Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
When I purchased this, I was expecting a book closer to Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickle and Dimed: On (not) Getting by In America", or James D. Scurlock's "Maxed Out". Ehrenrich's and Scurlock's books are very good, but lightly touch on specific aspects of the problem.
I was pleased to find that "The Working Poor: Invisible in America" is a much more comprehensive and thoroughly researched book on the topic. In fact, it's so good, it really could be used in a college course on the subject.
At times, the author was bogged down in minute detail. The detail was appropriate, but sometimes wandered from the topic and was hard to follow.
I appreciated that this isn't a "those people" kind of book. When he uses real-life examples, Shipler knows and appreciates his subjects. He approaches them with clear eyes, neither deifying or demonizing them.
The performance was a little rough and slow. I would have appreciated a little faster narration.
It seems important to mention one's "creds" in writing reviews of Stephen King's "Guns" so I will start with mine: I served in the US Army, and was honorably discharged as a SGT/E-5. I qualified Expert with an M16 (the civilian equivalent is an AR15), and I'm still proud of that.
I also have a copy of "Rage", in the compilation of "The Bachman Books" that I purchased the year it was published, 1985. I remember reading "The Bachan Books" the same week I purchased it. I loved "The Running Man" and liked "Roadwork", and while the plot of "Rage" was intriguing, the writing was so sophomoric, it was painful. I found out later King wrote "Rage" while he was in high school, so there was an explanation. I read "Rage" once again, in 1996, when I heard Michael Carneal shot classmates in West Paducah, Kentucky. It sounded so much like the story I'd read 11 years earlier, I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining the similarity. I wasn't.
King's essay "Guns" starts with a scathing social commentary, "That's How it Shakes Out." It doesn't matter if the first station you've got programmed into your remote is FoxNEWS and Ann Coulter is your dream date, or if you are so far left you contribute frequently to KPFK: the media cycle for mass shootings is the same.
King argues forcefully - and sometimes vulgarly - for gun control. King is a gun owner himself, and does not want to disarm the country - but he does want assault weapons banned, and large magazines banned; and he wants background checks.
What King argues isn't new or innovative, but the writing is vintage King. There are phrases I remember from "The Shawshank Redemption" (the movie adaptation, not the original novella "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption") and the unabridged edition of "The Stand." There's also a theme in the first and last section of "Guns" that runs through "The Library Policeman" and "The Ten O'Clock People." The theme was chilling in the stories, and the probability it's a reality is startling.
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The title of this book makes it so obvious what you are buying that I can't believe people actually take the time to write reviews bashing it. When I bought this book, I knew I was buying a trashy book that was going to smear Conservatives. That's what I wanted, that's what I paid for, and that's exactly what I got. So, please, if you are a sensative conservative reader, prone to tantrums and an undeserved sense of victimization, then you really should NOT be buying this book (unless of course your only goal is to buy the book cheap so you can not read it, but still bash it in the comments section).
The Book is a wonderful collection of silliness. Numerous examples of how the Right has attacked everything good and educated in this world, dumbed it down, twisted it into an unrecognizable mass of bitterness and hatred, and then sold it as their own product to Limbaugh's acolytes. From the Creation Museum (terrifying to be sure) to the Conservative take-over of Talk Radio, the book is an fountain of interesting factoids and historical perspective coupled with a very sarcastic wit. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was my traveling companion as I was traveling through Utah, and I would highly recommend this to any Liberal/Progressive reader looking for a giggle inbetween conservative-bashing.