Alexandria, VA
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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-10-18

Stinker Could Have Smelled Better

“Stinker Lets Loose” is a good idea not executed well. The premise of this audiobook is that this is the movie tie in version of a 1970s trash novel. The story features a trucker named stinker, as well as various other characters including a chimp who are on an adventure to, of all things, bring a six pack of cold Schlitz to Jimmy Carter the president of the United States.
The greatest aspect of this audiobook is the writing. I loved the near ration especially and the dialogue and all of the upsides which were hilarious. The narrator of this book knows what he is doing and it is all wonderful he delivered. Any positives to my review are hung up on that fact of good written well delivered narration.
Where the audiobook sales are through the other voice actors, many of whom seem to have been cast because of their “celebrity”. They do not fit their characters. In fact instead of most of the voice actors if the book had merely been read by the narrator it would’ve come off much better and much more enjoyable.
Another disappointing fact about this audiobook is how much unnecessary extras are headed to the beginning and the conclusion in order to make this long enough to be considered an audiobook. The author spend 15 minutes doing what should’ve been done in just a few sentences; making the listener understand the game that this is based on a real movie that never was. The conclusion comes fast if one is watching their audiobook timer, only to discover a live reenactment, lasting an hour and a half, of the books opening. Again, great with the narration, wonderful to have the audience reaction, but horribly cast with the likes of John Hamm as “stinker“.
There is a hand early in the book that they will do other audio books based on these fake dated novels, and I hope they do. I also hope, however, that they learn from this experiment and do whatever comes next better. This could have been great, but it is only mediocre.

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0 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-17-17

Great Pulp Fiction Brought Down By Narration Choic

The stories in this first volume of Pulse Fiction are wonderful. These tales contain everything you want if "Pulp" is your thing - action, adventure, good guys and bad ones. It is worth having as an ebook.

Sadly, I gave this one a try via audio, and though the narrator, Chase Johnson, has a wonderful voice, his choice (or that of the director(s) of the piece have him reading the stories as if he was a wild ghost story teller from the days of old. Instead of letting the fiction bring forth the entertainment, I felt that Mr. Johnson's, dare I say "hammy" emotive vocal gesturing really got in the way for me. I'm not a kid who wants to pretend like I'm listening to a radio broadcast of The Lone Ranger, I'm an adult who wants to hear good pulp fiction. I wish those who put this audio together had made a better choice in narration style.

Perhaps it is me. I suggest that this opinion is only my own. If it helps, I was granted a free copy in order to provide an honest review, and I am doing just that, and hoping that I do so kindly and respectfully as well. If you are interested in this as an audio, listen to a sample, and decide for yourself whether to get it.

If you want to play it safe, obtain the ebook, read and enjoy!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-17

Fun, Rollicking Adventure Made Better by Narration

Hat Check is the first story in a Series featuring beach adventure Troy Beaudine. The book reminded me a lot of the film “it’s a mad mad mad mad world”.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-26-17

A "Wow" Book

There is not enough that I can say about Magpie Murders...a mystery within a mystery (where both are solved). I could not put this audio down! Though the book itself feels a bit long (because there are so many suspects needed) the story still kept up a good pace leading to its satisfying conclusion!

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-25-17

Typical "Tanner" Novel Read Well

At the outset I must state that even though I consider myself a huge fan of Lawrence Block, but with that comes the embarrassment that I am not a fan of his Tanner series.

This Tanner tale has all of the elements of the series. The spy who never sleeps goes hither and yon on a fast moving adventure. The one element I like about the series, and will lift up in this work is the humor. Sometimes it is slight, and at other times boldly proclaimed, but the author writes in wry comments and observations throughout.

Where an audiobook can sink or swim is upon the back of the narrator, and I am always delighted when Theo Holland is on board, especially for a Block book. Mr. Holland clearly gets the intricacies within the written text and thus the aforementioned humor and more come out wonderfully in his reading of the material.

