This is the most approachable critical historical look at Jesus and the New Testament that I've yet read. This book should be mandatory reading for everyone, both believers and non-believers, who holds a strong opinion regarding Christianity. It certainly won't turn a non-believer into a believer. It's unlikely to turn a believer into a non-believer. But it is likely to make both sides take less extreme stances regarding the role of Christianity (especially those of the American Evangelical persuasion) in todays society.
If you like nightmares don't bother with Freddy Krueger ("A Nightmare on Elm Street "). Instead listen this tale of religious fanatics doing their best to drag the world back to the dark ages. The first couple of minutes left me wondering if I had bought a story that was going to extoll the virtues of religion. But as the story unfolds you realize that the devoutly religious are not the heroes. If this book doesn't make you actively work to marginalize the likes of John Hagee, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum then you had better be comfortable with the idea of being killed because you were declared a witch by others in your community.
This is classic Matt Taibbi. He is not afraid to use blunt, honest, language. Such as calling the individuals who nearly caused another Great Depression a variety of terms never heard from journalists or the pundit class except when attempting to smear members of the other political party.
Having read other books on the recent financial crisis (e.g., "The Big Short") I thought I had a good understanding of the underlying causes and perpetrators. But listening to Matt's account I found myself occasionally sounding like a sufferer of Tourette syndrome as I learned new details about how the amoral, greedy, stupid "masters of the universe" at AIG, GoldmanSachs, et. al. nearly destroyed the world.
Buy a copy for yourself and another for your Tea Bagger family member or friend.
This story made me think of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night". That book is told from the perspective of an autistic child. This one from the perspective of a dog. In both you are drawn into the protagonists world. Here the author does a marvelous job of giving the dog just enough human qualities that you can relate to his viewpoint yet you never lose sight of the fact a dog is narrating.
I first read this book roughly 20 years ago and have read most of Robert Heinlein's books. This is one of my favorites (along with "Starship Troopers" and "Stranger In A Strange Land"). But what prompted me to write this review was the narration. It is on a par with the narration for "Water For Elephants". The narration does a good job of making each character distinct and bringing the story to life. It is a good example of an audio book that is better than the dead tree version.
This was the second Dean Koontz book I read many years ago and is still one of my favorites. It is closer to science fiction than his more recent work. Particularly refreshing is the portrayal of a priest who embraces rationality rather. But what really earned this audio book five stars is the narration. This is one of the best readings of any fiction book I've listened to in the past couple of years. The only other book whose narration I think is of comparable quality is "Water for Elephants".
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