I too am a fan of the show but got less than an hour into this before I had to give it up. Very not funny.
This book is right up there with "Human Action," "Where the Right Went Wrong" and "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid" in terms of taking complex subjects and explaining them in ways that reveal their essential truths.
I majored in economics but the macro side was never explained or taught to me in a way that made as much sense as does this book. Mr. Stockman has rendered a great service to both the contemporary audience and future generations in producing this singular work.
I think there is some false advertising associated with this book. Based on his appearance on the Bill Maher show, I was expecting a straight (no pun intended) non-fiction travelogue from Mr. Waters.
Instead, I am more than one-third through the book and so far it's just Mr. Waters imagining "what if" fantasy scenarios about what could possibly go wrong (or right) on his journey. I don't know if I'm even going to finish the book as the fantasy material just seems like word count filler to meet a book contract. (I didn't get it at first but Mr. Waters does give a sort of heads up when early on he mentions that Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley" was in whole or in part a fabrication.)
This is like somebody sitting in their basement in Brooklyn reading tabloid headlines out loud, interspersed with audio clips grabbed from Italian TV. Don't waste your credits.
Can't say enough about the content and production of this audio work. Subject matter is beyond compelling. Narration is superlative. It's really one of the best I've ever downloaded from audible.com.
The narration is called a "performance" but it's more like a robotic monotone. I found myself dozing off while driving. Otherwise, the story is fascinating.
Richard Rhodes, once again, takes a complex story and brings it alive in both character and detail. I can't say enough about the compelling nature of Mr. Rhodes's writing (on whatever subject). Any of his books are highly recommended.
I've liked all of Professor Ehrman's books but this is the best yet. There are very few audio offerings that I would want to repeat. This is one of them.
This is an amusing and clever satirical view of America in the tradition of Jonathan Swift and Terry Southern. I didn't have any trouble with the Clockwork Orange-type argot of the main character ("Operative me").
However, the conceit of this character (i.e., broken English, primitive, animalistic P.O.V. but also with complex thoughts and using highly technical references) is a bit odd and not completely satisfactory from a story logic perspective. It's sort like asking somebody to dictate their memoirs using a foreign language that they don't speak very well, which upon reflection is maybe just what he was doing.
The New York Times review left me with the impression that this might be a bit snarky, not so much in a "Mommie Dearest" way but perhaps more as an uncomfortable intrusion into famous family private matters. It was anything but that. Christopher Buckley gives us a very thoughtful, heartfelt and self-deprecating account of how he went through the difficult times that we all must face as some point. It's a nice balance of the amusing and sad, including some wonderful family anecdotes. I don't think it takes anything away from the iconic Buckley family luster. Highly recommended!
I've done a lot of the audible.com material about the Middle East. This is one of the best.
President Carter distills the problems down to their essential elements in a clear and easy to understand manner. I didn't think he was a very good president but his service in the cause of peace since then has been commendable.
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