Las Cruces, NM, United States | Member Since 2001
The potential time paradoxes are acknowledged and explained. Using separate narrators for each time period added to the listening pleasure.
The book leaves none of the science to chance and explains it better than any science book for non-scientist.
You'll get a good coherent communication across time book nicely read, and great science explanations (okay, tachyons don't really exist, but if they did!). Overall a very fun listen.
The zeitgeist of the 50s wonderfully comes through in this splendid novel, man is our own worst enemy and we need a higher power to safe ourselves from nuclear annihilation.
There are a couple of wonderful things about this book. You can read many different interpretations into this book. One possible reading is that we create our own god(s) and the universe becomes self aware through us (I like Ray Kurzweil books!), or you can read something else into what the story means. It's up to the listener.
Overall, the book is a really intelligent look at what 1950s thinking thought we would become. I'm amazed in a lot of ways we have progressed even more than what was predicted by such an intelligent thinker as Arthur C Clark.
The book is not dated whatsoever (what a compliment to the author). It's narrated splendidly.
There doesn't seem to be a wasted section in this book because all the pieces seem to tie together from early to modern times. The author will first tell you the relevant history and social conditions at the time and how they went about influencing the philosophy he's going to discuss.
You get a really interesting peak into the mindset of a writer during the end of WW II. The author would often bring in the Germans (Nazis) and Japanese and how what he is telling you is relevant to what was going on in the world at the time he wrote the book. Those parts of the books alone are worth reading the whole book.
There was one part of the book during the discussion of Plato when I got overwhelmed, because he kept going on and on and soon as I was understanding one part he'd go on to another part and I wanted to stop listening. I'm glad I didn't, because what he does next is introduce another philosopher by saying how the philosopher disagreed with Plato for the following reasons and then I would start to understand what Plato really meant. It's like studying math. One doesn't really understand the algebra until one learns the calculus and so on.
The book covers a lot, but I retain major parts of it. For example, I remember that Hegel believed that you couldn't understand the part without understanding the whole universe (uncle doesn't exist without nephew), and Marx's class struggle comes from Hegel's ideas about nations and so on.
The narrator does a superb job.
The book is also interesting for another reason. It might be my last foray into a grand survey of philosophy because it does such a good job. As the book preceded through out time, I realized the role of philosophy was getting smaller and smaller as the role of science (and math) was getting larger and larger. The book goes a long way towards showing me how much more important science has become, and how less important philosophy is.
I usually listen to science books, but this book did fill in some gaps for me and I highly recommend it even for lovers of science books.
A good book splendidly read by the author. The theme is catching. Most chapters start off with a misdirection, and I'm thinking the author's thesis is wrong. For example, small class sizes do make a difference, I think. The author presents data that seems to contradict that assertion, but really doesn't. The author at the last moment will say maybe not and will show you why it's probably not true. He does that multiple times. Most of his original assertions I didn't like but by the end I did.
Another thing, he writes the stories such that I wished I was born poor, or at least had dyslexia because he makes those seem so desirable. That of corse is silly.
Look, the book is an easy listen and is fun but is not as good as his other books. I don't really recommend this one, but I was disappointed.
I've always loved 1927 America and I love this book. The author ties together the three biggest single events of 1927: Jolson Speaks, The Babe Swats, and Lindbergh Dares and ties them altogether into a coherent narrative. The unfolding of these and other events reveal the process of the times.
The author wonderfully reads his own book. He's not a professional reader by any means, but he adds the humor, anger or surprise that only an author of his own work could add at the appropriate spots.
The author, Bill Bryson, puts each major event in its proper context and is at his best when he's not in 1927 but is telling you the before and after stories of the characters. Not to be too much of a spoiler, The Babe is amazing and Lindbergh is a dud (racist, pro-nazi eugenicist, philanderer).
I love the book, it is marvelously read, I learned a lot, but I would only recommend it for lovers of 1927 or at least the 1920s, and if you do love that period of time by all means get it and enjoy.
I bought this book for two reasons. 1) It was a daily deal and 2) the audible reviews on this books seemed to be one of the most consistently positive I had ever seen.
I knew nothing about that period of history before reading this book. My bad. Now I understand why I was wrong to have ignored this time period.
I just love a well written biography written by an author who loves his subject. This book qualifies and will profit the listener by listening to it. I'm totally convinced that my previous impression of Genghis Khan before this book were just plain wrong. He was a great leader and great man. Little did I know.