If you are a Block fan, then this is probably for you. If you want to hear a narrator who is not one of the overused usual folk then I commend you to listen to this work and hear Theo Holland presenting his typical good work.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-20-17

How to audibly ruin a great book

The Immigrants by Howard Fast is by far one of my favorite books of all time. I was delighted to find it on Audible and look forward to hearing it. How disappointed I am. Admittedly this was recorded in 1988, with multiple voices, and thus the characters become vocally two-dimensional and many a “bad actor.” The over acting with some voice actors and more ruins the beauty of the novel and story.

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3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-20-17

Whole lotta nothing with some porn thrown in

Title says most of my thoughts on the book. What made it even worse was having so many narrators. The main one was wonderful. The secondary one - representing the sullen son was okay, but the plethora of others really made no sense. I get that they represented a voice of someone in the group at the time of the chapter, but it was not necessary and only took away from a work that was merely above bland to begin with.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-17

Good Story & Great Narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. This is the first book featuring the super spy Evan Tanner (and the first of this character's exploits that I have read). The story is good, fluid and has a lot of great characters. The narration by Theo Holland is simply wonderful. I am a fan of Mr. Holland and I believe his uniqueness is his ability to voice "everyman (and woman)." He is not overly theatrical but with his timing and tone he brings each and every character to life. Mr. Holland also at times vocally presented a line of dialogue where I was able to hear the humor that I might have missed by merely reading the same.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I won't say that the plot itself kept me riveted, but the fluidity of it kept the story from getting stale as it moved right along.

Which character – as performed by Theo Holland – was your favorite?

I forget the name, but there is a character who Tanner meets in Spain who wants to become a famous hair stylist in France. Not only was the character funny, but Theo Holland nailed him; he had down the rhythm of speech, and all. Like many characters this one was in only one segment of the book and I was hoping for more because of what Holland was able to bring to him.

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

I laughed throughout. It is not a knee slapper, but there was enough to make me chuckle or smile.

Any additional comments?

I am a fan of Lawrence Blocks, but this is the first Evan Tanner I have "read." Based on this book Tanner is my least favorite recurring character of the authors but my hope is that as the series progresses the stories improve on the strengths that are present in this first one.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-17

Another Winning Combo of Author and Narrator

If you could sum up Four Lives at the Crossroads in three words, what would they be?

Enjoyable taut thriller.

What other book might you compare Four Lives at the Crossroads to and why?

Really anything by Lawrence Block, especially (since we are discussing audio books here) those read by Theo Holland. The latter has a voice that lends itself to the timeless characters and settings of the author's novels.

Which scene was your favorite?

There is a robbery scene that kept me on the edge of my seat (so to speak - I was driving while listening).

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

"There is no bad person, there is no good person, there just is."

Any additional comments?

Theo Holland is an underused and underrated narrator. It is nice to hear someone as good as he his who is not one of the "usual" ones we listeners are offered. His narration is therefore refreshing, and as stated above totally works for the setting and characters.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-24-17

Narration Made the Story That Much More Enjoyable

If you could sum up Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in three words, what would they be?

A classic adventure featuring a country boy escaping the life he was pushed into, and meeting various characters along the Mississippi river.

What other book might you compare Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to and why?

Tom Sawyer! Because both are by Mark Twain, but in point of fact, this book did not really pick up until Tom entered the picture in the later quarter of the book.

Which character – as performed by B. J. Harrison – was your favorite?

Tom Sawyer. Tom was well written by Twain who used the character to bring out laughs from the situations that he and Huck find themselves in. B.J. Harrison does an admirable job with them, and the was able to include the comedic vocal styling needed to make this story come alive.

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

Having escaped reading this one, I finally decided at age 54 to listen to it. My extreme reaction was that I was surprised how bored I was by a large part of it, but I am glad I hung on, because there were scenes within the book where I laughed out loud, so in the end it was worth it.

Any additional comments?

I wanted to hear this book and went hunting for what I hoped would be a good narrator. Reading comments on various choices, I went with this one, and I am not disappointed!

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