I didn't know anything about Ernest Shackleton or the Endurance when I started this book, and I have no idea how that could have been. This story is SO AMAZING that it should be on every school reading list in the world. The events that unfolded in the voyage of the crew of the Endurance are frightening and yet awe-inspiring at every corner. I am impressed with the discipline, camaraderie, strength, and endurance that those men showed in surviving long enough to make it back to civilization.
Alfred Lansing does an incredible job of bringing the story to life. His writing is superb, and even poetic. His descriptions left my mouth hanging open and my mind swirling with images, sounds, and feelings on many, many occasions. Simon Prebble also does a world-class job as narrator. He adopts a different accent and manner of speech for each of the crew, bringing them to life as if they themselves were reading their journal entries. His voice carries all of the emotion and wonder and sorrow that the author could possibly ever have hoped to convey. Very well done, gentlemen.
I can't believe this book hasn't been made into a movie yet. With today's special effects they could really bring it to life.
I had never heard of Kevin Mitnick before reading this book, but gave it a chance after seeing the positive ratings it got and listening to the teaser sample, which was so interesting I had to hear more.
The rest of the book didn't disappoint. It was an interesting education and introduction into the world of computer hacking from the viewpoint of someone who was a "pioneer" in the field. Mitnick's story is a great way to understand the sub-culture, especially why people who are basically non-threatening can get caught up in criminal activity. After listening to how easy it was for him to get what he wanted through "social engineering" (aka very skillful lying), it is tempting to use the techniques myself next time I need something from my bank or phone provider. Alas, I am too honest for that, though. :)
I have a friend in the digital security industry who tells me that Mitnick has a bit of a reputation as a media-hog these days, which I can totally believe from the way he writes. From what I can tell, everything is factual, though.
Ray Porter does a good job reading the book, and is very convincing in expressing Kevin's emotions and alternate voices he would use when pretending to be other people. Only complaint is the rather bizarre vocal renderings of certain expletives that I can only assume must appear in the book as long, drawn out words (craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaappp!). Came out a bit strange.
I'm not sure how successful of a movie it could be, because there isn't a clear plot climax to it, but it could still be pretty entertaining to see him socially engineer people on screen.
'Weird Al' Yankovic is an entertaining fellow, and his performance in reading his story is worth the price regardless of the content. The story itself is pretty good too, though not one I would have made much note of if it wasn't for the name on the cover. My 8-year-old thought it was hilarious. Probably a bit too rowdy for bedtime, however. :)
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