los angeles, CA, United States | Member Since 2008
I mean this book is "for kids" in the best way possible, because I would actually buy it for MY kid. It's good for adults too, but pretty much sums up Dawkins' other books. I always feel a few IQ points smarter when I read his books. This one makes GREAT analogies that allows the listener to easily understand some of the more complicated subjects. Highly recommend for anyone new to Dawkins.
First off, this is a GREAT book. Very well researched, full of new information, and written in a way that will hold your attention; especially if you enjoy CIA/black ops/ SEALs stuff.
Now for the negative, and it's not really a negative, just something you should keep in mind.
This author comes across as VERY anti-targeted strikes/ anti-drones. In fairness, he does present both sides of the argument, but he presents much more of the "innocent civilian casualties" side than perhaps is necessary.
He tends to disregard the mindset of most Americans, which is "if people are hanging out with terrorists (IE in the same car with them), then they are probably people that are a threat to the US" I'm not saying I agree with this, and there are always exceptions, but it's certainly a stance that deserved more weight in the book. Let's face it, other than journalists, there aren't many "innocent" people riding around in cars in the desert with the leaders of Al Qaeda. There just aren't.
This didn't paint my enjoyment of the book, however. The author doesn't beat you over the head with one particular opinion or the other, he just simply spends a bit too much time talking to the family members of suspected terrorists. For the most part, he sets out all the facts and lets you decide. I'd give this book 5 stars, simply based on the classified information and incredible interviews that are inside. The story and narrator make it outstanding.
I'm leaving this review because I did not read anywhere that there would be songs in this "audiobook". I don't mean the author wrote a line or two of a song, as I've seen done in many audiobooks in the past. I mean, this guy wrote out the ENTIRE song into the story, and the poor narrator had to sing it in its entirety! The narrator is GREAT, by the way, but I didn't get this book to have songs sung to me... especially songs I don't like. It's an audio-BOOK, NOT an album of gospel music!!
To add salt to the wound, this book is VERY VERY VERY slow, after about a third of the way through it. Seriously, do we need to know about every little thing these characters do on a daily basis?? I half expected this author to go into detail about the breathing and sleeping habits of the main character at any time, describing and counting each breath, up to a million.
Yes, it is JUST THAT BORING. I'm not kidding.
I read "The Power Of One" and I thought it was fantastic. I have absolutely no idea how this book is rated as highly as it is, because it is a far cry from that one. It's as if the author literally was sleep walking through this one. It is so painfully boring.
Maybe I've just read too many biographies that were amazing, so my standards are set too high. (Gabler's book on Walt Disney comes to mind). This book doesn't come close.
I was really wanting an easy to follow, compelling story, that kept me guessing and held my interest. What I got was just a bunch of facts, taped to the wall in chronological order. I could care less about any of these people, as the book never truly helped me get to know them. Sure, it talks about the tension and strife between some of the major players, but without sufficiently building up WHO these people actually are... WHAT MAKES THEM TICK... I just don't care about their arguments or problems.
This book is like an encyclopedia. Knowledgeable, but lacking in heart. If you're a die-hard Marvel fan, you may find it interesting, in terms of learning how they got to where they are. Odds are, you'll finish this book feeling like you just skimmed Marvel's Wikipedia page.
Narrator is excellent.
The sheer brutal, cocky honesty that Hampton writes with is a breath of fresh air. I was expecting a murky, Pentagon-redacted, boring account of his adventures, but was I wrong! Hampton pretty much looks down on everyone that's not a fighter pilot, and yet this confident honesty sucks you right in. You see the world through his point of view, and you actually start "thinking like a fighter pilot".
This no-holds-barred account of a lesser known side of the military is not only fascinating, but exciting as hell. The air combat scenes are spectacular. There aren't many books out there, where the ex-military author truly speaks his mind, without giving a crap what others think, but this is one of them. Deserves 5 stars just for the mere fact that he bucked the trend and didn't write some politically-correct fluff piece about the Air Force.
Narrator is great.
This book masterfully uses real diaries and letters from people that actually LIVED through WWII, to convey much of its events. It keeps a good pace throughout, and is quite entertaining; especially for how dry this subject matter usually can be. Hastings uses the real voices from the past at the perfect time, every time, to accentuate how the larger events were affecting the civilians and soldiers. Once you start getting lulled to sleep by details (i.e. casualty figures), he wakes you up with something emotionally jarring; like a letter from a woman that lost all four of her children in a battle.
