I like scientific history, but this was difficult to get through. The story progresses in an odd manner. It is divided up into chapters on each poison, but it is also partly chronological and ultimately ends up being very confusing. The books main protagonists are poorly developed, so that you never really get a feeling of who they are. Much of the book quotes directly from the newspapers of the day- sometimes interesting, but it starts to feel like you're reading your neighbor's great-grandfather's scrapbook
The theme of lifelessness extends to the narrator. She sounds like she should be narrating the commands to my voicemail, Her use of different accents is comical and distracting at best. My favorite parts of the narration are when she makes mistakes (two second pauses, garbled pronunciations, etc). At least I know I'm not the only one who lost interest in the reading.
But not very good, either.
This was very much like a TV mini-series (remember those?). Everyone is a stock character.
Having said that, you know what you're getting.
This is a huge epic that tries to bring a human face to some of the events of the Cold War. Events that most of us have only read about, or watched from the distance of network news.
It does a nice job of drawing all of these events into a neat package of a thriller. It will not lead to any suspension of disbelief, or any deep thinking- but is a pleasantly engaging story that will keep you awake during your commute.
I bought this one because I like the TV travel show.
I expected that its only function would be to satisfy my curiosity of "where did all this begin?". In that respect, this book delivers. It was about what I expected, and a little more.
I have no interest in the finer culinary arts, but still found the book very funny, entertaining and interesting. If you want to hear someone tell interesting, humorous stories and explain the "back of the house" while they do it, you won't be disappointed
I thought the narration was good- besides, who else could do it better?.
This is not an action-packed thriller. It is a very interesting book, with great characters and a steady plot. I think the best part of the book are its IDEAS. If you like it when you put a book down and your brain keeps going, you'll enjoy this book. I think the concept of the book is very interesting, as is the way it is delivered. It takes our big ideas and sacred beliefs and serves them up through ordinary, even mundane faces.
I thought it was funny and interesting throughout, a good story.
The narration was fantastic. Guidall seems to have an extraordinary range or believable, authentic voices that seem to develop the characters even more.
If you want to hear a Marine rifleman's view of the pacific theater of WWII, this is a good bet. The writer seems to present a fair picture of his war. He doesn't embelish it. Its not overly flashy or dramatic. You get the good and the bad stuff, he doesn't pull any punches. He talks about his bravery, but also speaks about the psychological toll the war took on him and his generation. At its worst, the narrative is too wordy at times, too philosophic at others- but this isn't often.
The narrator sounds the part of a military scholar.
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