The portions written by Card are the meat, while the other stories are the other ingredients. Honestly, I bought it for the stories relating to the Ender's Game universe ("Mazer in Prison," "Cheater," "Pretty Boy," and "Ender's Coming"). "A Young Man with Prospects" didn't quite feel like an Ender story, even though Ender was in it.
"Cheater" and "Pretty Boy" were my faviorte pieces of this compilation. Each being about different, soon-to-be, Battle School students (Han Tzu and Bonzo Madrid) and what their life was like before school. Each story is about the same length as Bean's story in Ender's Shadow, before being discovered by the I.F.
Unfortunately, I couldn't get through the other short stories. I listened for a few of them at first, but perhaps I was impatient to get to Ender parts, or I was simply just biased since I've never had the pleasure of reading these other authors before, but I skipped most of them. I suppose that means I just don't have the appreciation for new stories for now, so I'll go back sometime to listen to the rest of them and see what I missed out on.
"Fun" is the last word I would have used to describe philosophy had I'd been asked a few months ago. Other adjectives such as "boring," and "unpractical" seemed to fit the matter, or in the very least "I don't pay attention to that stuff."
As McGinn says in the introduction, everyone has an inner-philosopher, and in this relatively short book, he introduces the topics we've all asked yourselves at some point in a thoughtful and illustrative manner. I've enjoyed bringing up the experimental questions from this book with my friends and family, and having fun, meaningful discussions about all the things we've always wondered about. Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? What makes something right or wrong? Do we have free-will?
I wish I had been introduced to philosophy a long time ago, and "The Modern Scholar: Discovering the Philosopher in You" was an incredibly easy way to familiarize myself with the main topics that philosophers have been discussing for thousands of years... questions I've even asked myself without realizing how closely related it was to philosophy. It was like learning about the galaxies for the first time and how wide and expansive the universe of ideas actually is.
I'll never see the world the same way again. My mind has been opened just a little bit more.
For me, I did not enjoy the teenage-love-story that takes up most of the narrative for the first half of the book. Perhaps younger readers, especially in their teens, would have the opposite reaction and appreciate the subtle romance, but in the end, it turns out that the sexual tension was purely one-way and there nothing tangible to the whole love plot. Like eating a big, fat steak dinner, only there's no steak.
What I did find interesting were the tid-bits toward the end of the book, that focused on Ender coming to terms with his past and tying up the loose ends with his parents, his brother the Hegemon, Hyrum Graff, and a surprise villain he encounters on the Ganges colony. Ultimately, even that juicy story-thread is cut short and resolved very quickly, leaving this intriquing new villain one-side and lacking any sort of depth or appeal.
Don't get me wrong. There are some fantastic parts of this book, and a good supplemental read if you're a fan of the series. I wouldn't recommend passing it up, but, just be warned that it isn't as engaging as Enders' Game, or as thoughtful as Speaker for the Dead.
anyone who is or was a student of Psychology would have already been aware of the case-studies this book pulls from. The author puts them in a different context though and makes a very convincing case for his theory. In all, it's fairly short, incredible compact with intelligent ideas, to-the-point, and in the end makes sense.
I enjoyed The Da Vinci Code... but this follow up was a let down. It felt like a bunch of talking heads lecturing about Masons. Interesting ideas but executed poorly. Very tedious.
This is a pretty good book to listen to you if you want some fictional info-tainment on zombies. The content is humorous, but it still inspires a feeling of panic and terror if such a thing were to actually happen. The first hour was lackluster, when it's describing the origins and physiology of zombies. However, it suprisingly gains momentum when it gets to the section on weapons, defense, terrain, etc... Though it's meant to be purely fictional, the ideas presented can still be used in other massive-disaster scenarios. The information is still useful even though it's centered around a zombie outbreak.
I'd definately recommend this if you enjoyed World War Z. In addition, a good half of the book is similar to World War Z, as it tells the stories of survivors, but not as gripping and with as much detail as said book. It's done in a historical-drama, following zombie outbreaks from the 50,000 BC, ancient Rome, imperial China, all the way to the present, and how people in those time era and places thought of the zombies and how they fought them.
It's ripe with intelligent, though fictional, tips and strategies. Not anyone could have just written this book. I really enjoyed it.
Jeff Shaara takes you into the lives and experiences of many different characters during WWII. It's written in a first-hand account of each man, from Dwight Eisenhower to the common soldier on the ground. It was truely fascinating for me to get a sense of the what life for these many characters were like. The political and military back-room dealings, the banter of soldiers the night before a fight, and the raw intensity of battles. It's read, and written, with sword-stabbing realism, you can feel the anxiety of generals who are making crucial decisions, the fear and bravery of the common soldier on the ground. It's breath taking, and will hit you with a sledge-hammer when you're done.
I can't recommend this enough. I can't wait to get the other books in this series.
I thought this story helped the reader of the Ender's Game story gain empathy for Bonzo Madrid, and ultimately feel sorry for him, knowing what eventually happens to him. I thought it was an intelligently written short story about the meanest character in Ender's Game, how the reader gets to see him in his childhood, who geniuely loved his parents and wanted them to be happy. That is also part of what makes Bonzo so scary, because he isn't a deranged misanthrop, but smart and charming kid who had never had any malice in him.
Anyway, I personally liked it, and I can't wait to read more of these Ender's Game shorts revealing other characters.
The length of the story is about the same length as Bean's life in Rotterdam (in Ender's Shadow), so there's a lot of good content to listen to. I wish it were longer and went in more depth with Bonzo's arrival at the Battle School, but I suppose it doesn't really need to.
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