Fairfield, IA, United States | Member Since 2007
I almost didn't buy this book because reader reviews complained about mispronounced words and a diversion about modern day torture, which one reviewer described as filler for the lack of data about the main topic. However, as it happens, the illiterate ones were the reviewers because the reason for differently enunciated words is that the narrator is BRITISH. Rather than mispronouncing words, he was speaking English possibly more precisely than the average American.
I also didn't find anything off-topic. The more I listened, the more impressed I became with the excellence of the writing. To fully appreciate the book, the reader must understand the difficulty Ronson faced in researching and explaining such an obscure, easily misunderstood, topic. Anyone who has ever tried to get accurate information from the kinds of people he was dealing with will be impressed. The lengthy details about the torture might seem off-topic to the casual reader but were very relevant, even necessary. They explained how "alternative" military methods have evolved from the original ideas of the First Earth Battalion, and the present state of such methods--all examples of excellent writing.
Reviews from those who mistake scathing criticism for intelligent critique say more about the reviewer than about the book, so if you can bear to hear the facts about military "intelligence," by all means, download this book.
something, I don't know what, seemed to be missing. Perhaps it was Einstein's voice. It may not be the fault of the reader, but for whatever reason, I kept having a hard time visualizing Einstein. I enjoyed the history and analysis, though I did have some trouble following the theoretical parts (perhaps because I didn't work at it too hard; I'm sure those who know a little physics would find it easier; otherwise, if you hear it as I did, the book is still interesting in explaining Einstein both academically and socially.
For the Sci-Fi fan, or for someone who just wants "something different," this is really different and really fun. I gave it a five not because it's deep like Shakespeare, but because in it's own genre it's good. Oh, and did I say, fun? Lots of unexpected twists.
I enjoyed hearing Leonard Nimoy discuss his relationship with Spock, and how Spock has affected and changed him. This book did what I would ask of an autobiography of Leonard Nimoy, it gave me insights into both Nimoy and Spock, and it added depth to both.
I kept thinking this was going to be a children's book, a story to be told to children, but not so! I often found this book stunning in it's depth, amazingly creative, extremely well read, colorful and interesting beyond description.
I love Steven Pinker but for some reason, this book didn't charm me. Some stories were interesting, but somewhere along the way, I quit listening.
I loved this book because it is fun, meaningful, well written. It's advice is practical and do-able.
I am always bored by writers who insist there is nothing scientific about astrology and other things which they dismiss out of hand but which they themselves have never researched. Being "anti" astrology is a common bias of scientists despite the fact that it has survived at least 3,000 years and is found in most cultures. Western astrology is off by 23 degrees so it's difficult but not impossible to do research with it, but Eastern Astrology is phenomenally accurate for anyone who knows how to construct good experiments. I am not an astrologer, but I am a researcher and I have read better skeptics' books than this one. I recommend SCIENCE FRICTION.
I have listened to other of Shakespeare's plays in which the play is, line for line, explained and then read as a play. This one is just an overview of the story.
Some children's books, such as THE LITTLE PRINCESS and TOM SAWYER are satisfying for adults, at least to me. In the case of Dr. Doolittle, I found it amazingly creative but it didn't captivate me as I'm certain it would be captivating for younger listeners. It was very well read and what happens next is always surprising, and I felt it is well written.
I am a big fan of the Men In Black movies, and enjoyed listening to the book. Did the book come first, or the movie? I don't know, but my experience is that movies and books work hand in hand to enrich each other, and that is certainly true with the book.The book lacked some of the detail in the movie, but contained details not in the movie. Both book and movie are full of great humor, and is all the funnier if you know anything about the history of Ufology, so you know where the author/screenwriters got their material--Men in Black is a hilarious spoof based on real life.
Regarding the star point system, I am often not sure how to use it. Compared to Tolstoy or Shakespeare, this is just a popular novel, deserving perhaps a 3, but in it's own genre of humor, popular books, etc., it's definitely a 5. The performance was really well done overall, but I found a glitch or two that kept it from being perfect, hence only 4 stars. But who cares! It's still plenty good enough for a fun read.
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