Gillian Flynn is just a fabulous writer. She has a knack with verisimilitude in her characters that makes me want to go back and track just how she built them up, piece by piece- but only after I get to the end of this engrossing mystery. I'd rate this among the best books I've read (or listened to) in quite a while. I loved Sharp Objects and this is even better. LIsten, you won't be sorry!
Many deep seated views I had on what constitutes a healthy diet were revealed to be based on bad science propagated by endless media repetition, until what was tenuous at best, became accepted as "fact". It is revealing to learn how much we rely on the opinion of others and how little we question authority. All those weighty and portentous proclamations from the American Heart Association, and the USDA that I grew up with turn out to be not just unhelpful, but harmful.
How quick science was to grab onto an explanation that had a puritan appeal. I think Americans have some deep seated need to believe that depriving ourselves of saturated fat must be good for us, because anything that tasty must be a sin! I say this only partly in jest....but I notice that the nutritional scientist in other parts of the world never seem to have bought into the "heart healthy" diet to the extent we did, and in the dark years when nutritional scientists were risking their reputations for questioning this dogma, only English and Germans dared speak out.
There are long stretches of technical detail here, so I'm not sure that a more dramatic reading would have been anything but ludicrous, but her delivery at times was somewhat monotonous.
Yes, I did a full 180 degree turn in my thinking about a healthy diet. Until I learned how many studies were shaded, ignored, or misrepresented, I had fully bought into and lived by the "heart healthy" diet. Since finishing this book (about a month ago) I've gone fully over to the low carb way of eating, given up unsaturated fat, added greater quantities of saturated fat to my diet, lost 10 lbs and simply feel better than I have in 30 years. So yes, "extreme" is a good word choice.
If you go from here to any of Gary Taubes books you will have a good grounding in the real science of nutrition. People who prostheltytize like I'm doing tend to look nuts, so I recommend reading the science and deciding for yourself.
The background meditation on the morality of a completely different kind of society created by the disease was fascinating and deserves a second (and third) listen. The plot is so engrossing that I didn't do justice to this the first time through.
When I figured out early in the book what Agent Shane was talking about when he referred to himself as doing things he should be able to do (don't want to give to much away here, but its one of those moments where the veil lifts and you go, "AAAAHHH, I get it!")
I thought he did a great job but his dialect did not sound the least bit African-American. There was a suggestion that Shane's dad was a big black man with a gun at one point, and it totally surprised me because Mr. Wheaton sounds like your average white computer geek. Of course, since Shane spent most of his time manifested as a threep, the question of race and identity is open to question, as is whether "dialect" has any meaning in this context. So if this was intentional dissonance, its pretty cool.
Made me think a lot about mind/body duality.
I thought Mr. Scalzi was borderline precocious at times in a way that was slightly irritating. Yes, the banter is clever, but sometimes just a bit too much so. Tony and Shane dialog, especially.
I barely have the energy to write a review. This book is so cliche ridden in its characters that I couldn't have cared less about any of them.
Infuse some life into the characters
Narrator was fine.
Nothing. I couldn't wait for it to end. Overall plot had an interesting premise which is why I took a chance and downloaded it, but since none of the characters ever felt alive, it was difficult to care.
If historical richness can excuse a plodding plot, and you have have plenty of time on your hands, this might be for you.
No, The Alienist was terrific.
Not exactly George Guidall's fault, because he is normally a terrific narrator, but I couldn't stand anticipating the word substitution of "what" for "that", which seems to be Caleb Carr's way of providing colloquial verisimilitude. I was so attentive to the substitution that I nearly jumped out of my skin the one and only time I heard Mr. Guidall use the word "that" while voicing the character of Stevie.
I'm immersed in the trial right now and the opening speeches of both lawyers was totally predictable and serves no purpose at such length but to restate the themes of the book. For about the seventh time.
I kept thinking how much more interesting this book would have been if Jack Reacher would have made an appearance to make it all right by busting a few heads and moving the plot along. I guess we have to be satisfied with Teddy Roosevelt instead.
David Pittu is the perfect narrator.
The Las Vegas vingette.
Each character he voiced had a personality.
Oliver Twist Potter
I listened in many short sequences over an extended period, not unlike a reader of 19th century literature might approach a serialized novel printed in in a newspaper.
If you are someone offended by the profligate use of curses, don't bother. If you accept irreverent humor, this is great!
I am not an easy mark for humor, but I could not resist laughing out loud (while I was in some odd places too) while listening to this book. The narrator was superb, which elevated the audiobook experience up a notch. Well done!
If you like your science fiction with believable characters, believable plots grounded in the real world, and plots that tie together, this is an engrossing listen. I wish there was more of Wilson's work on Audible.
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