I'd recommend it certainly. Anyone who's familiar with Star Trek TV or Battlestar Gallactica or other TV Scifi will get a kick out of it. And hearing Will Wheaton is a real treat. But...
The front of the book is padded. It takes too long to get to the gist of the story. And there is much too much padding at the end with a strange "coda."
The book isn't so much a novel as a novella. And would have been only around 5 hours without the padding.
TV or Reality TV?
I was hoping for a study of the various literature of utopian societies: Brave New World, 1984, Shangri-la, etc.
Instead this is a study of philosophers comments and debates on utopia.
It's interesting, but not what I wanted.
The sub-head "How we know what's really true" led me to believe the book would be about how to refute and rebut arguments from the religious right on the validity of the Bible, etc.
Instead it's a rather dull science textbook written for pre-teenagers.
And unfortunately the woman's voice and intonation makes it seem that she is speaking to someone who doesn't understand English.
I like Hawkins, but not this.
It's not a terrible book, but not great. But I spent a long time at the top of the book trying to understand why FBI agents always carried 20 quarters for pay phones. And no one seemed to include Reagan as part of Presidential assasination history.
God, things have really changed since 1977. And much of the book feels dated because of it. Even the plot against the President is dated.
Also, I wish someone was a little more careful with details of the recording. Senator Birch Bayh name was pronounced "Bye" not "Bay."
McWhorter is one of the best teachers I have ever had.
Energetic. Funny. Spontaneous! Educational!
Even if you never wanted to learn about the English language, you should listen to this book.
There are so many things in it about history, social history, language (of course), and grammar.
And I will try to use the phrase "obsessive progressive" as much as I can in daily life. (You'll understand when you listen to the book.)
Please, don't let the fact that this is a language course stop you. It's well worth every minute. (Although I confess I listen at 1.5 speed, but his voice doesn't suffer.)
Anyone who enjoys bill Bryson will enjoy Professor McWhorter
From the first sentence, this book hooked me in.
Disney's life and struggle to succeed is fascinating.
What I really appreciated was reading how he ran his company. He pushed his employees, artists and animators, to do more than they thought they could do.
He also started the company with pool tables, fun events, and other diversions.
I was surprised at this. In so many descriptions of how he ran the company, it sounded like the genius and drive of Steve Jobs combined with the fun of Google's offices.
It made me realize that today's pioneers sometimes ride down the same road already paved in the past.
Get the book. Listen to it. You'll never look at "the mouse" the same way again.
Pure fluff. Pure diversion. Pure entertainment.
The mix of aliens and cut-throat lawyering makes this the best Sci-Fi I've read in a long time.
Think all the fun of Douglas Adams's Hitchiker's Guide
I was really looking forward to this insider's glimpse into the gossip, games, and politics of Washington DC.
Unfortunately the stories told are so bland that they hardly are interesting.
Maybe it's true that "Washington is Hollywood for ugly people" but these people are hardly interesting.
The idea of Hollywood collaborating to hide Nazi crimes and Anti-semitism is intriguing.
But this book tries way to hard to connect the dots.
The performance is interesting, especially the accents for the Germans, but it wouldn't have hurt without the accents.
It's not that interesting.
Is there nothing that Bill Bryson can't take and make fascinating? Just one summer in America and I feel like I was there.
I've listened to every Bryson book out there and this one is among the top.
Bryson entertains and teaches at the same time. From the most minutia details to broad strokes, he covers everything.
Also, he reads his books with a warm engaging voice. I feel like a partner curled up next to him as he reads. Very intimate.
If this is your first Bryson book, listen to it, and then get all the others.
I liked Valerie Plame's autobiography of how she got screwed by the Bush administration and the CIA.
But this story is so bad I can't believe it's from the same person.
Also, the way the audio works, it is very hard to tell who is speaking and where they are. This is the first time I've listened to an audio book and wished I was reading text.
Also, the narration was so over the top that it became laughable.
Skip it and listen to a real spy novelist's work.
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