As this was my first introduction to Sawyer I had no preconceived notions about his themes or style. I think that perspective actually enhanced my enjoyment of this novel. As some others have said about this book, it is very thought provoking. However, I would also add that the book has a very emotional resonance with anyone that has children and or close family. Although you discover in the very first of this book what it is about--or more precisely, what you think it is about--the story continues to evolve to the end. Is it a classic sci-fi story, a mystery, a theological debate, a history lesson, or a crime drama? I think it is all of the above.
I want to also give credit to Jonathan Davis. There are few narrators (Jim Dale being another) who really bring you into the story like he does. I really feel like I knew the characters of the book. Excellent work, thank you Mr. Davis.
As a life-long fan of sci-fi, I have never experienced a story like this.
If after listening to this book you don't at least spend a few minutes reevaluating your core beliefs, then you missed the point...
Before I get into the story, the first thing you have to understand is what kind of book this is. First and foremost this is a "preppers" book. Once you understand that, the style of the book and the amazing amount of detail make sense. The author is a survival expert with many years of experience in military and civilian tactical methods as well as a respected prepper who lives how he preaches. This book is the 4th edition of a story that has been revised and expanded over two decades.
The narrative of this novel serves to bring a context to the vast amount of technical detail. It is set in the mid-west and the author uses first-hand knowledge of the region to bring the characters and places to life. I found that the story kept me very interested throughout the book, only lagging in a couple of small places. This books is filled with scenes of violence and harsh imagery. For that reason, I would caution anyone below the age of 15 to read it. The author however does skillfully weave these violent themes into the story with tact and a respect for life.
I feel that the main point of this novel is to provide a feasible scenario in which survival preparedness would not only be useful, but essential. The author uses an extreme level of detail in describing the weapons, food-stores, logistical material, vehicles, medical supplies, armor, and housing. At first, if you do not accept this book for what it is--a recipe on how to setup and maintain a survival retreat--you will be overwhelmed. If you are listening to the book because you are wanting a guide on survival preparedness, this is your book. If you are not and are just looking for a book to entertain, this can still be your book, but you may be better off with something like One Second After by William R. Forstchen.
More information can be found at the authors blog (survivalblog [dot] com)
Overall, I really enjoyed this book both from an entertainment and informational perspective. Although I was already of the survival mindset, this book has given me a new understanding of the level of preparation that is truly needed to survive "dooms-day" scenarios like the one in this novel.
I would recommend this book to anyone (over the age of 15).
Survivalist, preppers, Christian fundamentalism, states-rights, guns rights, family values, logistics, weapons, explosives, military tactics / strategy, small-scale farming, apocalyptic, disaster, anti-U.N..
I am just now planning to start my first flip, therefore my perspective is not of an experienced flipper. However, I can say that this book was worth the time I spent listening to it. This book gives a good overview to the process of flipping from planning to buying, renovating, and then finally selling. Although some of the topics are just overviews, the author does spend a good amount of time on some of the more difficult areas.
My only real complaint is the quality of the performance. First, I always call into question an audio book that is read by the author. It is rare that someone with the talent to write also has talent to perform in an audio book. This is a good example. Many times throughout the book he repeats himself. I don't mean that he was trying to emphasize a point, I mean he actually reads the same line twice. This is very annoying and it is obvious that whomever edited this did not pay attention.
Audio performance aside, I would recommend this book. In fact, after listening to it, i purchased a paper-back copy of the book for my reference library. I found that while listening I constantly thought to my self, "I need to write that down". So much of the book is lists of things to do and not do, that having it in writing is a must if you are serious about retaining the content.
Some of the other reviewers commented about how he name drops and such. That may be true, but I never felt as though it did not fit into the book. Use this book as a reference, not as entertainment. The author is no great literary giant, but do you really need him to be? With so few books available in audio on flipping, this is one you need to listen to.
This is a classic, and for good reason. The story is compelling and full of detail. At first I wondered how the writing would hold up in today's computer age. I can now say that it holds up very well. Although some of the specific technologies in the book are not what we would consider to be modern, the concepts are spot on (computer networking, communications, complex computer systems that can predict human thought and action, etc.). Heinlein shows his Sci-Fi mastery with this book.
This is a must read/listen for anyone that calls themselves a Sci-Fi fan.
Starship Troopers is an excellent book. Unlike some other reviewers I actually liked the movie, although there are some differences in the plot lines. The main character, Johnny, is well developed and you have the feeling that you really know him by the end of the book. The other characters in the story are not nearly as deeply defined, but that does not hurt the story greatly. I would agree with others that if you did see the movie, you really should read / listen to this book.
If you have interest in military tactics and command structure, you will enjoy this book. If not, you may find the intricate descriptions of the military officers and soldiers to be tedious.
The only real complaint I have about the writing is that the author uses certain colloquialisms quite often, and some of the terms used assume a familiarity with military jargon.
The narrator performed the text well. The reading was smooth and accurate, and was not tiresome. The story is told entirely from the point of view of the main character, so the narrator did not use different voices, there was no need.
I would also throw out a warning for any left-wingers out there that have a hard time reading other viewpoints. If you agree with the authors attitudes towards society, military service, and "citizenship" thats great, you won't have a problem. If you disagree, you may find it distracting. But I would argue that the quality of the story telling should come through for anyone with an open mind. The author makes no effort to soften his viewpoints, so don't be surprised.
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