If you have never been to China, get ready! Peter will take you there! After reading Oracle Bones I quickly grabbed the other two. The performance was just the best also!
For anyone interested in sociopathy. I read several books on it, "The sociopath next next door" "snakes in suits" "The psycopath test" before purchasing this book. It was recommended as an up front education into the mind of a sociopath. It was. The first red flag popped when he wrote of the wonderful experiences of being molested by child molesters, as a child.
Frankly, I was a little surprised that Audible.com and Amazon.com would sponsor publications condoning, endorsing and promoting child molestation as a wonderful thing. But this is how sociopaths operate in the world, through careful manipulation.
One by one of the characteristics of a sociopath unfolded in this book, particularly as the author stated over and over that he felt no shame or remorse.
Some of the common features of descriptions of the behavior of sociopaths.
Glibness and Superficial Charm. Manipulative and Conning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.
Grandiose Sense of Self. Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."
Pathological Lying. Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.
Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt. A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.
Shallow Emotions. When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises. Incapacity for Love
Need for Stimulation. Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.
Callousness/Lack of Empathy. Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.
Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature. Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.
Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency. Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet "gets by" by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.
Irresponsibility/Unreliability. Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.
Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity. Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts.
Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle. Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future, poor work ethic but exploits others effectively.
Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility. Changes their image as needed to avoid prosecution. Changes life story readily.
Other Related Qualities:Contemptuous of those who seek to understand them. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with them.
Authoritarian. Secretive. Paranoid. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where their tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired.
Goal of enslavement of their victim(s).
Exercises despotic control over every aspect of the victim's life.
Has an emotional need to justify their crimes and therefore needs their victim's affirmation (respect, gratitude and love).
Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim.
Incapable of real human attachment to another.
Unable to feel remorse or guilt.
Extreme narcissism and grandiose.
(The above traits are based on the psychopathy checklists of H. Cleckley and R. Hare.)
One of the characteristics of a sociopath, is that they are habitual liars. So, I did not believe the stories. However, I was able to focus on the PURPOSE of the book. Which was to degrade clergy, teachers, police, artists, and other people that contribute in valuable ways to society, and to reduce the reader's affinity for the world. To promote and endorse child molestation as a valuable art. This was the PURPOSE of the author. It is an exploration of evil intent, and a walk through the mind of a sociopath. And how he manipulated Audible.com and Amazon.Com into endorsing child molestation. A rare education.
The reader was able to translate the lack of empathy from the author to the listener. That was highly commendable performance.
I recommend the follow up books available on audible.com: The Sociopath Next Door. Snakes In Suits. The Psychopath Test.
Not sure there is anything comparable. Perhaps the "making of the President" series?
His voice is far more interesting than the voice in my head.
The rock star sitting on the elephant for a video, and the elephant bolts off to go mate with the rock star still attached. I laughed for HOURS!
This is just a FASCINATING book with SOOOO many interesting stories about people from this time!
He can make you forget about yourself, and think about him. Which can be a blessing if you need that kind of escape. I listen to several audio books every week and less than fifteen minutes into this one, I thought, "this is the best damn audio performance I ever heard." Never before have I logged on to find out who the reader was, this time I had to shut off the book to go see. Very surprised and not at the same time, to find it was himself reading his own book.
I remember all of it.
No. I did not even know who he was when I bought the book.
The sailor who fell into grace from the Sea.
By the end of the book he had won my respect and admiration, as a person. Then at the very end, he took it all away. He mentioned all his regards and gratitude in the epilogue, focusing on his children, and never mentioned their mother. A woman who was clearly forgiving against the backdrop of his attempts to waste her through two decades through recklessness. He mentions his girlfriend is wonderful but they do not have children, still it does not matter because she gave him dogs. This bought him back to ordinary people, willing to dabble in injustice as a convenience. He won my heart and then gave it back. I was able to withdraw from the magic of his magnificence, although he drew me in. He provides an entrance to the theater, and then an exit door. Which is more than I can say for most supernaturals.
