CRESCENT CITY, CALIFORNIA, United States | Listener Since 2006
My wife is in the fight of her life. We both felt like she brought cancer, ugly life ruining cancer, to our home. The guilt was almost as bad as the disease. Thanks to this fantastic page turner of a book, we now know and understand at least 131 reasons why cancer kills (a slight attempt at humor, there are thousands of reasons), and none of them were chosen by us. We also know the fight is doable and many people, with lots of help, win the cancer battle. Not only is this book important, it is actually a pleasure to read. I listened to the audio version, then bought a hard copy and am halfway back through it. In my mind this is a GREAT BOOK.
If one waxes quixotic, this is interesting cultural commentary. But it is way too long, and most will not ask themselves about what dreams or delusions they are locked in. I only just barely stayed with this read, but I may read what I think is the newly released sequel. At 36 hours, this read is long.
I highly value this book for personal reasons. I have been suffering from a psychopath for years and never understood what was happening. Now the blindness has been penetrated and relief found in the increased clarity.One of the most important discoveries in the book is that psychoses are disorders of the mind and are treatable, while psychopathy is a disorder of the personality and not yet treatable. A clear cause was not put forth, nor was a set definition. Rather, psychopathy is said to be a matter of degree, with its primary characteristic being apathy towards others.The author made the claim that most psychopaths are not convicted criminals. They are members of society that find niches to pursue their own ends at the expense of others. He says 2% of the population measures high on the psychopathic scale, while they cause 20% of society's problems. Even with known mass murderers, only 47% measured high on the scale.I think this book is a must read for anyone who deals with people, especially if you are trusting by nature.
In reading "How To Steal A Dog" I was looking for a fun, escape type, read that might also help me think about a family member of mine that is not successful in life. The book was light hearted and fun, while reflecting a view of homelessness that I had never thought of, namely an adolescent view. Teenagers have enough to deal with in our culture with out adding homelessness to the mix. I enjoyed the basic ideas put forth by the daughter, because they sensitized me, somewhat, to both the presence and problems of homeless teens.
I enjoyed the ending, because it revitalized old maxims of hard work, faith in goodness, and honesty. These are shmultzy ideas, but I think our world has lost faith in them. We might have even lost sight of them. Does anyone value "hard work"?
My favorite scene was the discovery of a repaired car. Again it is shmultzy, but actually true enough in real life. I have personally benefited from the ravings of a homeless man once in my life. I found that odd.
I only rated this story with three stars, because it is ultimately a distasteful idea, namely the idea of stealing a pet. It never really overcame the horror of that. I did enjoy the book and may read it again someday, but only lightly recommend it.
The book is too long and over clarifies its point, which is some kind of denial of necessary meaning. I would also try to build in some suspense. I was never held by the story. I love the reader and for that reason alone stayed with the book. I am glad I finished it, because the end held a key line mentioning laying one story over another and benefiting from doing so. Whether the point is worth the trouble of finishing this book is doubtful.
I was amazed by the quotes, references, and asides in the book. The writing itself is stylistically advanced, not genius, but way up on the talent charts. Almost any part of the book would be a great study of syntax. It even uses foreign language and completely made-up words to get its point across and add texture. The narrator handles the unexpected transitions from English to something else and back brilliantly!
Any attempted follow up to this work should be more explicit and more focused. Meaning does not vanish just because one tries to be specific about it.
This is the second book I have listened to by this narrator, and I will be looking for a third. On that basis I recommend this book.
Fantastic! I read this while painting my house. I laughed, actually, cried, actually, and swore. I was so engrossed in the story, I missed a movie date while painting and listening. This may seem trivial in a book review, but my wife recently died and I have been suffering immensely trying to deal with the loss. Laughter has been hard to come by. Understanding of my pain even harder to find. And healing seemed impossible to ask for, yet I found some of all these in this book. There are some parts of the trip that disgusted me, like the almost rape by an archer, but the listen was an escape and inspiration. I loved the closing lines and found some healing. This book works on many levels, but I recommend it to those who are drowning in sadness. It will make you cry, but that will end with the sweetest of tears.
If your life burst like a balloon and you want to be dead, because you can't believe the one you love has died, this book is for you. This is no poem. This is no nice story. This is your story after death kicks the crap out of you, takes your most priced possession, and leaves you gasping for breath. This is the grief book you are looking for.
A World Lit Only By Fire was the first audio book I listened to way back in the ninties, and it is still my favorite. I think I've read many of the best books, "Two Years Before The Mast", "Brothers Karamozov", the Sharp novels. This book is different. It makes one ask, how hungry could I get? Do I have any bravery? Have I ever really sinned? If I had the power to force people to do one thing, I would make them read the Magellan section of this book. They would be amazed at the power of human character.
For an atheist to write this kaleidoscopik work that bolsters catholic theology is amazing. I feel completely alone most of the time in today's culture. This work lifts a huge weight, at least temporally, of the back.
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