I read this book without knowing much about the story. The narrator was amazing. While it was only one narrator, it felt like more. I rank this performance alongside The Help & Matterhorn. Fantastic. It made the story. I don't think I would have been as enthralled with this story if I were reading it. The afterword with this 20th anniversary edition made me feel like there was closure. The last 10 minutes or so were added to the book with the author's thoughts on her book being banned. I would love to be able to write as concisely and eloquently as she did, but I won't even try.
This book is violent. It has candid references to sex and sexual slang. The characters have flaws. This is a fantastically crafted story that will make you uncomfortable...but the discomfort will make you hurt that much more for the main character.
The narrator is great. She makes the book better. The content is amazing. In the beginning of the story, I did find it hard to sympathize with the author's plight because she came off as very annoying. However, this annoyance faded as the story progressed.
Something that is overlooked in the main premise of this story is how important medical advocacy is. The parents of the author are the reason she got the care she did. The story really is amazing. At the same time, it is sad to think of how many others were erroneously diagnosed with mental illness that was actually caused by something else (no spoilers from me).
This book is a nice complement to "My Stoke of Insight." I do wish the author had narrated. I'm not sure why she didn't...but perhaps it would have been poor narration. The narrator adds to the story and makes it a 5 star book.
The narrator is the one redeeming factor for this book. She sounds like Kathleen Turner. It's strange to have this husky voice reading the book, but it makes the content more engaging. The first half of the book is more useful for general employees, but it does not offer ways for individuals to make change. It is depressing because you find yourself nodding your head at the examples and saying, "yes yes, I have worked what someone like that" or "yes yes I have done that to avoid that person" but you aren't offered a way to change.
The second half of the book is geared toward leaders and HR professionals. I am not one of those people. The discussion about creating corporate values makes me roll my eyes. It isn't as useful for existing companies...especially those that are part of a big multi-national corporation.
I found that I wished my old bosses would have read this book and taken its points to heart. I am one of the people the book talks about who leaves a job to escape toxic individuals. I am that heightened turnover. If only my bosses had read this book. And that's the problem with this book. It leaves you frustrated if you have no ability to change the work environment.
As an aside, the book acknowledges that there are psychological issues that may be driving behavior. Many of the individuals that are described could be categorized as borderline or sociopaths. The book "The Sociopath Next Door" is more useful for individuals dealing with "toxic" people in the workplace than this book. This book is for leaders that need to follow the rules. The Sociopath Next Door is for coworkers that need to learn how to deal with these chaotic individuals.
I confess that the motivation behind purchasing this audiobook was so that I had another 20th century classic in my arsenal for Jeopardy! I bought this without researching the plot. I only knew that it was about black v. white and that it is frequently considered one of the must-reads in African American Lit. I think it's good to listen to this story without knowing anything about the plot. It makes the twists and turns more surprising.
The performance by the narrator was fantastic. There were no fake voices or falsettos. It was just the narrator with a powerful voice and he was a perfect match. I'm not sure I would like this book as much if I read it on the page. The audio made it a performance. I buy audiobooks in order to entice myself to go to the gym more. I rely on the book to be interesting enough for me to want to listen and thus go workout. This story delivered.
This book is 9 hours. It takes 8 hours to get to the point. In those 8 hours of lead up, I was left asking "What is this book about exactly?" The narrators did a great job with a poor plot. In fact, what was the plot? At times, I felt like I was listening to the disjointed and narcissistic thoughts of a bunch of sociopaths. I kept listening...I kept hoping that the author would get to the point already. I kept trying to find one character that was redeeming. I couldn't. This was a complete waste of a credit. I will never read anything by this author again.
If I wanted to read a book about the ramblings of everyday life that takes 8/9 of its length to get to the beginning of a point...well, I wouldn't read a book like that. With audiobooks, you need something to grab you and propel you to keep listening. A plot that makes you seek reasons to listen to the book and continue the story. Not a plot that makes you switch your mp3 player over to music because the story is just so BORING.
I realize boring is an overused adjective, but it describes this story very well. The plot write-up for the teaser in the description is better than the book. Really. I looked at the positive reviews and I guess I'm not in the majority. But really, I can find nothing redeeming except the narrator performances.
I listened to this book before reading The Psychopath Test (both books received a lot of press). This one is much better than the Psychopath Test. The case studies that Dr. Stout presents and the details she uses make you really think about all the people you have known.
The true measure of enjoyment of an audiobook is whether I regret pausing the book and anticipate the next time I can listen...this book delivered. I also didn't know what "gaslight" meant and it prompted me to rent the movie on Netflix. It prompted discussions with my coworkers about whether we knew any "lazy sociopaths."
For anyone that likes to observe others and understand what motivates people that seem to make irrational decisions...I think this book can open your eyes to a new way of evaluating.
I think the title of this book gives you a preview of the way you will feel when reading it. That is, "The distant hours from now that I will finally finish this very long story that is sure taking a long time to develop...those hours just seem so far away right now (because they are!)"
I really enjoyed the Forgotten Garden, so I was excited about The Distant Hours. However, I was left feeling "meh" about the story. Some of the characters appear to be Sociopaths (anyone that has read or listened to "The Sociopath Next Door" would likely agree) but then their actions are not consistent with what appears to be their agenda.
The book was very depressing for me. Dark. Sad. Just a lot of melancholy and sadness. The bright spots were so few. I think before I read/listen to another Kate Morton, I will read the reviews.
The author could have taken the time to write a real ending instead of suddenly wrapping it up in 30 minutes. I feel like Brad Thor's last two books have been real disappointments. I had sworn off reading any more Brad Thor after being disappointed with The Athena Project, but my husband read the hardback of this book and I did have an audible credit to spare...I am going to put a reminder in my bookcrossing to never waste my time again. Thor has become the hero of patriotic Americans, but as a patriotic American, his poor plot development and unnecessary details have exposed him as a weak writer. I feel that his writing is supported (and thus purchased) because he loudly proclaims support for the American Conservative agenda...but I hope that Conservatives are smarter than that.
There were also at least three sections where one of the main characters (either protagonist or antagonist) goes on and on and on and on about their political views. It is worse than a monologue...it is that person that you work with and wish would just shut up already about how they hate this person or that and how this is wrong and how everything would just be better, blah blah blah. I'm sure you get the point. From an audiobook perspective, these monologues were not enjoyable. Thor's audience is most likely NOT highly populated with those that disagree with his ideas...therefore, I really don't need to hear the character preach. I also feel that Thor's demonization of the super-left wing was poorly developed and one dimensional. A key to changing minds is to really understand the motivation behind those that you wish to convert...and I do not feel that Thor has really attempted that. He seems more likely to latch onto conventional ideas about Liberalism, big government, socialism, communism, etc. and those people that support them instead of trying to really understand what makes that person feel so differently from what he, the author, believes. This failure makes the book very weak indeed.
This book had too many details that I felt were not satisfactorily brought together with cohesion. If you threw the story elements into a blender, turned it on high and made a suspension and then drink it really fast before it all separates out, then maybe you will like it...but if you expect to get a decent drink out of your blender with any kind of solubility...well, I doubt you will find it with this book.
Finally, I recognize that many fans of Brad Thor will not agree with my comments on this book (I know my husband had minimal issues). It is a thriller...but the thrills are weak until the last bit at the end and still...Thor has written much better endings earlier in his career. I would say that Thor should retire Harvath and create a new character...but then I didn't like Athena Project either.
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