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  • Travel by Bullet

  • The Dispatcher, Book 3
  • By: John Scalzi
  • Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
  • Length: 3 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (709 ratings)

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Travel by Bullet cover art

Travel by Bullet

By: John Scalzi
Narrated by: Zachary Quinto
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Summary

The Audible and New York Times best-selling Dispatcher series returns with a brand-new mystery, performed by Zachary Quinto.

The world has changed. Now, when someone is murdered, they almost always come back to life—and there are professionals, called “dispatchers”, who kill in order to save lives, to give those near the end a second chance. Tony Valdez is a dispatcher, and he has never been busier. 

But for as much as the world has changed, some things have stayed the same. Greed, corruption, and avarice are still in full swing. When Tony is called to a Chicago emergency room by an old friend and fellow dispatcher, he is suddenly and unwillingly thrown into a whirlpool of schemes and plots involving billions of dollars, with vast caches of wealth ranging from real estate to cryptocurrency up for grabs. 

All Tony wants to do is keep his friend safe. But it’s hard to do when friends keep secrets, enemies offer seductive deals, and nothing is ever what it seems. The world has changed...but the stakes are still life and death.

©2022 John Scalzi (P)2022 Audible Originals, LLC.

What listeners say about Travel by Bullet

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the worst of the 3

Crypto plots are so boring and the book tries too hard to be self aware throughout. It's a shame because the other two books were really interesting even though they were far from perfect. The dialogue in this one is particularly cringe as well.

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excellent series but weird references to Amazon

I realise it was paid for by Amazon but weird to hear the echo show and Alexa get shutouts so much.

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Another entertaining slice of Tony's adventures...

I thoroughly enjoyed this next episode of Dispatcher Tony's efforts to unravel yet another crime. The ingenious premise at the heart of these stories is a gift that keeps giving, adding an intriguing twist the classic whodunit murder mystery. The narration is excellent and the plotting nicely twisty. I do hope there is more to come in this series.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

its not sci fi if its real life

too inline with real life. pandemic, masks, respiratory related deaths, crypto currencies......blergh! annoyingly close to real life and i found it distracting from the story. the "pandemic" element wasnt even necessary. zero point other than it happening as the book was written.

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Interesting but my least favourite of the series

The first two installments were fun jaunts in a scenario where death isn't as limiting as in our world. But this story pushed the crypto, pandemic, and being currently culturally relevant in a way that wasn't natural abd tried too hard. I was happy this was a shorter entry in the series but maybe more time would have fleshed it out better as it all felt pretty rushed.

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Quirky & enjoyable trilogy

An interesting & original concept. I very much enjoyed these three books. Narration was great too.

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Great story

Love the characters and the very striking premise of the Dispatcher stories. Highly recommend them!

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Another Absolute Belter!

Scalzi and Quinto do it again, and I'm just a bit sick that there doesn't appear to be another of these Dispatcher tales for me to listen to!

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Enjoyable

I did enjoy both the story and narration, concept of the people who cannot be killed offers decent world and ideas, despite it raising problematic questions : how do you prevent someone from escaping prison , what of wars?

overall this was good story, thank you

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Straight and Crispy

amazing story, amazing concept, wide and deep. i was so into this universe and the storyline. I felt, it needed just a bit more salt, I mean, a bit of steamy romance would go great with the story line.

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  • Sharon
  • 02-09-22

The best Dispatcher story yet ....

Thank you, John Scalzi, for the absolute best rant I have ever heard about the damage that can be done by people who control so much wealth, so much money that they use it like a weapon, and putting it in a story that could be coming out of today's news. Live long and prosper, John Scalzi.



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13 people found this helpful

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  • Andy Yi
  • 01-09-22

Worthy No. 3 Installment in the Dispatcher series

Just as much as I listen to this series to hear Zachary Quinto read Tony, its the choice amalgamation of Quinto, Scalzi and Tunney that makes the Tunney scion such an awesome delight to encounter in the series, because like Batman, Tunney knows what’s about to happen and has everyone playing to his tune. Excellent addition to an awesome series, thanks John Scalzi for another binge-worth episode!!! ^____^

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  • Bill in CT
  • 02-09-22

Another Fine Entry in the Dispatcher Series

This was another good Dispatcher story. if you liked the first two, you'll definitely like this one. Zachary Quinto's performance was as good as before, but the production values were uneven, thus the four stars. I loved how Scalzi used Hitchcock's McGuffin trope for the object that everybody was scrambling to get, very much in the spirit of old time noir. The real McGuffin, of course, is the whole Dispatch device. All of these stories are who-dun-its that Philip Marlowe would be proud of.

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  • Mark Soukup
  • 05-09-22

Awesome

Each one of this series is getting better and better
Hope they continue on
Very unique

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  • CTRL_FU
  • 02-09-22

The Dispatcher series dispatches more greatness

The Dispatcher series has yet to disappoint and Zachary Quinto delivers the perfect voice for these excellent Scalzi shorts.

