After reading all of the positive reviews of this title, I was terribly disappointed with this audiobook. The story was a trite Hallmark card, the dialogue was stilted and almost unbelievable, and the narration, while energetic, was the worst part. I've enjoyed Laural Merlington's narrations in the past, and she does a good job here, but the pronunciation of the Japanese was atrocious. If Merlington was bad, Durante's pronunciation was even worse. That would be acceptable as she is reading for Sue, but grating and wrong when she reads for other native Japanese speakers. I really wish that the producers of audiobooks would choose narrators who can actually attempt the non-English language in the text.
As defined by the book, "addictions" are the use of any substance or activity that allows the user to escape from real life. Through a series of in-depth case studies, Dr. Woolverton defines addictions and gives concrete suggestions about how to improve one's overall quality of life by addressing these problems. Dr. Woolverton's frank style is reassuring and hopeful, and also quite personal. After listening to this title, I have more confidence to address my own addictive issues. I'd recommend this book to someone who is wondering about his/her own possible addictions and who wants straightforward insight about where and how to begin addressing the concerns. Don't look for a quick fix for your "fix" here, however – there isn't any magic. There is plenty of support, advice and reassurance for those thinking of beginning the journey to being addiction-free.
Downsides: much of the specific advice is repetitive. Also, I thought the ending was a little depressing after so many success stories, uplifting information and useful suggestions found throughout the rest of the book. Some readers may also note the great deal of personal information provided by the author. This might prove distasteful to those who would prefer a more clinical or impersonal approach.
The performance was adequate: neither particularly remarkable, but certainly not annoying or distracting in any way.
In sum, check out this title if you are looking for a point to start addressing your addiction(s) with honesty and clarity. I found it a compelling, and ultimately reassuring aid to facing my own issues. This book helped me recognize that I have more resources and support if I choose to seek them, and that success is indeed a potential outcome.
The publisher's summary does a faithful description of this book, but does not begin to accentuate the stunning, shocking detail of the writing. Although the subject matter is not for the faint of heart (and at times can be downright repulsive!), the description of mental illness in Garey's moving, relentless prose is nothing short of art.
I've been bored by much of the recent, highly-rated fiction on offer. The "Hollywood Ending," the "weird-for-weird's-sake," the "sex-as-shock-value." Too Bright; Too Loud eschews all of that and instead takes the reader on a believable (if relentless) journey into the mind of a sufferer of bi-polar disorder. Greyson's personal journey is foreshadowed by the journey of his own father, and that mirroring (IMO) is the brilliance of this book. No further spoilers!
If you are squeamish about sex/ drug/ alcohol abuse, and/or you don't do well with explicit language, go elsewhere: this book will blast you. If you seek compelling narrative, believable characters and real-life drama (and can handle the truth!) this book might be for you. It opens a window to the understanding of bi-polar disorder and the genesis and progression of the disease. Its protagonist represents a pathologically flawed and yet "loveable" character, and in the end (no spoilers) offers a glimmer of hope for suffers and those who love (and are created by) them.
The narrator was perfect, in my opinion.
Downsides: the prose is relentless and gritty, sometimes revolting. Really gross. The narration spans about 40 years of history, given in piecemeal vignettes. I often find this kind of structure frustrating in audio format because it's difficult to refer to previous episodes in an effort to accurately track the progression of the overall narrative.
Final comment: I enjoyed this novel a great deal and recommend it to readers who are looking for something vibrant, meaningful and real.
I'm a huge fan of true crime titles and generally enjoy the back stories of those involved. In this book, there is just way too much. Too many characters, too much unrelated detail, too much verbiage... Too much. I gave up after the first of the three downloadable sections because I got bored waiting for the story to actually start.
Oh the upside, L.J. Ganser does a fine job with the narration, and Teresa Carpenter can write.
…but this was not it.
I'm a fan of non-fiction work that looks into various aspects of human nature; this book did look at "assholes" in an in-depth and intelligent way. However, what with the title, I expected more humor. The first two chapters had me chuckling, but the remainder of the book left me a bit confused. I'm left grasping at how James' term "asshole" differs significantly with other (more mainstream) "labeling" of anti-social behavior, such as "sociopath," "narcissist" or "psychopath." I found the book to be a not-very-organized meandering into the issues of personal responsibility versus entitlement. On its face, it's not a terrible book, but the topic seems more cerebrally dealt with (in a short book) with Baron-Cohen's "Science of Evil," and more humorously treated in most of Jon Ronson's offerings. IMO, this book is a great easy-listen for a person who is interested in the subject and needs a lightweight companion on a daily commute.
Arthur Morey does a fine job of narrating this book; he does a great job here as he did in Pinker's "The Better Angels of Our Nature" and will not disappoint his fans here with his smooth and easy cadence.
Final comment: if you are a person who does not like to hear the word "asshole" (and other epithets) repeated and repeated, go elsewhere.
Lucy Worsley???s book is meticulously researched and yet quite engaging and easy to follow. It might sound hard to believe, but the material is truly interesting and thought-provoking. I finished it in two days because I could not put it down. If you like slightly quirky facts to fuel your water-cooler chat, this book is for you.
On the downside, the narrator had a strange sort of hook in her voice that was distracting to me, and I wasn???t fond of her attempts at various accents. However, it wasn???t so distracting as to take away from the overall content. Although not really a downside, the other thing that I wish I???d known when I bought this book is that it is highly England-centric. There is very little information about the rest of Europe or the East.
All in all, this was a satisfying, fascinating and informative look at the way our lives and social structures have been shaped by our living spaces and vice-versa. I think it will appeal to history buffs, Anglophiles and eclectic fact-lovers alike. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
A friend recommended this title, I was skeptical... And very pleasantly surprised. This is moving story with believable, engaging characters and an absolutely fantastic narration/performance. I enjoyed it very much.
I've read or listened to most of Dr. Laura's books. "Surviving a Shark Attack" is another addition to her impressive list of helpful, insightful titles. Dr. Laura's voice, humor and personal style make this an especially easy and enjoyable book to listen to. I recommend it highly and will listen to it again and again.
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