Portland, OR | Member Since 2014
Getting the life stories of 6 people who have hit it big in the lottery might be somewhat interesting, but even if you figure out all the things they seem to have in common, and then emulate those things yourself, it won't increase your chance of winning the lottery. It's a random event after all. The stories in Breaking Out come across the same way. The book profiles a number of people who hit it big in one way or another, looks for commonalities using a variety of esoteric sounding terms, and then seems to suggest that "you can do it too." It's probably almost a random as the lottery, and the book doesn't actually give you any actionable information. Something actionable would certainly help, but it still leaves unclear whether "breaking out" is ultimately a roll of the dice kind of situation, no matter what you do.
It will make me even more suspicious of self-help type volumes. I got suckered into this one by reviews and by the book's website.
Long. Engrossing. Excellent.
I've read a lot of the new "climate fiction" genre. Although The Bone Clocks is about much more than that, I'd put it at the top of the list with "2084 - Stories of the Great Warming."
I did tear up at the end. It's a long book, so by then you're really invested.
I enjoyed the book, although I'm not sure I'll spend the time to listen to the other two volumes. The story is so implausible that I found myself thinking of it more as fantasy than as science fiction. That's not inherently a bad thing, but so much to listen to, so little time!
In terms of non-fiction books the Meaning of Everything ranks well up the list of my prior audiobooks. It's such a great story, and the English accent of the reader works so well for the content, just loved it.
I really enjoyed the Void Trilogy, and at the recommendation of another reviewer I went back and reread the third volume of the trilogy. I never could figure out the point of this new book, and how it quite fits in. It comes across to me as more random fantasy than sci-fi, and I'm not a fantasy reader.
This strikes me as another in the long line of examples of authors capitalizing on the success of a series by simply adding on to it in one way or another. I wish more authors would end a series of dignity unless they can really figure out something new to say.
There's a lot of information in the book, but I just couldn't figure out the point after listening to a couple of different chapters in the course of an hour. Perplexed I looked at the book's Kindle site and noticed a lot of negative reviews making this same point more eloquently. And it turns out a big part of the book is about "what would the earth look like if humans hadn't evolved?" Why would I want to listen to hours of speculation on this rather theoretical point?
This book describes the first time that anyone has been able to actually observe and document evolution in action. Absolutely fascinating, and would certainly recommend it.
The narration of the book was perfect for the topic and the story. The reader was simply very comfortable with the book.
For anyone interested in biology or natural selection, this is a no-brainer. But even for people who aren't deep into those topic, this is a great and fun way to explore them.
I won't listen to it again. But I have bought the Kindle version so that I can study parts of it in more detail.
It was a fascinating way of structuring the story, integrating "accident" chapters with "history" chapters. Took some getting used to, but it was an effective way to cover an enormous amount of material without getting bored.
A very solid performance through the whole book. No odd changes in voice or silly pronunciation problems that I've seen crop up in many books.
"Just Because You Were Lucky Doesn't Mean You Were Smart."
The story of the history of nuclear weapons is still very relevant today, albeit not in a Cold War context. But it's also very relevant in terms of how we should think about a range of highly complex technologies going forward. They may not have the potential to instantly level a city, but they pose risks that need to be thought about. This story makes that abundantly clear!
I have to admit that I had a negative reaction to the book within the first 60 seconds, and I jumped through the chapters pretty quickly and ultimately returned the book without fully reading it. 1st person narratives are difficult to pull off, and this one seemed primarily focused on portraying Richard Phillips as the greatest captain, father, and whatever else of all time (while being quite willing to point out the flaws in the crew). I found it insufferable pretty quickly. Opening the book describing a torture scene, and basically having Phillips' describe his own reaction to torture as "that all you got?" was a macho message, and it might even have been accurate, but it wasn't something I wanted to listen to for a long period of time.
This book really reminds us that heroism can come from anywhere, but just as importantly it helps remind us why we should avoid sending our soldiers into harms way unless absolutely necessary. WWII didn't end with the Japanese surrender for the extended family of the Samuel Roberts - it continues today.
While this is a good story, it would almost be better told as an extended magazine article. There's just not enough material for a full book unless the reader is a Navy afficionado, or is perhaps related directly to events or people in the book. The crux of the story comes down to just a few pages in the entire book.
The narration was good. I'd be reticent to read another book by Markopolos unless I knew for sure that it didn't take the same self-congratulatory tone. One per author lifetime is certainly a sufficient quota.
This book is a great reminder of how badly things can go wrong, and how blind we can be to reality we don't want to see. It's certainly not the first book to tell such a story, but this one goes into such detail, and the whole process went for so long, that it really stands out as a learning opportunity.
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