Seth offers some very useful insight into what works in marketing communications today and offers some good advice for getting customers to notice your product. It's all about experience and what they believe, not truth or facts or features and benefits. I've used his ideas successfully to structure some recent marketing campaigns.
I paid attention in history class, but Whitaker Chambers was never mentioned in my education. I knew about Alger Hiss and Senator McCarthy's pursuit of communists, but I didn't know about Chambers until I heard a Princeton professor discussing him on a C-Span book review show. I have never read a non fiction work with such a soul searching narrative of how a man becomes a communist, what it means to be a communist, how the communist party operated in the US in the 1930s and 40s, and how difficult, lonely and terrifying it is to leave the communist party and be persecuted by the liberal media, the government and public opinion. Whitaker Chambers is a great writer and a very courageous man, and in the end his allegations against Hiss triumph but not without a great personal sacrifice. I was deeply moved by his story and his courage.
This is my first Jack Reacher novel and I am already adding others to my wish list. Jack Reacher is a little bit Sam Spade, a little bit Dirty Harry and a little bit Harry Bosch (Michael Connelly's famous detective). The beginning of the story reminded me of Kafka's Metamorphosis. You don't know Jack, you don't know how he got into his predicament, you don't know if he's a good guy or a bad guy and he doesn't tell you much, at least not at first. Listening to it with Dick Hill's great narration, was more like watching a great episode of the old Twilight Zone series in richly textured black and white with great character actors. To be sure, there are some implausible plot twists, and Jack is a little slow to grasp some clues, but the complexity of the plot and the fact that it is simply told in the first person by Jack, progressing the story in chronological order rather than the modern method of presenting various, simultaneously-occurring scenes and plot threads then weaving them together, made this a refreshing and very satisfying read.
A well done story pitting science against religion in which, amazingly, both come out winners. Great plot twists and a wonderfully satisfying travel tour of Rome with some interesting backgound on papal history.
I thought Crime & Punishment was tedious when I read it in high school, but listening to this reading was a completely different experience. I was spellbound by the vivid imagery and the art with which Dostoevsky paints characters' emotions. So many interesting characters with so many interesting traits and range and a fascinating examination of conscience, guilt and atonement. George Guidall is an excellent reader. His ability to differintiate between characters makes this particular book more like a performance than a reading.
Regis McKenna is always interesting to listen to, but this speech is at least 7 years old. I heard a speech very similar to this from him 10 years ago and much has happened in marketing since then. It would be great if Audible could get some more recent content from Regis, though I suspect he is retired by now.
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