I listen for fun, usually on my drive home after work when I need a brain break. This was perfect...lots of 'conspiracy' theories woven together, likeable characters, and a good narrator. Adding the sequel to my ever-expanding wish list!
I liked this book. The characters were well developed, but only as much as they needed to be, and the story was fun. Much of the fun was learning along with Neal, as he mastered the techniques of the trade for which he was being groomed.
Several times I wondered when the book was written. Cell phones have become ubiquitous, and their absence is noticeable. Not missed, just noticeable. So I was surprised to hear during the ending credits that this book was written in 1991! Maybe that makes it a timeless story?
In my evaluations, the fifth star is reserved for the extraordinary. This is a common tale, but cleverly presented, quite entertaining, and very well performed.
Edward Dolnick's telling of history is arresting. The narrator was perfect, I will look for more of his reads.
If I have any complaint, it is that the book was too short.
I will look forward to more of Dolnick's books available on Audible.
Nonfiction is not usually my choice for drive time, too much focus required. But this book did not require focus, it absolutely consumed me. History I never knew was there. I had no idea the innovator GK was, nor his influence on so many aspects of civilization in general. Jack Weatherford is a superb writer, bringing life and visuals to each moment; Jonathan Davis is exquisite, always one of my preferred readers (or narrators?). Will definitely listen to this one again, and will likely give as gifts.
...and the surprises keep coming. I'm afraid that I am now hooked...if Ben Rehder ever writes a bad book, I'll never know it...I am conditioned to enjoy his work. His characters are so alive, and so real...and so often parallel someone we all know. Tammy Fay comes to mind, in this instance.
I really like the way he weaves the pieces together, and presents them in just the right order, the right timing. I listened to this book out of order somehow, and it's been a few books back, so I'm getting fuzzy, and don't want to say too much and spoil. I do recall that he was able to create a clever ending without me seeing what's coming, yet he wasn't obvious or tricky. Often the victim is just a victim, and we don't know if s/he was a good guy or a bad guy or what. But, in Blanco county, you can always count on the good guys win, the bad guys get what's coming, and we get a happy ending. At lest a satisfying one.
I can't say enough, but I'll keep trying, about Jonathan Davis...what a superb reader. As a matter of fact, it was after I listened to another book he narrated, that I went looking for other reads by him...that's when I came upon Ben Rehder.
If you turn into a Ben Rehder fan, like I have, he will tell you on his web site that he was highly influenced by Carl Hiaassen. I found Ben because I was looking for Jonathan Davis. Now I've listened to a book (The Happiness Hypothesis) narrated by George Wilson, and am looking for more of his work. And guess who he's read...Carl Hiassen.
Don't that beat all?
Sometimes I am concerned about nonfiction in the car, since I often want entertainment, not information, to and from work. However, I found myself listening to this totally arresting book well beyond the car...while doing chores, or cooking, or...whatever!
Jonathan Haidt presents his Happiness Hypothesis so that even lay people can get it, and benefit. There were many aha moments...I used the bookmark feature on my phone for the first time so I could go back and capture the websites he referenced and other data one cannot highlight with a marker on a soft copy while driving.
As a matter of fact, I am considering purchasing the hard copy for my second dose of happiness...I am sure that even though I hit rewind a gazillion times, I missed important stuff.
I even had one spectacular epiphany when he quoted Kahlil Gibran: "Work is love made visible." I will spare you the details, just know that there is surely something here to enhance anyone's understanding of their own situation in life.
And the narrator...another great find. Now I am looking for more George Wilson reads, just loved his delivery. Since the book is written in the first person, and delivered in the writer's first person, there were a few times when I had to remember, hey, that's not Jonathan talking!
Not sure if I should say here, but JH has at least one vid on TED talks, give it a look. Even there I took a full page of notes. (Yes I have to take notes...CRS setting in quickly)
A favorite! The characters are so real they jump off the pages, and so zany there are plenty of laughs. Ben's knowledge of his story elements - the idiosyncrasies of Hill Country geography and lifestyles - make everything believable, if not improbable.
Yes, just looking forward to the unexpected.
Yes, that is how I found this series, looking for more of his work. I have listened to two non-fiction; he is excellent. Jonathan Davis can give Scott Brick a run for his money any day.
Not spoiling...will just say: The unexpected and sometimes gruesome exposure of what humans will do to be right.
Maybe because I am a Texan, and know some of the people Ben presents, and am familiar with the setting...but these are just plain fun and entertaining books; the kind of book that shortens my drive time.
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