This was an important book in 1963 when it was first published. I thought it sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I found it to be a very scholarly work, which overworked it's thesis again and again in fine detail. The author seems to insert a paranthetical comment or subclause into every sentence. I could have gotten everything I needed to know on this subject in a ten-page article.
I suppose that I should have read reviews beforehand to understand better whether the work would hold my interest.
At least the narrator makes it easy to follow the author's dense terminology and phrasing.
This was my first work by Faulkner. His style is gripping and has a genuine feel for the time and place of the story. It does, however, go to an extreme at times.
The narrator brings the work alive, with distinct voices for each of the characters, faithful accents, and a good pace.
I will listen to another Faulkner, especially one read by the same narrator. Together, they really know how to tell a story.
I had high hopes for this book, expecting that it would put forward a clear, compelling arguement for why Western Europe was able to pull ahead of other cultures in the 18-19th centuries. It falls short in many ways.
Instead of a thematic approach the historian uses a mainly chronological approach that makes it more difficult to see the big picture. There are many interesting facts and some useful insights into the differences between the world cultures, but it is all muddled together. Was it the religion? The Greek roots? The Roman influence?
Mostly the author resents what he sees as political correctness in historical studies that have diminished the respect for Western Civilization, and he ends up with what seems to be a circular arguement: the West succeeded because it was superior.
I thoroughly enjoyed this production. The novel is probably one of the ten stories that I have enjoyed the most from the 19th Century. I felt that is was much better than her novel, Middlemarch.
Some people might be put off by the important role that religion plays in these peoples' lives, but that is a fact of history. This is not a story of fantasy; it is a story about people that might really have lived in 1807, and they are all the more realistic for it.
Wanda McCaddon does a great job bringing the speech of these people to life. The "performance" is only marred by editing that leaves some uncomfortably long breaks in the naration.
This book, written during the depths of the Great Recession, seems mainly aimed a putting forward a philosophy. In the first part, he gives an account of currency developments and the move from the gold standard to the central bank system of today. But his comments are sometimes hard to believe, like when he claims that the second half of the 1800's were a time of growing prosperity. In fact it was also a time of bubbles, crashes, and periods of depression.
The second part gives an account of the global economic and monetary system around 2010. Looking back, it is a bit laughable that his doomsday scenarios have not come true. We can now say that the global economy stabilized and is growing again thanks to the efforts of the central banks and their coordination.
In the third part he argues for a gold-backed currency, but by the time he lays out the case, I was more convinced than ever that it would be a stupid idea. Some people don't believe in global warming even though over 95% of climate scientists say it is true. In the same way, the author does not explain adequately why we should return to a system that almost all economists reject.
This book changed how I view poverty, justice, and development priorities. The author puts forward a compelling case for the need for better criminal justice systems in developing countries. He explains the reasons that prevent it, and lists practical steps to overcome them. It is both a distressing and a hopeful message. From now on, when I am considering a charity to support, I will look into their efforts in this area.
The narration was smooth, allowing the message to come out clearly.
This was a very entertaining explanation of the history of science and our world. It is educational, without being boring or too basic.
I recommend it for the average reader who is not already well-informed about science, but that has some curiosity. Even as someone that knows something about physics, biology, and chemistry, I learned a few things.
I listened to this because I thought that the first METAtropolis was fresh and interesting, and I hoped that this one would take it further.
On the contrary, although a couple of the stories were intriguing, most were bland and flat. They did not really take the take the METAtropolis forward, but instead seemed to take it back.
Characters longed for the the good old days of the 20th century, drove "antique pickups", listened to old time rock, and even fired an "antique revolver." Who now listens to music that is 70-80 years old? The authors seemed to have a difficult time dragging themselves into the future world.
The authors also used trite and stale ideas, bashing Christianity while stealing from it the things that are powerful: Tyger as the new Messiah with a new "Gospel". It was all a bit tired.
This work suffers from using an old translation that has many archaic words, and which fails to bring across the adventure and excitement of the stories.
The narrator also seems to be merely reading rather than telling a great story.
What a wonderful book. The author brings this unlikely story to life with such care and skill that I really felt for the characters. His knowledge of the way of life in a southern shrimping community gives it all a genuine feel.
I have rarely read an author with such a gift for the crafting of a phrase. "The funeral parlor smelled like dead flowers and unanswered prayers". Some passages made me laugh aloud, while other moved me to sadness.
Mr Muller narrates the book in a way that does justice to the work. He really seemed to be the voice of Tom Wingo.
This is only the second Audible book that I have rated poorly. For one thing, there is hardly any adventure in it. It consists simply of a series of encounters that the author/narrator had with extremists back in the 90's. Some aren't even extremists.
We get a very small glimpse into the conspiratorial paranoia of these people, but not much. Mr. Ronson is surprisingly uninsightful into what makes these people tick; there is no more information about their inner workings or the shared culture of these groups than you get from popular magazines.
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