Granted, there are a few times at which this story seems to drag a little. But overall, it's one hell of a story. Darwin, Christians, and the Royal Geographical Society all battle it out to determine who is worth listening to and what is worth believing. Are we descended from apes?? Impossible, man! Amid the hoopla, Paul Du Chaillu doesn't stand much of a chance. He's a sitting duck for groomed academics who can spot a man who hasn't studied the proper prerequisites a mile off. But his lack of pedigree and education make him the perfect "everyman" to stumble into this hotbed of intellectual, social, and spiritual chaos. If this sounds like a novel -- you're right. It "reads" like a novel, but it's non-fiction. Great stuff. Although I am a female, middle-aged listener, I had a great time listening and recommended this book to my spouse who also loved it. The Reader is excellent; the story is unbelievable, true, and relevant even today.
A long, long time ago I enjoyed reading the book Clan of the Cave Bear, which was in hindsight probably not such a great book. Don't get me wrong: it's a great book for young readers; it just probably won't hold water with readers after a certain age. When Shaman first came out, I remember reading reviews that said this book was intelligent and yada, yada, yada; people like me who enjoyed Clan would love this book. Well, I listened to it halfway through, and I gave up. I hate giving up on a book midway through it, but this one just wasn't for me. The reader does a wonderful job. It is sometimes a little strange, this British accent talking about making blood paint and killing elks, etc. But overall, I can't criticize the reader. I'm not even sure I can criticize the book. I didn't go on to read a bunch of early cave man survival book after Clan, so maybe this genre just isn't for me.
An emotionally immature woman is in anguish over her marriage and her son's illness. A man is in anguish when his wife dies in a terrible car accident on a day she appears to be leaving him. Another woman is in anguish over infertility and her two-timing husband. Everyone is in anguish! Everyone blames themselves for causing the accident and the boy's illness. Everyone is stuck in anguish for the majority of the book. When one of the characters finally does move on, viola!-- she finds true love. I found this book tedious and sophomoric.
Don't rely on any synopsis of this book. It is about a boy who is 13 or 14 when the book begins, but it's about so much more. It's a big juicy book that hits the all the right notes -- it has amazing plotting, unforgettable characters, beautiful writing, and lots to say about love, family, randomness and destiny. It's going to be talked about at dinner parties and around the water cooler, so you might as well jump in and experience it for yourself. If you're looking for a good listener, seek no further.
This one just didn't work for me. The "Groundhog Day" plot mechanism where she keeps dying and being reborn serves a purpose, but it's just not worth it. I'm glad I was listening to this because I would have never made it past page 100 if I tried to read it.
Great plot, interesting characters that are well drawn and realistic, and great writing by Galbraith, aka JK Rowling. Let's face it: this woman can write with the best of them. She is not just a children's author. This book reminded me a little bit of Elizabeth George. The plot has modern elements that you see in the news; the crime seems impenetrable. Loved Cormaran Strike, the detective, and his temp, Robin. I hope this is only the beginning for these two. Sign me up if there's another one coming.
I really enjoy books with interesting plot lines and an historical element. This book has both. You go back in time to 1917 (I think). All the little details are there - the daily habits of the people, the sights, sounds and smells. Plus race relations, politics, labor history, and baseball. I recommend.
This is the kind of book that for me is perfect to listen to than to read. It's multi-layered in characters, plot lines, and time. But listening to it was easy and very enjoyable. I thought the narration was also excellent. There was one plot line that was a little dull for me, but it was very minor. In general I really liked the Hollywood people making a movie in 1962 and revisiting some of them in the current time. I would recommend this one to others.
I'm not a horror fiction fan at all. So it's a good thing that this book isn't horror or scary monsters in a cornfield. Sure, there is a leap of faith involved in this story. Time travel. But it's a leap worth making. King's writing is so direct and precise. He doesn't waste any time. He builds characters you can care about and draws a picture of American life and towns in New England and Texas that ring true. This was so much fun to listen to. I would absolutely recommend it to friends.
This book has its moments of charm, but I don't know why so many people have given it five stars and said things like "it changed my life." This would not make my top 10 books list. I found quite a bit of it tedious, and in the end, a let down.
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