• Top Hat Express

  • A LitRPG Adventure (Vaudevillain, Book 1)
  • By: Alex Wolf
  • Narrated by: Austin Rising
  • Length: 14 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Immortality is on the line. So are his foes! Choo-choo, heroes.

Dylan is an average nerdy worker. By day, he works for an architecture firm. When his shift ends, he consumes all manner of superhero fiction—comics, books, or games. When an up-and-coming gaming company, Vert, announces a new superhero game—a game that promises infinite choice—Dylan is immediately ready to dive in. He has the perfect role in mind for himself: the egotistical supervillain from cartoons.

Vert is more ambitious than anyone knew. As launch day for their new MMO World of Supers looms, they announce that if players do something really over-the-top, they can become a permanent raid boss inside the game. Now Dylan’s antics will be pitted against streamers bent on immortalizing themselves in the gaming world.

When everyone else takes the game seriously, it’s only the casuals who have fun.

©2022 Alex Wolf (P)2022 Mountaindale Press

What listeners say about Top Hat Express

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Just fun, with no serious, overarching plot

Excellent narrator and engaging characters. The only thing that annoyed me is the writer's avoidance of gendered pronouns: everyone, male and female, was referred to as "they". This was a bit jarring on the ear, and intellectually jarring because it makes the author look like "they" are pushing a woke agenda, with its hostility towards gender distinctions. I'm docking "them" a star for that.

2 people found this helpful

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great story

really fun, funny story. please get an editor. there were name fuck ups all over the place.

1 person found this helpful

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All aboard!

Top Hat Express

Dylan has been a comic book/gaming guy for his entire life. When the press conference for World of Supers shows the demo, Dylan picks it up immediately. An open sandbox game where you can play as a hero or a villain? Absolutely perfect for Dylan! He decides to play the classic, mustache twirling mad scientist. There is a contest to work for the company, but Dylan would rather just play his character for fun. Dr Zlo will soon conquer the city, then, the world!

This is a really fun series! It’s great to see the different heroes and villains interact and how the game is set to operate. The very nature of the game sets PvP up as a forefront of the story. I am loving this story and really looking forward to book 2! Austin Rising does a great job with the narration!

Content warning: language

1 person found this helpful

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Hilarious fun

I'm only an hour in, but this is great fun! I'm finding myself laughing at my desk every few minutes.

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A truly interesting story

I enjoyed this book except for twice the actor used the wrong voice other than that I love this book!

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A Love Letter to the Superhero Genre

This was an awesome book! I loved Dr. Zlo and his antics in particular, but the whole thing read as a love letter to the entirety of the superhero genre, but especially to the outright camp of older material - the outright camp of characters like Zlo, and Wonderman was awesome. There was even a reference to the old bat shark repellent! It will be interesting to see where the series goes from here.

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Clever

A very clever take on the whole supervillain shtick. Had as much fun listening to it as the MC did in the story. Will check out the next one soon.

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A Villain to Love

Enjoyable story that developed nicely and had a good mixture of humor and intrigue. Very good performance that made the characters come to life.

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very funny

This book is hilarious. I've said it before and I'll say it again, LitRPG has some funny books. Wolf really got into the silly with this but was also able to stay balanced enough to engage a full grown adult (mostly) woman with a master's in writing. Just pick it up, Austin Rising's narration is smooth and his voice blends well with Wolf's writing style!

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major city of heroes vibes

Great book centered around a slice of life for gamers in a hero setting. Good interactons and wacky old school vibes from the villainous DR. SLO. This is one bad guy that makes sure all bombs have a suspenseful TICK.

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  • Jack
  • 06-09-22

Good time, dips around the 28 chapter mark

Really good super litrpg with a more casual fun vibe rather than trying ‘to win some competition’ or play the game for some IRL threat, where the biggest threats are people trying to tryhard the game. There is a bit of a pointless issue near the end, typical third act conflict in the team where two characters just refuses to hear each other out and things build from there that makes a whole toxic friendship thing seem a little forced at first but gets more established later and nothing that ruins the book. A fun time that doesn’t take itself too seriously.