Winchester can turn a phrase, but he doesn't succeed in creating a worthy book about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. He spends so much time detailing the history of geology, America, California, and San Francisco, that the earthquake doesn't even happen until the second part of the download. You might think all this additional information weaves a fabulous introduction to this horrendous event, but he bites off more than he can chew. The coverage of these many (many) ancillary areas winds up being superficial. Then, when he actually gets to the earthquake itself (after an eternity), it seems like he spends a lot of time citing boring statistics. I was hoping for more personal accounts. His idea of personal accounts is describing how a half dozen or so individuals determined the precise time of the earthquake, down to the second. The portion of the book devoted to the actual quake is really small, after which he again goes off on more superficial commentary on such topics as the immigration challenges of the Chinese.
The last 18 minutes is an interview with Winchester (which is also available on Audible as a free download). I recommend that you just listen to that instead, as it is a relatively pithy recount of the book.
If you simply must download this book, consider starting on Part 2.
Could have been great. Instead it was incredibly boring. No character development. Repetition of what readers already knew over and over and over. You WILL be disappointed. There was maybe an hour of worthwhile material in 34 hours of listening. Save yourself. Do not buy. One upside, there were a fraction of the stupid, never-ending sex scenes compared to previous books. Narration was fine. Thank goodness for the fast forward button.
After listening to this, I wondered what ever induced me to purchase it. I went back to read the summary, and I still don't know. It is clearly a romance novel, and I've not read one in decades, so I was surprised (and rolled my eyes a lot) at the very graphic "perfect-man" sex. I was annoyed at the perfunctory element of paranormal events and also at the way that key plot elements were not tied up. Guess they want me to buy book 2. Ain't gonna happen.
I love her singing, but she spends way more time talking about things like her hair extensions than her experiences on the stage. I still think she's great, but I hope she eventually writes something more substantial. It's amazing that she needed a ghost writer to write something this light weight. C'mon Kristy, you can do better. And the title was ridiculous. She's about as un-wicked as they come, so it makes no sense, even with her experience in the show, "Wicked." Pandering.
What an interesting concept! What a weak result!
Your questions about the characters and the afterworld(s) are never answered. Loose ends are never tied up. Huge sections are tedious meditations or pointless reminisceses.
Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
I began the book looking forward to the pilgrim aspect of the story, but actually found that the less entertaining part of the book. I found the discussion of the religious aspects tedious. The actual crossing is given short shrift. The real meat is in the analysis of the evolution of the relationship early settlers had with the indians.
Yes, he shined a light on some things, but there is plenty of rotten stuff he forgot, like the advent of a national income tax and withholding. I agree with a previous reviewer who said that there was a lot of cherry-picking and fact-twisting. Things just ain't that simple.
I can't give this five stars because the sound quality was not very good, even after I switched to level 4 download quality. It was particularly muddy at first, until perhaps I got used to his reading style. The narrator lent very little personality to his characterizations. It is a very interesting story and well written, but I disagree with a previous reviewer who liked that the book did not go into the happenings after the rescue. But I do give it four stars and think it is definitely worth a download credit.
I approached this as an interested and curious agnostic. I think she did a very good job of telling the story and weaving in the historical and biblical aspects. I think this whole time frame is interesting. I had always viewed Jesus as being born in a manger and then the next we hear, he is pretty much tacked up on a cross. This gives a little novel-like idea of some of those in-between years. I hope she makes a whole series of it, as I view the Bible as a pretty boring and unapproachable read. Overall, it was well read and there is a nice explanatory author's note at the end. As an aside, I have never read her work before (although I thought the Interview with a Vampire movie sucked).
I've never understood the attraction of visiting Australia, and, in all honesty, even after reading this book I still don't want to visit. However, as usual, I loved Bryson's style of presenting intformation, and I do know a lot more about the country. He reads it himself which is always a plus. I recommend pulling out an atlas to get your bearings, and then dive in.
I was astounded to hear about the degenerates running America's great kitchens. I had imagined food purists and people who never got their clogs dirty. But, boy, was it entertaining! Truly, Anthony Bourdain tells it like it is and pulls no punches. The book is perfectly organized, he answers every question by the end, and hearing it from the horse's mouth is the only way to go with a memoir. Big thumbs up, but be prepared to be scandalized.
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