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    • Michael Stuart Kelly

      New upgrade with simpler interface   05/13/2016

      Once again, the fine folks at IPB made a new upgrade and things might not be where you started to learn they were. However, this is one time where I think they actually improved things for navigation. There are only a few big buttons: When you click on one of those buttons, some other stuff opens up, depending on which button you click. (Later Note: These only appear when zoomed in or in the mode for smartphones/tablets.) I'm learning this as you are, so I suggest you do what I am doing: click on these big buttons, see what they open and fiddle with the software some. Ironically, you will find there is a lot that is intuitive. That's what I'm discovering. (Later note: I just discovered that I was viewing the site zoomed in too far to see the normal view. The menus are still there with the old buttons, but when I zoom in too much, they disappear and the new buttons appear. I believe this zoomed in way is what the site looks like on mobile devices. I'm going to mess with it some more, then maybe make some explanations.) Sorry for the inconvenience. Still, over time, I hope you end up liking these changes. Michael
Rich Engle

My review of Robert Bidinotto's new book "Hunter: A Thriller

23 posts in this topic

I was corresponding with Bob today and said I'd love to review his new novel on my blog, as well as share on OL, so I did! I am not even done with it yet and I am very, very impressed at the quality (for what that is worth).

Here is the review, which includes a link to Bob. One of our kind is doing excellent!

Hunter: A Thriller review

Best,

rde

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I was corresponding with Bob today and said I'd love to review his new novel on my blog, as well as share on OL, so I did! I am not even done with it yet and I am very, very impressed at the quality (for what that is worth).

Here is the review, which includes a link to Bob. One of our kind is doing excellent!

Hunter: A Thriller review

Best,

rde

Nice review, Rich!

REB

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I was corresponding with Bob today and said I'd love to review his new novel on my blog, as well as share on OL, so I did! I am not even done with it yet and I am very, very impressed at the quality (for what that is worth).

Here is the review, which includes a link to Bob. One of our kind is doing excellent!

Hunter: A Thriller review

Best,

rde

Nice review, Rich!

REB

Thanks, R. Miss hearing from you--getting too lazy in the retired life? Growing flowers in your bone-bell? :)

rde

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I've got this book loaded on my Kindle. Gotta find time to read it. The book is getting great reviews on Amazon and has 4 stars.

Hunter at Amazon

Kat

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I've got this book loaded on my Kindle. Gotta find time to read it. The book is getting great reviews on Amazon and has 4 stars.

Hunter at Amazon

Kat

Yeah, me too. I'm part way into it and I haven't gotten around to more reading, but I will. It is a real roller coaster ride. I think you'll enjoy it, Kat. Bob can really, really write.

Cheers!

rde

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I was corresponding with Bob today and said I'd love to review his new novel on my blog, as well as share on OL, so I did! I am not even done with it yet and I am very, very impressed at the quality (for what that is worth).

Here is the review, which includes a link to Bob. One of our kind is doing excellent!

Hunter: A Thriller review

Best,

rde

Nice review, Rich!

REB

Thanks, R. Miss hearing from you--getting too lazy in the retired life? Growing flowers in your bone-bell? :)

rde

Hey Rich -- no, too busy playing it and making money with it to divert it to horticultural use! :-) I am very busy these days, not fully retired by any means -- plus, writing, speaking, and hanging out with my four kids and five grandkids here in Middle Tennessee, the land that is "green without trying." REB

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Didn't he break with the ARI over one of Peikoff's loony fiats? Getting out of there could only boost creativity. Who knows what good novels might still be imprisoned within the hearts of existing board members?

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I agree with all of you about the book's literary skill and entertainment value, but the plot ultimately turns on a device I find ethically objectionable. Maybe I'd buy it in a story built on symbolism or fantasy, but not in a realistic, contemporary work. If you haven't read it, do so and decide for yourself.

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I agree with all of you about the book's literary skill and entertainment value, but the plot ultimately turns on a device I find ethically objectionable. Maybe I'd buy it in a story built on symbolism or fantasy, but not in a realistic, contemporary work. If you haven't read it, do so and decide for yourself.

How did I just so know that one was coming?

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Roger Donway's Atlasphere review of Bidinotto's - Hunter: A Thriller:

I come to
Hunter
as a reader of Jane Austen and Anthony Trollope — which is to say: as a reader of straightforward romance novels that take human decency as their outlook, yet understand that conflicts often occur between decent people. And coming to Bidinotto’s Twenty-first Century thriller novel from the perspective of Nineteenth Century romance novels, I found it to be a joy.

http://www.theatlasphere.com/columns/110921-donway-hunter.php

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I finally got a copy of Robert's book.

It's been a while since I have read a fiction book, so I'm looking forward to this.

