WASHINGTON, DC, United States | Member Since 2010
This is more about the history of the period and a little less about show. Yet, if you are history buff and interested in the background character that is the time period this may be worth a listen. Yes, it is slow and can be at times dull, but it is also informative.
As I finish listening to this book I keep thinking back to my trip to Disney World's Tomorrow Land and the ride with the animatronics singing "It's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," as I note how today was viewed from circa 1970-1980-something. There is a good bit of that in this book and it's one of the things that annoyed me while listening, that and trying to figure out who the first person (singular and plural) were.
I did appreciate the book covering the progress made worldwide with cell phones and making things cheaper, and safer with less violence. One section covers education and the Khan Academy. This is stuff I have heard before, and it really depends on if you are willing to hear it all again, if this is a good book or not. Most of the good news was in the first half of the book, but then it started to lag and bore me. It got so boring that I thought I wouldn't finish it.
There is a portion that is too theoretical for me, meaning a lot of 'possibilities' but not out there in the marketplace. This is the great big beautiful tomorrow filled with GMO crops grown in office parks, kidneys grown in labs, stuff that in someone's mind could save the world but the quality and feasibility goes untested.
Of all the "Yay Cities" books out there (Triumph of the City, the Death and Life of Great American Cities, whatever Richard Florida spits out, etc) this one brings a uniquely Christian view of cities. The authors do acknowledge the longtime Christian distrust of cities. I've listen to the book twice and I've come away with two different feelings. On one listen it seemed to provide some guidance on being a Christian in the city and how to look at the city and what mindset to see the poor in cities. On another listen there seemed to be a bit more of a mission field outlook, which has no appeal to me since I'm not one who is planting churches or in a support capacity of church planters. So in that listen, I focused on the 'yay cities' part of it. If you've listened or read other pro-cities books you know that entails why cities are so great and wonderful and as Glaeser said, man's greatest inventions. It's got that too.
Performance wise it was a good listen and something I may return to a 3rd or fourth hearing.
I loved the author's first book Timebound and read it on my kindle. I had some issues with that book but let those issues go because I got a really great and interesting story.
I wished the narrator had a greater range playing different characters. It was the male voices that seemed very one-dimensional. Luckily one male character had an Irish accent so you could tell it was him, but for all the other men, the female narrator, seemed to only have one voice for all men.
Unfortunately for me, I'm a middle aged married woman who works in the history field and lives in Washington, DC. There is more of a romance, where our young heroine gets the attention of two hot guys and it is more of the story than in the last book. I'm not really into romances. Though the book is set in the DC metro area, I don't think it really captures the sections of the area it is set. But then again many writers never do get it right. As an adult, I found a few of the supposedly adult characters immature. I probably could have enjoyed it more if I turned my brain off.
Overall, it was a decent time travel book and the series is still looking promising. I didn't find the different time lines confusing, and despite the other issues I have with the characters, aspects of the story and the narrator, listening was enjoyable enough to pass the time.
I attempted to read the dead tree version of this book and did not get far. I appreciate the narrator because it seemed a bit more accessible in an audible format. I will listen to it again but with a dead tree version close at hand because there are ideas that Jacobs mentions that I'd like to spend a bit more time thinking about before rolling on to the next thought.
I've read urban planning commentary that quotes or refers to this Jacobs book as if it were the Bible. Listening to it for myself, I wonder if this is the same author people bring up when they talk about historic preservation, because I got a completely different sense of what she was saying, which is why I need a paper version as well.
Another commenter mentioned the book is dated. Yes, it is, but is informative regarding big cities and the motivations of city administrators and politicians in regards to federal funds and the motivation to big build stupid projects that do nothing for the citizen on the ground. That is still going on, even though those same city administrators may claim a love for Jacob's ideas.
I totally recommend this book to parents, people starting a business, heck everyone.
The author uses personal and other anecdotal stories to tell a bigger story of how we are forgetting that we learn from our mistakes and not making mistakes or the effort to prevent mistakes does us no favors. One was that of bankruptcy. In America you can start a business, fail, go bankrupt, and later try again (hopefully learning from the 1st effort). In other countries you only get to fail once, with sad results for the country as a whole.
The narration coupled with the story made this audiobook a good listen. it was informative and a little entertaining.
If Star Wars has shown us anything, it has shown there is a danger in the prequel. No such problem here.
For one it is short, no need to pack the book with needlessness to endanger the series, confuse characters, and whatnot. The protagonist is not thrown into her full character before it is time but there are glimpses of what could be and doesn't take it any further, thus avoiding what George Lucas can't seem to do.
I have a great interest in the Roman Empire, and have read/listened to several non-fiction books on the period. I also get that that this is a novel, a work of fiction and thus needs some leeway, but it was still annoying to hit upon an anachronism or something that just didn't seem right for the period. I felt the author was writing more about a modern football player than a gladiator, for one character.
The book is a Christian novel, but the are sexual situations, nothing explicit. The author puts in cameos of persons who had passing mentions in the New Testament and the main character for this novel is an early Christian. Despite being enslaved and facing other challenges and temptations, she is super-Christian, constantly keeping and living the faith.
The story itself, despite the little irritating anachronisms was interesting and I managed to listen to the whole book. However I did step away from it at times. The narrator gave a good performance.
I'm in no rush to get the next in the series, but I may give it a listen.
My spouse and I listened to this book on vacation, in the car as we drove to our destination, at our destination and back in the car on the way home. We enjoyed it greatly because we both love comic books.
This audiobook makes use of recorded interviews so for some parts you get the interviewees' own voices, making it almost like a documentary. We really appreciated this.
The book covers the origins of characters known and little known and also gets into the real world business part of the comic industry. It seemed a little MARVEL heavy as opposed to DC, but explained, though the history of those enterprises why they are so different and why somethings don't get produced. The book also gets into some industry nitty gritty that explained some quirks about comic book 'cannon' that I'd never given much thought to.
I am better for having listened to this book and it helped me look at the comics I love differently with a different level of appreciation.
The stories making up this audiobook were addictive and a bit repulsive. Some stories are very generous in the use of the N-word, ans as an African-American it wore on me, even with understanding that it was used to reflect the time and the mindset of the people who inhabited the stories. It probably did not help to listen to the book in several long sittings and I should have listened in small bites to deal with the use (but not over use because it did serve a purpose) of that disgusting word.
But I couldn't help myself. Flannery O'Conner is a brilliant storyteller and the actors who told the stories, very, very good. One made me think it was a story being read by Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Copote. The rich characters just came alive and I just wanted more. The narrators were very good at taking on an accent or providing the tone needed for the story, the situation and the character. Not so much a dramatic reading but more of a one man or one woman show where they take on several characters in one scene.
I would like to hear more like this, minus the N-word.
It helps to see that not everything a great author published isn't all that great. This, is one of those less than great stories from a great storyteller.
Not to give too much away, the playground in this story is a supernatural space, however I have trouble buying that it is the Hell that the protagonist makes it out to be. Yes, bad things happen but not enough to justify his anxiety.
The narrator is good and his performance is good too. They were good enough to keep me listening.
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