I wanted this to be a sociological look at the growth of a science fiction story into an international religion, but it was more of a slow-paced biography of L. Ron Hubbard and dull hashing-out of the "secret" ideology (which was not very surprising or interesting). Really, the South Park episode was more informative on that point, and hilarious. I like books about cults, and books critical of religions, and I found this fairly boring. Sorry. I wanted to like it.
This is a very well-written book, that works well as an audiobook as well because of its fast pace and engaging material. I followed the NSA revelations closely, but this book gives more depth and context. It's as much a book about the fragile state of journalism as it is about the pervasiveness of surveillance. A no-brainer for a download, and one of the five-star audiobooks that also justify a print version in my home library.
This is a good book, worth a credit, but it could have been better. The narrator from the first Star Trek movie tie-in was great, but then they switched over to this woman. It was not a good move. She has a small, mousy British voice, which really doesn't work for a story with mostly strong, masculine characters. She struggled to differentiate the different characters, and had issues pausing at the right time. The story would say "Kirk shouted..." and she would whisper the next line. Also, when there was action taking place in two different settings, she wouldn't pause effectively to differentiate the plot lines, so I found myself rewinding a lot after figuring out that the scene had shifted without any pause or cue from the narrator. It seemed as if she just read it out loud in one take, straight through, without any kind of notes. She also had an annoying habit of trailing off at the end of every sentence. She's just a bad voice actor. I guess the fault lies with the director or producer of the audio book as well.
Despite that, I still enjoyed the book. It's based on the movie script, so it has the feel of an abridged book, where the action moves quickly, but they still managed to put more character development and detail than was present in the film version.
This was a very compelling listen. It's been a while since I've heard a book that captured my attention so completely. I've listened to the rest of the Joe Ledger books, and enjoyed them all, but this is the best in the series. It's an interesting mix of science and science fiction, fast-paced, with well-written dialogue and a fascinating plot. I was sorry when it was over, and it's going to be tough to find another book to follow it up with.
This was an interesting quasi-history book. I say "quasi" because it is not a dry, objective history, but more of a narrative of the author's experience learning the history of some presidential assassinations. She infuses a lot of her personality into the history, which is generally interesting, funny, and mostly witty, but gets a little annoying toward the end. She also has a really annoying voice, and despite the "full cast" badge, she narrates 99.9% of it personally with a tiny smattering of the other credited narrators here and there.
I actually saw the movie before I listened to the book, and while there are some intersections between the movie and the book, they are basically completely different. That said, I like both. The book basically a series of vignettes that show technological progress and its societal implications, through the eyes of a robo-psychologist who watched their development. It comes together a bit in the end.
It's definitely not a thriller like the movie, but it was very interesting and also very thought provoking about technology and human nature.
This book was terrible. Brad Thor basically recycled some Mitch Rapp plot lines and mashed them together with huge, boring portions of inane political philosophy, with a constant vein of racist stereotypes running throughout. The action sequences, which are pretty dull and cliche to begin with, are broken up by twenty minute-long rants about globalism and political philosophy that sounds like it came from a developmentally challenged hybrid of Ayn Rand and Ann Coulter.
Even aside from the offensive and boring political content, the book is just poorly written. I've read quite a few books in this genre - from Flynn, DeMille, Clancy - and this was so inferior that it is hard to compare them. Characters somehow manage to be one-dimensional and discordant at the same time. I wanted to turn this book off about halfway through, but I actually listened to the whole thing for the sole reason that I wanted to be able to give a comprehensive review of how terrible it is.
Let me emphasize one point: I find this book to be amoral and irresponsible from an ideological standpoint BUT I also find it to be a terrible work of literature, from an objective standpoint. Even if you like Jack Bauer and endorse torture and think every Muslim is a bomb and hate the United Nations, etc. etc. I think you will still find that this is cliche, poorly-written rubbish.
OK story, reminded me of Andromeda Strain. It's a beach book, not much substance, but it was entertaining.
This book, like its author, lacks substance. It is an autobiography of a shameless self-promoter, not a guide to self-improvement. It has no useful ideas or inspirations for business or life. He alienated me quicker than an Amway salesman. His life plan:
(1) Start crappy supplement company
(2) Find some obscure "records" that require no effort to pursue, and break them via some sort of loophole. BRAG ABOUT IT!
(3) Sell book.
(4) *Forthcoming* Realize life consisted of an aggregation of resume entries that lack meaning or substance.
I wasn't very impressed with this one. Their books are starting to get a bit formulaic. It's like Scooby Doo: start the book with some intrigue and a hint that something paranormal is happening, then the good guys catch the bad guy and they realize the prosaic, pseudoscientific reality. A bit bland overall.
This was a good explanation of the financial crisis in Europe, Greece and Iceland, with some insight into how it relates to the U.S. economy. It is a typical Michael Lewis book; fairly informal and occasionally crass, which is both appropriate and entertaining. Each chapter covers a different country's financial problems, with a vein of cultural commentary running throughout.
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