This is a great John Grisham story that is set in the high-paced world of a top Wall Street law firm. Much of the action takes place in Manhattan. I found the story more engrossing than last year's Grisham book, The Appeal (but to be fair, I have a huge personal fascination with Wall Street). Kyle McAvoy is caught up in a situation that seems implausible but is written in a fairly believable manner by Grisham. However, as with so many Grisham novels, the ending fall flat and leaves you wanting. It builds and builds and as you near the end you realize the ending is just going to dissipate like a mist (mainly because you can look and see how much time is left in the recording!). However's Grisham strength is always the story as a whole, and he is not known for his mind-blowing ending like an author such as Harlan Coben. Overall, I definitely recommend this. The change from the small town country lawyer is a nice mix-up of styles. With a better ending I think I could put it among his best, but that aspect places it mid-pack.
I think stories like this translate better to film where special effects, sound and imagery really create the creepy mood better than mere words on a page. The book is not terrible, but the first two-thirds can be pretty slow in places. It picks up in the last third if you can make it there. Reading this book in 2014, the 70s setting is very nostalgic!
This series has never been a page-turner. It is more of a plodding story documenting various storylines which converge to a degree of the Long Earth universe. There are definitely some interested exploration themes here, but nothing that is edge-of-your-seat. There appears to be no major driving plot but rather episodes in a far longer arc exploring this new world paradigm. It's not a bad series, but if you are looking for a thriller that drives hard to a conclusion, you will be disappointed.
The best Joseph Finder book in a while. The plot moves right along and keeps your engaged. I did think that some of the scenarios of how our protagonist winds up close to the Galvin family was a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, it did not significantly detract from the book.
This is a good overview of the history and evolution of money, banking and finance. I think it would be better as a book to read. Some of the material is a little dry even for someone like me who is fascinated by finance. The book is a little out of date and was written just as the recession of 2008 was beginning to emerge so some of the discussion seems be missing content had it been written post-2010 or so. If you are interested in this type of material, I definitely recommend it, but I would suggest you read it rather than listen.
The summary looked great! I moved this book up to the top of my "Next Read" list. And boy was a disappointed. From the start, I had a very hard time focusing on this book. My mind wandered with easy because it was just not engaged. I was finding other things to listen to when commuting. I decided I would give it a little more time but when it shifted to the perspective of another character with a different narrator, it devolved into a long-winded recollection that might eventually have some relevance to the novel but at the time was utterly boring and uninteresting. I understand this is a book about people who love words but that is not a license to use them indiscriminately just to for the sake of using big words.
One of those rare cases where the movie was better than the book. The book leaves you with the same impression though - Mark Zuckerburg is a bit of a jerk. And Sean Parker is a first class moocher. Whether these are completely accurate in real life, I can't say. I am sure Parker provided more value than one might think from the story (book or movie) and I am sure that, from Zuckerburg's perspective, there is another side of the story. Good book. I would like to read/listen to another book on the early days of Facebook to see if the portrayals of these two are consistent.
Harlan Coben writes engrossing books. Unfortunately, his ability to throw you with a twist has been missing for a very long time, though to be fair, when his original twists were so mind-blowing, the bar is very high. My biggest problem is that he continues to push his hard-left liberal agenda in his books. This seems to get worse with each book and in this one he doubles down on pro-homosexual spin. His "hard sell" for his political and social views does sully what would otherwise be an entertaining book.
[NOTE: Mild spoilers below.]
A terrifying look into a future where companies like Google and Facebook leverage the power of Big Data to obliterate privacy and track every minute aspect of our lives. The Circle is quite obviously a fictionalized portrayal of largely Google but with aspects of Facebook and Twitter thrown in. The ability of the company in the novel to destroy privacy and position itself to establish totalitarian control of our future is a bit of a stretch but not as much as you might think. The novel also gives a glimpse into the naivete of the millenials and other young people whose "progressive" thinking on information, collectivism and social interaction empower this risk to all of our privacy. The term used late in the book - infocommunism - perfectly summarizes the result of this dangerous lurch toward tracking, recording, monitoring, datafying and analyzing all aspects of our lives.
Some of Baldacci's King and Maxwell books (as well as some of his series in general) are hit or miss. Unfortunately, this book is more on the miss side. It's not bad, but, without giving spoilers, some of the situations that private investigators, even ones that are former Secret Service agents, find themselves in are just not realistic or plausible. For me, that gross lack of realism detracts from the story. Baldacci's books are generally not in the "realistic" strain as are many of Clancy's book. To make such stretches in the credibility of his plots really reduces my enjoyment of his books. Specific to the audiobook format, there are too many cheesy sound effects in the audio version of some Baldacci novels. While this is not always unwelcome, how these are done should be handled with care. I thought they went a little overboard with "King and Maxwell."
Really good overview of Steve Wozniak's life and accomplishments. He comes across a little arrogant in this book, but in a personable, lovably innocent way. The book is written in a very informal, conversational style. For example, the book is peppered with "Wows!" and "Oh my gosh!" The narrator does a very good job of conveying this style to the listerner.
Woz's stories on developing the Apple I and II computers as well as the remote control for his CL9 venture can get a little mired in technical detail. But for a former electrical engineer, there was serious nostalgia as he talked of circuits, gates, binary numbers and chips. If you are an Apple fan or interested in computer engineering, I highly recommend iWoz!
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