks at best, evil fascist murderous militia Republican Christians at worst.

    Once upon a time, Woods knew how to find the nuance of life (In his masterful "Chiefs" for example). Apparently his followers don’t need no stahnkin’ nuance :-}. Still, I enjoyed the story and realized if every Republican conservative was satanic as Woods wants us to believe, then an epic battle for good is the only moral alternative. In Grass Roots, only one side is close minded. But I wonder if Woods himself realizes which side that might be?

    “Right” versus, not disagreement but, immoral EVIL (all in caps) is what this book’s about. Woods is a masterful polemicist. He coats his one-sided message in righteous honey. Progressives will love the way Woods reveals a sinister racist conspiracy behind everything. Conservatives are used to that POV dominating movies, TV, newspapers, magazines, books, and even music (ever listened to Rap?).

    So they’ll be entertained by the storyline, even if they’d wish that once in a while a high-craft writer like Woods could conceive of situations where, because of the limits on resources, choices must be made not between perfection and evil, but between two goods.

    I guess the problem with nuance is, it’s not as motivating to write about the possibility that your side might not be, well, saintly?

    George Guidall, once again creates a production that even makes the lead character's frequent political harangues, philosophical assertions, and ideological polar positions feel as comfortably correct as the voices who read TV advertisements that successfully sell us laundry soap and politicians.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Bad Place

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Dean Koontz
    • Narrated By Carol Cowan, Michael Hanson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (185)
    Story
    (187)

    Frank Pollard awakens in an alley, knowing nothing but his name - and that he is in great danger. Having taken refuge in a motel, he wakes again only to find his hands covered in blood. As far as he knows, he's no killer. But whose blood is this, and how did it get there?

    Chris says: "Right on par"
    "DISGUSTING"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is perverted crap.

    Can I be more clear? How about a psychotic cretin, excitedly eating the throat of a 15 year old girl, drinking her blood - then identically butchering her 17 year old brother. I leapt from the shower (the only reason that this much demented dung sprayed out) and stopped this thing as the monster found their mother asleep in her bed as well.

    Worse, Koontz plays the scene through the satisfied pleasure the monster felt with each gulp of blood and flesh: Shared with us his first-person intimate pleasures in these acts.

    Audible recommended this excrement to me. I even hesitate to post this review. Why? There is a reason that talk radio hosts do not invite KKK members for debate. Klansmen do not care that the host will humiliate and discredit their views. They only want the publicity to let other similarly dangerous cretins find, and join their racist crusades.

    Koontz is like them in his apparent mission to assemble a profitable army of sadists. Reviews of his work allow him to prowl for like-minds and feed their imaginations. This is disgusting stuff. I wonder if Koontz writes this carnage for therapy or to incite? Regardless, I shall return "The Bad Place" and warn you to not go anywhere near it. The book's aptly named.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Son: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Jo Nesbø
    • Narrated By Gildart Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (711)
    Performance
    (641)
    Story
    (637)

    Sonny Lofthus is a strangely charismatic and complacent young man. Sonny’s been in prison for a dozen years, nearly half his life. The inmates who seek out his uncanny abilities to soothe leave his cell feeling absolved. They don’t know or care that Sonny has a serious heroin habit - or where or how he gets his uninterrupted supply of the drug. Or that he’s serving time for other peoples’ crimes. Sonny took the first steps toward addiction when his father took his own life rather than face exposure as a corrupt cop. Now Sonny is the seemingly malleable center of a whole infrastructure of corruption....

    Charles Atkinson says: "Maybe The Best Mystery Novelist Anywhere"
    "Even Better Than Previous Nesbos!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is it because these people way up there in the North of Europe have so many loooong nights? Is that why their novels are so dark and cold? This one is pure Nesbo. Which is to say... captivating to the point of kidnapping your attention away from the rest of life.

    Now... this starts slowly... the way winter comes on, y'know? But all at once you're in and wandering around inside of Nesbo's full-gust imagination. And Gildart Jackson has a voice that seems to grab its air from an impending thunderstorm. Y'know... a sense of oncoming menace but always just faintly felt.

    Liked this production and, didn't see the ending coming, yet it held together like nighttime blood pooled outside during Nesbo's Northern European winters.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Live Wire: A Myron Bolitar Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Steven Weber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (822)
    Performance
    (421)
    Story
    (429)

    Myron Bolitar has always dreamed about the femme fatale walking into his office and asking for help. The woman standing in his doorway has killer curves all right: She’s eight months pregnant, which kind of ruins the fantasy. Former tennis star Suzze T and her rock star husband, Lex, are both clients, and over the years Myron has negotiated his share of contracts for the power pair. But now Lex has disappeared and Suzze is in tears, fearing the online rumors questioning the baby’s paternity have driven away Lex.

    Donald says: "The narrator is important"
    "Steven Weber Makes This Wire... Live!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Okay, Steven Weber's turned this Coben into a major production. There is an entire ensemble cast, each with a personal presence. Even if this wasn't Myron Bolitar at his best, the novel's worth every moment of Weber-listening-time.

    BUT WAIT... this search for Myron's brother is Myron Bolitar at his best. Open an antique RR pocket watch... Those parts don't work as well together as Myron, his parents, Big Cindy, Win and Esperanza mesh again in Live Wire...

    Okay, I'm a Coben and Bolitar groupie... But I've listened to eight of Myron's adventures, never read one. Why do that when Steven Weber can imagine the characters far better than me?


