Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
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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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.
For anyone that is reading my review you are already connected to the digital world, as we know as the Internet. Even though you may not be an ultra geek or just don't care what is going on in cyberspace, you should wake up and be more aware of the new digital threat to our new society because the attack will effect everyone, no matter if they go online or not because all of our financial institutions are link together and we live in a digital world.
There were many articles, postings, warnings, security patches and ongoing technology podcasts and blogs on Conficker. They were all mix match of speculation, like Y2K. No one really knew what was going to happen when Conficker went off.
"Worm" is a good read, even though you might not have any interest on this subject. The material that is presented is elementary for people that aren't aware of these types attacks, but it also goes much deeper for savvy users to keep their interest. More like inside baseball on Conficker.
C Day came and went like Y2K. The Internet didn't break down, the power grid didn't blew up and we had access to our bank accounts. The book addresses several valid points. If we are not careful or up to date, there will be a virus that will bring the net down and we will all be broken.