Now this is what a "scholarly" book should be. Impeccably researched, this book brings to life a period of history that has always proved opaque to me. Ms. Tuchman has done an exceptional job. It's the kind of book that makes you feel like you're investing your time well!
I'm still looking for the fantasy writers who can sweep me off my feet . . . I think if you're already a fan of the genre, you would enjoy this---the descriptions of magician-craft were well-done and interesting---but I'm beginning to wonder if fantasy just isn't my genre . . . because at the end of the book I'm just left with a half-hearted feeling. (one exception was the first book in Game of Thrones, but I'll be damned if I'm going to invest that much time in a sequel(s) to a book that ends with a "tune in next week."
So for this book . . . well-written, fair use of a credit, but I wouldn't recommend to someone not already into the genre.
You wouldn't believe it if it were fiction . . . just when you think "ok, it can't get worse than that . . ." wait ten pages . . . and I thought that probably a dozen times.
I wasn't terribly interested in the topic but picked it up due to the exceptional reviews. I'm glad I did. I very worthwhile credit even for someone with only casual interest. Superb non-fiction writing . . . I'm kind of surprised it didn't win a Pulitzer---it's of that caliber.
As I believe some other reviewers have mentioned, if you read this sort of book often, you won't find much new material here.
Maybe I'm too close to the industry, but I was struck by two things:
1) I felt like I was reading a book proposal.
2) Authors, DON'T read your own text unless you are acknowledged as an excellent reader of your work. (David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell, etc.)
Summation: An aging frat boy's guide to science. At times this book makes People magazine look literary . . . Dude . . .
A waste of time and credits unfortunately.
On a positive note, if you're interested in this sort of book, Thinking Fast & Slow by Daniel Kahnemen was BEYOND brilliant. One of the best books I've read in years.
A very enjoyable "mini-book" for those of you running low on credits! :)
(I'm assuming it's still a free download!)
While I wouldn't quite put it in the same class as Shogun, First Man in Rome, or Memoirs of a Geisha, and while the target audience is clearly women who are interested in a higher-class of romance novel, this novel did not disappoint. Brings to life the characters to the degree that you will be tempted (successfully) into googling the truth of their existence!
Well done and well worth the credit!
Very thought-provoking. I found myself thinking about this book often while NOT listening to it and also mentioning it to friends. (always a sign of a good book!)
A wonderful picture of the age . . .
The narrator . . . simply incredible. A friend mentioned that they "couldn't get through it" and I think had they listened rather than read it, it would have made a difference. a really worthwhile use of a credit!
The subject line really says it all. It's not a book I would recommend for everyone---it does become a little academic and dense at times in it's presentation---but I think I found myself talking about this book to others more than any other book I've read the last few years. It was VERY thought-provoking and really had me reflecting on it's content as I walked around and dealt with the rest of my life. I know I'm going to carry many key ideas away from it and into the future.
Honestly, while I respect and enjoy Malcolm Gladwell and those types of books, THIS is the book that I've been looking for!
Should have listened to it a long time . . . never got around to it and am now kicking myself. Was in the middle of a poorly written book (albeit with good content) and switched mid-stream out of frustration.
The immediate leap in the quality of the prose was SO refreshing! Truly a classic book---it will be read for generations to come. Remarkable.
A caveat: if you are a fan of Jane Austen, you "may" like this book. For me however, it was Sherlock Holmes--poorly narrated, and as written by Jane Austen (but without Austen's considerable skills).
An hour into a 15(?) hour book I found myself wishing that the bees would swarm and attack the narrator. I don't think I have ever read a book where I started rooting for the villain if only to end the novel immediately. I don't give up on novels, so I listened to the end, and the only satisfaction I gained was in deleting it from my iPod immediately thereafter.
Cliche-ridden writing, tedious "clever" dialogue, and pretentious English characters. Save a credit, there has to be many better books out there.
I have no idea if the narrator is actually English or not, but if she is, her's is the first "British" accent I have heard that I do not like. Then when she tries to imitate a French MAN, speaking British English with a bad French accent . . . it's just painful.
I have no idea how this book has become so popular. I have to believe it is female Jane Austen fans who like the tedious digressions and pompous English society characters, and are willing to forgive the actual quality of the writing.
(FYI, after probably 30-40+ audible listens...I think this is my first one star review.)
I'm not a devoted sci-fi reader . . . I just want a great book---the subject matter doesn't matter much to me. as such, I found this book to be better than most sci-fi books: it had an interesting premise that didn't telegraph itself---but the characters overall were pretty flat, cliched, and hackneyed and I didn't really care what happened to them. Overall---a fair book---but I won't be recommending it to anyone I know.
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