Oh. When an author turns a phrase so perfectly that your heart sings in the most terrible way. When you realize that the main character you identify with totally has been slowly, carefully revealing the monster within the entire time, and yet you identify with that, too...
I absolutely can not stand the idea that people are reading this book and going away thinking that they have learned something.
The conclusions that Dr. Hare have reached are based on an extremely limited sample, using an incomplete analysis and without a contemporary understanding of neuroscience. I had to stop listening when he referred to the lateralization of brain hemispheres (right brain does this, left brain does that) as a fact, when it has been debunked as a myth since the early 90s.
I do have respect for Dr. Hare in that he was, at one point, a pioneer in the study of clinical psychopathy, in that he actually went out and tried to study people who were obviously afflicted. But his theories need to evolve with current research if he is to be taken seriously. What outside research he did call upon in the book was limited and obviously cherry-picked to support his own outdated theories. That is no behavior for a man calling himself a scientist.
This was a fun little story. Mostly the focus is on the mundane - the pressures facing female professional chefs in a male-dominated industry, the woes of a man going through a messy divorce with a harpy. There just happens to be vampires. Vampires to cook for, no less!
I was not expecting the story to go in the direction that it did, and I was pleasantly surprised when it did. I won't ruin anything for you, but I'll put it this way; I was feeling kind of down, so I sought out a horror novel to listen to and found this one. When it turned out that this wasn't the usual scary story, I was too intriqued to stop listening...and ultimately the story pulled me out of my mood entirely!
The narration was great, too. The actor was able to differentiate between the characters nicely without resorting to bad accents.
The story was merely okay, the characters two-dimensional and the protaganist was portrayed as so powerful that he was obviously never in any real danger. I found myself tuning out for several minutes, but never felt like I was missing anything.
I think this book, or Linden's other book "The Accidental Mind" are great introductions to recents developments in neuroscienctific research.
A friend of mine who is finishing his PhD in the subject was surprised that I grasped the more salient topics of current research into oxytocin, which I learned partially thanks to this book.
Zombies, super heroes, zombie super heroes. What's not to like? This book won't change your life or the way you look at the world, but it's a fun listen for someone who enjoys the genre.
Perhaps. The book was well-written and I have no complaints about the narration.
The book just seemed to get away from the author. There was a lot of lead up and suspense built, but the end just kind of fizzled out in a way that was both unexpected and depressingly realistic.
Deep. Strong. Soothing.
This is really not your usual zombie novel.
Set a couple decades after the zom-pocalypse, the story revolves around a brother and sister journalist team covering the campaign of a Republican presidential candidate. What struck me first about the book was the refreshingly believable way that the author portrayed the western world following a plague of this magnitude...it just keeps going. Apple turns to designing blood test kits as well as cellphones, Embassy Suites offer hermatically-sealed conference rooms for high-paying guests, and resturants only serve meals outside to patrons who have proper security clearances, but otherwise the survivors of this new world are more or less as you might expect the citizens of USA circa 2040 to be.
Now, there are plenty of the action-packed scenes of stumbling, face-gnawing gore that no zombie novel would be complete without, but mostly the story is focused on more mundane horrors. Mysterious "accidents" keep befalling the followers and families of the progressive-minded presidental candidate, and our young journalists are tasked with discovering who is trying to discredit -- and maybe assasinate -- our man. It's a thrilling mystery first, and a zombie novel second. Thoroughly enjoyable.
Also, I have to give props to Jesse Bernstein. His voice acting absolutely made the Percy Jackson series for me, and he brings it just as solidly with this project.
I enjoyed the Monster Hunter series by Larry Correia thoroughly, and this new endeavor of his is even better. Top rate historical fiction with a heavy dash of film noir sensibility meet magical fantasy, and the results are delightful.
If I have one complaint about the performance of this audio book, it's that when faced with voicing so many different characters with accents from all over the globe, the actor falls short of the task. The Texas cop, midwest hick, and New Orleans' hooker all sound pretty much the same, for instance. But while somewhat dissappointing, this failure is mild and certainly doesn't diminish from the overall enjoyment of the story.
Way back in 2004, when social media was still finding its modern voice and we still treated our blogs like diaries, I stumbled upon a website called Pointless Waste of Time. The owner of this blog, who called himself David Wong, uploaded funny, intelligent and very orginal content on a regular basis...sadly not something that many would-be Internet authors did then or now. His style gained him reverence among a certain type of underemployed insomniac, and he had quite a cult-following.
Soon, I discovered that Mr. Wong had done something that completely blew my (barely out of) teenaged brain. Having found himself with a captive audience and wanting to keep them entertained, he fleshed out some silly stories he wrote about the adventures himself and his best friend "John" into an entire novel and -- here's the amazing part -- published said novel for free view on his website. Not only was it the first time that I had heard of an author doing something like this, but the novel was actually good. It was silly and hilarious and horrible with moments of stunning philosophical clarity thrown in for good measure, a work almost on par with great fantasy/satirists like Terry Pratchett. I stared at my old CRT monitor for days straight, enduring the ensuing migraine to finish the novel. I laughed and cried and drank endless cans of cola, and felt generally proud to be a part of what felt to me like the kind of cultural paradigm shift that only the Internet could have made possible. Then I told everyone I knew that they absolutely had to read it, too.
Now, the rest of story you might know: with his doting fans urging him on, "Mr. Wong" self-published a print run of John Dies at the End (JDate), the sell-out of which prompted a publishing company to print their own much larger run of (a slightly better-edited) JDate. David Wong was given the job of editor at Cracked, the website version of a humor magazine that predates Mad. And a couple years ago, JDate caught the attention of Don Coscarelli, director of cult hits Phantasm and Bubbha Ho Tep, who made the story into a movie that will be released (to my unbearable joy) in January of 2013.
Things have gone well for Mr. Wong and his friend John, and deservedly so. The release of JDate in audio format is just another example of a great story being recognized for what it is because it inspired people to talk about it. Best of all, I discovered that I enjoyed listening to John Dies at the End as much as I did reading it...and that is high praise, indeed.
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