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Death at Charity's Point

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By William G. Tapply
    • Narrated By Stephen Hoye
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Brady Coyne never meant to become the private lawyer to New England’s upper crust, but after more than a decade working for Florence Gresham and her friends, he has developed a reputation for discretion that the rich cannot resist. He is fond of Mrs. Gresham - unflappable, uncouth, and never tardy with a check - and he has seen her through her husband’s suicide and her first son’s death in Vietnam. But he has never seen her crack until the day her second son, George, leaps into the sea at jagged Charity’s Point.

    Ted says: "Stinko!"
    "Stinko!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a tiresome…

    Imagine living next door to a beginning bagpipe student. There will not be a happy ending, right? Or middle, or probably not a beginning worth enduring. Hey I paid for this Charity Point thing and kept listening , hoping it'd become minutely as fascinating as Lawrence Sander's Archie McNally. But nooooooooo. It just kept on droning through a tedious plot more improbable than a Victoria's Secret angel looking for love at a soup kitchen.

    Yeah, I get it that William Tappley writes the ideas of authors who have ideas in a number of collaborations. Some of that sort of "collaborative" work drones like the noise from a freshman bagpiper's nozzles and bladder. I guess it was a combined loss of ideas and lack of creative discipline that caused this novel to annoy me.

    Tapply may be good at ghost writing, here his corpus is less substantial than a ghost.

    Avoid this thing even though Stephen Hoye works hard to sell it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Rogue Code: A Jeff Aiken Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Mark Russinovich
    • Narrated By Johnny Heller
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (313)
    Performance
    (292)
    Story
    (291)

    Michael Lewis’ Flash Boys revealed how high-frequency trading has created a ruthless breed of traders capable of winning whichever way the market turns. In Rogue Code, Mark Russinovich takes it one step further to show how their grip on high finance makes the stock market vulnerable to hackers who could bring about worldwide financial collapse.

    Ted says: "This Will Probably Happen."
    "This Will Probably Happen."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    See, Mark Russinovich is the ubber-geek who can speak colloquial English.

    You know like meeting a space alien who talks like he came from Philly. He can explain so that I can suddenly mutter… "Good God! We're all in a LOT of trouble."

    Here he digs into the space where computer security meets VERY VERY VERY Big Money. And he explains exactly what opportunity (or threat) lurks between the left scissor edge of computer engineering and the right edge of international financial transaction.

    First I'm warning you NOT TO LISTEN TO THIS BOOK… first. Go get Russinovich's "Zero Day" first. Because you probably will after you hear this novel. And since it's a continuing ensemble cast, hey… why not enjoy all of the feelings and back-stories as they grow through Mark's second novel, "Trojan Horse" (and his best), and then come here to Rogue Code?

    Johnny Heller does a terrific job. I was disappointed though with the Jeff Aiken (hero) - Darlyl Haugen (demoted heroine) relationship's direction. They were so much more interesting twin parts of whole lead character in Zero Day and Trojan Horse. The altered path seemed like some sort of personality-ectomy. Hope the partnership gets renewed.

    Oh yeah, that teaser up above… The Steven-King-terror-inducing-talent of Mark Russinovich is that what his stories tell-about will escape from his cloud and will probably happen quite soon, maybe tomorrow. YIPES!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Boyfriend

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Thomas Perry
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (613)
    Performance
    (525)
    Story
    (522)

    Jack Till, who has retired from the LAPD after a respected career as a homicide detective, now works as a private investigator, comfortable chasing down routine cases while visiting his 24-year-old daughter, Holly, who has Down Syndrome. But when the parents of a recently murdered young girl, about Holly's age, ask for his help when the police come up empty, Till reluctantly takes the case.

    Opule says: "Typical Thomas Perry"
    "Take An Idea. Do it, then rethink it… Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Boyfriend is derivative of Thomas Perry.

    I ask artists this question, "How much of a final work is created in the process as opposed to whatever concept you brought to the project at the start". Their average answer, "A whole bunch. The inmates take over the asylum early on."

    Ever played the game, "Imagine how history would have changed if…. (fill in the tiny change… like someone jostled John Wilkes Booth shooting hand). Imagine the options… the paths… And that's what happens to an artist during process… Forking pathways are discovered and one is chosen over the other.

    And yet… What if the author-artist could go back to that pathway to make the other choice? The Boyfriend exists in a universe that's parallel to other Perry stories. In it he takes one of his most complex bad-guy's essence and bends his presence to a totally different world.

    Perry is such a talented story teller, and Roberstson Dean a gripping audio artist, that even though you think you've been this way before… you'll notice that both the scenery and destination become way, way different.

    Perry's one of the best.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Illegal Alien

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (165)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (150)

    When a disabled spaceship enters Earth's atmosphere, seven members of the advanced Tosok race are welcomed by the world. Then a popular scientist is murdered, and all evidence points to one of the Tosoks. Now, an alien is tried in a court of law -and there may be far more at stake than accounting for one human life.

    Joyce E McBride says: "What more could you want?"
    "Like a haute stew!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Is it a murder mystery? How'zabout a "what are those weird aliens up to anyway" mystery? Or no… perhaps its a dig into a "BIG QUESTION" or two? Well, like a swell stew, this Sawyer novel – it be all a dem tings.

    But do you think of stew AND haute cuisine? Not so much. But it's still good.

    Look, you ever get a tune stuck in your head? Well Robert Sawyer writes his tales like the insidiously talented folks who compose pesky head-sticking music. He stays with you. And you stay right back.

    Illegal Alien is about murder-solving, mysterious intentions, and even a big question Which is driven by anatomical-deterimination of all things. It'll stick in your head. Joe Barrett is in the top league of audio artists. He stays there throughout Illegal Alien.

    I liked it. I'm gonna' go now and shop for another Sawyer listen. Bye...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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