I'm sorry for the folks who bought the abridged version of this title. Opting for Bryson abridged is pointless. His prose is already polished to a pearly economy.
If you can listen to the final 22 minutes of this book without cringing, crying, or resolving to affect change in the way all of us treat this magnificent and mysterious planet; you are a hard, hard case. With disciplined but entertaining prose, Bryson surveys the branches of science that explain who we are and how we got to wherever it is we are. Spectacular!
One advantage of audiobooks is that you can distribute your attention among things other than the materiel. Commute, laundry, walking the dog, making a sandwich, all possible while simultaneously listening to a book. Reading however, means sitting in a chair with your complete attention on the book. As a consequence, my experience is that the comprehension and retention of the audiobook material is usually a fraction of that of a book book.While listening to TRUTH IN ADVERTISING it soon becomes obvious that this is a story to be savored, deserving of your full attention. The writing and the narration is so good that I found myself continually rewinding and replaying passages. I’ll leave a summation of the plot to others. I’ll simply say that the experience is funny, at times tragic, always for me, deeply affecting. Special mention of the narration by Robert Petkoff: it is superb. He uses accents and dramatic reading to great effect. You will enjoy this audiobook while sitting in your favorite chair, not while doing the dishes.
Not what I expected. I was led to believe that this might be real hard science fiction. Instead I find an insipid tale of old people being recycled and enhanced to do battle in some far-off land against a variety of foes. The plot klunks and rattles, the characters are cardboard thin, and the dialogue is unbelievable: "he said" "then I said" "she said" on and on. Save your money for the reincarnation of Heinlien. This ain't him.
Christopher Hitchens is one of our very few public intellectuals. His ruminations, especially on this important topic, must be read closely. His sentences are dense with ideas, allusions to antiquity, and logical construction.
What a shame then, that Hitchens has chosen to read this work. With his accent and adenoidal monotone, he races through the narration. The ends of many sentences get swallowed. Much of this fine book is virtually unintelligible.
Read by Scott Brick or Richard Matthews, this book would be teriffic. As it is, if you want to give this book the attention it deserves, click on over to Amazon.
Don't miss this one, its honest, a little sad, and hilarious.
This is abridged. Why anyone would want to listen to O'Brian abridged is beyond me. The joy is the wonderful attention to historical detail and believable dialogue. Search on this title to get the unabridged version. It is read by Patrick Tull; you'll feel like you are there.
Ok, just ok. Interesting story but hampered by apocalyptic narration, in my opinion. The narrator uses a continuous melodramatic tone that wears on me after a bit.
Mr. Seife would have done better to have his book read by a professional. This sounds like a book report read aloud by a nervous junior high school student who wants only to finish the thing and sit down. As others have said, with math it's important to have the numbers and formulae in print to view and absorb at your leisure. He actually states, at one point, "if you need more information, refer to appendix B" (loosely quoted)
Calculus inspired me to my calling in the Liberal Arts. This book reminds me why.
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