The impact of Genghis Khan on modern bureaucracies, legal systems, military strategy, and etc. is astounding, but this history, which follows the pattern "In 1324 this happened. Then, in 1325 the next thing happened….and then, in 1326" doesn't do justice to the story, which is mostly rehashed from a single source. Hard to recommend this one, even though the subject amazes.
As if Tom Sawyer's "little sister" had written her autobiography in a series of droll vignettes, except Ms. Himmel is a real girl, and her stories are artfully told. She writes really well, reads well, and tells a touching story about growing up in a kooky but loving home, in a community where mother is devout, father is skeptical, and the lady across the lane might just be an old witch. Recommended.
All of the major characters in this splendid book struggle with the relation they have with parents or mentors (feelings of loss or rejection; feelings of having failed to meet expectations)—and the desire to have children—to populate the world with wonderful, healthy, well-mentored children. But first, fertility is essential. The book stages its themes on a faraway river in Brazil, where clinical scientists have travelled deep into the heart of darkest Amazonia, and have found a tribe whose women in their 70s are still having babies. A pharmaceutical company wants to exploit their secret. Its doctors have nearly worked out how to share this gift with a world of women who have left their reproductive years childless. Anacondas, fer de lance, bugs, malaria, hallucinogens, cannibals and Conradian stresses challenge the protagonists, whose worst nightmares, however, are of separation from their fathers. The writing is tasteful, the way the truth is revealed is clever, and the narration by Hope Davis is especially good in capturing the voices of the Minnesotans who are lost, and found, after a journey to Hell, on the Rio Negro. Highly recommended.
The first chapter of this tale has a delightful bite, and the rest of the story is too well-performed not to dip into again, from time to time.
Well-structured plot; engaging premise; and great performance by Will Wheaton
The reading of the Will, and the start of the hero's quest.
I laughed out loud
This audiobook rises to the top. The bombing of Hiroshima and its immediate, mid-range, and long-term impact on the modern world cannot be overstated.
The author. Before John McPhee could perfect the art of nonfiction, bringing reality to life, he stood on the shoulder of a giant. That titan was John Hersey.
It's understated, matter of fact, and because of the horrific nature of some of the material, that's a relief.
It made me realize that people suffer and endure, and create new lives, even after remarkable stress, loss, and devastation.
Recommended without reservations.
I would listen to the final 20 minutes again, because the long-awaited climax of the book is fulfilling, and the denouementis even better.
Most of Le Carre's books share elements that are found in this one. Le Carre's gift is to create the unexpectedly complicated inner world of the spy. He has the gift of placing the spy and the people he damages into worlds in which they make meaningful connections with others, while they are deceived by each other, and ultimately betrayed by what they believe in.
The narration was especially good when the focus of the story was on Tommy Brue—his hearty conviviality came through well.
It doesn't match Le Carre's best stories, but it is a satisfactory one to listen too. Sags a bit in the middle.
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