An excellent history of the Sioux peoples and its transformation as a nation from other native nations and then the jugernaut of US migration west. Red Cloud has slipped between the historical figures of the time (I had never heard of him) but really deserves a prominent spot in the history books. The story is told with compelling and interesting narrative.
I previously started this and gave up, but then had renewed interest after watching the Netflix Marco Polo series. It a dryly told history, not a historical fiction, it tries to keep to facts and facts from that time are sparse. It's more like a thesis but was still worth listening to as the history is interesting.
It's not Shakespeare and it's not Hamlet, but it has all the great plots, subplots, and tragedy of Shakespeare in the prose of a novel with all the characters of Hamlet in a parallelish story. When it started I was not sure, but then I shortly found myself all caught up in it. The narration is amazing and really makes it an exceptional listen.
This was a great trilogy story but the performance of the narrator made it the probably the best audio book series I've ever listened to. (that's a period).
This is another of many recent books that chronicle how inventions changed our lives... I don't really feel this one justifies the title of "how we got to now" ... maybe "a few of the things that got us to now" would be more like it. It has some history that I hadn't heard before, but a little more of stuff I had heard before. It's an interesting listen, I don't regret it, but it didn't blow me away.
The author is an amazing hacker, particularly of phone systems.... How he developed those skills is not really part of this story - you must just recognize that he is superhuman in these areas and accept each chapter's quick-technical run-by of how he hacked into the DVM in minutes to get the cell number of a guy who cut in him off so he could bitch at him, etc. Fascinating... at first....frightening.... of course.... There is some background to explain the why he developed these skills, but do you really get a feel for how this occurred? no. He's a high school not-interested kid, next thing you know for fun he's hacking into cell systems before most people even had a cell phone - where did this study come from? Why did he not think to apply these skills in a different way... maybe I didn't listen long enough but by chap 25 I was 'whatever, I don't care anymore'. Our lives are more vulnerable than we think to privacy theft of information. And, according to this book, everyone out there that has access to our critical information is an idiot that will hand that info over to anyone just for the asking... this is probably accurate and not a criticism of the book, but it becomes a boring story. I guess I would have found it more interesting to understand the author more - why would someone spend so much of their energy with the challenge of hacking phone companies - where was the drive to get a job where more exciting uses of this knowledge and skill could be used - or just to pay bills, rather than this story of one hack ahead of the FBI on and on, the story of how he finally got caught - or maybe he never did, I gave up by then.
some authors can write history in a compelling and fascinating story, but this was more typical of the history I read in high school, with often quotations that did not add to the story and narratted in a likewise dull manner. timeline skips around from other characters in the period, which would normally add to the story but made me think "this sounds like the story I read on George Washington all over again". One would think early american history could be a facinating story but maybe it's just dull.
I bought this on recommendation from Audible based on my liking of Sedaris, Rakoff, and Ronsen. I find these books best when the authors are the narrators. Ross' voice seemed to mimic what I would imagine the author to sound like, so I'm not sure if it was the narration or just the story itself that failed to captivate me. I just didn't find it that humorous and it was so boring that I couldn't even finish it.
Follett's novels all seem formed from the same cookie cutter: good guys, bad guys, innocents and evil ones, and the good ones win in the end. Despite the predictability, I love the stories so well told. And this particular performance is amazing! Is it really Michael Page projecting all these voices? Light years ahead of the old books on tape I use to get.
I kept putting this listen off because I really wasn't that interested in more about Katrina. But I was quickly drawn in to the well told and interesting account of this event during the storm. Fink has put together a well rounded picture of the people involved, how decisions came about, and the broader implications for our disaster recovery institutions and infrastructure.
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