This is a fascinating story, made more compelling due to the present fear of a avian flu pandemic. However, the narration is so awful, I cannot finish the book. I unfortunately underestimated how bad it would be from the prior reviews. A wasted credit is the only thing I received from this book. I doubt the author has an actual speech impediment. This type of "impediment" occurs when one records at a too low bit-rate quality--something a professional narrator would never do.
Why do authors continue to do this? With *rare* exception (Nora Ephron and David McCullough come to mind) it is a big mistake. Note to authors: check your ego at the curb. Use professional narrators--your audio book will be much more successful.
Buy another flu audio book.
I too wish I had listened to the prior review about the music ruining the listening experience. I only listened to about an hour and I can't listen anymore. Jeremy Northam is great, but dear lord. the LOUD music that plays incessantly is enough to make you scream. Like the prior reviewer stated, the music is louder than the narration like commercials on TV. Obnoxious. I've deleted the book from my iPod. I can't endure it.
Having been to China a few times, I found myself bursting out laughing while driving and listening to this engaging book. I enjoyed this book immensely and found it quite factual. Troost's descriptions of the smog, the spitting, the split pants was both hilarious and true. China is a great country with a great history. It also has some downsides. Troost handled the downsides with wonderful humor. Anyone who has spent any time in china outside of a five star hotel will find very familiar descriptions in this book. If you haven't been to china, it is just as enjoyable. This is a side of China. Not all of china, but certainly one truthful side.
And it didn't get much better. Irving talks about his personal life for half the book. It is not interesting. There are a lot of characters which was a challenge for the narrator, but some of the accents are just grating and absurd. The woman who is the executive at Mc Graw hill sounds like the wildly gay wedding planner in the new version of "father of the bride".
However, that being said, it is just an amazing story that he was able to pull the wool over so many people's eyes.
Because she said it so much better than I could, I'm stealing Linda from Ocela FL's line: "Unless you are recently divorced, going through an acrimonious divorce, are bipolar or otherwise mentally challenged, do not buy this book."
This author is the most self absorbed, boring person I have ever read. She kept saying she didn't want to talk about her divorce or her husband, but never stoped talking about either. If you want an exhausting purge of a recent divorcee, then eat, love and pray your heart out. Otherwise, read anything else.
I must agree with another reviewer that the narration on this book is ghastly. I couldn't get through the first section. The content is fascinating, but after the 500th "quote/unquote" , I had to turn it off. Really awful and a shame. Authors to stick to being authors and let professional readers do the readings of their books.
I run a technology company and completely disagree with the reviewer who said the book was "flat, flat flat"
Although I have been in the tech sector for many years, Freidman's book put a lot of things into context for me--both time context and content context.
I loved the reader--perfect with slight accents without overdoing it. I would look for books by this reader.
Get The World is Flat. Make your kids read it too.
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