This book was very little story surrounded by lots of rather ill-conceived philosophy. The little story there was is very simple with every small conflict easily resolved within a few 'pages'.
I also did not agree with several aspects of the 'follow your dreams at all costs' theme that the writer espoused. I don't want to put in any 'spoilers' but the writer put way too much emphasis on the 'personal legend'. I was sick of that phrase by the end...
Be warned it is VERY judeo-christian based, so if that kind of thing offends you, then stay away. I am a Christian, but still found the way the author used religion to be heavy-handed.
Perhaps if you are looking for inspiration you might enjoy it, but I left it feeling uninspired and wishing I had spent my credits elsewhere.
PS: Jeremy Irons did a good job with the reading, no complaints there.
Mary Roach packed the book full of very interesting information. If you can handle the topic, it is well worth the time. It was all interesting, but I found some of the topics to be absolutely fascinating (enough so that I would rewind and listen to them again to make sure I caught everything). Stuff I didn't realize I was too squeamish to want to know!
I am not sure how she kept her sense of humor with such a grotesque topic, but there were many times I was laughing at things that I would never had thought could be funny. She has a very clever sense of humor that is sometimes subtle and sometimes like a club over the head.
Several times I had to check to see if it was Mary Roach narrating because Shelly Frasier made it seem like she was telling a story, not reading text. I am not sure how to explain it, but it flowed very naturally and her comic timing was superb!
When I first began listen, I was not sure I was going to enjoy it. It took a little while, but I eventually got caught up in the story and I ended up wishing the next book in the series was out (it was not at the time). I would recommend it, but with the warning that it took me a little bit to settle into it so be patient and keep listening!
This was almost not what I would call science fiction. Obviously it is because it involves aliens, but it seemed more like a character study. Very witty and some interesting insights into how we view the universe. Wil Wheaton gave a great performance. I really enjoyed it, but don't expect voyages to strange new worlds or flashy laser battles. It was more about people and how we deal with something we have never seen before.
It was depressing and heart-wrenching, but the story is told so wonderfully. Tom Stechschulte really brings the father-son relationship in this story to life. The author tells relates a simple fictional story, but the way he does it makes it seem like you are there, experiencing it with the characters. It really drew me in. I usually listen to books during my commute and one morning I found myself sitting in my car in the parking lot at work, sobbing, not just crying, but actually sobbing out loud. I have not cried like that for a long time. I had to sit in my car for a while and compose myself. It makes me tear up a bit as I write this. I would definitely recommend it if you think you can handle the emotions it invokes.
On a side-note, the movie is really good too!
If you grew up in the 80s and were at all a fan of pop-culture, then I would say this is a must-read. It brought back so many memories and was so much fun to listen to. I would HIGHLY recommend this book. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars.
A great book, I would highly recommend it. I can't wait for the next book. I am definitely not in the intended audience (a late 30s male) but I was hooked within the first hour of listening. It reminded me of Hunger Games, with a strong female protagonist and I enjoyed it just as much as Suzanne Collins work. The way the world was described convinced me that the author did his homework, it was very believable. The reader was excellent, no complaints.
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