There's no question that Hughes lived a life interesting enough to justify several biographies, but this one is pulled down by its many flaws. The reader is OK, barely, but it's the writing that falls short; it's pedestrian at best and downright annoying at times. Details can add to a book, but not when they're meaningless, like the names of all of the members of the medical team who would have treated Hughes but who didn't because he was DOA. Or the full menu of what his parents had for dinner one night before Hughes was born. Most annoying to me were the constant nonsensical metaphors, dumb enough to make Dan Rather blush. Hughes' life was fascinating enough to help overlook some of these weaknesses, but it isn't enough to make you completely forget them.
Although Dawkins has no tolerance for fence sitters, and pulls no punches in expressing his views towards believers (views which are all negative in varying degrees), he takes few cheap shots and makes at least some effort to be fair (which is not the same as being even handed, which he most certainly is not). I found the book to be well organized, and even the author's occasional tangents are relevant to his point, if you can follow his train of thought long enough.
There is, however, one irritating flaw; there are two readers who alternate reading passages. Individually, each reader is excellent. One is Dawkins himself, who proves an exception to the rule (my rule, at least) that an author shouldn't give in to the conceit of thinking he can read his/her own book, and the other is Lalla Ward who is, not coincidentally I am sure, Dawkins' wife. She too is very good (and in fact is a professional actress), but the alternating voices serve no purpose and I found the practice annoying all through the book. I never got used to it. Recorded book editors take note; this was a crummy idea.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.