I worked for the Forest Service in Idaho in the 1980's, fought many forest fires, knew Ed Pulaski's heroic story, and especially loved working with the tool he invented, the pulaski. Egan is a terrific story teller and gets everything right, both the feeling and the facts about this time and place. I especially appreciated learning about Gifford Pinchot and how he and TR fought for and finally triumphed in establishing the Forest Service. The Big Burn is American history told at its best.
I hadn't been a fan of Stephen King, but I had just finished reading (listening to) Neil Gaiman's wonderful faery tale, Stardust, and was moved to try another "master" storyteller's fanciful tale. I should have saved my listener's credit. The story was dull, uninteresting, and not believable. It might have been redeemed if the narrator had any sense of the dramatic, but this was sorely lacking. Die-hard King fans obviously found the story compelling, but I would not recommend it to anyone looking for a good yarn. Stick with Gaiman.
I'm so glad I peruse kid's books and read some of them. If I didn't I would have missed this wonderful gem. The story is tense and gripping, but also filled with lovely relationships between living people and, well.... I'll have to let you find out. Neil Gaiman is not only a terrific writer, his story telling is among the best. The music interludes are also perfect in every way. I know it's trite to say, but it's true in this case--kids of every age will adore this book.
Having read David Sheff's article about his son's meth addiction in the New York Times magazine, I knew this book would be wonderful, and I wasn't disappointed. Sheff takes us through every high, every low, every hope, and every crisis he, and everyone else with an addicted loved one, experiences. His ability to describe these emotions is unparalleled. Most importantly, we see that he is able to progress in his understanding of addiction and his unwitting role in it. Highly recommended for anyone trying to comprehend the crazy world addiction takes us into.
David Halberstam has written a clear and utterly beautiful history of the Korean War. He moves between describing the political, the military, and the personal aspects of the war with ease, and never loses the readers' interest. His honest portrayal of the flawed military leaders, Generals Ned Almond and Douglas McArthur, is illuminating and troubling and important for Americans to understand. We also get a clear understanding of the views and motives of the Communist leaders, Mao, Stalin, and of course Kim Il-sung, the North Korean strongman. Best of all are the stories of the American soldiers and their leaders who fought on the ground. The narrator, Edward Herrmann, is brilliant. His voice is able seemingly portray the direct feelings of Halbertstam without being overly dramatic. My only disappointment was that the book was abridged--I think it could have easily been presented in its entirety, but I solved that problem by reading the parts that were skipped from a library book.
Tuchman's history of the people and circumstances leading to WWI, and the first month of that war, is a vibrant and compelling story that reads like a great novel. I'm always looking for history books that clearly describe important events in world history, and this one is now at the top of my list!
I really believe I couldn't live without Fresh Air. Because I can subscribe to it on Audible.com, I can be fully up-to-date on an incredibly wide variety of topics. I can learn about books, newspaper, and magazine articles I will never have time to read, I can keep fully informed about politics, world affairs, and entertainment. I am always able to participate knowledgeably in discussions of current affairs. If I I'm not interested in a particular topic, I don't have to download that session; instead I can focus on topics that are the most interesting to me.
Thank you Audible and thank you WHYY for bringing the world to my ears.
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