The trunk of the author's argument about gene selection is as godless and "anti-agency of man" as anything I've ever read. It's persuasive, fascinating, shocking, educational and hopeless all at the same time. He doesn't present his ideas as theory, he promotes them as doctrine. On its face, it helped me understand gene selection. More broadly it also lends perspective to whole segments of liberal academia and society--especially those who despise religion (like the author). Other reviews have mentioned how it rocked their faith. For me it made me appreciate mine more.
As interesting as the content is, the recorded performance is almost unlistenable. They chose a narrator with an erudite British accent. It's pretty much straight out of the BBC and infers a sense of academic superiority. When it is combined with the author’s pretentious way of expressing himself, it's almost unlistenable. In this 30th anniversary edition, the author himself reads his own footnotes, which interrupt the main narrator's flow. It's like watching a movie you've never seen and it has the soundtrack for the directors commentary turned on. Just about the time you are following the idea in the chapter he chimes in with a footnote that more often than not amounts to him taking a victory lap for how great his book has been after 30 years--that and he spends a lot of time tisk tisking his academic rivals (who the lay person has never heard of). The author is obviously brilliant but if he were at a party you wouldn't be able to stand being around him.
Entertaining and I don't regret listening to it. I'd liken it to the new Skyfall James Bond movie compared to Daniel Craig's first film. In my opinion, the first one was many times better that the other. For me this book didn't have the intensity of The Firm but it was pretty good. If you miss listening/reading to this it's not a huge loss.
The humor in this book is a lot more crude than what you'd get on 30 Rock. Plenty of "F" words and female genitilia and monthly cycle jokes. Pretty gross actually.
Tina is a great performer and that comes through in her reading of the book.
There is also a big emphasis on her feminist outlook on life.
I'd rather listen to Elijah Wood read this than read the book myself. I can not imagine a more perfectly paired reader and text.
I love Ernest Hemingway's comment about this book. "The good writers are Henry James, Stephen Crane, and Mark Twain. That's not the order they're good in. There is no order for good writers.... All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called 'Huckleberry Finn.' If you read it you must stop where Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating. But it's the best book we've had. All American writing comes from that. There was nothing before. There has been nothing as good since." -- from Ernest Hemingway, "The Green Hills of Africa" (1934)
I was surprised at what I got out of this book. I expected a bunch of stories of actual survival. What I got wat probably more helpful--a fundamental approach to survival and why people get into survival situations in general. As other reviews have mentioned there is quite a bit of discussion about the mental component of survival. The author's ideas seem to be as applicable to almost anything. In fact, he goes so far as to put survival in the context of daily life in general.
Report Inappropriate Content