Driven by a desire to understand great passion, the author delves into a bizarre world where the right plant is worth more than life itself. And yet despite her best efforts, passion exceeds her grasp and she is left to provide only a cold listing of scientific facts, historical essays and bland social interactions.
The most striking feature of this book is the absolute flatness of its narrative. Each fact is as important as the next and soon you realize that you have stopped listening and are thinking about what you might have for lunch. Fortunately, your lapse in concentration is without consequence as you can easily pick back up wherever in the story you find yourself.
This endless torrent of meaningless information reminds me of those hundred-word essays you had to write in grade school. You know the one where you might have said, "There were many orchids to choose from, a red one, a blue one, one with stripes, a green one that looked as if it had been made from frog skin, another blue one a little lighter than the first blue one..." Of course your teacher was taking a hundred-word nap, but hey, you did your part!
The best, and perhaps only, reason to listen to this book is so that you can more fully enjoy the movie "Adaptation".
I couldn’t be more deeply disappointed. Anyone who would read this book to a six year old really ought ought to have his head (and motives) examined. I was hoping to find a book for adults cleverly written in the style of children's books, but sadly that is not the case. This isn't whimsical, it is lazy and misguided. It's a sad day when your loving, eccentric uncle with the fantastic stories ends up being just another burn out who yells rambling, mundanely inappropriate diatribes at kids in the park. At least Kurt Vonnegut was true to the end.
The most insulting aspect of this latest incarnation of the "Name It and Claim It" prosperity preaching is its attempt invalidate the interdependent web of existence upon which all life depends.
According to this book, everything is between you and the universe. If you want food, the universe gives it directly to you; forget about the farmer who plowed the field, planted the seed, tended the crops and brought them to market.
If you believe in this book, you are unlikely to be an advocate of social justice. After all, if poor people are poor, people are killed, and people suffer from disease solely because they are thinking the wrong thoughts, they bring their misery upon themselves. As the book tells you, "It's not your responsibility to change the world." Of course, it also says that "Jesus was a millionaire",so don't expect a lot of credability here.
In fact, the most enjoyable part of the book are the fantastic titles given the "experts". I'm having "Master Life Visionary" added to my business card. I think that I've earned it for listening to this travesty through to the end.
The fact is, it doesn't take a genius to point out bald-faced lies when they appear in print, but making it interesting, now that's a different story.
Perhaps the people who should be most embarrassed by this book are not the authors whose lies have been revealed. After all, they knew what they were writing was not true. And in fact, their goal was never to be accurate, but rather, to sell a vision and whip up the zealots. No, the people who should cringe while reading this are the professional journalists who let these lies go unchallenged day after day. Isn't it crazy that a comedian has to be the one who takes on the task of fact checking the public record? Just more evidence of the media's liberal bias I guess.
I must admit that Franken's justification for appearing at a Clear Channel rally and mocking the Dixie Chicks as "Blixie's Chicks" was deeply disappointing. Can't he just admit that he was wrong and apologize for his lapse in judgement? (Actually, a close listen reveals that it wasn't a lapse in judgement, or fear, that motivated him - it was a desire to advance his career.) Just for the record, as President Bush's own experts have now admitted, Hans Blix and the UN inspectors were right all along. But is anyone ready to apologize for our attacks on them? I won't be holding my breath.
The book is indeed a great listen and Al Franken is the real deal - a liberal who can articulate our deep moral and ethical convictions while keeping a wonderful sense of humor.
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