It would not be my goal to criticize this work. It is a story that needs to be told and that we probably haven't heard well enough, having been on the other side. But in the end it is too much for me. At some point the story and informational value add versus the shock and grotesque balance went awry. I had to stop.
This book is certainly entertaining. And a lot of work and imagination went into it. I can even get the appeal, and maybe imagine I understand some of the underlying message? But then something is just kinda of wrong with it. The premise is a little far fetched, the technical characterizations a little trite and patronizing. But don't thing those are the biggest flaws. I sense that at some fundamental level, the story is just plain "wrong". I don't think the author really understands people, human behavior, and how most of us would react to something like this. Perhaps it is just an over confidence in technology. But there is something amoral about the whole story, which if it were on the level of a 1984 or Brave New World, which it isn't, might be easier to take. Instead it just kinda of feels like "hollywood" in a book. Techno for techno sake, gore for gore sake, and superficial characters and motivations to thread together a pretty engaging story line that takes you from one "cool scene" to the next. It certainly isn't "deep".
I would not normally pick this topic (Vietnam), nor be that attracted to war fiction. And even to start I was a bit wary. But soon the book picks up on you. And then it doesn't let go. The characterizations are wonderful, deep, rich. It has probably some of the better depictions of compromise, contradiction, tension, human failings, and motivations in any book I have read in a while. It stands above most other contemporary works of fiction, and I think you have to go back to more classic authors to match it. The narration is superb. I still have this book in my head, and I finished it over a month ago. A wonderful work.
First, I applaud the author for being open about his own biases and perspectives, and in his attempt at objective discovery and understanding. And overall I am a big fan of "centrist" dialog, trying to get off the treadmill of fixed narratives and agendas that so pervade our current culture. The effort is comprehensive, well researched, and the author is enthusiastic. I would probably ponder some aspects, but who am I to say. The one concern I might have is that it took someone this much effort, this much research and time, to actually start to admit his own limitations in perspective, and to acknowledge his own biases. That part is worrisome, not as a reflection on the author, but on the challenge of getting others to see other points of view, to be more respectful, to understand they might not see things that others see. But at least this book is a good contribution overall in that effort.
This is an outstanding summary of a culture. It isn't in any way an apology, it doesn't preach, and is quite objective. It provides a clear and interesting summary for those who aren't part of that culture. And as such hopefully contributes a bit more to some perspective and understanding.
Taibbi does his work, and he doesn't really hold back from criticizing anyone if he feels it is justified. Have to give him credit on this front. And the book overall does a very good job of broadening perspectives. I read it just pre-Ferguson. Dang.
It is top 10% experience. The only reason I didn't want to listen to it at times was because it was so real, and so poignant that it would burn you out a bit.
The political operative who characterized the auto execs while asking for federal subsidies. For being so spot on.
It's a pretty sad and disturbing book. But it also has hope. And it is very real. This is the world we live in, whether we "see" it or not.
Charlie LeDuff should be commended, for the effort he has put back into his community. And for his very basic, down to earth tell it like it is effort. In a weird way, there is one big agenda here, but it isn't any of the agendas that so often dominate our world of discourse today. It is one rooted in realities, and trying to get some, any, concrete results.
I really looked forward to this. And there are some good parts, leading to introspection and deeper thought. But in some unfortunate convergence of story and narration the result is quite annoying. The voices make me cringe. The characters in the dialogs are horrible. And the overall impression is kinda of well, just downright annoying. Preachy, trite, a bit silly. It is in the end, perhaps just too patronizing. Like the author and/or narrator is "talking down" to the listener.
Probably not, but can't say for sure.
Not so sure about that. I have developed a pretty bad association at this point with some of the voices in this book.
Yes, the subject matter is potentially interesting, the context is a great idea, and at times it does deliver. It stretches you to think a little more about both yourself, the world around you and your reaction to it. But you pay a high price to get there, too high.
Don't talk down to your audience!
Yes, good for driving or a summer read. Not a deep work.
Venkat, the realities of being an administrator
Read cleanly, but some of the voices did make me cringe a bit, particularly of women.
This is NOT a masterpiece. It is entertaining comic book sci fi adventure done well. It's fun. But some of the characters, and some of the situations and inter-personal stuff made me cringe, as being a little trite or thin, or worse implausible.
Great performance, great story, entertaining. Sure it was a little cute, but very good. This isn't a story about a dog, it is a story about life. Good characters, believable real world stuff. Insights and observations we all know and share, but packaged and delivered in very entertaining and enjoyable story. Great perspective.
There are a number, mostly revolving around the triumphs or critical turning points. Enzo out the window is one. Outside the courtroom is another. The walk to the funeral.
Why Enzo of course!
Highly recommend this book. Loved it!
No. My impression is his perceptions are thin, and he is captive to a world view / cultural identity (liberal) which blinds him for truly perceptive and creative work. Nothing wrong with the identity, but the author needs to move beyond it's limitations if he is going to offer anything really interesting, inspiring or creative. Section 3 was so trite I wanted to scream.
No, my assumption is this author is just limited in his abilities.
This was multi-narrator book. They all do a very good job.
The entire 3rd segment is insipid and thin. It relies on superficial tropes about corporate conspiracy and evil doing that is unbelievable. I couldn't bear it. Don't just give me a rehash construct of cultural war perspectives. Give me something that is truly observant of our world, of life, of human nature and of people. I can do with out the superficial rehash of the liberal culture war. It isn't the fact that it is liberal. I would be just as harsh on such a silly effort by someone captive to the conservative agenda. It isn't what I read fiction for. I get enough of this garbage in the news and general media, don't want it
One of the more disappointing titles I have ever experienced from Audible. Some others have been a little flat or boring, had other limits. But given the reviews for this I expected a lot more. Note sure why people think this one is particularly interesting. Found it quite shallow, predictable, and thin.
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