Very well written and extremely well narrated.
This book is THE antidote to all of the fear, willful ignorance and half-baked speculation which surrounds the myriad of diseases commonly known as cancer.
For those out there who harbor the belief that the cure for cancer is a simple proposition that would've been settled long ago if not for the evil machinations of big pharma and government funded medical research, you should read this book and educate yourself as to the bafflingly complex nature of these diseases, the inherent difficulties in finding treatments for them, and the amazing efforts made by researchers and clinicians who are busting their asses trying to learn more about cancer in order to fight it effectively.
While the chapters highlighting the brutal over treatment regimens of the radical surgery era as well as early chemo and radiation therapy,(and the ignorance and hubris which fueled them), are a little depressing, the final third of the book is very optimistic about the present and future of cancer treatment.
We now know what cancer is and what sort of things cause it, there are forms of cancer which are curable or highly treatable with methods which are being more and more targeted and refined to mitigate side effects.
Cheers to the author for making this book so entertaining as well as informative.
another first rate narration job by wil wheaton
the story is predictable, but this is overcome by witty, ironic dialogue,(if a little too machismo at times), excellently rendered by the narrator.
The whole story screams of Hollywood screenplay aspirations.
The plot is near-identical to Avatar (if you replace the sexy blue giants with cuddly little cat-monkeys), until the courtroom scenes happen at which point the highly-amusing and satisfying dialogue overcomes any weaknesses the book would otherwise have. Bravo Scalzi and Wheaton
first off, cheers to the narrator, Wil Weaton was perfectly casted.
The secret to enjoying this book is knowing what it isn't.
It's not highbrow prose,
It's settings of near-future dystopia and virtual reality are not original.
But, what it IS, is an exuberant celebration of 80's era North Amecican suburban youth pop culture told in the form of a quest story.
If, like me, you owned an Atari, spent much time in video arcades, watched anime, schoolhouse rock or the old Battlestar Galactica and listened to Duran Duran or Rush, this book will make you smile.
those of you who have made it this far in the series are already familiar with it's numerous flaws...
-tedious diologue, usually centered around the fear that military success will go to the heoroes' head.
-unnecessary rehashing of the opening events of the series, as if we don't already know them.
-implausible villians, Campbell's universe is overflowing with paranoid, prudish, reckless and stupid characters.
-shrewish, unappealing female characters.
-books are short and formulaic representing poor value when compared to the Honor Harrington and Miles Vorkosigan series' ,both of which are much longer and better written for the same price.
This new installment could have corrected some of these faults but instead, it magnifies them.
The epic, realistic and detailed space battles, which are the strong point of the series don't start until late in the second half of the book, be prepared for a hard slog to get to the good stuff near the end.
On the plus side, the next book in the series should hit the ground running based on the way this one left off.
Contrary to the bizarre assertions of one reviewer, who claimed this book suffered from some kind of pro-Castro bias, it actually makes one pine for the pre-revolutionary, hedonistic debauched party town that was havana in the 50's.
In fact, Castro is portrayed as a zealous, buffoonish ideologue.
As I read it, the most sympathetic character in the book was Meyer Lansky, who is portrayed as a wily entrepreneur, and mostly detached from the sleazy dealings of his mobster contemporaries.
Havana in the 50's was a hotbed of dance and musical innovation and the passages which describe the sorts of musical entertainment one could find at the great clubs of the era made me feel that the accompanying vices of gambling, prostitution, as well as the political corruption and oppression were worth it.
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