Austin, TX, United States | Member Since 2013
I can't say that this was an enjoyable listen; it's too hard-hitting for that. I did Animal Rescue after Katrina, and I remember what a horror show, what a nightmare the place was. This book, graphically and with chaotic realism, brought up a whole lot of memories for me. What I appreciated to no end was the amount of detail, the amount of research that went into the writing of this book. From emails and personal accounts, reports from the media to legal documents, everything! Absolutely everything was covered and addressed. And it's delivered in such a factual, unbiased way that you're left to decide for yourself: Was it right? Or was it wrong? Chances are that, if you had strong feelings about what happened, one way or the other, you'll still believe it. But, boy! Your thinking will be unalterably changed by this book! You'll be challenged to no end.
As the book wraps up, and we see the lives of those involved progress and change, some horrific ironies turn up. What about that doctor who now finds himself deathly ill and with "no hope of a positive outcome?" What about that zealot of an investigator, hellbent on prosecution, who finds himself needing/herself with a loved one needing the awesome skills of these doctors they've been thinking of as devils? It's a strange life, a strange world we live in.
There are many protagonists that you can't help but root for, whether medical or legal. Many antagonists you boo at. Kristen Potter brings them all out like a skilled documentarian, subtle variations giving each of them a powerful, personable voice. She delivers the facts with a flat skill, delivers each character with power and emotion. No mean feat.
I was simply blown away by the politics that went into play after the events! And stunned by how each individual, from the doctors to the coroner, the attorney general and staff to the fly-by-night personal claims lawyers painted themselves after the fact. And the way we view treatment and death in America? Extraordinary!
I listened to this book, thinking, "People don't remember how bad it was. People can't understand unless they were there." But by the end, I honestly, truly wondered: No, really. Was it the right thing to do? I can only get down on my knees and thank God that I've never had to survive something like that to be in the position. You will too.
I dunno--perhaps this is a life changer, but I just CANNOT get through it. This has got to be the densest, most purple of prose I've ever read/listened to in my entire life. I had to keep pausing it to translate just what the hell the author was talking about. Tazkuvel is VERY fond of using flowery, flowery, FLOWERY (wait! Have I mentioned it's really flowery?) language. It's way too much. Which is tragic because the first few bits I translated for myself were really quite touching and could've been quite motivating. But I'm way too exhausted to waste my time on any more of this. Life is far too short, and there are far too many other inspirational reads out there.
That said, godspeed to all. I'm off to look for them...
After reading a whole heckuva lot about nuclear annihilation it was time to settle down into something a tad lighter and more festive. And I couldn't have been more delighted with my choice. "The Christmas Chicken" is a very short listen which is brilliantly and audaciously narrated by Brad Wills (who else could infuse a chicken's voice with shock or dismay?) and follows a poor family as they all come together for a single Christmas. There is poverty! There is begging! Alcoholism! Bad guys! Cockfights! A small blind boy! Street urchins with hearts of gold! It's a listening classic that left me laughing and is actually safe and enjoyable fun for the whole family. It's worth the small listening time, and it's certainly worthy of the tiny pittance o' cash you'll lay out. What a delightful, delightful surprise!
It's still not the 5-star Jacob T. Marley, but what is?
While doing research for my second novel, which is actually supposed to be quite uplifting, I stumbled onto "Hiroshima Diary," and I was hooked from the sample. If I'd hoped to get a sense of what it was like/the devastation of nuclear horror from Paul Ham's "Hiroshima, Nagasaki," and didn't find it there, I certainly found it here. This is the diary of a single man, a doctor, badly wounded at first, so he can observe, firsthand, how pathetic and hopeless/helpless he is, just to be parked there, waiting for treatment with such poor options, such few supplies.
Bur through it all, the patients, the doctors, the visitors, all the survivors, for the most part have hope and heart. It's a truly extraordinary listen as these people strive to make do, strive to help each other, strive to bring some sense of cheer to some horrific days. A young girl whose entire body is burned but whose face is still beautiful is made to smile--that's seen as a miracle and part of a good day. Supplies, however meager, being brought in, are part of a good day. Memories of peaches brought by somebody who survived the bomb are brought to mind, and are relished with gratitude. A breeze on a bitterly hot day, so wonderful.
This is a graphic, graphic listen, not for the faint of heart, not for the young.
But certainly for those who would like to learn a little more, feel a little more, love and appreciate their world a little more.
And it did what Paul Ham's book didn't do: It made me shudder for my part in humankind...
This only rates a three because it drags, and it's so repetitive, I damned near cried a few times. It's a truly emotionally charged issue, and up front, let me just say it: I was one of those strident mouthy types who, without thought, pointed out that, after someone said, quite harshly, that the US was the only country to have used atomic weapons, we used them on a country, Japan, that was nowhere near the happy, pappy, anime loving people they are now. At the time of the use of atomic weaponry, there was some unspeakable brutality going on: in China, in the camps, in their very ideas on how life should be lived, in their code that it was better to spread death and die, than, well, here, suffice it to say: blah, blah, heinous, blah.
But Ham has made me rethink this with very indepth reporting of what was going on from all angles.
And therein lies the problem.
The humanity is lost.
You want the horror? You want to realize that what happened was wrong and that it happened to people who were just as misguided as any people who happened to follow leaders who led them astray? Read/listen to "Hiroshima Diary."
But skip the eeeeeeendlessssss politics that Ham wallows in. Brilliantly researched, yes. Well-narrated, without a doubt. Boring, holy cow, I'm off to take a nap!
