if you like thinking about the mystery of how certain things in the real world work, you'll enjoy this book. It has a lot of interesting content, and you'll be mesmerized by the charming English accents of the authors.
This may be the best book i've listened to all year. It is truly remarkable in every way: the story is gripping, horrifying, and illuminating; the writing is tight, to the point, and creative; and the narrator is one of the, if not the, best i've ever heard -- his timing and intonation is perfect.
Ever wondered what it's like in a prison? How about the worst one in the world? This guy describes the unbelievably inhuman living conditions and torture that the Thai prison system put him through. And he explains how it was not only hell to live through, but how it has scarred him for life.
I listened to this book during my commute and i actually looked forward to it every day (how often can you say that?). I was actually happy when there was a traffic jam or slowdown because i got to listen to more of the book. I was really disappointed when it was over.
Listen to this book -- you will be captivated from start to finish.
I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books and loved everyone of them, but this one didn't work for me.
The beginning is good, with some interesting stories and analysis, but then it ventures into weird areas that read more like a history book. I often couldn't figure out how it had anything to do with the "David/Little Guy and Goliath/Big Guy" concept. It was just too abstract and obtuse.
I will give Gladwell credit for the ton of research he must have done on this book --- it's got some very interesting facts and stories that i can't imagine how he discovered. I'm sure he worked hard at it.
I also think he does a good job of reading the book -- his inflections and pace add a lot of emphasis to key areas.
But overall, I can not recommend it like his other books. I often thought about turning it off, but I forced myself to slog through it, hoping it would get better.
The story this book tells is truly "stranger than fiction." If it was a novel, you'd say it was too absurd to be true. But amazingly, and shockingly, it is.
From the very beginning, the story is well-paced and well-written. It contains enough details to send chills down your spine that such a sick, twisted man could ever exist. You will wonder how his victimized daughter ever survived and kept her sanity through numerous unthinkable acts: raped 3,000 times by her father, help captive for 24 YEARS, living in a dungeon that is only 5' 6" tall with no windows...it's truly unthinkable.
I listened to this book during my commute, and i was anxious to get into my car every day (how often does that happen to you?). In addition to the story being unbelievable, the narrator is perhaps the best i've ever heard. His voice is made for this kind of thing. It is truly one of the best books i've ever listened to.
My only word of caution: be prepared to be amazed, horrified, disgusted, and baffled.
You'll want to hug your children after you listen to this.
This book is truly incredible -- you may have read other books about the the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (e.g., John Krakuer's "Under the banner of heaven") but none reveal the inner workings of this bizarre world like this book does. Rebecca Musser was married to the top person in the church ("The Prophet") and witnessed first-hand events that are truly hard to believe are real.
At many points during my listen I felt compelled to talk out loud (to myself!) about how truly astonishing and shocking this world was: Guys "marrying" 60+ wives, some of them 70 years younger than their husbands; women with basically no rights who are forced/brainwashed into being totally subservient to their husbands; men abusing pre-teenage girls "in the name of God," and so on.
Rebecca Musser was very brave to escape the church, agree to be a key witness in Warren Jeff's prosecution, and write this book.
All I can say is: listen to it. you won't be disappointed.
I loved this entire book and was only disappointed when it was over. After the initial chapters in which you learn what kind of person Amanda is, the story becomes fascinating, horrifying, uplifting, and disturbing, all at once. I listened to it during my commute to/from work and every day I couldn't wait to get into the car.
Amanda does a great job of reading the book, and because she is the author she really delivers a deep feeling for what the story is about.
Listen to it. You'll love it.
I really wanted to like this book -- the description was very compelling. But it is really disappointing in many ways:
-- the content is weak. For example, here's one of the pearls of wisdom: "Be wary of authority figures." Huh? How does that help one deal with adversity? And what kind of advice is that, anyway?
-- the stories are often lame. They are all about his childhood and some are just not very interesting. Think about your own life -- do you have enough compelling stories to fill a book with 20+ chapters?
-- the narrator is the worst I've ever heard (i'm not exaggerating). He sounds almost exactly like a computer-generated text-to-voice converter. Ever heard one of those? Remember how the inflections are never quite right? You can't tell when it's in the middle of a sentence or at the end of one? You get to listen to that the entire way through this book.
At least I think that's the case. I stopped listening after chapter 10. I forced myself to keep listening after chapter six, hoping it would get better, but it didn't.
i hate to be this critical, but i really feel like i wasted my money/credit on this book
I loved everything about this book, and I told others to listen to it, too. The story is remarkable -- what this guy pulled off is incredible -- and the audio performance is excellent.
Don't hesitate -- listen to it!
I was intrigued by this subject and thought this book would be great. Unfortunately, I didn't even finish it -- the narrator is really excellent (one of the best I've ever heard), but the writing is too detailed and tedious. The first 20 chapters spend most of their time with biographies of each girl who was murdered; certainly I feel sorry for each girl and their murders were horrific, but i don't need to know what they were like in high school or other mundane details.
Wish i could recommend this, but i can't.
Bottom line: this book is exceptional. From the minute I started listening to it I was hooked, and I stayed that will until the last word was spoken. The author does the BEST job i've heard yet in reading a book -- he makes the phrases and concepts come to life with the way he reads and you can be 100% certain you are understanding what he is trying to convey. His performance is outstanding.
I'm moved by this true life story. It's amazing what this guy did for children in Nepal and how much he sacrificed for them. I hope this doesn't sound too overstated, but books like this can restore your faith in your human brethren. This is definitely a feel-good experience.
This is the first book i've read/listen to by James Van Praagh, but it won't be the last. I've ready a lot of books about past lives and reincarnation, and this is the best one so far. He relates very compelling stories of real-life accounts, but he always weaves in a "life lesson," but does so in a way that is overly cheezy and smaltzy. I'm making everyone in my family listen to it, and I'm going to listen to many others by him.
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