If you loved the His Dark Materials trilogy, you'll love this story, which continues some of the threads in the trilogy. It takes place after the trilogy, and probably won't be comprehensible if you haven't read the earlier books. The reading is excellent -- one of the best I have ever heard -- with the author reading the narration, and various actors reading the character parts. My only quibble with the reading is that the actress who does Lyra's part sounds about 10, though Lyra must be 15 or 16 at the time of the story.
Not the usual dull academic tome, this book is well written (and well translated) -- so fascinating a listen that I found myself staying in the car to finish a chapter from time to time. I learned much about capital, income and the relationships between them -- a real eye-opener.
I had pretty much no interest in this topic before -- that has now changed. I tried the book because I saw Thomas Piketty on a morning TV show, and he was so engaging that I decided to try the book -- I am very glad I did.
The book has lots of statistics (of course!) -- the tables and charts are provided in a PDF, so you can download and print them for reference. But it also deals with social history and literature, using the novels of Balzac, Proust and Jane Austen for insight into the lives of people of different classes in previous centuries, especially their relationship to capital ownership, interest on capital, and income.
The narrator's lively tone was perfect for the book. His pronunciation of French and other European names was very good.
Try it -- even if you think you won't like it. You might be pleasantly surprised.
Stephen King's first book, with many of the themes carried out in later books -- horror in an everyday setting, mysterious psychic powers, bullying. He says in the introduction that it is dated, but I didn't find it so -- the only thing that would be needed to bring the story into the 21st century is the addition of cell phones (the shower scene would be all over YouTube if it happened now), and maybe some bureaucratic ass-covering by the principal about the school's zero tolerance for bullying policy.
The reading has some minor problems, though. The story is set in Maine, so her Southern accent isn't right for this book. And she reads some passages in a low whisper, which means that if you are listening in a noisy environment, all of a sudden you can't hear anything until you turn up the volume, and then you get blasted with too-loud sound when she resumes speaking in a normal voice.
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