I thought this was a Four Star Book until I listened to the Jim Jones tape right after this. Now THERE was the story I thought I'd be getting from "A Thousand Lives." "A Thousand Lives" is a brilliant chronicle of Jim Jones, the Peoples Temple, and a few of its congregants, but by no means does it go into that last fateful day. The last hours are touched upon, and it's heartbreaking when you realize who makes it, and who doesn't, but, really, it's not gone into deeply. I don't know if Ms. Scheeres thought it might be morbid? Perhaps she thought it might be, what? Too soon? Too disrespectful to the families?
After listening to the Jim Jones tape, which is available on Audible, but could probably be found anywhere on the internet, I don't think it would be disrespectful. I simply think it's the real human drama, real people making horrifying choices, saying their good-byes, and yes, screaming and crying, all while a doped-up madman chastises them.
I was twelve years old when this happened. Couldn't understand how something like this could happen. "A Thousand Lives" does make me understand WHY and HOW it could happen, but the tape makes me care.
Maybe not entirely credit worthy, but certainly worth a Daily Deal, or a sale. Besides, Robin Miles as Jim Jones at the end there is downright creepy!
Full Disclosure: While I love nonfiction, military history and genocide and such all... I've gotta admit it. Sometimes I'm just in the mood for some good chick lit.
The description of the book makes it sound as though this would be a grittier read, what with murder, death, etc. involved, but actually, it's a sweet and easy listen.
Like "Enchanted April," "The Long Way Home" is a story of four very different women who come together on a whim and wind up finding parts of themselves that they thought they'd never find. The characters are well fleshed-out, likable, and have different strengths and weaknesses.
It's a delightful listen, especially as I just finished a couple of audiobooks on Cambodia and was in the mood for something light, but touching. "The Long Way Home" did not disappoint. The only quibbling I have is that the narrator falls into the female narrator trap of: man's voice—better make my voice low and growly, but it wasn't too bad.
Also, and this is just the writer in me, I thought there were opportunities for a little bit more tension to be thrown in, twists, anything except such neat bows tied onto problems faced and problems solved.
Other than that, I really enjoyed my time with the characters.
Oops! One more thing: I listened to it at 1.25 speed as I felt that there were far too many pregnant and ponderous pauses (Alliteration!) in the narration
"23 Anti-Procrastination Habits." While "Solving the Procrastination Puzzle" is quite in depth about what, exactly, causes the mechanism of procrastination, "23..." actually has many ways to combat the nasty habits we all fall into. (Hint: Buy the kindle first and you can get "23" for the special price.)
This book is okay as a Daily Deal, but I'm not sure it's worth the time. As it turned out, I listened to it 'cause I wanted to avoid my daily writing task.
Besides, the narration, while not the worst, put me to sleep (Oh, gosh! Yet ANOTHER thing that took my away from my chores/tasks!)
I got this book cheap in Kindle/Audio bundle, and I, accordingly, had low expectations. I couldn't have been more surprised at how much fun I had listening to this. There's a little something here for everyone: Adventure, Romance, Twists, some Violence. You get the picture. Wonderful characters, blazing narration, and a great story with lots of variety in the time travel stints.
I highly recommend this audiobook. I dashed out and got the second in the series as soon as I was done with this one.
I wanted to love this, really I did. I've read most of this series, and I purchased this audiobook as part of a Kindle bundle. Which is a good thing as the thought of paying full price makes me shudder. The narrator, Clive Chafer, just kills what is a really, really good book. There is so much cheeky humor in the text, quandaries, character development. Really, the book itself is a delight, especially as it's not your usual run of the mill coroner/detection story but has history (Which I love!) and research in it, that makes it full and well fleshed-out. Siri is a wonderful character, stubborn, funny, views the world in a one-of-a-kind way, and gets befuddled over the oddest things.
But, oh, the narration! Sooo serious, so flat. Where on earth did the humor go, the lightness, the richness of description?
This is a really good book, but I don't think it's worth a credit. Perhaps a half-credit, or a Daily Deal. But see if you can stomach the narration.
It's a pity because this could've been a joyful ride!
I must admit that I had fairly low expectations going into this book. I thought it'd be one of my shameful treats (Fair warning: Reviews of "Stay" and "Dogs Aren't Men" coming. See? Shameful treats!). I expected light writing, adequately developed characters, and not much in the way of plot.
How different this turned out to be. A young woman, trapped between the world of Iran she grew up in and the America she seems to be floundering in. A mother who desperately misses her life in Iran and who feels frustration about stagnation, fear that her children are wholly foreign to her, and who misses the life she could've had. Not your usual mother/daughter story.
What I really enjoyed, if you can call it that, is the second part of the book that deals with their past in Tehran. I was a pup during the whole Iran Revolution/Hostage Crisis/Iran-Iraq War, so this was a history, a painting of life that put faces to the whole thing. It added a sense of fear, horror and heartbreak that we, those far away from any crisis, seem smugly not to notice or think about. It was so well-developed!
And who gives a narrator, for heaven's sake, 5 stars? I do! Because Negin Farsad was icing on a pretty terrific cake. She doesn't make the mistake of turning men into nothing but low, growly voices. She just reads them, their words, with warmth and emotion.
This is a wonderful, wonderful book that I'll be using another credit for... 'cause I know my mom would love it. Mothers and Daughters? We're just that way, aren't we?
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