Lakewood, CO, United States | Member Since 2011
This book was exhausting to get through for a number of reasons. First off, I didn't know it was going to be an intertwined recounting of racing and a bunch of eco-metaphors and analogies. I'd consider myself a moderate environmentalist and open to new ideas, but the way he wove the stories of a 50 mile race, human physiology, and the health of the planet together was painful at times. I just wanted him to finish one coherent thought before departing off into explaining how the build up of lactic acid was like the build up of CO2 in our atmosphere. If he had only made a couple of departures onto a topic he feels passionately about I would have enjoyed it, but it was two to three departures in every chapter and by the end I was just begging for it to end.
The author and his audience would have been better served with a much shorter book on his running alone or his environmentalism alone. The way the two are brought together simply does not work for the reader. I wouldn't recommend this book to either the ultra-distance runner or the environmentalist.
Not the right reader for this book. The author is writing about a race he did when he was 60 years old, but the author sounds like he's mid-30's at best. While some stories will carry this just fine, in this story the discontinuity of the young voice talking with the words of age and experience was uncomfortable and noticeable.
There are certainly valuable things I took away from this book, primarily regarding running physiology, pacing, and fueling on long runs, but with the challenges presented, I'd recommend looking elsewhere.
Admittedly, I was looking for something a little edgier when I first picked it up. After walking in on my wife watching the TV series by the same name and overhearing some discussion of lesbian prison sex, I figured this might be a fun and naughty read. I was wrong and I'm so glad. It had none of that. What it had was an honest, sincere ownership for her past transgressions, an accounting for what brought her to that point, an expression of every emotions she had on her trip into, through and out of the federal prison system, and the people who helped her make it through it all. I haven't enjoyed a book this much since The Art of Racing in the Rain. Everything about this book drips sincerity to me and as a result, I followed along with her highs and lows, her daily routine, and the things that helped her get through the day.
If you're a Thompson fan, there's some real gems in here, from the 1972 elections and his time in the limo with tricky Dick talking football to his last articles written for Rolling Stone in the late 90s early 00s. This is a collection of unpublished works that bounces around a bit with some useful editor's notes to help understand the context. At its core, it's Thompson and his random ramblings. What a brilliant mind and bizarre perspective.
The reader on this one is perfectly matched. Just the right amount of stop-start cadence when it's demanded with the ability to read 50 word sentences without stopping for a breath.
Over the last couple of years I've really been getting into various shifter series. Nalini Singh, Thea Harrison and Suzanne Wright, along with a few others. This was the first big miss for me. Maybe it's just my own sexism in that female writers just tend to be better at writing erotica, but I'm ok with that. The story just didn't do it for me and the reader was not the right one for the book either. He made the voices of most of the characters sound, well, a little light in the loafers.
This is going to be one of the only series I've started that I see no chance of going on to read the entire series (including the entire psy-changeling series in under a year). Personally, I'd recommend one of the above authors if you're looking for a good shifter book (my personal favorite being Thea Harrison's Elder Race series) rather than spending your credits on this one.
While I've enjoyed the entire Elder Race series, this quickly became my favorite. That Harpy is something else and it was a great read to see her character fully developed. The tension in this one builds beautifully and makes the climax oh-so worth it. Great author, great reader, great series.
While I really did enjoy the book and gained a lot of useful information, there were a lot of times when it was difficult to tell when the reader was transitioning from explaining something to citing examples and quoting from survey respondents. This gave it a bit of a jumbled feel while listening. I'm not sure whether to blame the reader or the authors for the way the book was formatted, but I was left thinking that I might have gotten more out of the print version.
In any case, the book was highly informative, written at a very readable level and I found it a very quick read that wasn't overly technical. The author avoided jargon, but didn't talk down to readers.
What more could you want from the sci-fi/romance genre? This book had it all for me. Great humor, lovable characters, hot sex, and a good story line. This was definitely my favorite of the series until book 6 came out recently, and that's taken the lead for me. Still, this one is not to be missed.
Admittedly, when I started the series I wasn't really sure what I was getting myself into. I've never read novels that weave in snippets of historical events, no less from the more undertold side of the story. W. Michael and Kathleen O'Neal Gear do a respectful job and create and entertaining and interesting story that compelled me to complete the series. I strongly recommend the series for those who have both an intellectual curiosity about Native American history and who enjoy a good entertaining story that is definitely fiction, but brings up some interesting thoughts about Desoto's losses in the US when he was so victorious in Mexico.
In early July 1994 my girlfriend at the time and I were fighting a small 65 acre fire near Dotsero, about 40 miles from Glenwood Springs. Our incident commander was Butch Blanco. When he was redeployed to South Canyon, we begged to go with him as our fire was winding down and as young, broke Forest Service employees, it was our best chance to stay in overtime and hazard pay status. In hindsight, I consider it a stroke of unimaginable luck that we didn't get sent to South Canyon.
This book brought a lot of things home for me. I remember that summer with vivid details. I drove a load of smoke jumpers to the hospital in Glenwood to visit Eric Hipke, perhaps the last man to make it out of that box canyon alive. This book brings all those stories to life. It brings back the stories of those courageous fire fighters to life in a way that yields both compelling drama and lessons that need to be heeded. I'm devastated that these lessons have been learned before and these events continue to happen. I'm deeply saddened at the events in Arizona this summer and wish for God's sake that John MacLean would run out of stories to tell. But if anybody is going to tell the story it's John and his father (Young Men and Fire). They tell the story honestly, respectfully, and in a manner that entertains as it educates.
If you work in wildland fire fighting or live in the Wildland Urban Interface, this is a must read. Seriously, I wouldn't trust anyone I worked with who didn't read it. It's a compelling story that is rich with lessons that really should never have to be re-learned again.
I'll admit it. I'm a changeling/shifter addict. Nalini Singh's Psy-Changeling series; been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. Thea Harrison's Elder Race Series; burned through them in under a month of listening. But this had them both beat, IMHO. More intensity, more alpha female, and of course, more sex. While Storm's Heart remains my favorite of all shifter series books (Thea Harrison), this was a very close second and beat out the Psy-Changelings hands down.
Overall, fun and interesting characters, entertaining plot line, great leading female character, and hot sex. What more could you want to make your commute a little more interesting?
Anytime an author attempts to create characters and a storyline from a time in history they're taking a chance. There's no doubt that there are things that are way out of whack with this book like any other of the genre, but for the casual reader who's looking for entertainment and not historical accuracy, it's clear the authors took the time to learn enough that the setting comes across as real. The characters are appropriately flawed and gifted to lend to its readability and by the end you're certainly cheering for them to succeed.
Personally, I was looking for something a little racier after reading the Psy-Changeling series and the Elder Races series, but this romance is definitely less explicit and subdued. There's nothing wrong with that, but it wasn't what I was expecting and overall the storyline is enjoyable enough to have me purchasing the next book in the series.
Where the book succeeded was in the construction of several complex characters driven by different motivations coming together toward a common end. Particularly, the Black Shell and Pearl Hand characters are deep in their complexity, making them more realistic and pulling the reader into the story deeper.
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