I wouldn't recommend this title for several reasons, not the least of which there are no sympathetic characters (I disliked all of them) and the narrator makes all the female characters sound whiny and weak, which is bloody annoying. Also, a large part of the book came off as misogynistic (using the C and W words in steady stream). And the use of the hijacking of the planes in the attack on the twin towers just to add some kind of a climax at the end seemed cheap and out of place. Even though this is a dark, somewhat depressing book, I was happy that the author stayed away from getting truly depraved with one of the story lines, and thus I gave it an extra star just for that.
The lobster story. It was both hilarious and awful.
He says things in certain ways, and when he read the Robert Webb bit it did not sound like the way Robert Webb would have said that at all. Which is fine, but a perfect example of why it's fun to have the author also read the book to you. You get their intention and emphasis that you wouldn't necessarily get with a professional voice actor.
Yes. I thought it was extremely funny. Especially his childhood. I love British humour.
I was actually surprised at what a regular guy David Mitchell is. I thought he would be very fussy and very conservative, and maybe that's because I watched a lot of Peep Show and got him confused with his character Mark, but I really wasn't expecting to relate to him so much. His explanation of why he's agnostic, for example, rings true for me.
When she mentioned that we must sit at the table. I actually remember one meeting where I chose not to sit at the table which was not that detrimental, as it turned out, but I now make a habit of sitting at the table and speaking up, even at the risk of looking like a newb.
This is an important book for both women and men to read to understand why we still must fight for equality. I am a feminist because feminism means questioning the current social and cultural norms and asking why is it like that and why does it have to be that way? Gender stereotypes and gender-based predjudices hurt everyone because they keep people from being their true selves and striving toward their true calling whether it be a woman as a CEO or a man as a stay at home dad. Women's rights are human rights and this book is a gentle, relateable reminder why it is important to acknowledge unfair, entrenched practices (for both genders!) and ask how we can level the playing field so that we can all be in the game! Or at the table! Oh and just to be clear: this book is not a feminist manifesto or anything political. It's about how we can all work towards a fairer workplace and home -for everybody involved. We're all in this together.
The author may have made a mistake in reading his own book. Maybe it's a cultural thing and I'm used to a different narration style because I'm not from Nigeria but I felt like he just droned on and on. Also, this is barely about an Elvis impersonator and more about a boy who would like to be an Elvis impersonator but has a bunch of truly terrible things happen to him. If it had been sold as such I would have been fine with it but it started out with such promise (and I eventually got used to the droning) and then became dark and depressing and never came back from it. There were scenes in this book which should have been pivotal moments which just felt like yet another tragedy to heap on the pile of pain and sorrow. I can handle stories like that if I am told ahead of time that it's going to be like that, but to sell this book as something which may be a bit light or have true moments of levity is not fair and made me dislike it because I felt tricked.
Where "The Traveler" was a fun beach read, the Dark River is disappointingly uneventful and has a lame ending (not really an ending because there is a third book in the works). It's really frustrating to read a book that's in the middle of a series that feels like it's just the warm-up for the actual story.
And as for the narrating: atrocious! All of the "foreign" accents sound like stereotypical Transylvanian accents. I've never heard an Italian person sound like Count Chocula before! Don't waste your money on this one.
I love, love, love this book so much. The dual narrators are superb. The story telling is excellent. I wouldn`t change a thing, even the niggling question at the end: did it really happen or did he make it up...
I listen to this book when I wish I were travelling but don't have the time or money. The first chapter made me wonder what I had gotten myself into, as she rages about how much she hates India. If you can get past this you'll realize that this is to juxtapose next to the spiritual journey the author later undertakes to better understand where her hate and anger come from. And the author is honest about how her western judgments of India soften and turn inside out the longer she is there and the more she tries to understand. This was a really brave but totally fun effort of a westerner trying to come to terms with her assumptions about a culture wildly different (but in some surprising ways similar) that her own. Her descriptions of holi still colour my dreams!
"Middlesex" was so much fun to listen to. I loved all of the characters, and the fun bits of American history shown through the eyes of an insider but outsider. The narrator was on point the entire time; I loved his range of voices and accents, and got swept up in the story every time I listened to it.
It's not entirely clear why so many were shocked with the contents of this book other than the assumption that what happens at the White House stays at the White House. I don't think the author betrayed anyone, but rather was setting the record straight to repair his reputation which he believes was damaged when he was thrown under the bus as press secretary. Mostly, it's a study of the permanent campaign and how it has made the job of governing come second to being reelected. The author acknowledges his own culpability somewhat, but his disillusion with Bush and his cabinet really tinges this cautionary tale with a slight bitterness. I do wish that there had been a bit more depth or explanation in some parts but I'm sure that's just me. Overall, a fascinating story.
I have several reasons for disliking this selection:
1. "The Secret" is positive thinking. Positive thinking is not a secret.
2. All of the "world-renown" scientists and leading thinkers on The Secret are people of whom I've never heard... and are all American. Why aren't there any Indian or Swiss or British or Japanese thinkers on here? Why only Americans? Also, most of them are motivational speakers or self-help types. In other words, professional cheerleaders who give you just enough motivation to buy their next book or go to their next seminar.
3. The author (who is an Australian TV producer, BTW) seems to espouse a fairly selfish way of thinking. In no part of this book does she mention how this ethic can help the ills of the world, only the ills of me.
4. It's incredibly ignorant and callous to imply that people who were killed in massacres or natural disasters died because they weren't thinking enough positive thoughts. Well that explains why 100 million people died in the Russian prison camp system! Too many negative thoughts!
5. I am fat because I eat too much and don't exercise enough, not because I think that food makes me fat.
Here's some free advice: Think positive thoughts and don't buy this book. There is no secret to life: live with passion, focus and love and good things will come to you. Any fortune cookie could tell you the same.
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