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The Punch Escrow Audiobook

The Punch Escrow

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Publisher's Summary

It's the year 2147. Advancements in nanotechnology have enabled us to control aging. We've genetically engineered mosquitoes to feast on carbon fumes instead of blood, ending air pollution. And teleportation has become the ideal mode of transportation, offered exclusively by International Transport - a secretive firm headquartered in New York City. Their slogan: Departure...Arrival...Delight!

Joel Byram, our smartass protagonist, is an everyday 22nd century guy. He spends his days training artificial-intelligence engines to act more human, jamming out to 1980s new wave - an extremely obscure genre - and trying to salvage his deteriorating marriage. Joel is pretty much an everyday guy with everyday problems - until he's accidentally duplicated while teleporting. Now Joel must outsmart the shadowy organization that controls teleportation, outrun the religious sect out to destroy it, and find a way to get back to the woman he loves in a world that now has two of him.

©2017 Tal M. Klein (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Narrator Matthew Mercer is perfectly cast as smart-ass Joel Byram. One can almost see Joel's facial expressions as he navigates a world in which he's been duplicated in a teleportation accident. This futuristic story is made Monty Python-like by Mercer's outstanding voicings. His version of the synthesized voice of the 171-year-old founder of a religious cult is beautifully mechanical. His rendering of the two Levantine spies' accents is marvelous. And his depiction of the transformation of a hardworking science guy into full-fledged mad scientist is spot-on. Many characters, many voices - one terrific performance." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (31 )
5 star
 (17)
4 star
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3 star
 (7)
2 star
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1 star
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3.9 (29 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.7 (30 )
5 star
 (22)
4 star
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3 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jordan 30/07/2017
    Jordan 30/07/2017 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "New and improved"

    What a fantastic story.

    Suspense and thrills abound and fantastically performed by one of my favourite voice artists.
    Thanks Tam and Matt for making this come to life.
    Great stuff

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 30/07/2017
    Kim 30/07/2017 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "outstanding!"

    enthralling story from start to finish, matthew mercers narration really brings it to life

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hannah 28/09/2017
    Hannah 28/09/2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing! "

    This book was amazing will definitely listen again! The narrator was so amazing too! The voices he made for each character made it so brilliant! Well done! Hope there is more!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Howard J. Bateman 19/09/2017 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent narration, great concept."

    Narrator was excellent I hope he does more in the future. Story felt a little rushed in the middle with some bloating but overall it is well worth a listen. Kept me hooked till the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Christina L. Grenhart
    05/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well this is Flawless"
    What made the experience of listening to The Punch Escrow the most enjoyable?

    Matthew Mercer is a genius voice actor. He breathes life into every character with his voices. Him reading words strung together in beautiful sentences is an experience that is almost too good for this world.


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

    Look. No one will watch movies with me anymore because I have the (admittedly terrible) habit of going "That one's gonna die. Those two are gonna get married. That shoe is going to be part of the MacGuyver solution executed by that character at the climax, thus saving the day."

    I could not do that with this book. You meet Joel. Joel has a problem. Within a few minutes of (assuming) I knew the circumstances, I said "This, surely, is what will happen."

    I can assure you: This did not happen. And This not happening happens so rarely that books where This doesn't happen become actual treasures in my life.


    Have you listened to any of Matthew Mercer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I've never experienced Mercer reading an audiobook, but I play too many games and watch too many cartoons, and I can assure you that this is Mercer at his best. My only regret is that there is no "high noon" joke anywhere. If you know Mercer from Critical Role, some of the voices may be vaguely familiar (my eyes kind of bugged when the not-vaguely-British version of Taryon's dad showed up).


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

    Guys, I'm like an hour and a half into this book and it's stupid good. I literally only got it because I wanted to see how Mercer does voices in audiobooks, I forgot I had it in my audible library, and then on my run this afternoon I decided to put it on when I finished the last book. IT'S JUST. SO. GOOD. This book pulls off an effortless worldbuilding, casually structuring the world with side-comments that give you just enough and never info-dump you. The main character and his wife, so far, have a wonderful amount of depth to them. The story-within-a-story structure of the narrative that exists right now is on point.

    I'll tell you more when I'm further into it.


    Any additional comments?

    THERE ARE FOOTNOTES. So the effortless worldbuilding I mentioned above? IT GETS EXPANDED ON IN FOOTNOTES Y'ALL. What's genuinely amazing is that you don't need the footnotes. I'm not telling you this because I don't want you to get the audiobook (get the audiobook) -- this worldbuilding is so effortless that you don't need the footnotes. The footnotes offer the sort of infodumping narrative another author might have done but in a much more clever way.

    Y'all. This book. It's really good and you should read it. Or listen to it. Or both. Both is good.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Lomeraniel
    Spain
    05/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sci-fi that makes you think"

    It is the year 2147, and the safest way of transportation is teletransporting. There are some religious fanatics trying to boycott this since they believe teletransportation is killing people. Joel Byron works training AI's to make them more 'human'. His marriage is in danger, so Joel and his wife plan a trip to Costa Rica. During the teletransportation there is a terrorist attack and something fails when it is Joel's turn, resulting in him remaining in the the departing room... but there is also a copy of himself that appeared in Costa Rica. After the incident, the transport company is trying to kill Joel, but why? And is this related to his wife's job, since she is working for the transport company?

