There are so many comments here about the narrater that I almost didn't download MM. I am glad I did. If you want subtle narration, go to the history section. This audio wouldn't work without a little license from the narrator. The content and delivery are entertaining. If you are so uptight that this narrator really bugs you, then MM is definitely not for you; which is good for the rest of us. If you'll escuse me, I need to go work on my game and peacock a little.
Tremendous work, excellent narration. To say this is worth the time is an understatement.
I the quality of this writing is only outweighed by the truly unbelievable underlying story. We shall Never.... Never.... Never....
You can get lost in this well told story of a WWII operation you, like me, probably never heard of. Well developed characters, historical context that will expand your WWII knowledge, gripping spy story intrigue of on operation that would be far fetched fiction, and it ends well.
Whats not to love!
First, I didn't mind the narrator.
Second, I found the first few chapters boring, but glad I stuck it out
Main point - I was fascinated by how much of a role prohibition played in the development of forensic medicine. I was interested to learn how the various distillations of underworld alcohol impacted forensic science at the time. The details of poisoning, both accidental and criminal via consumption of industrial alcohol is a little mentioned byproduct of that foolish chapter in American history. Like with today's drug war, the somewhat glamorous lives of underworld bosses make it to our consciousness, but the thousands?... hundreds of thousands..? Millions? of sad characters who suffered neurological devastation, painful, slow, physical destruction, and pathetic demise due to consumption of improperly distilled spirits is rarely addressed. There is a thorough analysis of the subject in the Poisoners Handbook, along with the impact of prohibition on the coroners offices, and science of forensic medicine.
I was also interested to learn how the government persisted in making the problem worse, even going so far to restrict industrial alcohols to those that would cause the most damage when consumed by humans, even though it was patently obvious that humans would end up consuming much of the product. I also learned what Jake-Leg is.
I think the book was worth the effort for what I learned about prohibition, and would recommend to those interested in US and political history, as well as those interested in the scientific content. Good character development as well.
The annoying style is the author's technique of jumping into first person, and adding commentary related to her personal experience in obtaining data, interviews, etc. Its sort of a cross between a laboratory journal, a scientific paper abstract, and a freshman girl's personal journal detailing her first year in college. Some may find it endearing, I find it annoying, and distracting. I question how much of this book is accepted science on brain physical/chemical effect on personality, and how much is conjecture.
My listening experience went from mildly annoyed/somewhat interested, to highly frustrated in the few sections where the author attempts to explain political differences on brain characteristics. One example; due to the intensity of the amigdala firing at various picture stimuli, liberals value equality, and conservatives value justice and a clear chain of command. While there is some sideways truth to this, it is clear the author has only a "conventional thinking" understanding of political philosophy. I might ask her how more government control of distribution reflects the liberal view of "equality". That conclusion necessarily derives from the idea that some are more unequal than others, and only a powerful central government can fix the inequality, viola... equality. As for the "conservative" penchant for a strong chain of command, I would like to know who the author finds most enamored with the likes of Mao Sze Tong, and the wonderful tenets of the former soviet union (conservatives or liberals??). Your answer is also the group that prefers the iron fist in a velvet glove, or strong chain of command. The bottom line is that one side values individual liberty, and the other values government control. Now, what does the amigdala say about which is which?
The armature political analysis, and personal journal style aside, I found most of the study details and analysis interesting. The tie-in's to evolutionary development are thought provoking.
What you will get here is a highly detailed, day by day, account of failure. As you know, none of the characters are particularly endearing, and this account of their meandering trek toward inevitable breakdown is mostly depressing. I couldn't wait for it to end, just like I can't wait for this horrible chapter in the country's history to become... well... history.
Fair enough, and well researched, this book is good for the budding journalist or polysci-er, who are looking forward to a spot on the wheel of our massive central bureaucracy. For those of us who value leadership, accomplishment, and greatness, this is like reading about the modern day fall of Rome with our progeny as the unwitting characters in the pitiful final chapters to come. While listening, I kept asking myself "why didn't I buy gold 10, 20, 5 years ago??". Did I ever think that our representatives in Washington would protect the currency, and seek responsible governance? You can listen to this account if you need more evidence that Nero is fiddling, and Rome is burning.
I mistakenly thought that this was non-fiction. Pretty stupid since "A Novel" is prominent on the cover... But this is Audible. I don't spend much time on the cover. Anyway, thinking it was a true story, I purchased to learn more about life in Afghanistan pre and post Rusi invasion, and Taliban rule. To the degree that it is accurate (seems like it), I think I did gain perspective and knowledge. It is an interesting book. I don't need much incentive to hate the Taliban, but if you do, this story will help. I am obviously not much of a literary critic, but I find it strange and annoying that the Amir John turns to religion at the end. Knowing, as the character does, how destructive Islam (substitute any mono-theistic religion followed to natural conclusion) has been to his homeland, people, and culture, I just can't imagine how he concludes that Gods will has saved the day. I see it as just another cowardly act, similar to the painful plot twist. Instead of letting down his wonderful friend, Amir John surrenders his mind and self in the end. Those of you who prefer literature should probably check this out. I will leave it to you.
I have read the book, and know the history, but this rendition brings the story to life. The book is a classic, and the narrator is fantastic. This is a must listen!!
We all saw it happening, right. I don't think members of the press would even dispute that they are, and were, completely on board the O express. Maybe its tired, and maybe you are weary of the obvious, but you will shake your head and laugh. Bernie does a good job. Its probably time for a sequel.
I knew almost nothing about TE Lawrence before listening to this book. Now I feel pretty well informed on this amazing and historical figure. This also added to my knowledge of the Arab world. The book tells a great story, and one that is more interesting than fiction. It is long, but I enjoyed the whole thing. The most interesting was certainly the war years, but the aftermath was well told, and kept my interest.
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