Sacks chronicles some bizarre and interesting auditory aberrations, many of which I could not even have imagined. This I expected, but there just wasn't enough meat and insight to hold my attention through the whole thing.
With his British accent, the reader sounded wrong for Sacks's first-person narrative. Even aside from that, his voice was nearly intolerable to my ears. How to describe it...not an Oxbridge accent exactly. Maybe like an upperclass English twit trying to conceal drunkenness by being extra precise with his diction.
Just curious: does Sacks ever actually cure anyone, or is he, like most neurology specialists, "diagnose, adios"?
How did this one ever get published? Sounds like an adolescent Austen-worshipper's best attempt. Fails to accurately emulate Austen's rhetoric and style. No attempt to fully describe historical tidbits--e.g., explaining exactly what pattens are. A weak and embarrassingly juvenile story, poorly written. Sorry, can't recommend it.
I'd hoped for insights on more deeply psychological reasons for mindless eating, and tips for overcoming mindless eating. Alas, this is mostly just a recitation of the author's numerous field and academic studies proving (or attempting to prove) that packaging, portion size, relative dish or bowl or glass sizes, and the like affect the amounts people eat and drink. Only near the very end does he address how to cope with these variables, but it's pretty obvious by then. My main gripe is the excess of needlessly detailed and repetitive study data going to prove a few not very original or helpful points about what makes people misjudge portion sizes and, as a result, overeat. Would have made an okay 4-page magazine article; maybe that's how it started? Certainly the tone of the book reflects the stale cliches and puffy and quickly dated pop culture references one expects in popular magazine writing--and the result sounds stiff and insincere. Sorry, the topic does not merit and the style does not suit a book of this length.
Maher is exactly on point with his prescriptions for what should be done to combat terrorism. Unfortunately the things he tells us about are those things the government should be telling us. Save gas, yes. While the government is telling us it's nothing but business as usual, Maher, as usual, tells us we'd better wake up and do something. Very well written and entertaining.
This is a puff piece for the Bush administration. The only interesting fact is that Bush always intended to invade Iraq, even before he was elected.
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