DONOSTIA-SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain | Member Since 2012
A fictional story woven into such an important time in our world's history made this book seem like it would be tailor made for me. I have a passion for learning history, and love a good story. Some of my all-time favorites are Unbroken, Killing Lincoln, and Killling Kennedy; and those are true stories. Shouldn't a fictional book be able to spin an even more fabulous story without the confines of history holding the author back? It was not the case with this very long, so-so story.
After listening to 25 hours of the 30 hour story I put it aside and listened to another book. There was nothing compelling me to keep listening. I eventually felt like I should finish it, and while the ending was a little more interesting than the first 25 hours, I couldn't wait to finish the book and move on.
For me the biggest problem was the amount of stuff Follett was trying to cover. It was too much to have so many different characters over such an eventful period of time. There were a few times when I started to think it was getting good (like the coal miner's strike, and the painful situation it was putting everyone in), then the next time he'd come back to those characters it was either months or years later, the old situation was resolved and something new was happening. It was impossible for me to ever get into a groove with this book.
To me the hero of the book was John Lee; his reading of the story is probably what allowed me to finish this 30 hour audible marathon.
The reason I prefer nonfiction to fiction is that I can learn something as I listen. In A Thousand Lives, the author did a fantastic job of telling the story in a way that made it super engaging. At times it was hard for me to turn it off and return to work.
In the same way I loved Helter Skelter, I just couldn't get over the way a guy could garner that much power and obedience from all his followers. I actually purchased this book because I knew I could use elements of it as I talk with my own kids about peer pressure, and standing up for what's right no matter what the crowd is doing. It worked too, my kids were amazed peer pressure could go that far.
When I finished this book I felt like I was now an expert on Jim Jones and the Jonestown massacre. I enjoyed every minute of the book, and am now smarter for having "read" it.
I saw this book had received a landslide of amazing reviews, and was eager to listen to it. I also enjoy learning about World War II, so I knew I'd enjoy it. It didn't diappoint me, but it also didn't thrill me like I thought it might. It was no Unbroken, which after reading all the reviews I thought it could be. There are a couple key chapters in the book, and I often found myself wanting to speed it along to these pivotal moments. The book closes with such an amazing wrap up to the story that it leaves a great final impression, and makes you glad you listened to it.
I really enjoy true crime novels, but this one was more a story about two friends, and the lies one told the other, than it was about the crime. I actually liked Kirn's writing, his descriptions, humor and wit (which is why it gets 3 stars); but somewhere in the book I was hoping the crime story would take center stage. It never really did though, this book majored in the minor details of Kirn's relationship with Clark Rockefeller. Once I realized the book wasn't ever going to hook me, it became hard to finish.
Although this book was a disappointment to me, I liked Kirn's writing style enough that I will look for other books by him. The narrator did an excellent job of reading this story.
The late 60's and early 70's is such a fascinating period to me. I was born in the midst of that time, but don't have much recollection of it. Maybe it's because I don't understand that era, but it seems absolutely inconceivable that a little (5'2"), crazy guy who just got out of prison could "recruit" so many nice-looking young women to do ANYTHING he wanted them to. After the book ended I have spent a lot of time pondering how this could have happened. It is a truly amazing story.
If you like learning about history, and crime stories you've got to listen to this book. Since finishing it I've spent a lot more time Googling the different characters in an effort to learn more about them, and what made them act the way they did.
I highly recommend this book. It's a big plus that the story is written by the prosecuting attorney in the case. He has lots of inside information he shares throughout the book that helps you feel like you are getting the whole story.
Periodically I try to throw a self-improvement book into my mix of books. I don't always review these books because it doesn't seem fair to rate them the same way I do all the other books I read- based on their entertainment value. They aren't "page-turners", and I can put them down. Since this is now the sale book of the day I will throw out my two-cents on it.
The author is very knowledgeable, and presents a lot of new, useful information. I plan to listen to this book again in the future because it does contain a lot of ideas I believe can make a difference in my life. It seems like many self-help books have one or two good ideas, and they keep going over them again and again for the duration of the book. That is not the case here, Cabane's ideas don't repeat, and the stories and examples she discusses make the book fun to listen to.
If this topic sounds interesting to you, I would really recommend listening to this book.
The story is about a long-retired, top-level assasin who's forced back into action when a mob boss gives orders for his assassination. The story wasn't overly complex, but it was definitely worth listening to. I liked the pace with which the author wrote. It never felt rushed, and he allowed us inside the mind of Schaeffer as he pondered his next moves. To me, this was one of the best parts of the story. The ending was great, and I didn't see it coming, so that's a big plus as well.
I will definitely recommend this book to my friends. It's solid 4.5 star listen. The half star deduction is due to a relatively unoriginal storyline, but beyond that the book is a good one.
This was a really enjoyable, short reminder of the importance of telling the truth- always. Harris does a great job of explaining why he doesn't believe there's ever a good time to lie, even though it may seem like it's the best thing to do at the moment; like when a girlfriend asks if a dress makes her look fat. I know life is complicated, but I really like the straightforward way Harris makes his case that honesty really is the best policy.
As I listened to this book my opinion about Tyson swung to both extremes. In the first part of the book I was really pulling for Mike, he worked hard to overcome extremely disadvantaged early years. He had his periodic outbursts, and issues, but under the mentoring of his friend and coach, Cus D'Amato, he rose above it all to eventually become champion. During this part of the story he also began battling against so many people trying to rip him off now that he had a ton of money.
At that point in the book I was totally in Mike's corner, but unfortunately after Cus died the story of his life went down hill so fast, and so uncontrollably from there that it eventually became hard to tolerate. In some ways this part of the book was fascinating as well, but also very sad. It is mind-boggling how someone could blow hundreds of millions of dollars so fast. He was constantly getting in street fights, high on cocaine, sleeping with every girl he could, fathering several kids, and being accused by gold-diggers for fathering others he didn't. He was sued countless times, sometimes with merit and others by people trying to fleece him, but after awhile I began to stop feeling sorry for him and started thinking he is getting everything he deserves.
The language, and sex talk is pretty strong throughout. I told my wife this book is like novocaine for sensitivities to the F-word, it must appear at least a thousand times in the book. If you aren't easily offended I think you will find this book very interesting. It is a rare look into a life most of us could never fathom.
I listened to this story during a long drive, and really enjoyed it. The plot was good, and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. This isn't one of those stories I'll look back on as one of my favorites of all time, but it is certainly entertaining. I'm glad I listened to it, and will definitely listen to more from Lisa Gardner.
This is a Grisham book you don't want to pass on. In the 90's I loved reading his early works- The Firm, A Time to Kill, and The Pelican Brief, but slowly his books seemed to lose their luster. They've always been enjoyable to read, but not like his early writings I fell in love with.
In Sycamore Row Grisham goes back to Clanton, Mississippi, the scene of A Time to Kill, and reconnects us with Jake Brigance, the struggling lawyer made famous by the Carl Lee Haley trial. His new case immediately takes on a David vs. Goliath feel which emotionally pulls the audience into the story like the best books do. The characters are very well developed, and as the story progresses it will be harder and harder to remove your headphones and rejoin the real world.
This book is John Grisham at his best. I will be recommending it to everyone I know. This is one of those rare times I wish audible could give me a six-star option.
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