This is a well-written, exhaustively-reported book that takes you in-depth to all parts of global organized crime. I found the section on the Balkans and Russia to be particularly enlightening, not just about the mafia but also in how Glenny explains the overall history of these regions through the lens of lawlessness. I feel like I finally understand what a Russian oligarch actually is.
If anything, the book gets a bit dull towards the end due to the repetiveness of each national history. The same story seems to unfold everywhere, but I only really got bored in the book's final sections.
Terrific survey of the modern machinations in the world of gold. Narration is first rate.
I like stand-up comedy, sans profanity. Gaffigan tells it well in this audiobook. I won't spoil it by spilling the beans, so you'll just have to listen to it yourself.
Very interesting story about the role humans played in creating the dust bowl, why it lasted so long, and how to keep it from happening again.
Great survey of how civilized persons communicate. Really interesting to learn about the evolution of the oral tradition as well as writing, and what the ancient equivalents of Facebook and Twitter were. Narration is first rate.
Russel Shorto does a great job looking backwards and connecting the dots. The result is a reasonable hypothesis of how Amsterdam turned out to be the city it is.
The book got off to a very strong start, which continued until the final couple of hours. At that point, the discussion about Northern Ireland and medical research destroyed the arc of the story.
A riveting story. So clear, it was like watching a film about what happened.
The combination of wonderful writing, author as narrator and a wide range of interesting stories is an unbeatable combination. Moreover, Winchester goes beyond the major historical stories we are all familiar with, and illuminates a wide range of other people and events that played a role in forming the United States.
It's the combination of great narration, a little bit of United Kingdom dialect, the understated way Bryson tells the story, and knowing the listener has no responsibility to remember any of it....that make Bill Bryson's gems such a wonderful listening experience.
To summarize, listen to be wonderfully entertained, even if you don't recall one morsel of what the book actually was about.
Terrific story about the the arms race and all the close calls with nuclear weapons. One message I walked away with was that our government has a lot of people working on this issue, but that no one is perfect, and the risk of unintended nuclear disaster remains.
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