Not having read the print edition, I can't comment on this question. Certainly Wil Wheaton does an excellent job of narrating the audio version. In fact I think his exuberant performance actually adds a lot to the already-strong narrative.
It's difficult to think of "characters" in a work of non-fiction, but my favorite personality in the book would have to be the quiet, intense, and brilliant John Carmack, the programming brains behind Wolfenstein 3D and Doom, the "yang" to colleague John Romero's in-your-face outgoing "yin".
Wil Wheaton's laconic portrayal of John Carmack's speech perfectly captures the personality of a man so focused on his work programming that even the slightest speech feels like an unnecessary burden to him.
This book would make a fantastic documentary. Interviews with the principal personalities, interspersed with gameplay footage and solid narration, perhaps again by Wil Wheaton, would bring this engaging true story of creativity and conflict to a greater audience. The best tagline I can come up with is "First they unleashed DOOM on the world. Then, they unleashed it on each other." I know, not very good, but you did ask.
I grew up playing Shareware DOS games on my 486 PC. Masters of Doom perfectly captures the flavor of early computer gamer culture, a culture of shared excitement, discovery, and innovation. Reading the human story behind some of my favorite games--Commander Keen, Wolfenstein 3D, and Doom--at times brought a little shiver to my inner gamer kid.The pacing of the book, insofar as there can be pacing in a work of non-fiction, flags near the end of the book, once Doom is released and the Id software team begins to fall apart. The spontaneous sparks of creative genius that characterize the audiobook's early hours give way to a string of petty interoffice conflicts that become rather tedious, although I do recognize they're important to the story the author is trying to tell.One thing to note is that the print version of this book was released several years ago, so don't be surprised that the book's ending doesn't bring the listener up-to-date with the main characters' lives as one would expect.If you've ever whooped with glee as you blew up a Cacodemon with a rocket launcher, then this book is definitely for you.
If you enjoy either period pieces or haunted house tales, you will likely enjoy "The Little Stranger." Waters takes a long time setting the scene, though, and to me this setup only partly pays off.
The world needs more books like "So We Read On." There are many brilliant minds writing about the meaning and significance of great literature, but because they're writing to an academic audience in language laden with jargon, their important message is never heard by those who most need to hear it.
Corrigan's masterful melding of criticism, biography, and cultural commentary brings "The Great Gatsby" alive in a way that neither a dusty academic journal not a Hollywood blockbuster can do. Insightful yet entertaining, I hope this book serves as a model for other "biographies" of great literary works. Gatsby lives!
Despite its age, this book is still a good guide to navigating the problems inherent in TV news. The ideas herein also apply to other media, especially digital content
It must be remembered that this book is almost 30 years old, so it's inevitable that some of its arguments no longer quite work. But in most ways they do. Moreover, they often apply to our current internet generation as well.
While the concept isn't wholly original, The Plagiarist is so well-executed and well-told that you don't really care. If you loved Snow Crash, and/or you like thinking about books and their provenance, you'll probably enjoy this little nugget of a novella.
Ari Meisel's short but informative books combines ideas from Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Work Week and David Allen's Getting Things Done, though he doesn't explicitly cite the latter, into a practical, listenable primer on maximizing efficiency in your life.
Meisel's refers to lots of specific tools and websites to help you achieve maximum efficiency. This is great in the short run, but I fear that as the book ages and some of these sites disappear, the book will feel dated.
Still, there are enough universal principles here to make the book useful at any time.
A bleak book with sustained religious imagery, that's what you're in for. O'Connor is such a powerful writer, though, that you occasionally get lost in the poetic beauty of her phrasing and forget how depressing the story is. But the story always jerks you back to reality.
I'm a nerd, and don't care much for sports. But Klein's book shows me and other geeks that football isn't just for meatheads. It's intensely physical, yes, but first and foremost it's a tactical game. Will I start watching football regularly? Probably not. But it gives me a little more understanding and compassion for how the other half live. Okay, let's be honest, the other nine tenths.
Mostly unsympathetic characters, a wonky moral compass, and a bleak aesthetic make Wise Blood a tough read. If you can stick with it, though, there are some gems hidden in O'Connor's artful language. And Bronson Pinchot brings the story to vivid life in all its Southern grit and glory.
If you haven't read the texts this book parodies, you'll be completely lost. However, if you've at least a passing familiarity with classic literature, you'll find this book amusing and occasionally insightful. At their best, these texts capture the emotional force or central idea of a literary work. Of course, some miss the mark, and I question the selection process for what works are included--Sweet Valley High? Really?--but overall this is an enjoyable ride.
The narrators also do a great job of shifting between characters and accents, an impressive feat.
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