This book is an example of how “common sense” is not all that common. Tackling many myths about science – and the growing popular belief that science is “evil” but alternatives are “good,” Michael Specter shows us how the scientific method holds the key to the continuing existence of our species. He urges us not to go back to the era when we believed that “science” was all good and urges us to investigate discoveries rationally – not hysterically. He does raise some serious ethical questions – some of which do not have ready answers. This is all the more reason for us to learn how to neither investigate new discoveries with hysteria nor compete faith and acceptance. The book is well narrated – fast paced – and very compelling.
The imprisonment of innocent people in Iran holds a certain fascination to me. I have enjoyed other accounts of this dreadful practice, and this book stands out as being an exceptional account. I appreciate the author's detail and his skill in painting an accurate picture of what this experience was for him. I also appreciate his love for Iran and his sense of hope for change. I appreciate his courage as a journalist.
I would have expected, however, that the narrator would be better able to pronounce Iranian words. I know enough Farsi to know that Stephen Hoyle massacred the script. That part was most disappointing.
The book, Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus is a very difficult "listen." First, the examples of "cures" that were practiced prior to Lister become tedious. I certainly did not feel a need to delve so deeply into the arena of error. The theories of the causes were interesting enough, but the book really does not pick up speed until Lister enters with his life transforming work.
I found it interesting that Lister ran into the same problems as proponents of modern vaccines do today. It's hard to pit science against politics today - and it was in Lister's time as well. That is an interesting historical perspective.
I must say, however, that I found the narrator to be very annoying. He pronounces words well - and seems to adopt various accents well, but his vocal quality is tiring and his interpretation of the sentences is so incongruous as to leave one wondering what the purpose of some of the sentences would have been.
I think this would have been a better "read" than "listen."
I have been a Mitch Albom fan ever since reading "Tuesdays With Morrie." I appreciate his spirituality that lacks the evangelistic religious fervor that trips up some authors. I'm disappointed in this book, however. Mr. Albom does extensive research into the development of the telephone. I learned some fascinating facts about the development of this device that we often take for granted. However, when talking about the various religious leaders, it is obvious that Mr. Albom has not done his homework - and he speaks the language of religion as though it were his third or fourth language.
The story is poignant, if not surprising, and that is what carried me to the end of the book. I'll still read future books . . . but might check them out of the library rather than purchasing them.
I have read most of Patricia Cornwell's books. I loved her gift as a wordsmith . . . not an academic, but a person who has learned her craft well. I was surprised in this book to realize that it was a step way back in time . . . the characters were young and many of the "latest" technical developments are ancient history in the technological sense of the word. Having said that . . . Patricia Cornwell is a masterful story teller and this book is no exception. It is skillfully written and reflects the technology and environment of the day. (does anyone else remember the gritty powdered hand soap in public washrooms????). The story is certain to hold your attention - and the issues addressed (police scandal) are remarkably forward thinking.
I must however, take exception to the narrator. I gave her 2 stars only because she didn't mispronounce any words. Her accents were everywhere from the deep south to downtown Boston (and everything in between - sometimes in the same sentence). The volume of her voice ranges from very quiet to very loud - making it a difficult listen because of the variations in volume. Her narrating was a detraction from a very well written mystery!
For those medical mystery lovers, however, this is a great "read." Just hold disbelief in suspense when the accents for the characters are "off-putting" - and keep your hand on the volume control so you neither miss important passages nor blast your ears to an unhealthy jump in volume. It's well worth the effort.
It took me three tries to get going in this book. At about the half way mark, it became marginally interesting - and shortly afterwards I was wishing it would end. The book has its humourous moments . . . and its really intriguing parts are few and far between. I did enjoy the author's self-effacing humour and it got a bit tedious by the end. It wasn't an "I won't even finish this book" experience - but was a definite "whew - I'm glad it's over." The narrator/author is very articulate, and his English is easy to follow (unlike some of the other narrators). A real ho-hum experience.
I was looking forward to a botanical history of the potato as well as an agricultural history. This was a political history and near the end of the book I found I was just counting dangling participles . . . there were glimmerings of interesting material . . . and it just didn't measure up to my expectations! (I had just finished the History of Salt - which I enjoyed immensely, and this was a real let-down!)
The echo in this recording makes it impossible to hear and/or decipher what is being said. A real disappointment!
The actually interesting part of this book is buried in tons of statistical information - most of which has nothing to do with thought processing. In the 24 + hours of listening, I appreciated about 3 hours of content - only finishing the book because of the excellent narration! Patrick Egan is an amazing narrator!
This book was supposed to be about a group of women who survived under the horrible French occupation in WWII - and how it impacted their lives. It would better be described as a detailed history of the gruesome lives that men and women lived during this time in French history. On top of this is the falsetto voice of the narrator. She may be good at elocution - but she is miserable to listen to! (sorry about the dangling participle!)
What looked like an interesting book turned out to be a scare-mongering blast on "frankenfoods" and an exploration of the merits of cannabis. I was glad when the book was done!
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