This started out pretty interestingly, although I thought her definition of what "conscience" influences seemed a little expansive...and I discovered why by the last third of this. She has far too few clinical examples, and then she devolves into why a Buddhist/Hindu global consciousness is the answer to sociopathy... Wow... Not interesting at all, not scientific and not well supported.
For instance, one of her early examples was that in traditional Inuit (if I recall correctly) society, which is about as communal as you can get, they pitched people like this off a cliff - THAT was their cure and treatment for sociopaths. Yet, somehow when she discusses that in east Asia the rates of documented sociopathy are low, it is not really considered that it might be attributable to something other "they have an ingrained communal, group consciousness"...like in the Inuit society...where sociopaths seemingly occured and where their solution was to pitch them off a cliff... Might these societies in Asia, at least socially, pitch sociopaths off a cliff? Well, that would be up to another author to examine, because this author is too busy using it as an open door to go on and on about the Buddhist or Hindu worldview. I felt like this book was a bit of a bait and switch.
The author was kind of like the person you meet at a party that initially sounds pretty interesting and intelligent, until you realize they think 9/11 was planned by Israel and the CIA...or that the last four presidents have been Reptile people... What few examples of her actual clinical experience there are in this book were very interesting and thought provoking...but trust me, there were very few of them.
It was thought provoking and Biblically based, but made an effort to distance itself from the cookie cutter, US based worldview of a lot of Evangelical authors. Yancey also willingly points out areas where he struggles and times where he erred in his attempt to apply Christ's teaching to his own life. I thought this was profound and intellectually honest.
He mentioned some of the Galilean cultural elements and how the area was perceived by those in the rest of the region. I never knew about the accents and regional prejudices that would have existed against people from there, and what that would have meant for Jesus' ministry.
He has an excellent voice and he pleasant to listen to. He brings a genuine quality to the material.
No, because I wanted to think about what had been presented in each chapter, and I even listened to a couple of chapters twice.
This is a great book without any pat answers or the much overdone "five ways to..." or "10 steps to..." kinds of approaches. I very much look forward to reading more from this author. He is honest, genuine, knowledgeable and very open.
Yes, I always enjoy looking through this author's eyes. This is not his best work, though.
No character in particular, but she did a great job at what must have been pretty challenging material to work with.
Kill anybody wearing cheap costume jewelry...especially if they are from an island.
I always like Palahniuk's stuff, although my favorite will always be Lullaby. This one was entertaining and had some surreal, dark fantasy elements to it. It centers around the Diary a wife is keeping for her husband, who is in a coma...and she also decides to renew her pursuit of painting amidst small town, psycho weirdness.
It was a good read and included some of the author's trademark interesting social observations.
An interesting symbolic story about a quest for...vengeance...adventure...redemption...profit...knowledge...many things, really. The social commentary and observations on the nature of people and the world were surprisingly spot on for a book that was written prior to the American Civil War. His outlook reflects a very modern world view and the symbolism cuts through multiple levels and issues, which is why it did not gain popularity until after the author's death. How often do we willingly join an ill-fated madman's journey for our own gain and motives? As a society? As individuals? As an economy? Very interesting stuff.
Even the outdated science he occasionally spends pages documenting is pretty interesting, as it fits with the character of the narrator and helps anchor it in its time. I really enjoyed this and encourage others to read it, removed from the stigma of being "assigned reading" or force-fitted into a public classroom with many people not having lived enough of life to appreciate it.
Insightful, heartbreaking, life affirming
When he first gains awareness that those laughing at him are not laughing WITH him...and that those he thought were his friends are not.
I think the narrator did an excellent job of reading this at a good pace and did not overact the portions written to reflect Charlie with a lower IQ.
Yes, but I won't say so I don't drop any spoilers in. Overall, it was sad but beautifully written with a lot of memorable moments.
This book really moved me and made me think a lot about life, and what I am doing with mine. This book is full of insight and, although it is sad, it is ultimately life affirming... It had been years since I read this book for school and I really didn't remember much about it. Going back through it, I see why this is on the American "must read" lists.
I enjoyed this book very much. Although I enjoyed "the Passage", as well, I think this book was a little tighter in terms of writing and story-telling. I think the writer struck a better balance between the "slices of life" character development stories and the continuity of the overall storyline in this installment.
I was especially impressed with how the past and present story-lines tied together in order to give more depth to the motivations of the "adversaries". Cronin is very simply an excellent writer, so he brings life to material that could easily be one dimensional in the hands of another. I am very much looking forward to the next installment of this series, in addition to future projects he undertakes.
This started out well enough and I enjoyed spending some more time with the David Loogan character, but it got a little convoluted toward the end...in fact, I suspected they would when there were several chapters left and the story had already reached the point where it should have logically concluded. Overall, this was still an enjoyable book, but the author tried to connect too many dots as a conclusion to the detriment of the story. I still like the characters very much and will purchase the next installment, but if it is time to end the story...it should end. Occam's razor... : ) Also, I think they can find a better narrator for these, as well. He has a great reading voice, but some of his characters sound a bit like a Carlos Mencia monologue.
It is interesting to watch how various writers take on the "detective genre", which has been so overdone that we all recognize the various elements of these stories: the divorced detective that drinks too much; the hard nosed cop with the heart of gold; the former special forces soldier that somehow works in a small town; the "civilian" that helps the cops through a difficult case; etc. We all recognize these elements so well, that such characters do not even really have to be fully developed anymore.
In this case, the characters are interesting, fresh and the story is entertaining. Here, the main character is a mysterious guy that is working as an editor for a crime publication, as such he and the various published writers can all put forth theories - and become suspects - based on various plotlines. There is a continual refrain "if this were a story in Grey Streets...", which I think adds to the atmosphere, and really helps convey how the character is trying to deal with the facts of a murder.
I really liked this and look forward to the next one by this author.
I really do not understand all of the overly positive reviews for this book. There is a creepy and creative storyline, way down deep in this book somewhere, but it is smothered by childish body fixations and overly verbose descriptions of unnecessary details that, ultimately, go no where.
It seems like a lot of people have been convinced that this is one of those books one "must" like, because I honestly don't understand the appeal otherwise. There are some really creative characters and twists in here, but those are the least described pieces of the book...no joke, it is like 300 words to one in terms of coverage.
Especially ironic is that he keeps citing Chekov's "one must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it," because he does EXACTLY the opposite throughout this book. A rubber tree here, a goldfish there, spiders over yonder, a piece a celery over there, a crazy drunken foursome sex romp that can't quite be remembered...none of which serve any purpose whatsoever, but take up PAGES.
If they ever come out with an abridged version, MAYBE go for that...just make sure it is only about 10 hours long, because that is all this "story" actually requires.
This was an excellent story - the author is clearly an expert on the period and location depicted in the book and he is able to weave in those extra details that allow the reader to experience a taste of what the scenes would have felt like. He describes common maladies, attitudes and hang-ups with ease and uses them to take a very good detective story to the next level. Loved it! I plan on reading the first book in the series soon and will then anxiously await another installment with this set of characters.
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