This is an unusual read, but one that pays off if you stick to it. Nice philosophical insights on life's inequities.
I'm a sucker for travel memoirs but couldn't wait to get rid of this narrator, who's a decent writer but almost completely lacking in sophistication and insight. Traveling all over the globe, as this book demonstrates, doesn't necessarily mean being deepened or transformed in any substantive way by the experience.
I tend to be bitterly disappointed by self-help books but decided to try this one when events and challenges in my life began to get the best of me. Inspired by one of the reviews about the power of Sterner's ideas, I purchased the audiobook. Today I'm so happy I did so. The book is definitely a keeper, and I plan to listen to it over and over again until cultivation of "the practicing mind" replaces the habit of self-judgment and fear of failure. With the author's clear explaination of how ego-driven thought patterns sabotage our efforts and his message about "the simplicity of doing one thing at a time...slowly, with purpose," he shows how focusing on either "success" or "failure" causes suffering.
In contrast to some reviewers of this book who compared it negatively to Mayles, etc., I found it authentic, well-written, and rich in cutural details about Parisians and life in Paris. While similar "memoirs" of Paris supplement their meager content with recipes and cooking instructions, Turnbull attempts to offer readers a dimensional portrait of the city and its people, including, for instance, details about French antipathy toward "Anglo-Saxon" feminism, the City of Light's love affair with dogs, and the extended time required to befriend Parisians. My ONLY issue with the audio version is the reader's strange combination of annoying accent and knowing attitude. With another reader this book might have earned five stars all around.
Written in the mid-1950s, this beautifully realized little book documents in strangely absorbing detail the perils of living in a small London apartment with a high-strung female German shepherd who comes into heat three times a year and, in her one experience as a mother, delivers eight rambunctious pups. The author, a distinguished British editor in his day, trains his writerly skills on his dog Tulip's posterior, charting exactly what happens there when she goes into heat and delving into the mechanics of sex with one of her many beleagured suitors. Unlike any dog memoir I've read, it's both a love story and a treatise on the sacrifices and pleasures experienced by both dog owners and their pets.
This book is far more entertaining and meaningful than most books on tape. Tobolowsky is not only an intelligent and perceptive observer of the human condition, but is consistently funny as he relates stories about his childhood, romantic relationships, family, and movie and television career. As a comic, Tobolowsky reminds me of the Canadian comic, Stuart MacLean (of "Dave Cooks the Turkey" fame). Great stuff!
wanted to like this "memoir," but it seemed contrived and left me bored. Too much description of boats themselves and too little actual story.
I loved this book, which offers so much more than its plot seems to suggest. Although the book's focus is on life's serial failures and one man's journey to come to terms with, repair, and transcend them, it also offers the many pleasures of a classic "road" novel, including rich descriptions of people and places along the way. Beautifully written and affecting. It's a book to look forward to and savor.
I feel a bit robbed by this book by Pam Houston, whose previous work gave me considerable pleasure. "Contents May Have Shifted" forces the reader to listen to a series of unrelated, self-indulgent, plotless, writerly little scenarios that never develop movement or character. I was unbelievably bored and disappointed. Storytelling is a sacred pact between writer and author, an agreement that Houston betrayed in this book. Had I known to expect no actual story, I'd never have wasted my money on this one.
I absolutely love this book--which explains why I've listened to it twice now with complete satisfaction. The reader is also superb. What's unique is Boyd's female heroine, who is not only the center of the action, but is smarter, more fearless, and more insightful than her male counterparts in the novel. Expect to be charmed, fully engaged, and transported to another world and era.
Although I usually love books that introduce me to the obsessions of others, this book--which seems aimed at men enamored with machines and World War II history--focuses a bit TOO much on tedious details. Spoiler warning: Not much is ever actually discovered in the wreck of the German U-boat itself, which, after the incredible the build-up, was disappointing. I did gain new appreciation for the horrible risks involved in deep-sea diving and serving in the German Navy on a U-Boat assigned to the United States. But I'm sure I'd have been equally enlightened had I chosen the abridged version.
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