If you can ignore the handful of moral equivocations between terrorist sociopaths and (apparently) President Bush (perhaps I misunderstood the message), and slightly more frequent, obvious anti-war messages, this book is very interesting and insightful. I don't know the accuracy of the estimate that 4% of people are sociopaths, but the exploration of the characteristics of sociopaths was enlightening and convinced me I've unfortunately know a handful in my life. Redeeming herself, Martha Stout clearly establishes the link between psychological health and living a religiously moral life. A well written and easy to listen to audiobook I've already recommended to others.
The story is generally interesting, apparently an intentional twist on the biblical Cain vs Able... just on a starless planet. I could feel the planet's darkness throughout the book. The ending left me haunted, even though I knew it was coming. However, nowhere did the author deal with the effects of little to no light on the human brain, as in SADD.
The narrative convention of different characters telling their internal thoughts in different chapters was an interesting twist on the usual narrative from one person's point of view throughout a book.
The repeated words like "Bad bad" is reminiscent of Newspeak in Orwell's 1984, "double plus bad".
I'm surprised this won the 2013 Arthur C. Clark award - I don't recall any of Clark's books containing NC-17 "sex sex" content.
Overall good, but far too much explicit sexual content for Arthur C. Clark and most was completely unnecessary for the plot.
Eye opening. Revelatory. Explanatory. Disturbing. Transformational.
The Russian's "Science of Disinformation" has had a horrible impact on modern history and is still in use today by Russian and American politicians alike. Chapters 41 and 42 talk about modern politicians' use of Disinformation, such as Obama and Pelosi.
You will never see historical and current events the same way again.
Once you know it's a game, you can no longer be a participant.
I saw the movie and got the book in order to get a more in depth story. I really enjoyed listening but did not get much additional insight. The book of the 2009 movie provided some deviations from the movie as well as more in-depth information on the storyline and new, alternate universe. I was hoping the same in this book, but didn't find as much as desired. Follows the movie pretty closely. There are some additional insights, but not enough for what I wanted.
I really enjoyed listening to Alice's sexy, silky regional British accent and remembering her onscreen presence for 9 hours. I honestly don't understand some of the complaints about her accent. It wasn't hard to follow at all. I don't know, perhaps I've have more experience listening to Brits than the other commenters here and therefore didn't have any trouble.
Alice did, however, struggle with the male dominated storyline: while she had believable regional accents for all of the men, most of them came across as whining rather than joking, commanding..... For some reason, she didn't have this problem with McCoy. I liked her imitation of Scotty. I really didn't like her portrayal of Khan or Admiral Marcus.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, but I can't sit that long. I DID take a long long drive and listened the entire time without getting tired... bringing me back to her British accent....
This book is actually quite insightful and simple to comprehend, and has therefore helped me to understand and appreciate the unique needs of my alien daughter.
Half way through the book so far, I have encountered absolutely no signs of "constant right wing Christian moral espousement". Religion isn't mentioned at all.
This book is helping me reconnect with my daughter, but be forewarned, having your mistakes and weaknesses pointed out in the examples isn't an easy listen....
A very engaging immersive experience that conveys the hardships, era, events and the personalities of the main and minor characters of the period as no book has ever done for me before. It's very hard to put down. I had no understanding of the ordeal the common soldier endured. I had no idea what gave Thomas Paine his inspiration, who is actually one of the two main characters of at least the first half I've listened to. Now I do. Highly recommended.
... and hopefully "rewritten" by more objective eyes.
The history repeating itself right before our eyes can help us understand The Depression. The same ideologies and self-interested representations are again at work today
Today, Democrats try to ensure that the official history of our economic crisis says it was caused by Wall Street greed, the failure of capitalism and Bush economic policies. Future objective "rewrites" will include neglected inconvenient facts: Democrats refused to regulate the unintended consequences of their economically unsound "spread the wealth via affordable housing" policies.
The Depression was no different. Those Democrats were fascinated by and experimented with the same socialistic fascism promoted by Mussolini and Hitler - long before their extreme versions of fascism became malignant. Politicians asserted it was a failure of capitalism in order to justify a socialist "solution". Thereafter, the sanctioned history was written by the victors and those who still champion these ideals, proclaiming them successful, beyond reproach and "settled" through a consensus of everyone - except the "deniers".
Learning from the tragic history of our ancestors and noting the differences and, especially, dramatic parallels between the 1920-40s and 1990-2010's could help us navigate today's dangerous waters. However, our vision must be 20/20. We must ensure our official histories are free from ideological bias and political motivations.
This book shines a brighter light on this era, a "revision" long overdue. The personalities, ideologies, agendas and political history of the main characters (e.g., Mellon, Hoover, Roosevelt, the 1920's and 1930's...) are practically ripped right out of todays headlines.
Another excellent "rewrite" that'll give context for this era is "Liberal Fascism" - still actively at work in the 2008 Election.
I just started the 2nd audio file of 3 total. It starts out fast with a main character you can easily like, but quickly slows way down. It's a full 2 hours into it before the first surreal event, but they are far and few in between for the rest of the 1st of 3 files (the reason I only gave it 3 stars). I hope it picks up because I like the character and premise. However, don't expect a fast pace.
This is not just eye-opening, but eye-popping as it will scare the heck out of you just how easy it is for someone to steal your personal identity.
Obtaining your social security number, birth date, mother's maiden name, address, demographic data... to take out a loan against your mortgage, use your credit card or even acquire one in your name, use your SSN to make themselves money while leaving the taxes to you, gain access to the money in your bank accounts, and soooo many more... has become absolutely trivial... and done all in your name and at your expense.
This will scare you far more than any Steven King novel, and tell you how to reduce your risk.
I purchased this on the recommendations of Audible and Amazon reviews as well as the association with Stephen King but find myself somewhat disappointed.
The story flows well, is fairly fast paced, well written and I do find myself feeling tense when the ghost is around. Like the review above, However, I have had a hard time feeling empathy for or identifying with the two pain characters.
Call me a prude if you must, but I find his particular and rather frequent descriptions of sexual encounters disturbing and totally unnecessary to the plot. There are just some images I don't want in my head. I haven't read a lot of Mr. Kings books, but within those I have I don't recall him having to resort to such to make the point. It'd be a good story if these were omitted.
I actually find myself questioning if I want to listen to the remaining 3 hours.
However, if you can ignore these things, you may find that you "enjoy" the creepiness of their interactions with the ghost.
Not for kids, teens and even many adults.
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