I thought this book would be different when I bought it. Turns out--it was better than I expected. Although it was written with a generous dose of humor, it was, in fact, good humor. What could have been a lampoon of religion, turned out to be a sincere effort to understand the ancient text that captivates so many. The author relates a lot of honesty, humility and even tenderness in his experience. I was impressed by these things, and even inspired, at times. Tucked into this text is a lovely reminder that tolerance and acceptance of the beliefs of others is far nobler than derision. Thanks, A.J., I needed the gentle reminder! Perhaps you do too. You'll enjoy this book.
I can't say this book was 'enjoyable' for me so much as it was informative. The author is just a bit older than I, but we share childhoods in the same era. The events she relates are very familiar, even though I was just a kid blithely going about my kid-business while my parents dealt with the headlines and ideas. While her parents were highly politically active, mine were not. Yet within this narrative I hear shades of my own parents attitudes. Thankfully, though my folks indicated some social beliefs that I'd rather ignore, they managed to teach me many of the principles that led to my liberal world-view in spite of themselves! It's unnearving to think that if they were bent just a little more to the right; my early experiences might have been similar to hers. Enjoyable? Not so much. Enlightening? Very much.
The trajectory of this ultra-right wing mindset of which the author writes makes me want to weep daily. The same talking points, the very same, are trumpeted in all national media without the slightest shame. At least, back in the years when the author and I were growing up, such ideas were considered insane even by conservatives and certainly by the media. If you think this kind of rhetoric is new and an offshoot of current events, you need to read this book. These people haven't even changed the words but only inserted new names throughout the last 50 years of American politics! The goals of the John Birch Society and the people who think like them are nothing short of dismantling democracy, installing theocracy, and a chilling new version of totalitarianism. Normally, I would refrain from using such extreme rhetoric myself, but in this case, I doubt even the opposition would disagree with me.
Listen to this book. Pass it around. It will help.
Although I enjoyed and appreciated the excellent audio update on my less-than-thorough education in evolutionary theory, this book is one which I will purchase in hardback for my permanent home library! It is well-written, concise, elegant and easy for the non-scientist to understand. A beautiful piece of work, worthy of review again and again. Highly recommended.
I absolutely loved Water For Elephants. Sadly, Ape House can't hold a candle. I could never quite connect with any of the characters, in spite of the author's penchant for seriously tedious and minute detail all along the way. The plot is just compelling enough to keep one wondering how things will end up at last, but I found myself forwarding through the recording during the last two hours as I couldn't stand it dragging along any more. I just wanted to know what finally happened to the wretched apes! I'm afraid the narrator may also have driven me slightly mad during this book. Very precise diction (to the point of distraction) which somehow served to highlight the tedium of the descriptions, and some pronunciation which actually made me scream out loud at one point. Otherwise, he portrayed the characters nicely--it's just a timing-thing, I guess. Perhaps you will like this recording better than me, but if you're expecting something as fabulous as Water For Elephants you'll likely be dismayed. Gosh, I hate to be so negative, but this book just drove me nuts!
Oh my gosh, this is a seriously tedious book. Narration is less-than-compelling. I love the work of E.O. Wilson as a renowned naturalist, but a writer he is not. Sorry E.O.! I really tried to engage with this book, but the tedium wiped me out. I have no idea how this "story" ends...just couldn't listen for another minute.
This is such a fascinating story! Well written and narrated--giving rare,deep insights into the world of the autistic and those who love them. The travel through Mongolia, so well described, adds a delicious touch of magic and wonder that reminded me there are more things in heaven and earth than we can account for. The story of this family made me feel grateful for the mystery and wonder in my own life. I was very moved, and I think you will be also.
What a delight this book is, from beginning to end! All of the stories are simple and wonderful; told by the author in his soothing, smiling and knowing voice. Robert Fulghum states in one of his essays that he wishes he could have spent time with his grandfather--I wish Robert Fulghum WAS my grandfather! Instead, I am inspired to look about more closely in my world, to see if I can spot the wonder, humor and softness so often hidden behind the unescapable war, trauma and nonsense which crowd the headlines. If the author is not an official Zen master, he's certainly one in my mind--and my newest hero. I am grateful that I stumbled across this book. Should you, like me, be looking for something to soothe your ragged souls, you will find solace here. A sheer delight in every way!
What a spectacular entertainment treat! You'll laugh, you'll cry--pick any emotion--you'll need them all. Not only is this a remarkably well written novel, but the performances by the two outstanding narrators is just perfect. You might want to make sure you have plenty of free time for the listen, though. Just like the book you can't put down, this is a listen that's hard to drag yourself away from. Enjoy!
Looking for something to stir your imagination and haunt your thoughts? Well, this is the book for you! Well written and well-read, this book provides fertile ground for consideration, awareness and thought beyond the words. Some may find this information to be gloomy--perhaps an indictment of humanity. I found it to be a necessary wake-up call to greater conciousness--the first step to redemption. Great book!
I found the information in this book very compelling and the author's reading was fine, but the audio quality made listening a bit of a chore. I found I had to focus my listening, which was fine for me, listening in the quiet of my own home, but which might be a problem if a more "active" kind of listening is planned. Great information, though, and I'm anxious to read more from this author. A wonderful book.
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