If you have a love of WWII history, add this to your library. If you're looking for a detailed, in-depth overview of the tactics and battles of the war, this may not be your book. It is much more focused on the "human" aspect of the war, which was a breath of fresh air.
Narrator is very good. Like the guys that narrate those old WWII documentaries on the History Channel.
There's a reason this is considered a CLASSIC. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. The writing is some of the best descriptive writing of all time. Steinbeck really puts you IN with these destitute individuals. You feel their pain, see their tears, and live their heartache. This book will not leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, BUT it will make you appreciate what you have. Narrator is outstanding.
As a BIG fan of great Zombie stories (see WWZ and Day by Day Armageddon series), I expected quite a bit. To say I was disappointed would be the year's biggest understatement. First the good; this book DOES have an original story. The setting, backstory, and technology are all somewhat new for the zombie genre.
Now for the bad; The vocabulary used in this book is on a 7th grade level. It never reaches "adult level" words, and doesn't even pretend to try. In fact, if I didn't know any better, I'd say this book WAS actually written by someone in middle school. If that IS the case, then BRAVO little one! The dialogue is beyond ridiculous, and boring ALL THE TIME. The description ALWAYS re-states the dialogue; a big NO NO. The book had more of a romance novel feel to it, than an actual zombie novel. Since it claims IN THE TITLE to be a "zombie novel", I do feel incredibly misled. Had it said in the title, "A Romance novel, somewhat similar to Twilight, yet much less entertaining", then I would only have myself to blame for spending a credit on this.
This book is clearly meant for little girls. Maybe pre-teen girls. There's WAY TOO MUCH sappy romantic banter throughout, which has virtually no payoff. There is no possible way that ANYONE; the publisher, the author, audible, would consider this to be an adult zombie book, or a zombie book intended for a male audience. Just no way. The best way I can describe this book is "A soap opera PRETENDING to be a zombie story".
Narrator is good. As other reviewers point out, she does mispronounce a few words.
I spent the 2 credits for this book based solely on the fact that one reviewer stated it was like the book, "Hyperion". Thanks a lot!! This book is NOTHING like ANY of the Hyperion books. The Hyperion universe is based in science, and is actually somewhat plausible. Vinge's universe is FOR CHILDREN. Albeit, smart children, but it's for children nonetheless. If you like silly animal characters (talking dogs and bad butterflies), silly voices from the reader, and silly plot lines, then THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you are an adult, and like hard-edged ADULT sci-fi, then steer clear of this one. I am not pleased at all that one reviewer lied and cost me 2 credits. Hopefully, I'll be able to save at least one of you from the same fate!!
Having said all that, if you are young, like 10-14, and like Sci-Fi, you'll probably enjoy this book.
First off, I'd listen to Ronson read the Dictionary. His dry wit, timing, and inflections are incredible. You feel as though he's reading to you, personally. This is a pre-9/11 book, but much of what it deals with is still relevant today. Ronson has this incredible knack for taking subjects that aren't very funny AT ALL (i.e. a Muslim extremist threatening to put a 'Fatwah' on him), and finding the humor in it.
This is light reading at its finest. You may learn a bit about some of the extremists in the world, but nothing you probably couldn't have figured out on your own. The true joy of this book is the way that Ronson brings you into the story, keeps you constantly laughing, and delivers you on the other side, unscathed.
We need more social satirists like Ronson. He's truly one of a kind!
If you are an American, you need to read this. It will truly frighten you to learn just how much the government was working AGAINST you when the financial markets got in trouble... UNLESS you're the CEO of a big bank, and then the government is actually YOUR BEST FRIEND! It truly amazes me how the big banks can break laws, make risky bets, and walk all over the average citizen, and yet our government REWARDS them for it!! This is stuff that would send any "average" citizen to jail, and it's getting the big banks (and their CEOs) REWARDED. Yes, a few trillion in free money, for doing nothing, is a reward.
Before reading this book, I knew it was bad, but WOW!! It is much worse than I thought. Bravo to Barofsky for having the balls to write this.
It is non-political, fair, and fact-filled. What's really impressive is how the author took a subject that is boring, and over most people's heads, and made it exciting and easy to comprehend. You don't need an MBA to enjoy this book... even though what our government did to us should make you sick.
Narrator is great.
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