CA, United States | Member Since 2006
I was a teen when this happened. I remember the surreal Newsweek cover on our coffee table at home. I thought I had a fairly clear idea of the story, but this book provides many new details. Potential readers should be advised that the events, while interesting, are extremely depressing.
You might wonder what I was expecting, given that I knew the outcome. I can only say that I wasn't expecting such long and graphic descriptions of horrific child abuse. That part of the puzzle I either didn't know before, or had forgotten. It's awful.
And the rest is hardly cheerful.
The book, on the other hand is extremely well done and well read. The author focuses on a few specific members of the People's Temple, shaping the book through them to good effect. The narrator finds the right tone.
If you can stand it, you'll admire it - I'm sure.
I wanted to like this book (too) so I was disappointed that it read so much like entries in a dashed-off blog. The tone is wry but ultimately pleasant about everyone and everything. No investigation or insight, just "my day at the event". Since I have an interest in the topic, I found the unrelated personal details frustrating. And it's mostly all unrelated personal detail. Detail of the "I saw a cute boy in the bar but nothing happened" variety.
On the other hand, how long have I been waiting for Starlee Kine to finish her book on self help? Ages! And still nothing!
The publisher's summary had me very excited to listen to this book! Identity theft on the internet - love that idea. Sadly, the publisher's summary is very misleading. Don't be fooled - There's no twisty-turny, laugh-out-loud, fantastical story about online mischief here. The book is far more philosophical. (Why this strong desire to turn one thing into everything?) In other words, it's thinky pain from start to finish. Beautiful prose. Lovely insights. But also, (from my perspective,) a very tedius (2 out of nine hours) exploration of religion (Judaism in this case).
The dentistry, on the other hand, was fascinating. Vividly depicted and engaging.
And Campbell Scott is an amazing narrator.
I bought this book because lies fascinate me. Liars too. Cyclists - not so much. That probably has a lot to do with my lukewarm enjoyment of this book.
My other problem was as follows: Either I'm nuts or Tyler Hamilton truly believes that his being a loving person (lots of time spent on how much he loves his folks, his wife, his teammates and the world) means he can do the exact same thing as Lance Armstrong for the very same reasons and not be guilty of the same crime. I'm mystified by this. Also annoyed.
But perhaps Tyler is just being a good domestique. For me, this book has made Lance's lack of apology look far more appealing. In that respect, well done.
Don't judge this book by it's cover. It's not a witty, hip, comment on self help. It's a fairly plodding, uninspired attempt to be helpful.
I think it's a shame Augusten Burroghs didn't take the time to address the serious issues in the book with his demonstrated skill. The lackluster prose and preachy "we're talking about you, not me" content was a terrible departure from his usual work. Imagine Miley Cyrus singing Wagner. A perplexing, painful experience.
I love you, Augusten. "Dry"'s one of my favorite books. But you need a new editor, agent, publisher or just someone who will hold you to your talent and not just cash in on your past. Be great.
I had my doubts about this book, but when Peter Sagal on NPR said he liked it, I trusted him. Peter, you owe me $17.99 and a xanax.
How is this book so popular? It's a first person narrative told by two throughly disgusting people. Do you really want two disgusting people talking to you for eight hours? I couldn't stand it.
The narrators both have whimpering puppy voices that made it so much worse. (Do you really want to feel angry at whimpering puppies for eight hours?)
To be fair, there's a lot of the book to go, so maybe the ending is good enough to make up for the first twelve torturous chapters. But I doubt it. The fact that it's based on true events makes it a non-story. Insightful? No. I think we all know what a terrible relationship is like by now.
So really, I would only listen if you want to be angry and annoyed for an extended period of time. If so, dig in.
This book is a tribute to the murdered teens. It gives a very detailed description of their lives: what they liked about school, their Harry Potter addiction, and the memorials after their deaths. The actual crime and criminal are almost never mentioned. I understand the impulse, but the result is a non-story.
Be grateful for everything your body's done for you and get ready to die.
Seriously. That's the meditation. In predictable eyes to toes progression.
"Your eyes are a miracle. They've helped you to see all these years. Be grateful."
If that sounds good to you, be my guest. But I was kind of hoping to hear my life *wasn't* over - so I was appalled.
Also - not for atheists. Be warned.
It's a great story. I side with the defense on evidence, so I enjoyed listening to Ashton lose again.
Be warned: If you want more incriminating evidence to be part of this book, you'll be disappointed. Nothing new is here revealed.
I loved the book, but I also loved the verdict. If your mind is made up against Casey, I can't imagine you'd enjoy this book very much. If you're open to the defense, I think you'll find the book thought provoking and enjoyable. Even, dare I say, persuasive.
This is one of my favorite audio books ever. Whether or not you like it will probably depend on two things:
1. Did you watch the trial and do you have strong negative feelings about the verdict? (I didn't and I don't.)
2. Are you intrigued by phrases like - "deprived of emotional oxygen". (I am.)
I think what I like most about this book is how organic it feels. It doesn't at all read like a paint-by-numbers, cash in on the trial rush job, but like a passionate, uncensored, genunine opinion. What someone really thinks. Hot!
And there's new information here as well-- my favorite being the timeline of Casey's ricocheting false selves: All the boys she claimed to love or want to love in 32 days.
The weak daddy and controlling mommy are less interesting, but necessary, I suppose. For me they're just the wormy soil underneath their daughter's wild, poisonous bloom.
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