I don't doubt the author is a sociopath, and that many of her claims are perfectly reasonable. My issue with this book is the rambling and less than interesting way that the author goes about detailing her sociopathy.
I was intrigued by the portrayl of life through the eyes of somebody who likely sees the world very differently than I do. Tricky to do, and I should have been suspicious, but in any case, I was interested. Unfortunatley I don't believe the author pulls it off. I like the idea that a book like this one adds something to my world view - what I found instead, was hours of rambling, repetive and unininsigtful person recountings of life events that are told impersonally and in my opinion, poorly. That aside, by the end of the book, not only did I feel that the author had simply been repeating herself over and over again, but the random and unorganized way in which the account took place made it hard for me to feel as though any sort of coherent backbone of the book ever solidified. By the end, I don't feel that my worldview has changed or I am in any way a more enlightened person.
While I can't claim to like the author or relate to her, her alienness never made itself all that apparent to me. Maybe this was her intention all along, but in my opinion, it makes the enitre book seem a little unnecessary. And that aside, I don't really enjoy the idea that by the authors own reasoning, stated again and again in the pages of this book, aren't to make you understand sociopathy (by definition, she really doesn't care what you think), but simply to take your money. My advice: Spend it elsewhere.
When people ask me if I have any suggestions for books they should read, Ready Player One is always on the tip of my tongue.
It's certainly not the most profound piece of fiction I've ever read, but far and away, this was the most fun I've had reading a book since I was a kid reading Harry Potter.
I realize this may be a fringe opinion, but I typically believe that a reader should let the story do most of the speaking for itself, instead of having an outside interpreter pouring a huge amount of acting into it. I feel this way because it's so easy for a reader to ruin a great story with overacting. That being said, Wil Wheaton really does a great job. He's distinct enough that if you don't enjoy his reading style, I can promise you won't enjoy this performance either, but if you've enjoyed Wheaton in the past, or haven't heard anything by him before, then without a doubt, he adds flair to an already great story.
The Culture series is one of my favorites, and this book is no exception (although Player of Games is still my favorite). Of the Culture books that I've read though, this one's story is the least linear and most disjointed, which, in my opinion is trickier to follow on audio.
The book is set up with an ongoing storyline in the present, with each chapter followed by a (critical) section detailing a portion of the main character's history, each section further and further into the past. It's a great way to tell a story, but I almost need to re-listen to this book now that I have a better picture of the story as a whole. Typically keeping everything straight isn't a problem for me when I just read a book and am able to speed up and slow down a little more naturally (compared to somebody reading to book to me at their pace).
That being said, if you enjoy the Culture series, I really do think that you'll enjoy this book too. Consider reading the book, and not listening to the audiobook, but either way, you'll still be pleased.
If you're reading this book because you're hoping to read something 'edgy' or you heard that this book was controversial... well, probably you will be disappointed. Unless you're scandalized by penis metaphors. I would hope that you wouldn't read a book purely for it's controversiality though...
Otherwise, I think Jurgen was a pretty insightful and blunt exploration into what I guess I'd call typical daydreaming themes (If I could go back in time.... if I could have any partner I wanted... etc). I don't know that it's possible to debunk these daydreams entirely - in particular I'm not sure I buy the idea that "doing it all over again" wouldn't make me happier. But regardless, it's an interesting thought.
This one kept popping up into my recommendations from Audible, and it looked like a fairly popular, well reviewed book, so I finally decided to give it a try.
This is, first a foremost a Romance novel. I don't read Romance novels, and that's really all there is to my low rating. If you're like me and keep seeing this come up in your recommendations, and this isn't your genre, it probably won't be your thing. I stuck through it, but more because I always finish books I pay for - wasn't a bad book, but like I said, just not really my thing.
It takes a little to get through this novel, but it's well worth the time. There's a reason it's a classic, and if you're willing to put some thought into it, I think you will be rewarded. It's also worth the time to do a little bit of background reading on Dostoevsky and the time when this book was written.
Honestly, this isn't the type of book that would keep me turning pages late into the night, and that's why I really appreciated the audiobook. The narrator wasn't the most dynamic of narrators, but to be honest, I far prefer a mellow narrator to one who feels it's necessary to over act and over dramaticize every character. Also, this wasn't a fast narration, but again, just take your time, put some thought into it and I think you'll appreciate it too.
Sanderson has kept up to his usual standard here - the world was unique, the characters were interesting (flaws and all), and the story was twisty, suspenseful and unique enough to make keep me interested.
If it wasn't for all that, I wouldn't have made it through the narration. I guess the best way that I can describe the narrator is "dopey." It's great when a narrator can create distinct voices and emulate specific personalities.... I don't imagine it's easy though, and to me, Yaegashi doesn't pull it off). I felt that instead of adding to the story, this narrator really subtracted from it. It's one thing to make a character seem lighthearted and jovial, it's another thing to make them sound like a lumbering semi-retarded oaf - which is how just he made just about every male character in the novel come across. Surprisingly, I didn't feel this way about the female voices - maybe because he didn't feel as comfortable making stupid sounding female voices. I doubt everybody feels this way, but this is how the narrator came across to me.
Highly recommend the book. But pick up the book - you'll fly through it faster than you could possibly expect to endure this narrators very self-satisfied blubbering.
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