I really loved this book, and listening to simon winchester read it. I particularly liked the way he melded together the stories of the main character and his compassion and understanding for Dr. Miser. Besides being a fascinating history of the OED, which is even laugh out loud funny at some points, the book is an interesting, thoughtful exporation of the joys of a meaningful life and why purpose matters. I highly recommend.
After reading all the reviews, I decided to go ahead anyway and am glad i did. the book is a very good compliment to the movie and the french documentary on Idi Amin Dada -- lots of raw footage of him in the 70s. I did not find the accents distracting, but instead well done (except for the israli character). The book itself is well written, admittedly, perhaps, could have used some editing, especially in the last 2 hours, but I enjoyed and would recommend to those who have and have not seen the movie.
This was a fun listen. Legally accurate but light. A good mix of characters, New York scenes, police drama, and plot -- and a good reader. Perhaps a few too many, "then I turned on the bath, got undressed..." but nobody's perfect.
I liked it enough that I just got the other unabriged one she has on here. Too bad so many of hers are abridged.
Could he please run for president? What a great book. I didn't think he could surpass From Beiruit to Jeruselem, but I think he has done it here. Friedman grasps and describes in simple terms the epic transformation that has taken place in the world in the last 15 years (the flattening). From the Berlin wall coming down to Netscape's IPO to to the development of outsourcing and high speed internet, it's all here and spelled out brilliantly. Oh yes, and he has policy solutions for the real problems this flattening is creating -- solutions that actually make sense. Freidman's access shows here. He can get a meeting or interview with anyone at this point in his career. The list of interviewees in this book reads like a whos who of the technology and business world.
I'd heard him interviewed about the book a number of times, but did not expect it to be this good.
A few quibbles. The narrator is generally good, but has a weird penchant for putting on a mild indian accent when saying what an interviewee said, even if that interviewee is not indian (tho a lot of them are). Also, Freidman likes lists (10 flatteners, 3 steroids, etc...) and naming things. It works, sort of, but a tad too many lists and names.
But these are minor quibbles. As I said, TF for President@!
I rarely complain about a reader, but this one is just too sing-songy for my tastes. I find him very distracting. He sometimes hits 5 or 6 notes in a sentence and as many as 4 in a single ord. Almost all his words end in a changed note. I do like the book very much, but am having a hard time enjoying it for this reason.
If you are like me, you struggled through this and other Russian classics as a younger person. Who? How do you pronouce that name? If that's the same person, why is the name different? It was an unmitigated joy to have someone decipehr the names for me and read aloud this brillian tale. I never had trouble keeping track of who was who, even with the nicknames. The reader has his own particular style, but I didn't mind him as others apparently have. For this and all the Russion classics, I highly recommend revisiting in audiobook form. A tremendous pleasuer. As to the quality of the story and writing, I hardly need to add my two cents.
Of all the novels I have read in the last year, this one stands out. The author has a remarkable ability to write in different voices. The book is six stories woven together -- starting in 1840, moving up through a post future iron age and then coming back down for the second halves of each of the first five stories. Each piece is written in an unique voice and each works. From a bisexual rake who is also a talented musician wheedling his way into the home of a famous European composer in the 1930s to a cynical, down and out publisher avoiding creditors and having madcap adventures in the present day, to a genetically modified "fabricant" living in the future, Mitchell pulls each voice off amazingly. With a mixture of humor, poinency, irony and extreme intelligence he weaves together the six stories, any of which could stand alone as a fully formed narrative. Brilliant. I loved it so much that I wanted to "read" another by him, and even read a real book, as none other was on audible. Have to say that "Number Nine Dream" cannot compare. This may have been Mitchell's best. I picked it orignially becuase it was a finalist (and the presumptive favorite) for the Booker prize, usually a reliable indicator. And indeed it was.
When it came out, everyone was talking about this book and now I know why. Wow. Chernow covers his subject with a masterful comprehension and depth that gives the listener a very interesting window into the world of the Founders, always with Hamilton at the center. The book is fascinating (and well read). From Hamilton's unusual boyhood in the carribean to his stellar rise during the revolution, to his pivotol role in the development of the fundamental features of our government structure, it more than held my interest. Hamilton is an extraordinary character -- a unique genius -- and Chernow resurrects him in all his glory, and not without attention to his flaws. I learned more about our history from this book than from any other book I have read. Most interesting is Hamilton's preescience. So many of his ideas anticipated current events. Also, Chernow clearly grew to love and feel protective of his subject who has been so neglected in history until now. I admit that around hour 29, I started to feel shades of "The Power Broker" -- a pattern of Hamiltonian behavior repeated over and over. But I highly, highly, recommend.
I was initially disappointed to find that this was not the text of the book, Paris 1919. But shortly after I got started, I was very happy with the purchase. The lecuture series is a great, short way into the fascinating and complex events that took place in Paris in 1919 and shaped today's world to a very large degree. McMillian has a good speaking voice and is pleasant to listen to. She does not engage in hyperbole, and it's hardly necessary with the subject matter. Very very interesting and worthwhile. Only wish the whole book were available.
I don't know why i put off Middlesex for so long, even knowing it won the Pulitzer last year. I somehow thought it was going to be a modernday Middlemarch... It was very very good and not at all what I expected. A well told (and well read), very touching story, the book pulled me in. The characters are believeable and compelling, the narrator is likeable and real and the story is complex and satisfying. I hightly recommend.
I recenty read (in print) A Gesture Life by Chang Rae Lee, and loved it. It was an amazing book. So I was excited to listen to Aloft. I don't know whether it was the reader, who I don't think captured the right tone, or the overly sappy story, but it just didn't do anything for me. And I really expected to like it. The story and characters seemed formulaic and predictable. And without giving away the ending, I'll say that the conculsion struck me the same way. I probably won't read another by this author, sadly.
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