That Miles was not edited. That the author translated Miles' voice. His words have a rhythmic value just like his music. The author translated this in it's native value. That in itself, a work of art.
Miles' father. He never went into doubt about his son's potential.
Miles realizing a new environment (France) altered his own beingness. And he rose above fixed conditions.
The love and devotion of Miles' father to his son. The father admitting he could not help Miles' conquer the drug addiction.
I do not think anyone could outdo this autobiography. The author has met with his obligations to introduce the spirit of Miles Davis to others. This is a work of art and a labor of love. Thank you for you labor of love.
A labor of love. A personal tribute.
Miles testing him as the caretaker of the cocaine. Telling him to keep it and help himself, yet glad to discover he would not violate the trust.
Yes, and I did.
There were many sides to Miles. Just like there are many sides to everyone.
Culture shock! I had no idea! What an eye opener! No other book like it. You will forget where you are!
This is probably the biggest bang I ever got from a book purchase. The story is enormous! I finished the first read and had to go back and start all over again for the second read.
The book was so lifting for me on so many levels. The story of how Malcolm X protested against slavery while only switching masters to serve, and becoming a slave to a cult. Which lifted him up but would not set him free, and eventually ended his life with the idea that they owned it because they had effected it.
Slavery is insidious and colorblind. It is not about color, race, sex or culture. It is about a mind set.
Right now Americans can not own land! The Government has seized it all and rents it back to us under the banner of "property taxes", which keeps every American in economic slavery until the day they die for a roof over their head.
Malcolm was a hacker of the mind , who was able to hack into the mind set of slave / master and stand up and admit inconvenient truths. This is an ability anyone can bring under his command if he is destined to be a part of CHANGE.
He was also able to make the impossible, possible. To rise above conditions and become bigger than the agreed upon "think". And take others with him.
The brutality and para military cult of the Nation of Islam with it's brutality and enforcement as it was back then, (I understand it has improved conditions and reformed , with the exclusion of Louis Farrakhan's cult) is illustrated with the para military soldier copy of the mafia.
The self denial, self abnegation, self inflicted punishments, shunning, expulsions and other intolerance, that marks the cults that arose in this period are revealed. The stunning similarities to today's Church of Scientology, with the Nation of Islam Malcolm lived through several decades ago, are disturbing.
It is encouraging to note that the Nation of Islam has reformed and evolved with new leaders and new policies which prohibit abuse, and bank on self improvement and enlightenment, even though the Church of Scientology and Louis Farrakhan seem to be merging and encouraging one another to remain of a mind set that is as outdated as the Taliban we seek to bring forward with modern tolerance.
It is an amazing success story. One thing for sure, no matter your race sex or culture, no matter your identity, you will not be able to read this book and not come out the end of it without the deepest respect and admiration for Malcolm X.
A proud man is a lovely man. He did not doubt himself against every invitation to do just that from the entire world. That takes a hell of a lot of Integrity.
This is a story about a group / culture that got the idea they would live happily every after, running all over dead bodies, stealing, lying, killing, torturing and setting others up for loss pain and misery. Then they all turned on one another and gobbled each other up. That includes the U.S. Government.
The book is based on a translation of ancient scrolls discovered in Egypt that were written by a slave. The slave was obviously gifted in many ways, perhaps a God himself in that his abilities were extraordinary. Clearly not the average mortal. I have heard many stories from many walks of life and this is in my library of favorites. I was able to smell the smells in this story. I have never done that reading a book before. I was able to feel the magic and even the scrolls the slave wrote on. I was able to see it all as if I had been there, even more. Most of what I read made perfect sense, at least 70% I could perfectly believe. Of course as with any work of historical fiction there were parts I had to discount but even then, I did not loose affinity for the story. Wilbur Smith is in the same category of story telling skill with Victor Hugo. I loved this book and am glad for the friends who encouraged me to read it!
A great book. That is all I can really say. I did not expect to bump into a voice so similar my own. He thinks like me. I was so glad to hear his voice. The real deal. Straight from the heart. How can that be discounted? Impossible.
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