The topic is quite interesting and the book is quite well done, but some of the same material is handed better in Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert.
Back in full form.
I have liked many of the author’s books over the years, but, with the exception of the Odd series, his recent efforts have been generally disappointing. This is easily his worst. Just mentioning chaos theory and explaining that everything has a deeply hidden underlying pattern does not mean that you can just throw together a lot of random threads and have it become a coherent plot.
The totally incoherent creationist rant does not help either.
I would no recommend this to anyone, and I will have to become more selective in picking books by Mr. Koontz.
I you like the show or just like weird humor, you wiil probably enjoy this.
I do have to agree with several other reviews that the selling of evolution in the book is a bit heavy handed, particularly since he is mostly “preaching to the choir” since people who don’t believe that in evolution are very unlikely to read the book. Saying something is “unquestionably true” is pointless if a high percentage of the population to indeed question it, their questions by be irrational, but they are still questions, but these sort of comments really make up a small portion of the book and I found fairly easy to ignore. The author should just let the facts speak for themselves; because the facts are presented very well.
I found that I had a much clearer understanding of how evolution works through DNA after reading the book, and that is plenty to make this a worthwhile read. The explanation of the mathematics of evolution, and how changes can occur far more quickly than one might expect, was very well done.
The section showing two examples how irrational opposition to scientific evidence can be damaging was excellent, and the fact that in both cases the culture based views did not have their basis in religion was very effective.
Although I recommend the book, I should warn anyone who is looking for a fun read that the final section of the difficulty in repairing damage done the environment is depressing.
Representing a historical period by focusing on the struggle between two individuals is a well-established approach to giving the period a more personal feel than a more abstract review of the basic facts. It is an approach that can help make the conflicts of that time more accessible to a modern audience. The first challenge is obviously to find the two individuals. For the early constitutional period it is clear that Thomas Jefferson is only natural choice for one of the antagonists, but who should represent his opposition is anything but obvious. John Marshal is an interesting choice for the opposition and I think the author does a good job showing that some aspects of the conflicting views of the two men continue on even now.
I enjoyed the book and the reading. I should point out that if you are interested in this fascinating period of our history Audible does have some better books on the foundations of our nation. I would start with "Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation" (Unabridged) by Joseph J. Ellis and if you want to learn more the marvelously detailed "John Adams" (Unabridged) by David McCullough is great book. Both of these books received, and deserved the Pulitzer Prize. With those as background I think many readers would enjoy this study of one aspect of our early leaders.
When you listen to a book for over 30 hours (including Volume 2) and find yourself wishing there were more, clearly it indicates a great book.
This is a grand biography of a fascinating man and perhaps the most crucial period in our history.
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