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  • 🔥 Phx17 🔥
  • 04-02-23

Excellent until the reveal

“I want 3.14 million”
“You want your payment in pi? Why?”
“It’s a nice round number”
“It’s literally not…”
This was my favorite of the three installments so far.The mystery, crazy twists and turns, growing cast of regulars, and novel premise of violent death returns were all very entertaining. But the end, where Tony explains to the folks whodunnit and why, got very confusing and felt like a too rushed info dump. A minor blip in an otherwise fun novella.

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  • Joe A. Consumer
  • 17-11-23

Zachary Quinto is always great.

But the author was phoning it in on this one. I honestly can't blame him, though. It's almost like he was pressured into it. I mean... he literally called the macguffin a macguffin. I think he might be getting tired of writing for the likes of we freeloaders.

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  • naeelah
  • 18-03-23

Rewarding payoff from first 2.books.

This is easily the best of the Dispatcher series, so far. Also, the weirdly hollow audio quality of the first 2 has been fixed.

I enjoyed the first 2 books in the series, but they're almost exposition. The 1st book establishes essential world building. The 2nd frames a mystery around one of the major outstanding metaphysical questions of the first book: how and where does this unexplained force that brings people back to life draw the line between murder and dying from a situation you were forced into?

This book, the 3rd, has all of the big questions out of the way and just cracks on with an engaging and timely buddy cop story. It's about asshole billionaires, cryptocurrency schemes, and the importance of changing your PIN. I appreciate that the pandemic features as a part of the universe, but isn't a central issue.

As always, Quinto gives a great reading. He's clearly comfortable with all of these characters and easily distinguishes the cast in his performance.

Definitely recommended if you like classic cop/PI type mysteries and want a fresh world to dip into. The books are written so that they can stand alone, but I think you'll be better rewarded if you take them in order.

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  • Michael Graham
  • 10-02-23

Diminishing Returns

I have listened to each book in The Dispatcher series. I loved the first one. The second one was pretty good. This one was just boring. The last 20 minutes is nothing but exposition, which tells me the rest of the writing was lazy. There are ways to tell a complete story without making the last 10% of your book being, "so this is all the important stuff that was happening while I was talking about ice cream flavors and my opinion on tipping etiquette." Also, as more books come out, the heavier political tint these books have. The central theme of this book is that rich people are bad, exploit poor people, are greedy, and don't need money. Agree with it or not, that's the whole book.

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  • Elisabeth Carey
  • 21-01-23

Another good "Dispatcher" tale from Scalzi

Tony Valdez is a "dispatcher" who, in the strange, new world where people intentionally killed nearly always come back, very quickly, in the condition they were in a few hours before they were killed, kills people to save lives. He works in a hospital, and when injuries are too severe or surgery goes wrong, he can kill a person to reset them to the condition they were in a few hours earlier.

But the pandemic has changed things, and now dispatchers are called in, by families, in cases where it really won't help. When the patient has had serious organ damage for long enough that the "reset" of being killed and returning won't change anything. Tony and other dispatchers are feeling drained and frustrated by a new law that means every patient, or the family members making their legal decisions, is legally entitled to a dispatcher's "services" even in cases where the dispatcher knows it won't help. It's in the midst of a frustrating, depressing day at the hospital where Tony now works fulltime that he is summoned to the ER--which has its own dispatcher. Why is he being called in?

It's because a friend, or at least a colleague, of his Mason Schilling, was badly injured jumping out of a car on the highway. The ER has its own dispatcher, but Mason has said he won't agree to be dispatched till he has spoken to Tony. This isn't someone who is uncertain about the process and wants the reassurance of a more knowledgeable friend. He's a dispatcher himself, with looser ethics than Tony, which is why they aren't closer than they are. Mason has been involved in some of the shadier sides of the dispatching business. He doesn't want to be dispatched because the dispatched person returns not to where they were dispatched, but to the place they feel safest. Mason tells Tony there's no place he'll be safe. Tony whispers in his ear that he'll be safe in Tony's apartment, and he agrees to have the ER dispatcher dispatch him.

This is, of course, just the start of Tony's troubles. Mason has dragged him into the middle of a clash between tech billionaires, involving cryptocurrency, embezzlement, fraud, and some really seriously unethical uses of the dispatching process--including, yes, "travel by bullet," to flee the jurisdiction of police who want to talk to you. His police detective friend, Langdon, wants to know what he's keeping from her, doesn't believe he doesn't know where Mason is.

He's not lying about that. He is lying about not knowing where the crypto wallet Mason left behind is. Soon he's dodging tech billionaires, hired thugs, and possible unknown others, trying to protect Mason, whom the same people all want to get their hands on. It's a wild ride, and a good listen.

A minor detail that I really liked: Masks are just a routine fact of life for Tony and those around him. The changes the pandemic has made in our everyday lives are just there, taken for granted, in a story that isn't about the pandemic. It's not happening on some alternate timeline where covid never happened.

I really enjoyed this, and would like to see more in the series.

I bought this audiobook.

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