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
This book is moderately interesting, but I got bored with it and returned it. After a while all the stories pretty much sounded the same, and his voice isn't the easiest to listen to after a while.
I really enjoyed this book. It's interesting and educational. The story is mesmerizing: after being addicted to the outdoors (trees, plants, snakes, spiders, etc.) his entire life, an 18 year old guy makes a trip to Peru to journey into the Amazon and becomes even more addicted to it. He makes local friends and learns to survive in the Amazon. He tells of many journeys, some with others, and some solo, in which they see all kinds of wild animals and capture enormous snakes ("...as high as my knees."). His passion for the protection of wildlife and the untouched wilderness is noble and motivating.
My only disappointment was the reader. I thought his voice was just a bit too slow and deliberate. He tried to put some emotion into the story, but I found him a bit flat. My wife listened to him for a bit and said he sounded fine, so maybe it's just me.
That didn't ruin the book for me. It's a great listen, and I've recommended it to others.
I was mesmerized by this book. I'd heard bits and pieces about North Korea before, but i had NO idea that it was anything like this book describes. If you want to learn what life is like in that insulated, dictatorial culture, listen to this book! It combines a harrowing near-death story with information about North Korea's bizarre world. I can't say enough good things about this book.
Be prepared to laugh, cry, and be inspired by exceptional people. This book is moving and touching. It's amazing how this enormous disabled dog and this little disabled boy have changed each other's lives. And the couple who care for them are truly the most selfish and remarkable people.
Listen to this book. You will love it.
This book has some really great content if you like books about reincarnation and life after death. But i would recommend reading it instead of listening to it. Why? Most of it's written in case study format, which i imagine looks like this (what i've written below is meant to be illustrative and not actual quotes):
Dr. N: "Tell me what you saw."
Patient X: "A bright white light and people."
Dr. N: "Did you recognize any of them?"
Patient X: "Yes. I saw my father and my uncle George."
And this goes on and on for each case study, of which there are well over 20.
While this format is fine for reading because your brain just sort of skims over the "Patient X" and "Dr N" parts, it is rather annoying to hear the narrator constantly say "Patient X: blah blah....Dr. N: blah blah....Patient X...blah blah" And so on.
The narrator does a fine job with what he's given, but it's just not good for an audible book.
I'm not even done with this book and I feel compelled to write about it. It's really great. My wife is listening to it, too, and she feels the same way..
First, this guy's voice is FANTASTIC. Because he wrote the book he tells it with his own personal inflections and emphasis, and he's a GREAT story teller. You feel like you're in the room with him.
And his stories are really moving and touching. I am so impressed that someone would dedicate years of their life to helping gang kids like this. I can only imagine how rewarding and uplifting it must be.
Want to be reminded of the goodness of the world? Want to have clear evidence there are incredible people who put others ahead of themselves? Want to see how one person can change so many others' lives? Want to just FEEL GOOD after listening to a book?
Listen to this one.
If you'd like to know what life is like inside what is considered to be the worst prison in the world, listen to this book.
The stories in it are truly remarkable. So disgusting and revolting there are sometimes hard to believe.
The author has an exceptional grasp of the English language. The writing is really creative and superb. Sometimes it's so good it's a bit over the top.
I didn't give it a 5 overall because the book is a series of stories, rather than one story. As such, it can feel a bit disjoint at times. For example, you won't find out why the author is in jail until the end of the book. I personally didn't like that.
This book will rivet you and keep you dying to hear the next minute. Although the thrust of the story is about Luttrell's incredible experience in the Afghanistan mountains after being separate from this SEAL brethren after a brutal shootout with the Taliban, it's also about the preparation he underwent to be there. It's truly hard to believe what SEALs go through to be a SEAL. You not only have to be a rare physical specimen, but you have to also be a little mentally crazy. That is not a disparaging remark. You have to be able to withstand an impossible amount of suffering and abuse. You'll understand when you listen to the book.
My only disappointment is with the narrator. He does a really good job, but at times he's just too *dramatic* in his verbalization. By the end of the book I grew a bit weary of his drama. But it's still really good and I highly recommend this book to anyone.
I'm sure we've all wondered what is was like to "be there." This book will help you understand -- as much as any of us can -- what it felt like to be in the middle of the chaos and carnage; a first-hand account of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.
Although the book isn't superbly written in the purest sense, it makes up for any linguistic deficiencies with its honesty and openness. The writer describes, in intimate detail, the personal downward spiral he experienced as the result of the 9/11 disaster he lived through. He is very honest about the impact such a trauma took on him and how it affected his behavior and relationships. It's both moving and gut-wrenching
I love books that are about real-life situations that are hard to believe, frightening, or otherwise amazing. This is one of those books. They story itself is enough to make you want to listen, but you can tell the author is a journalist because the writing is exceptional -- very tight, very descriptive. And the woman who read the book is perhaps the best I've ever heard (even with her attempt to imitate the accent of a middle eastern man!).
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