Trust you fellow audible book reviewers on this book and give it a try!
There are two kinds of time travel works of fiction. The one were the time travel just happens and the other one were the author takes you through every step of the science and the possible paradoxes involved. This book is of the later category. The author really understands physics and logic and knows how to present them in an interesting fashion.
This is not really a fiction story in as much as the author doesn't create the drama through the developing of characters and situations but he builds the story by describing all the steps (at least from a 30000 foot view) necessary in thinking about time travel from the physics and logical implications perspective.
Another really interesting twist from this novel is it was written in 1980 but takes place around our current time period. The author knows physics, logic and tells a fun story which will make you learn something you didn't already know, and does not suffer what so ever because it's 30 years old. After having read this book, you will be able to defend a possibly logically consistent framework for time travel.
P.S. I had read this 30 years ago when it first came out and I had remembered absolutely loving it. I realize now why. It deals with the science and logic much more than the characterization and drama than most fiction does. The book lays out a logically consistent approach through a many world interruption of quantum physics before it became fashionable. The book was really ahead of it's time and I'm really glad Audible has made this book available.
The author says he's a mathematician philosopher trader and if you tend towards that mode of thinking as I do this book will forever change your world view.
The book was written a year before the financial crisis of 2008 and really predicts that kind of event completely. His bottom line is that most of what we model (all financial products, for example) does not follow a normal distribution and extreme events which lie outside of the model will happen much more frequently than the mathematics would predict.
He tells you up front that he's going to pick and choose philosophers, economist and mathematicians who agree with his thesis. He's up front about the fact that the only modern philosopher worth knowing is Karl Popper and he explains why.
I don't understand why other reviewers don't love this book as much as do. Perhaps, because they read it before 2008 and didn't get the benefit of hindsight like I have.
Fun and highly listenable anthology stories on time travel and nicely narrated by different readers. I love speculation about time travel and such and hence enjoyed these multiple takes on time travel. I listened to these stories with my wife since they make for good entertainment and none of the stories were too long. The stories sometimes seemed to end abruptly and it would take my wife to explain to me what just happened since I usually read mostly non-fiction science type stories and need non-reality to be explained to me. Enjoy and be prepared to re-listen to the last 30 seconds of some stories or have your spouse explain them to you!
BTW, the stories seemed to have gotten progressively better as you listen, and I would recommend listening to the end since the last 3 or so stories were the best stories.
Much more than just an autobiography of a preacher turned humanist. I liked the book for the following reasons,
1) The listener quickly likes the author because of his obvious sincerity for the search for truth and his love of humanity and therefore it's easy to like the story since you will like the author
2) the book shows how tough it is to be a preacher in the rural south for a sincere believer
3) the backbiting within and between churches and church members is a background character through out.
4) I learned a lot about Pentecostals, their doctrines and their pettiness
5) the author writes the book without using the perfect vision of hindsight and writes the story as if his state of mind at the time was real (such as visions, faith healing and so on)
6) the author presents a step by step guide to his search for the perfect doctrine. His first questioning of his faith comes about after his grandfather passes away and faces eternal damnation just because he didn't embrace the right faith.
7) The author is sincere in his search and we the reader get all of the relevant steps and thought processes he uses in his journey which helps me understand why I believe the way I do
8) The first 2/3 of the book could be listened to by a true believer and she would not be critical at all of the book
9) The author does a marvelous job of reading his book and really adds to the experience with his southern accent and the cadence of a preacher when necessary. They did another thing I liked, whenever a woman was speaking in the story, the narrator would be female.
I found the book one of the most spiritual books I have ever listened to, and it has helped me understand why I believe the way I do and would recommend this audiobook to anyone.
The book acts as an immunization against those who are infected with the religious virus. The author is never in your face and is mostly about giving the non-theist a way to think and understand the thinking behind the theist believers. I found this book a much better listen than Sam Harris' book, "The End of Faith". They cover similar material, but I found better arguments (through the metaphor of the virus) in this book.
The author even has a section on how to talk with religious people if you must (okay, the author doesn't say 'must', that's not his style at all). For example, if a believer says he'll be praying about you, just reply and say 'thanks, I'll be thinking about you". A non-confrontational approach which doesn't compromise your belief system is always preferable to pointless arguments.
The author reads his own book. He does a good job. He's not a great reader, but by having the author read his own book, I the listener get a better interpretation of the book.
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