I enjoyed the first book, ''A Fire Upon the Deep'. It was okay. But this is a masterpiece. I did not want it to end. I don't want to give anything away, but if you read the first book and thought, like me, that you really didn't care for more of the same, don't worry, this isn't. Pham is the man!
I've always judged a good book as one that I enjoy reading and a great book as one that I can't stop thinking about once I've finished it. Two weeks out from finish and there's not a day that goes by that I don't think about something from Matterhorn.
It was tough getting through the first one or two chapters. I found the author's style clumsy and thought the protagonist a bit two dimensional. Heck, there were even times when I felt I was being whacked with an allegory stick. But that was just ME being lazy. once I slowed down and read (listened) I was engrossed.
I want to say so much more but...you need to read it yourself. I will say this thought. If like me, at the end of chapter one you think you don't like Matterhorn, don't stop. The journey may appear arduous and arbitrary and some of the characters a bit simple, but it was, sometimes is and many, many are. Stop looking for meaning in everything and just solider on.
I have no idea who would enjoy it. I imagine someone who doesn't much care about the past. Not ancient history, but like hours or days in the ago, back when they read the first two-thirds of The Sparrow, when it was a (flawed sure but enjoyable) different book, than last third.
Not worth the effort to even consider
After finishing this book I feel like I was...ummm...violated. If I wanted to listen to several hours of thinly veiled racism, classism, uninformed opinions and blind praise of religion I'd gone to my parents house for the 4th of July.
I am no prude, believe me. Nor am I some wingnut who comes to a place like this hoping to be offended. Why do I even feel compelled to defend myself? Well, this is why; I was greatly disturbed/disgusted/sickened by this book. Not just once or twice, but many times. They say that nothing can be unseen. I???d like to add that nothing can be unread either. And how I wish I could ???unread??? the first 1/3 of The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore.
This book, while a "high-level" view of the topic that does tend to over-generalize and over-emotionalize at times, is well written. The author is an well-respected therapist and her anecdotes should be viewed more as field notes from the front lines than as the end-all/be-all on the topic of sociopaths. Personally, I never felt the author was implying anything to the contrary.
Enjoyable, informative and well written; I've listened to several chapters more than once, and I can't say that about many of my Audible purchases.
I did not enjoy this book, though I finished it at least. The characters were the issue, poorly developed with not a redeeming quality between them. The story would sway from tedious slogging detail about the most mundane topics, and then blow through interesting bits in a paragraph or two.
I'm a huge fan of Peter F. Hamilton's "universe" and have devoured them all. I guess I was hoping for something of that quality with this series. Alas, no.
It should have been called "Collapse of some Pacific Islands and the Deforestation of a handful of other Places". That would be a much more descriptive title, but one less likely to sell books. I certainly would not have wasted the money on it if that had been it. Diamond really "phoned it in" on this one, which is sad. He is a real talent, or has been in the past, but this book is not in the class of "Guns, Germs and Steel".
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.