This is John Grisham's first novel and the storyline is good. But the book is from a different era. The use of the "n" word is pervasive. In fairness, the word is not used to defame. It is used casually, like the color red would be used. For me, that took a 4 star book down to a 2.
The setting is unfamiliar to me so I liked learning about a different geographic area of the country. Presentations of regular people, the KKK, the ACLU lawyer and the civil rights groups were very interesting.
I wonder why I think about anything I do if my actions are based on triggers that I cannot control.
There is a lot of interesting information in the book. The part where the ability of the brain that controls activities was new to me. Brain imaging and the like. I can see where this would help physicians in treatment of patients. But developing positive habits is more difficult than the author would lead you to believe. Emotions often interfere with the best laid habits. When I am chasing a tennis ball, my habits would result in hitting a controlled shot on the run. But my emotions make me want to smack the ball. And the occaisonal success just makes me want to do it more.
I found the section on Target most fascinating and troubling. Fascinating because consumers can be so predictable that computer programs can identify patterns that are quite accruate. And troubling because the result is that when I log into Amazon, I am offered products based on what I have bought before. I am like the father whose daughter received a Target ad for pregnancy products. I don't want someone else to know what I want before I know it myself.
We often forget what had to happen in the past to make our life what it is today. I have been interested in the life story of William Wilberforce because he was a man greatly admired by Charles Colson. In fact, Colson's organization, Prison Fellowship, gives an annual award to the person that most exemplifies William Wilberforce. I am a great admirer of Charles Colson.
William Wilberforce grew up in a family where religious practice was not a focal point. When he converted to Methodism, it was a great scandal and his family did all they could to wean him from this belief. Despite some ups and downs, William remained a Methodist all his life. In that day, to be a Methodist was to be outside the mainstream where religion was in words but not in deeds.
William was a key political player and was a life long friend of William Pitt who was a political leader of England for quite a long season. Despite their differences on slavery, they remained friends. This is to both of their credit. William's life mission was the ending of the slave trade and the horrors that this visited on Africans (and on all who were so engaged, such as John Newton of Amazing Grace fame who was a mentor of Wilberforce). Despite several near misses on passing legislation to end the slave trade, it took over thirty years to finally make it happen.
I found the book to be full of information that I didn't know and plan to listen again after a season to pick up additional insights. My compliments on a great listen.
I have listened to a number of entries of this series and am a fan. It was good to go back to the beginning to remember how it all began. Particularly, I remembered how JP got his lawyer, his partner Ron and all his money. This initial book is heavier on sexuality and language than the later books. In my opinion, that is too bad for this book but good for future books.
Having listened to other books in this series, Gene Engeny is JP Beaumont to me and his is the voice of an old friend.
I liked witnessing the process a police detective follows when searching for a murderer. And how office politics often get in the way and impede progress. Book detectives don't have to finish as quickly as TV detectives so you get to observe the many dead ends that are traced out before the story opens before you.
I was surprised that a hardened detective could fall in love so quickly while setting aside his lifetimes detecting habits. But I guess that beauty can turn a head and blind an eye.
This book made my treadmill sessions go a little faster and I aprreciated that.
There is growing dissent to the standard naturalistic view of the beginnings of the universe. Einstein's theory of general relativity has led to general belief in the big bang theory. This results in the earth having a beginning.
The author uses his standard practice of speaking with various experts in various fields whose research leads them to believe that our world could only have come into existence as a result of an intelligent designer.
The interviews give the listener basic information and the ability to look further into those interviewed for more information in a particular discipline.
As I listened, I wanted to tell Lincoln to be smarter. He seemed to have a death wish. He traveled unprotected into war zones to get a first hand view of the battle. He shared the information that he was going to the theatre well in advance of the showing.
The conspirators were vividly portrayed. The night of Lincoln's death was told almost in slow motion. Lincoln was dying the the conspirators were scattering to the wind.
The story of John Wilkes Booth was riveting.
Despite the book's length, it always kept my interest. This could be because this is my first book on Bonhoeffor and my knowledge of things German and this time era was minimal.
I liked the discussion of the family and how the events affected these people over time. I was interested in how Bonhoeffer interacted with all the major Christian thinkers of his era. I liked how they disagreed without becoming enemies. I was impressed by Bonhoeffer's loyalty to Germany. It was facinating to see how he "touched" such a great diversity of the people of his era.
I am better for having seen this time period through Bonhoeffer's eyes.
This was my first JD Robb book. I was hoping for better. The future is a cold place despite an abundance of new technological gadgets. There are friendships but no real community. The families mentioned don't share lives. Personal autonomy is the ultimate good.
The story line is no better. The reader isn't brought along as the crime is being solved. And when the perpetrator is finally revealed, his/her (don't want to give away the ending) political pespective is exactly opposite of the good detective.
The characters use ugly language often. And the girls always beat up the boys.
The majority of the speeches favor a traditional or conservative political perspective. Some of the writings didn't lend themselves to the audio format (the Articles of Confederation, in particular). I really enjoyed the later part of the book. I was struck by how long the academic trend has been anti-American. Such a deep seated philosphy will take a long time to counter.
In the first half of the book, it was hard to find someone to like. Eventually, some momentum was gathered but the payoff wasn't enough to justify the long investment of time.
I often like Koontz's books but this one was a dud for me.
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