I will let folks know what I think later.

Michael

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I bought a paper book and received the following and Robert is fine with me sharing it.

Peter

Dear Peter,

Thank you so much! When I didn’t hear from you right away, I took a chance and inscribed the book to “Peter Taylor,” then sent it off earlier today. You should have it in two days. And no, I don’t mind you sharing my message with others.

If you are not aware, HUNTER has had an amazing run. It had sold a respectable 4,000 copies and compiled scores of “five-star” Amazon reader raves…up till November 26. On that day, it sold a middling 27 copies and was ranked # 2,988 on Kindle at midnight Eastern time.

But then, at 3 a.m. Eastern on November 27, the Amazon Kindle editors listed it as their #1 “Editors’ Pick” for a week.

When I woke up that morning, HUNTER had soared overnight to # 24 on the overall Kindle bestseller list. It sold a whopping 1,919 copies that day. But that was just the beginning; the sales just continued to climb for the rest of the week. The next day, it sold over 3,200 copies. Within a couple of days, it was in the Kindle “Top 10.” Then, in succession, it zoomed past the latest bestsellers by Stephen King…Janet Evanovich…James Patterson…John Grisham…and then, on December 2, Michael Connelly.

For 48 hours, I was the best-selling male author on Kindle.

On December 3, HUNTER sold well over 4,900 copies—missing the 5,000-copy milestone only because the Amazon site was having access problems for hours that evening. At last, it soared past the most recent title in the phenomenally best-selling “Hunger Games” young-adult fiction trilogy by Suzanne Collins; at that point, it topped out at # 4 among all 1.2 million items sold on Kindle (fiction, nonfiction, games, calendars, subscriptions—the works). Only Collins’s other two books in her blockbuster series, plus one by romance writer Catherine Bybee, stood between HUNTER and # 1.

In total, HUNTER sold over 50,000 copies in the 37 days following November 26. It made the Wall Street Journal’s “Top 10 in Fiction Ebooks” bestseller list for the week of December 4, and it made the Kindle “Top 100 bestsellers lists” for both November and December.

A recent newspaper profile about me and the book’s amazing success was published about ten days ago and distributed nationwide by Associated Press; it can be found here:

http://www.hometownannapolis.com/news/lif/2012/01/22-08/Success-with-a-vengeance.html

Needless to say, Peter, this has been life-changing for my wife and me. The royalties from November and December alone are sufficient to take care of us for this year, and sales have continued at a very strong (though no longer spectacular) pace throughout January. This will allow me to write and publish the first sequel this year, and to start the second.

I deeply appreciate your “vote of confidence” in my book, Peter. Ayn Rand was, first and foremost, a romantic artist; as she noted in “The Goal of My Writing” and elsewhere, her philosophizing came later, to explain and provide a rationale for her projection of “the ideal man.” I often think that Objectivists forget that. They are like the theologians of a religion, who forget that theology isn’t an end in itself; its purpose is to validate the code of values that individuals are supposed to practice. I would have thought that more Objectivists would be celebrating, reviewing, and commenting upon the most successful novel by an Objectivist since Atlas Shrugged. But I forgot that most of them are obsessed with the schematics of the philosophy, rather than its cultural applications and manifestations. A major reason that I have withdrawn from organized Objectivist activities, taking to heart Rudyard Kipling’s words: “He travels the fastest who travels alone.”

At any rate, thank you again for the kindness of your purchase. I hope that you enjoy HUNTER…with a vengeance!

Warmest regards and wishes

Robert Bidinotto

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The audiobook version hit Audible.com today, so as Yoda might put it, the plunge taken have I. I might be the first person to buy it! The sample sounds good, and I’ll probably devour it this weekend, while continuing to resist the siren call of Peikoff’s DIM.

http://www.audible.com/pd?asin=B0099SUQT4

That last part was sarcasm, by the way.

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I like it so far, but one point is making me chuckle. The title character sounds like Mysterion. The trouble is, the killer, who has no name at this point, the narration just refers to him with pronouns, also sounds like Mysterion. Hmm, maybe they're twins.

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Alrightee, I did a review on Audible while it's fresh.

http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=pr_rev_1_1?asin=B0099SUQT4

"An extra-judicial Javert"

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is an enabler.”

Taking in the story of Hunter it occurred to me that it is, perhaps by design, an almost perfect inversion of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables. Where Hugo exposes a bygone criminal justice system that victimized the “guilty”, all out of proportion to their crimes, Bidinotto exposes a contemporary system that actually enables fearsome criminals, and has become part of the violent crime problem in a different way.

