The first review on here is generally accurate in terms of book contents, the book doesn't necessarily have the contradictions it suggests. But it may not offer the solutions that everyone hopes will help them find the mysteries of the universe, either. The problem is that where science is concerned many think that there are always concrete answers, but that is simply the fartheset thing from the truth.
What this book does do is have a lengthy discussion about the things that influence our choices and informs our decisions. There is no firm answer because everyone makes decisions based on a different set of experiences, even if many of them are common.
While perhaps a bit long in a place or two, the author takes a great deal of time to fully present his thoughts which are often complex. I thought while much of the information here is known, it is presented in a way that helps readers understand his concepts.
Since the book has been accurately described, I suppose there is no reason to repeat it all except to add an additional voice, one gathers, to the chorus of avoidance. The first reviewer pretty much covers it. It is a book with potential that just never caught fire and is one of the most irrelevant reads I've had. I was more fascinated with the secondary characters than with the with lead. You know that's a bad sign. To parapharse the real estate axiom, see title of review.
Drugs are what you believe you're on when you're listening to this dreadful abridged book by Ms. Iris Johansen. Ms. Johansen's work is beyond the realm of terrible with an inspid plot and writing--which isn't the complete product of the abridgment. The plot, if you can call it that, does not surface early on and revolves on a number of people with accents--which the reader frequently confused with one another. Because it is abridged, it skips right along of course, and half the time you don't know what the hell is going on (not that you will care). The producer of this piece should be forced to listen to their work. My friend and I were listening to this in a car--and at first we were angry-but by the end we were screaming with laughter at every turn because the book became so unbearably bad.
Like the other reviewers, I felt compelled to write about how amazingly terrible this book is. While the plot is outlandish, a good author good have suspended disbelief. I've read Patterson before and can't believe he actually authored this nonsense. The readers didn't bother me but the writing did. This is little better than a junior high extended essay. I can't say don't judge a book by its cover but, his other book, "The Beach," also seems to have virtually the same cover which tells you something about what the publisher thinks.
One of Hawn's unstated messages is "don't judge a book by its cover," which is apparently what Diane Sawyer did recently when she conducted a patronizing interview of Hawn about this book. According to what I've read, Sawyer lead a rather silly interview and asked Hawn at the end "you say you always learned from your father that you can always learn something out of anything--what have you learned from this interview? Hawn: I've learned it's the shortest interview in the history of the world."
When I began the book, I thought it might be very much like the typical roles she has played: kind of ditzy. At first, she narrates very much like that as she tells her tale. But as she subtly points out, the creator of Laugh-In once called her "dumb as a fox." The book is read (though not immediately apparent) as a series of memories, rather like picking up a photo and telling you its story. The book is then punctuated by the lessons and impact it has had on Hawn's life, read by a very different and more serious Hawn. As a result, the book does tend to skip back and forth at times (at one moment she's married to her second husband then is pregant with her third husband's child); it can take a few moments to figure out what is going on.
The more I read, the more I couldn't put it down. I found myself taken with the author and her story and for her nuggets of wisdom. They are, in some cases, old chestnuts, but Hawn elaborates about why things are important. What you find is far from the image that is often conveyed and instead a very savvy business woman, who, perhaps unexpectedly for her profession puts her role as a daughter, sister, woman, partner and most of all as a mother before everything else in her life.
Whether the audio book was intended to be as it is or whether it is a product of the abridgement is unclear. It's a good read, but the abridgement makes me withhold the fifth star. Abridgment is largely for Tom Clancy novels.
The author has, once again, delivered the goods. A great historical tale about a (generationally) liitle known topic. I had always known about the flood, but never the details. McCullough is able to deliver a terrific work that is hard to put down. Edward Herrmann, better known in some of his acting roles as FDR or the Chrysler guy--uses his unusual and instantly recognizeable voice to deliver a book that you feel is being read like a good story with important parables. His other reads are equally wonderful by the way.
I highly recommend this book. I couldn't stop listening. It is a serious book about a serious subject, but it does lighten the darker, if at times, horrific elements of being the dearly departed. Shelly Frasier does a good job of transmitting the author's sense of humor and life--and does not telegraph a "cynical" point of view; rather she captures the dark, sometimes humorous, sometimes bizarre and often ironic issues related to death which, after all, is everyone's fate.
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