This is one of two books I've never finished. I listened to probably 80% of it but there was nothing holding me to the end. The author and the narrator seemed to drone on and on. I'm not saying that there was nothing good -- I still have the feeling of the beach setting and it was interesting seeing things from the perspective of the realtor. It was a picture of a person and a place... The picture just didn't move enough for me.... Maybe I'll go back finally and listen to the end of it....
Since I didn't have a book jacket, I had no idea what was coming. I have never read such an authentic picture of a family and I was completely entrenched in the ongoing stresses of a family with teenagers. I did not find it depressing -- just very real. Excellent book Excellent narrator.
And I've never listened to a book twice.
I liked the story -- good mystery and lots of historical detail. I was very interested in the medical history discussed in detail. But the writing style -- and the narrator -- drove me crazy. It was a romance novel disguised as a mystery. The characters were simple stereotypes, with obvious outcomes. The villian was barely developed with a simple motive. Each character had to tell us directly every feeling and how much that charcter admired the other character, etc. If the story hadn't been so good, I would never have finished it.
A first-person nonfiction book always requires a balance between the experiences of the individual and the importance of the experience. In this case, I think sometimes the author was too involved in his own confession. I grew tired of hearing how bad he was and how terrible his motivations were...
The perspective was very interesting and I have thought frequently about his perspective on the World Bank and charity. The U.S. lifestyle is not the only option. But there is something to be said for clean water and food distribution.
And a bill is only valuable if someone actually pays it....
My husband and I have altered our language. "That didn't make it to the fourth level," we say to each other when there's an automatic reaction to an event. Or "Maybe you need to engage the sixth level..." when facing a problem. And: "Intelligence is the ability to predict..." when my husband's keys are still in his pocket as he approaches the door of the car...
This book was sometimes redundant-- but repetition leads to retention and I needed it sometimes.
I have a Ph.D. in applied behavior analysis because learning theory has always intrigued me. This was the closest I've ever come to feeling like someone has united the nature-nurture issue. I often think of the question he asks: What would a brain do with an eternity of learning?
What would happen if each generation did not have to re-learn the same things?
There were some areas I felt were incompletely developed. I want to know how emotions interact with the learning process. I want to know to enhance the generalizations which lead to creative thinking. How do we Brain Train in a general fashion?? And how do we untrain the brain?
A book that leaves me with the desire to know more is definitely a book I'd recommend to friends.
This was an entertaining book. I enjoyed the character and found him very realistic. I thought the story was well-developed.
The end, discovering the perpetrator, was a little disappointing. There seemed to be inadequate hints and the ultimate master villain was not developed well. I tend to feel cheated when I'm not given enough hints to have figured out the plot.
That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to other readers.
I like books where I learn something true and new. This book certainly provided that opportunity -- from the first Ferris Wheel to Columbus Day to forensics in the late 1800's to Frank Lloyd Wright's beginnings to the perspective of a landscape architect... I loved the details. I could see, smell, and hear the city. I felt the drama of the World's Fair and the horror of the murders. The book was very detailed -- but not excessively so and it was rarely redundant.
On the other hand, this was a difficult book in an auditory format. There were many characters and it would be helpful sometimes to be able to look back to remember who people were.
I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to others.
I looked for reasons to drive and cheered traffic jams... The style and the characters are obviously modelled after the characters' favorite books by the Bronte sisters and, at first, I feared that I had slipped into a romance novel. As in the earlier works, there is a sense of unreality about the exaggerated characters. Each one is too much of a stereotype. Still, that was part of the pleasure of the story. While the characters play their assigned parts, the mystery remains a thread that pulled me into their world. The author has a wonderful ability to find creative and unique analogies to enhance descriptive text. The only regret was that I couldn't flip back the pages to see when the author tricked me and where I should have recognized the underlying mystery. I was very sorry when this book was over.
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