The author has good technical writing skills but precious little imagination. She's created a good set of characters with things to do that could be worth following. But then she prcoeeds to write a story which reads like a travelogue that includes some interesting anecdotes.
The words are reasonably well chosen. The sentences all make sense. But in the end, the main sensation produced is tedium. There are no new ideas. (In fact, there aren't even that many old ideas.) Just words that grow into sentences that head nowhere of particular interest.
Given when this book was written, the parallels one can make to today's world make it a special piece of literature. It's well worth the time it takes, even if all you want to do is laugh.
If you have any interest in
The structure of the story and it's insightful conclusions about personal freedom and choice.
The concluding paragraphs.
One of my all time favorite books.
Deutsch no. Dixon yes.
Not that hard.
David Albert wrote an excellent and friendly review of this book in The New York Times Sunday Book Review of 08/12/2011. Despite it’s positive tone, it reassured me that I made the correct decision to stop listening to it. Sadly, it took me about 12 hours to decide that. Deutsch is smart and eloquent, but he's a master sophist. He writes clearly and skillfully, but treats his conjectures as facts. A term I once heard for this is “lying the truth”. He convinces himself that things are actually the way he thinks they are, and then he writes as if that is the case, which in his created mindset, it is. He covers many topics. For those where you have some knowledge, the holes in his certainty are obvious. For those where you don’t have some knowledge, you’re in danger of accepting some ideas as truths that are no more than pure speculation on his part.
More than 1/2 way through, and still didn't have any idea where the book was going.
No point was being made. Just a string of thoughts. Kind of like Kurt Vonnegot's
No. He did an excellent job.
Maybe, if I could have held out longer, I'd have seen a point to it. But, life is way too short. On to the next book. (By the way, I only very rarely give up on a book.)
The language is clear and competent. But sadly, the book feels like the author was doing a distasteful homework assignment rather than presenting a topic in which he had some genuine interest. Chernow, Ellis, and McCullough bring their subjects to life. Brands made Franklin's life and times seem duller than a red brick.
It was only by sheer force of will that I was able to listen to it all. Those of us who finished this book deserve some kind of prize, either for perseverence or stupidity. I'm not sure which. (LOL)
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