This book gives a thorough survey of how violence has affected human history and the causes that brought about this violence and the reduction of it in recent decades. It answers the truism that "Society is worse now than ever and that it is falling apart" by showing that, in fact the quality fo life of most people today is better that ever. More importantly it delves into the reasons for this. Not only socially but also psychologically. Why do we commit violence? Why do we stop ourselves from being violent? It is at once optimistic and yet challenges the reader to confront those dark parts of our nature that result in everything from homicide to genocide to sadism.
The book is a tough read because it is long and meticulous but the author does a good job of keeping it engaging. As he states at the beginning: "This is a long book... but it has to be." The reader works very well for the material.
This book's only shortcoming is limited appeal but if you are a Star Wars fan (and as the book points out there are quite a few of us out there) this history of how it was brought about will appeal and maybe inspire. The book is lengthy but well written so that it never drags. Nick Pohdel does a great job reading it, this is my second book read by him and I enjoy his narration.
This is not the first time I heard about Koschei the Deathless and was intrigued by the character and being immersed in Russian folklore. Unfortunately I could not even finish this book. The protagonist is a young Russian girl living in a dreamlike communist Russia. She sees her sisters being courted and marrying and waits for her time to come. When it does come, however, she attracts the attention of Koschei the deathless, a figure out of Russian myth who takes her to his dominion. But instead of marrying she has to wait for the time to be right and the girl realizes that something in awry and perhaps Koschei is just stringing her along. That's how I felt reading the book: One thing seemed to happen after another without seeming to get anywhere. This is not a problem if you have strong characters who are a pleasure to read about; unfortunately, not the case here. Most of the characters are either annoying or despicable. About half way through the book it was hard to put my headphones on to listen. The author's voice started to grate on my nerves after a while but I don't believe it to be her fault, it was the book that was annoying.
The story is compelling and the characters are strong. There were many moments in which the story drags. There are scenes that come and go and when we return to the same place and characters, the reader is treated to the same situation and discussion as the last time they appeared. The author uses this to set mood and it helps in the sometimes desperate tone of the story, but often I found myself hoping for the plot to just move along.
Sterling's voice is good and I never had a hard time following the characters. Great voices. In some cases though she takes on an almost petulant tone. Especially when reading the part taking place in the middle ages. One of the characters is a little girl who mopes a lot but the other characters sometimes pick up the same sort of childish tone.
The description of the book could be better. I bought this book on the strength of the summary and the average review stars. But I was expecting a much different book. I thought the story would be mainly about the time travelers visiting the middle ages and did not expect the parallel plot of the epidemic in the traveler's own time. This is not a shortcoming of the book, except for the above mentioned problems it is a very well crafted and, in the end, enjoyable book.
This was a fun quick read. Not the most compelling characters but good story that puuls you along relentlessly.
I enjoyed the sweet simplicity of this fairy tale. it is the simple tale of a young girl's quest to save her childhood friend as well as the perils of growing up. The reader does a wonderful job.
I loved the set up and extensive fictional history related to the "lock in" disease. Its a well fleshed out world for the story to take place.
No. I like Wil Wheaton's narration and he fits well with John Scalzi's work but the way he reads It, the characters all have very similar voices. This is not entirely his fault.. Scalzi doesn't differentiate them very well either. They all pretty much speak the same. Having said that, it didn't detract very much from the excellent story. I did have a couple of instances where I lost my place in conversations though.
The treatment of the Navajo is very smartly done. In particular in the relationship of a minor character who dies at the beginning to his family.
The Novella following the main story is a great plus. It tells the history of "Hayden's Syndrome" that is the prime mover of the book in a series of interviews. It is read by an ensemble cast and is very well done.
This is a collection of radio dramas. It is very long because it contains most of the episodes of the series. I found it generally fun and worth the listen especially while doing mindless drudgery. It was easy to listen to without getting lost since it is a collection of half-hour episodes.
Yes, and I have. I love re-discovering these old radio shows.
The shows are very old and in some cases not well preserved. Old Time Radio should spend some resources in restoring the sound. some episodes are unintelligible. Frankly with so many episodes, they could have left some of the worst preserved out. Also, the shows include the advertising in the original episodes. Its interesting to hear the commercials and sponsors of days gone by but not when they are in every single episode. I got really sick of hearing about Lipton Tea and Bromo Seltzer. Edit some out!
You can't beat the value: 60+ hours of content. With the understanding that some of the material is (very) dated; the sound quality is not great (in some cases terrible because of the age and lack of preservation of recordings in the 30's to 60's); and some of the episodes are actually repeated because they were remade for later shows. Regardless, for one credit there is plenty to love here if (big if) you're into radio shows.
Well written and well organized considering that is touches on many disparate events surrounding the life of the character. I enjoyed hearing about the History of DC Comics and how Superman became such an ubiquitous and iconic part of modern culture.
The author's affection for the character shows throughout the book.
I am not a fan of Scott Brick's work. But he was fine in this book. His usual cynical tone didn't drip as much on this one. He blended into the book the way a good narrator should.
I wouldn't make a film of this book. There are enough documentaries on Superman. The strength of this book is the in depth information about the lives of the creators and how the character passed through tst different phases, that would be lost to a great extent in a film.
The story of how the fortunes of Marvel Comics unfolded is very interesting on a number of levels. After all, it is the story of real people and their struggles in a business that has changed radically in the last 50 years. Facing everything from changing markets to corporate takeover. However this book will be enjoyed most by Marvel Comics fans. I am one and have followed and collected Marvel Comics for perhaps too long. In the telling, many names of comics professional come up but the book does not have all that much time to duel on more than a handful. For me, that was not a problem because I knew the names and their work. But for someone who is not familiar with people like Roger Stern, John Buscema, Steve Ditko, John Byrne, Todd McFarlane and Joe Quesada as well as the superheroes they created and/or worked on it may get annoyingly hard to follow. (yes we all know Spider-man and the Avengers but how 'bout Captain Marvel and Howard the Duck?)
I've been dying to read Edgal Allan Poe's work for some time. Before I had only read sporadically and mostly when I was in High School. The stories are great. Other reviewers have complained of the antiquated language but that didn't bother me at all. It sounds pretty modern to me. The reader on the other hand was hard to listen to. Its not that he has a bad voice but that he seems to pause in the wrong places, seems to stress the wrong things and seems, at every turn, to be reading with no practice or preparation. His reading of "The Raven" was horrendous. I would love to hear this same book read by Wayne June.
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