This book is only interesting when it talks about technological innovation (namely the invention of the CD, MP3, Napster, and the IPOD). The rest of this book feels like a tedious almanac of the politics, personalities, and mergers at record labels and most of it doesn't really fit into any kind of narrative. There is an insane amount of name dropping of executives and artists and the salaries, bonuses, and sales associated with them, all of which feels like an non stop attempt to shock us with big numbers. We get it... they made a lot of money off cds. There has to be better books on this topic that focus on the real issues and have a decent editor that wont allow the author to just pour out a brain dump of industry anecdotes and trivia.
Pros: A decent history of the band full of all the necessary highlights. Cons: The flashback sequences are painfully awkward and all over the place chronologically really messing up the whole flow of the book. I don't feel they added anything, and they all have the same tone as if the 4(+Grant) members were the same person. Also, this is essentially a Jimmy bio through the first 2/3 of the book, the other members are virtually ignored and their contributions feel lessened. Lastly, the book is rather objective until it hits the epilogue where it is full of scathing comments and some very harsh words. The change in style is jarring.
A great story and well narrated, but this book seriously needed an edit. The pointlessly ornate details of every character's life and thoughts were just tedious and boring. It did nothing to help the plot move along and I still felt like most of the characters were, well... characters, not people. The main players were great though and the first 80% of the tale is riveting, then it fades. Esparza's reading of Renny should get some kind of award, pure genius.
Although this book is more aptly titled "A brief history of scientific discoveries and anecdotes about the people who made them", it is in any case an amazing scope for any book. Expertly organized and amusingly written (and narrated), it covers a wide range of topics at a high level. Its no science book but you will learn something, maybe not in great technical detail, but at a very human and very understandable level. Some of it is tedious (like taxonomy and geology) but some of it is downright hilarious.
The organization of this book is a little confusing on audio. Sometimes as it jumps from story to story within the same chapter with little or no segue. But after the first few chapters you get used to it and then... wow, the details of this event and its aftermath are absolutely fascinating and deeply troubling on so many levels. It will completely change your perspective on this tragedy.
If this is your first layman's physics book you may want to try something else, but those who read about physics often will probably enjoy it. The book contains a lot of fascinating discussions and explanations making the physics of black holes, the holographic principle, and some aspects of string theory a little more graspable. The story is initially engaging but I lost interest toward the end as it delved deeper into string theory. My biggest complaint would be the tone of the book; It can be at times over-dramatic about the "war" and Hawking and physics in general.
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