We all harbor the fantasy that yes, given the chance, we too could have nightly stood on the planks, awash with light, and moved the crowds to tears and laughter. But alas 'twas not to be. If only, if only..
Well John Lithgow has. With the best of them, and he shares his unique experience with us in a very engaging way. Yes, he's over the top at some points, "They loved me!" And there is a chapter on his marriage that should have been left out. It's a painful to read letter to his family, not germain at all. But the book it is a good read. It enhanced my respect for the very few masters of drama, like John Lithgow, who can move us to tears and laughter so well.
The last review I had of our solar system was in grade school in the 1960's so this lesson was way overdue for me. This simple review of our neighborhood is what we know about our solar system today, and it's a lot more than we knew 50 years ago. So I was left thinking how exciting it will be to see what's revealed in the next 50 years. Well worth the credit to listen to this one.
You'll need patience for this one. It's a very long read and a difficult plot to follow. I kept asking, "So who's doing what to whom and why, and who are the good guys or the bad guys?" It wasn't until the end of last chapter of the novel that I finally understood the motivation to what had gone on previously. That didn't seem fair to me.
So is this a bad book? It is bad in that the story is not compelling at any point until the end. It's a loooong time waiting for it all to come together. If I were the editor I would have said, "Alistair, you've got a great story here, but you need to let the reader know more of what it is before the end of the book!". The last chapter finally reveals what the book was all about, but it left me feeling like I'd read an awful lot of exposition that had not enough to do with the most intriguing story elements.
John Lee: excellent. I question the criticism of him in other reviews. Most of the book is dialogue between at least four characters or more at once with cut scenes to four other characters at once and then back again. Crazy. Yet he pulls it off. The flaw is in the over complexity of the writing.
I am not a science guy, (English major), but I have become a complete science fiction nerd thanks to Alistair Reynolds. The future he writes about is hopeful and entirely plausible given what we know of the physical world today. In tandem with John Lee's reading this book was a great ride. I read "Pushing Ice" before this one and it's the same high quality read. Give it a shot.
Introverts are the protagonists in this exploration of PERSONALITY vs. character. Thank you to the author Susan Cain for making us, the introverts feel like the unsung heroes in a world consumed with rewarding the extroverted who exhibit not always appropriate behavior.
If this bit of dialogue sounds ok then you'll enjoy this book; "Darling, we're British and we're charming. The regular laws of the world simply don't apply to us. Let's dash off on another irresponsible adventure." That's the tone you need to accept or should I say endure to get through this one.
The narration by Simon Vance, as always: perfect.
The laws of physics are repected making this a great listen for that alone. But beware the characters and plot aren't fleshed out in a sympathetic way. There are two female protagonists who lead the story line but they are very one demensional props set against each other like bookends. There's no growth or discovery and consequently it's a little aggrivating to listen to them go at it, considering the very future of humanity is supposedly hanging in the balance. As for the plot, maybe I'm a little slow, but I wish Mr Reynolds had wrapped things a little tighter at the end - I went back and listened to the first chapter to try and make sense of what had happened - but I still couldn't connect the dots. Still, a good read overall.
Underdeveloped and unsympathetic characters made this a tedious listen for me. I ended up wondering how old the author, Daryl Gregory is and was very surprised to find he is 46. The book reads like it's written by a twenty year old. There is simply no depth or motivation behind any of the characters. And the the plot just stops after the first third. I kept waiting for something to perk up the momentum but it didn't happen for me.
It didn't help that the narrator was very limited in the characterizations in his voice. I don't get the glowing reviews. This book was a dud.
I expected more than a rehash of the old misguided assumptions about sex. What little was new, insightful or relevant was buried under tedious retellings of the common misunderstandings on the subject. It ends up being a long walk for slight meal.
Have your slacker kid read this one.The title would lead you to believe employee #59 along with a bunch of other "lucky" people just happened to be standing in the right place when the astounding success of Google just struck like lightning. In actuality these were very talented people hired by even more talented people to invest themselves completely in an uncertain future. The original Google employees were not hapless rejects who came together by chance. The vetting process to work at a company like Google is this: "Hire the most talented people you can find." Do your homework.
The only downside to this one; a bit too many arcane administrative details behind the scenes. But otherwise a good instructive read.
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