I would have given this book 5 stars except that I found author's voice so distracting. He has a gravelly voice (think Rod Serling) and I kept wanting to clear my (his) throat and therefore found it a bit difficult to concentrate on the content of what he was saying. That said, it was an excellent book for those who enjoy case studies and want to know how Mindfulness is practiced. Other readers found the explanations of various brain functions to be a bit heavy-going. I felt it answered exactly those questions I had been wondering about. I look forward to more from Dr. Siegel, but hope next time he opts for a professional reader.
I wanted to like this book, but the more I listened to the dialog of the 2 main characters, the more I became convinced that they were essentially the same person. The child has a too-developed and adult vocabulary, even for a precocious one. The expressions and observations were essentially the same for both characters. The adult reader was terrific, the child reader had dreadful pronunciation of French words. That is too bad because it could have been a charming book. I found that it tried too hard and came up short. The idea of plugging philosophical musings into both characters' thoughts and lives was very interesting. For me, it wasn't in the end convincing.
I suspect it's necessary to be a thirty-something gay man to find this book remotely interesting. For me, it was neither witty nor amusing. It was a collection of anecdotes that left me thinking, 'So what!' I wish I had listened to the sample first. The author's whiny, effeminate voice drove me to distraction. Maybe his other books are better, but this was my first, and last, that I'll get of his.
As a polemic it starts out as entertaining, provocative, even interesting. It wears thin quickly however. A point becomes a rant and in the end I found the rant unsustainable. There is no point to this book except as one tiresome arguement that the 'liberal left' is the cause of all that is wrong in our society. A bit of critical reflection tells us that it isn't that simple. Nothing is. If you take the binary view of life, that everything can be reduced to black and white morality with no gray areas, this is your book. For people seeking informed and balanced social criticism, I would urge you to search elsewhere. I found this is a huge waste of time.
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