Richmond, British Columbia, Canada | Member Since 2011
Probably one of the most cleverly-written books I have ever read. The author weaves a tapestry so fine that the reader becomes more an observer who can't help identifying with the protagonist or questioning her actions, lack of action, and reactions.
The exploration of family dynamics is brilliant and resonates
The story explores the frustrations of having a reasonably bright but completely puzzling child - one with enough differences to cause concern - but the perception is not shared by his father, which naturally leads the mother to question her own observations.
In a series of letters to her husband, the description of life with her family is laid bare - leading the reader through a series of events which collectively point to disaster. The problems appears to be ones which the family can not solve because they are not so serious that they could be attributed to a major defect in the son.
Apart from the background of the mother who, in this book, is extremely literate and her 'tone', initially, somewhat condescending, the reader soon realizes that this 'tone' is perhaps more defensive than otherwise. This tale could (and does) occur in far too many families - perhaps it may save some.
An amazing story which is entirely plausible.
The author will leave a very valuable legacy in US political history. He can't be faulted for his research and readily admits what he surmises but can not prove. There was a bit too much repetition in the book. It could have done with a good edit. Nonetheless, the information is both revealing and disconcerting. One would like to believe that the USA was mainly built by honest men with good intentions but there is too much evidence proving graft, corruption and deceit were involved. The book is certainly not one which loyal Americans would want to hold in reverence but if they fail to recognize the truthfulness of the writing, the future does not bode well.
The narrator does an excellent job.
Seekers of genuine historical fact (interspersed with a bit of knowledgeable opinion) will find this an amazingly valuable contribution. It is far too much to digest in a first listening but very worthwhile to listen in smaller doses. The points of view of all major players are well presented throughout. This reader will find it invaluable in sorting out all the current opinions which are expressed daily by the press or by those actually involved in making policies.
The protagonist is a wonderfully drawn character with the narrator doing a truly excellent job of reflecting of his fall from grace (sorry about that). You are introduced to this self-satisfied, older than usual, lawyer who is humanly self-deluding. The other characters are equally interesting with ongoing revelations which let the listener get to know them and become suspicious of their motives. The trouble with this book is that you can't comment too much without giving the plot away. A very worthwhile change from the usual. Deserves a high rating.
It continues to amaze me that Hoover was kept as Director for all those years and that no one had the courage to dislodge him even though he threatened 'blackmail'. Too bad, he certainly ruined the reputation of law enforcement in the U.S. This book seems to be one that would benefit from editing. Nonetheless, it is a worthwhile book and seems to be more honest than most of its type. It would have benefitted from more personal information about Hoover.
I have been a Joyce Carol Oates fan until now but will certainly have to be convinced of the value of any future books. The characters are superficial, the ?heroine could be autistic, borderline, schizophrenic or just badly behaved and selfish - but her upper-middle-class parents don't bother to have her assessed and/or treated. The structure of the book is no structure - it wanders all over the place with the voices of the individuals providing a confusing mish mash of points of view and life experiences - not to give it away but there is the human cost of U.S. wars, alcoholism, cancer, violence, confused sexuality, mental illness, poverty, affluence, an evil potential mother-in-law, religion, a questionable legal system and an individual able to influence politicians, many philosophical references and altogether too much fainting. The narration has been poorly edited with much repetition, and script-induced pseudo-hysteria. There are grammatical errors and misuse of words which could be either the author's or the narrator's problem. I could believe that this was written by someone else. It was a lot of time to waste in hope of improvement.
A well-crafted, chatty novel which intricately mixes fact and fiction. Mr. Warner is gifted in character development and description. His protagonist is an interesting character who is not altogether likeable but for whom the reader will have reason for admiration.
This will be particularly interesting to those who are familiar with the Cold War era.
The narration is perfect!
Unquestionably a book which should be read and discussed by those who are involved in emergency preparedness programs as well as the general public. Well researched, well documented description of conditions at an aging but vital hospital in New Orleans during Katrina as well as historical and subsequent developments and the players involved.
Circuitous plot with interesting characters - some well developed, others not so much. Homelessness is a difficult and complex topic and Grafton has chosen representative characters, except for the severely mentally ill who comprise a major percentage. This certainly could have been two books - a good listen.
George Tenant has written a valuable book. The trials and tribulations of CIA administrators and line officers is well illustrated along with the mistrust, competition and difficulties that plague the intellligence communities and which put the country at risk.
This is not a general 'spy' tale, athough there are some anecdotal references. Tenant's long tenure and the 'lofty' position gives authority to this book.
Recommended reading (and not in the least bit boring)
I do like the William Deverell books but the female narrator sounds as if she were a sixth-grader. I think it would have been much better to have the male narrator only. The female narrator's flattish speech was actually intrusive and spoiled the continuity. I found myself tuning out. Needles is an important book, even today because the author knows well of what he speaks. He is a retired lawyer, known for his courtroom brilliance.
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