I got this book after listening to Brene Brown's wonderful TED talk. There is nothing more in this book than in the talk, except that the talk was 20 minutes long or so and this book is over 4 hours.
That being said, this book does serve the purpose of a good pick-you-up for someone feeling down. Its message is feel good about yourself, no one is perfect, you are good enough. There's nothing really wrong or arguable with that.
There are two things that did bother me. At some point she says to be happy all people MUST do creative art work. I don't agree and don't know why she says that. Also she talks a lot about how terribly she reacts to criticism, how devastated she was when some random person didn't like a photo she'd taken, which I felt was kind of like trying to manipulate me into not writing a bad review, it didn't work!
The reading was very good.
I was worried that a story whose main character is an amnesiac could come off as sort of a cheap story trick, like the ending 'then I woke up and realised it was all a dream', but this story really works, its well though out. The story is told from the first person point of view, Christine, the amnesiac in question, and we discover her story a little more each day. There is something very unsettling about this book from the beginning. Well imagine if you woke up with no knowledge of yourself or your life, who would you trust? That is scary. As a listener you are not sure if the doubt is valid or if there really is something more sinister going on. Then just how much we are in her head is claustrophobic and adds to the sense of something being really wrong, when she talks to someone, she is searching for clues as to who she is, so we are there with her, in her head, not just witnessing the conversation. I was very eager to keep listening to find out what happens next. The end, well you see it coming, but that isn't a weakness of the story, on the contrary, it just fills you with a sense of wanting to warn her, like someone about to get attacked by the boggy man in a film. The characters are all well developed, seem like real people. Please I want to know what happens to Christine the day after this book ends!
The reading is very good too. The voice is soft and feminine, matches the character of Christine very well. Its not read boring and flat, but neither over emphasised which can get annoying after several hours of listening.
After getting several books that were so disappointing I didn't even finish them, I finished this one over a long weekend. I really recommend it.
Most of the reviews of this audio book were very positive, but the few negative reviews made me hesitate to get it. I didn't want to spend 10+ hours listening to a load of 'barefoot' running propaganda or for-me-useless ultra-running advice. I run, but 10Ks not 160Ks and in shoes! In the end I decided to get it, but to listen to it like it was a fictional story, and well if anything struck me as true or useful then I'd accept that and just enjoy the rest as a story. And oh my, I am so, so, SO glad I did!
From the get go, I forgot all about trying to not take it as factual or not, I was so enthralled by the amazing story. First off, and to my surprise, the ultra-runners were just fascinating to me, the races, the personalities, the adventures. The first half of the book is mostly taken up with the story of ultra-runners and their races. The second half is a mix of the big race, plus a whole of of talk about the evolution of the human body and running. The evidence presented is fascinating, and the barefoot argument, although definitely a major point in this part of the book, is far from being the main point, which is that we are evolved to run long distances, and when nowadays we do it fulfills in us some deep innate need. For instance, did you know some animals can't breath while they're running, most can only take one breath per stride, and humans alone can take as many breaths as they want per stride? That's just one fact that you will learn from this book. And even the most sceptical listener will end up convinced that we are literally born to run.
Finally, and well in an audio book, an important aspect, is the reading. Again fantastic! Fred Sanders, has a sort of nice level of enthusiasm in his voice, fits the text perfectly without getting annoying. His timing, speed and intonation are perfect. I just could not stop listening and in spite of my initial hesitations this book has radically changed how I run and how I feel about running, and yes I'm an
This is classic David Sedaris. While there were only a couple of stories that did have me laughing out loud, those were the ones he does live with an audience, all of the stories told are touching, authentic, quirky, and at least put-a-smile-on-your-face amusing. While I can't quite rave about this audio book I certainly enjoyed it and would recommend it.
This is a fascinating book. It is so well written. Bravo Ms Skloot! There are several stories that intertwine here;
1. the story of Henrietta,
2. the story of her family, especially her daughter Deborah,
3. then the story of cell cultures, which is sort of the story of modern medical research,
4. and finally and almost the most fascinating for me, the story of how Rebecca wrote this book.
I think any science minded person, or any person interested in history or society or just general knowledge would love this book.
The reading is impeccable. In a reading you don't want the voices to be too animated, or it gets annoying, and you don't want them too flat either. The reading here was just perfect. It adds to the narrative, rather than distracting from it.
This is probably a good book, but the reading in terrible. First off all the reading is very choppy, she cuts all sentences into little phrases, the phrases are read a bit too fast, with long pauses between them, its OK for about 5 minutes or so, then gets very annoying. But the worst is the reader's voice, it is so very, very, very prissy, and she sort of gushes with 'pleasedness' at the most random moments. She does this once in the sample, so listen carefully, because the sample is the lest prissy 5 minutes of the whole book. The style would probably be OK for a trashy romance novel, but this book has a dark side, and the reading style completely destroys this. Also as other reviewers have noted, the book is cut up into chapters, that don't align with the stories.
Don't get this as an audiobook.
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