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book! This is one of those sci-fi books that makes you think and will stay with you for a while after it is finished. What is it that makes us human? Is cloning or duplicating a way of creating human beings or just an aberration? These and other related questions popped in my head while listening to this book, after seeing the implications involved in the teletransporting proposed by Klein.

    The book is written in first person, from the point of view of Joel, the one who stayed at NY, and the one who first realizes that he is being chased by the transport company. It is written as a memoir, in which he relates what happens to him and where he puzzles together the events affecting the other characters. Apart from Joel, the characters are not fully developed, but as he is talking to us, it is easy to connect to him and understand his actions and motivations. Due to his job, which I found amazing, he will try to trick some AI's in his way to try to save his wife and reach his doppelganger.

    The narration was very well done, and I especially enjoyed Matthew Mercer's singingof Karma Chamaleon, so much that I found myself singing along at the top of my lungs. Mercer really became Joel Byron and delivered impressive character interpretations. He gave different voices, accents, and styles to all the characters in the book. I had a small issue though, with one of the characters and his wife Costa Rica, since both sounded quite similar to me (same accent and similar tone). Since the husband's voice was supposed to be electronic, a subtle sound effect would have helped here. For the rest it was a top notch narration, with a spotless audio production.

    I genuinely loved this book, the ideas behind, and its execution. I think the innumerable hypothesis that sci-fi makes possible are a great way of exploring, experimenting, and make us think t of the box. Whenever a book makes me think twice I consider it a success.

    I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Tal M. Klein. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Brian
    Niagara Falls, NY
    02/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some Original Ideas for a Sci-Fi Thriller"

    The Punch Escrow is about teleportation and the good and bad that it has brought the world. The good is that you no longer have to wait in traffic or really wait to go anywhere.  The bad....? Well, read more and find out what you think.

    It feels kind of weird to say this, but I've never read more of a solid 4-star book in my life.  It definitely kept my attention and was interesting through parts, but there were other parts that either confused me or weren't written in an easy to follow way.  Now, I'm not expecting it to be a YA book or anything, but it seems like Klein wrote some parts to be purposefully confusing.

    Klein is a talented author developing a bustling world far into the future that he was able to make feel "reasonably close" by making his protagonist a fan of the 1980's.  Being born in the 80's and enjoying all things 80's culture, the references (both chapter titles and numerous others inside the book) made me smile and also helped to 'ground' the book in my opinion.

    I loved the world that Klein created and I felt like it was believable.  The actual story was good too but had a few holes.  I understood what I was supposed to feel, but I couldn't bring myself to feel the way that I think I was supposed to.  I have a feeling if this book really makes you feel that way you would absolutely love it.  But, because I felt okay about most things that were happening, it lost a little for me.

    Overall it was an enjoyable Technothriller that I see is being made into a movie.  I will see the movie just to see how much of the book they are able to get into the screenplay.

    I was given a free copy of this book which has not affected my review in any way. If you enjoyed my review please vote for it! If you'd like to see more like this you can check out BriansBookBlog DOT com.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Samuel Rowan
    11/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "EPICLY AMAZING"

    Great story AMAZING narration. thrilling adventure and the narrator really brings it to life. read it. now.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Anonymous
    07/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "pleasantly surprised"

    Matthew Mercer is one of my favorite voice actors so even though this isn't my typical genre to be reading I figured I'd give it a try. I was extremely pleasantly surprised with the way it's written and would definitely recommend this story to anyone.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    San Francisco, ca United States
    02/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Blown away by this book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I like science fiction books that are grounded in semi-reality. This is one of those.. It's futuristic, but not so far fetched that it's not believable.


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

    Characters are believable and likable, keeps your reading just to see what happens next.


    Which character – as performed by Matthew Mercer – was your favorite?

    Matthew's reading is awesome. I've listened to audio books that just don't fit the character, but his reading is spot-on


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

    Yes. I was planning on listening to an hour of it when I started reading it, but ended up listening to the first 16 chapters in one setting!


    Any additional comments?

    A refreshing book by a new author that I had never heard of before. Will definately be looking out for more books by Tal Klein.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Aneil
    Durham, NC USA
    01/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The future is fast."

    Excellent book, and worth it even if you've already read/listened to Dark Matter, which covers very similar issues and themes. The main protagonist was compelling, as are some of the antagonists. Future technology is written about in a convincing, and relevant, non-intrusive way. Whereas Dark Matter was uniformly dark, however, this had its moments of levity, although they were still too few in number. Sylvia's character, however, was drawn too shallowly, and unnecessarily so. I look forward to this author's next book! (This is for the Audible version.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • EAN
    26/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Finished it in one day"

    Picked it up for Matthew Mercer, Stayed for the amazing story and characters. Very much worth a listen, the story and plot are very compelling and Mercer's range is impeccable.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Dyshon Jeewanjee
    30/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Who are you?"

    A wonderful story tackling the existential philosophical question of What makes you you. There is so much more to a human than can be put I to a simple phrase bit this book does it in a lovingly written sci fi setting. Matthew's acting brings every character to life and makes it all feel like a stage play. Definitely going to recommend to others.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Brandon Martin
    28/10/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing read or listen."

    The storytelling prowess of Klein makes the consistent 80's motif feel natural, even in a futuristic society. The performance of Matthew Mercer is impeccable as he gives multiple characters distinct voices as heard and seen through the main characters senses. Overall, I would definitely recommend listening it at least reading this novel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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