Between the library and the internet I listen to two to three books a week, and this has remained my number one recommendation since I heard it almost a year ago. Imagine, an explanation of the smallest known (or theorized) particles in the universe to the expanse of the universe itself. But most of all Bill Bryson makes it fun. If you enjoy knowing a little about everything but not too much about anything, if you're trivia fanatic, if you simply enjoy learning, this is a must. Perhaps the best compliment I can offer is the fact as soon as I finished "A Short History" I immediately began to search for other works by this author (and they're all good too).
Initially I was simply going to write "don't waste a credit on this one" but that may not be enough to dissuade Audible listeners. This was just lewd and not worthy of anyone's time. Adam was fortunate to find Jimmy Kimmel who gave him a career, but this book is about his life before that. If my sons lived their life the way Adam did, I would have been totally embarrassed and denied they were mine. Just filthy stories, seldom funny, never inspiring, usually degrading. Not even sure why a publisher would have considered releasing it. It is that bad. Don't bother wasting a credit on this trash. Please..
I listen to three or four books a month, try to rate most of them but seldom write a review. This time I am obligated. Let's preface it all with stating I am a Penn State alumni. I bleed Blue & White. But it isn't because of a school known for football (and gymnastics and ice hockey and volleyball and wrestling), but, more importantly, because it is a great academic institution. Being Penn State proud I wanted to know the REAL, full story about JoePa. The author began and almost finished this biography before the Sandusky incident, but, as he explains, he could not write an honest biography without getting into all the circumstances surrounding that terrible issue. I am sure many of those who believed in Paterno will want to hear this story; but it is those who did not, or lost faith in this man, they need to hear the whole story. I will admit I cried more than once listening to how this coach dealt with many of the incidents of his life and his coaching career. This is a good book, a moving story, and an emotional ride.
And it would be remiss on my part to fail to mention the tremendous job Joe Montenga did in narrating this book. The texture of his voice, the empathy of his reading, was first rate.
Thank you Joe Posnanski for a most thorough story on the full life of Joe Paterno.
Bill Bryson's works are all top shelf; never less than five stars. First, he narrates his own stories. His wit and satire bring me to tears. He is laugh out loud funny. Second, and to me this is the best part, I always learn something. His works are always educational, thought provoking, and honest. Not a better combination anywhere. I guarantee if you listen to just one of his works you will be signing up for all the rest. He is THAT good.
I try to write reviews when I think they are warranted; sometimes I can be critical. I don't often read books that are in a long series, I get bored. But this being a trilogy, I thought I could get through it. Only this time I think the author got bored too. I really liked the first book, I'd give it 4 1/2 stars. The second was okay, not as interesting, only three stars. I was hoping for a traumatic conclusion in the final book, but it never happened. Too much re-living the past; not a lot to hold my interest. And I got the impression even the author may have been getting tired, thought "if this were eight or ten books, how would I end it?" and then just felt, why wait, I'll end it here, do a little forecasting in the future and let it be over. It was disappointing. Two stars maybe. Although I did enjoy the author's comments at the end on here background for creating the Games.
However, I have not given up on the author, I'm sure there will be future writings worth listening to.
I listen to dozens of books every year and this one has to be one I would put on the top of my list for 2011. A true, unbelieveable story. Hard to accept what our American prisoners of war had to endure.
If you enjoyed Seabiscuit, you'll like this one even more. Well researched, well told.
Hard to believe American servicemen serving in the Pacific could ever forgive the Japanese for their harsh, unforgiveable treatment.
Taken from current circumstances involving housing foreclosures, a good, quick story. MC never disappoints.
I always enjoy a good history lesson from those that actually lived it. So happy Robin's daughter was able to gather the stories of her father together to create this memorable story.
An easy listen to well known history. A few minute details not heard before (but not sure how they were verified). More information on the participants in the conspiresy than I had known before. Worth the time, but not a five.
The Genghis Khan I thought I has learned about was a ruthless warrior. It was interesting to learn the real truth about a historical figure that has had such an influence on the modern world. He saw the world not a place to be conquered, but as an opportunity to expand his knowledge, enhance his culture, and yet retain his history. Then the story continued beyond this one man's story to include how he influenced his peoples future. Well read. It deserved to make it to the "finals" in the book tournament.
Ten thousand reviews with a score over 4.80. Never saw such a thing. How could I pass it up. Wasn't really sure how I felt about it initially, but the further I got, the more I really liked it. It became very personal. I grew up during the time period of this story. Hard to believe in my lifetime we could have been so shortsighted. It was a story that needed to be told. I continue to recommend this book to all my friends and anyone who has given it a chance has found it belongs in the 4.50+ category.
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