Bidinotto is famous (or infamous, depending on your perspective) for exposing the Willie Horton case that defined the failed Presidential candidacy of Michael Dukakis in 1988. Here he is, decades later, distilling the same outrage into an effective work of fiction, his first. He’s a long time admirer (devotee?) of Ayn Rand, and the influence shows, a particular scene late in the book evokes the hijacked radio address at the climax of Atlas Shrugged, though Bidinotto’s version is blessedly shorter. Above all the influence shows in the clarity of the prose, and the fact that while Hunter has the elements of a thriller, it’s ultimately a morality tale.

The narrator does a fine job, though I have a minor quibble. For most of the book, there’s little question who “the killer” is. This isn’t an Agatha Christie mystery, building to a big reveal at the end. However, early on, the grammar used to refer to the killer is strictly pronouns, I believe the author doesn’t want you to have ID’d which character it is, yet. The narrator, however, uses the same distinct timbre he used for the killer for another major character, so even if Bidinotto had employed all of Agatha Christie’s gifts for misdirection, you’d have to know who it is. It's certainly a characterful narration however, all the way down to the stubborn feline.

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It has been a while since I read it but I remember thinking the romantic dialogue was very corny, even cringe-worthy but I will buy his next book.

Peter

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It has been a while since I read it but I remember thinking the romantic dialogue was very corny, even cringe-worthy but I will buy his next book.

Peter

I thought the love talk was comparable to what I read in Lee Child’s Killing Floor. Rather “on the nose”, but beyond that there’s naturally going to be a problem managing the transition to romance in a dark, violent thriller. When I was writing my review I had a sentence about “a competently rendered love story deftly integrated into the plot”, but I cut it because I was trying to keep it short.

BTW there’s often the problem with audiobooks that when a male narrator does a woman’s voice, she comes out sounding like a particular stereotype of effeminate gay men. You get used to it and tune it out, but in Hunter it became intrusive during the climatic fight scene, when Annie is calling out “Dylan!”, like 4-5 times in between the dramatic blow by blow paragraphs describing the fight. You’re not supposed to be chuckling then, but I couldn’t help it, it was like Nathan Lane was doing a cameo, and someone goosed him and ruffled his feathers first.

I don’t know if Robert ever checks OL, but if so, here’s a request, inspired by a legendary commision Queen Elizabeth gave to Shakespeare, resulting in The Merry Wives of Windsor. I want to read Wonk in Love. Instead of mangled corpses, let’s have mangled mattresses and box springs! Between him and the partner I visualize, no all-you-can-eat buffet could survive.

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Ninth Doctor wrote:

BTW there’s often the problem with audiobooks that when a male narrator does a woman’s voice, she comes out sounding like a particular stereotype of effeminate gay men. You get used to it and tune it out, but in Hunter it became intrusive during the climatic fight scene, when Annie is calling out “Dylan!”, like 4-5 times in between the dramatic blow by blow paragraphs describing the fight.

end quote

That is funny. I never considered the silliness of a man reading the woman’s parts.

I don’t listen to audio books but I used to buy tapes for my kids to listen to when they were going to sleep. I loved “Peter Rabbit,” narrated by an English Actress, Clare something.

And I loved Rudyard Kiplings, “Just So Stories” narrated by Jack Nickleson:

“Then Kolokolo Bird said, with a mournful cry, 'Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River . . .”

end quote

I can’t get that line, “the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River” out of my mind.

Peter

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I just looked at Amazon and could not find this #1 book from last year even among the top 100 now. What gives? I do not know the amazon system, but runaway bestsllers like this usually maintain sales for years. What gives?

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Here is what Robert posted to his Facebook feed yesterday (see here):

ATTENTION, AUTHORS: CHAOS ON AMAZON, possibly related to yesterday's power outage. Many authors' books have been knocked out of their previous "browsing categories." This is a very important issue as to a book's visibility to the right customers, which generates sales. In my case, HUNTER was listed as the #1 bestselling title in Kindle's "Crime Fiction/Vigilante Justice" -- and now it's gone from there. And the print edition was reclassified under "Horror." (!!!!). I've taken steps to try to get the "Vigilante Justice" category back, and also to move HUNTER into a couple of fresh categories where it should show up more prominently. But I urge all of you authors to CHECK YOUR CATEGORIES, because your book may not be where it once was.


I'm sure he'll get it straightened out.

Michael

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Thanks MSK . I did not know that bestsellers were categorized by genre - how many categories are there? Do the MSM bestseller lists just go by total sales, or what? Publishing is so splintered now, I am sure that there is no universal standard for book sales.

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btw have you read Hunter yet? I have not seen anyone else review it here since Rich Engle.

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Carol,

Amazon's categories are a mystery. I think they are a cross between genres and keywords that lots of users type in.

I'm about a third way into Hunter. It's good.

I'll write something about it when I finish.

Michael

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