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.
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.
I wish I could say something nice but while the topic is of utmost value this book is very dry and boring.
I really enjoyed listening to the audio ACIM Part I but can't remember to listen to the daily lesson, and I don't want to stop with just one lesson when I do. I think this workbook would be better in printed book form.
I really don't know how to characterize this book. For the first 16 hours I thought it was a mundane romance with the stereotypical macho-tough hero and smart-ass heroine duo who take turns rescuing each other from impossible situations. I was basically just sticking it out because I'm compulsive about finishing things. Historical romance genre fans would probably find it well-written, at least until the last few chapters, when it suddenly takes a horrific twist that seems to have no where to go except to complete tragedy. But then, it twists again find resolution with a flash of psychological brilliance (however unlikely) and a merging into some well-written, genuine depth of sanctity, before returning to the mundane romance. No matter what your tastes and preferences, this book requires a significant amount of "suspension of disbelief," but if you can make the twist and turns, you might like it. It will certainly will be shocking and distasteful to some, though I thought those parts required some of the best writing and a deep understanding of dark psychology. I also appreciated that the faith aspect was neither maudlin nor dogmatic, but meaningful. Even so, I think I'd rather have spent my time with War and Peace or other proven classics.
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