I purchased this book because I'm interested in learning more about the copyright debate. Who better than an author to argue the pro side? Almost anyone, apparently.
Though Helprin has some good points to make, they're hard to filter out from the stream of invective. In much of the book, he comes across as no better than the "mouth-breather" army of internet "ants" he decries. There are also significant chunks of the book that seem to have nothing to do with the topic, such as a long, rambling discussion of convergence, near the end. Helprin rarely uses one word when 10 will, with a few asides thrown in for good measure.
All in all, very disappointing. Seek elsewhere for a reasoned discussion of the pro-copyright argument.
The narrator does a great job, but there's just no getting around the poor writing. There is too much description, most of which is dripping with analogies, and the author finds it necessary to constantly remind you of the heroine's tragic past, crushing grief, etc. I get it. I got it 10 repetitions ago. The pacing is also pretty slow for this kind of book. Only the narrator made it possible for me to listen to the whole thing.
No. The pacing in the narrative is very uneven. Specific anecdotes are great, but they are interspersed with a lot of rambling about the wonder of Africa, which did not appeal to me. Others might find this quite satisfactory.
Perhaps. Not all my friends would appreciate the introspective rambling, but some would.
Though the narrator read with much enthusiasm, overall I did not like it. She reads many passages in a rush when the subject wasn't fast-paced. There are unnatural pauses, as if the reader gets to the end of a line or the page. The recording environment is poor - you can hear the reader licking her lips, clearing her throat, and turning pages.
Yes, since a movie would take out the slow bits and make the most of the interesting anecdotes.
The narration style did not fit the material, for me, and made it hard to listen to. The pace was very slow. Either the narrator, or the prose, or both, gave the book a patronizing tone.
The material was very repetitive. The book is organized as a workshop for executives and their management teams, which was not clear from the description. Not the best format for an audiobook. Frequent references to the authors' workshops and other books made it feel a bit like an ad, too.
Lastly, the book was not as gender balanced as I hoped/expected. Though it pays lip service to balanced advice, I found it to be much more about how men can understand/accomodate/benefit from women's "brain differences" than vice versa. Perhaps this is understandable but, I would have preferred a better balance. (And I'm coming at this from the female side of the equation).
I enjoy Buckley's books very much, but I struggled to get all the way through this one. It didn't seem as tightly knit as his previous books and became rather boring and repetitive. It also had a rather strident quality about it, possibly due to the delivery of the narrator. That being said, there are very funny bits, and the narrator does a superb job of uniquely voicing all the characters.
When the story is in motion, this is a pretty good book. Unfortunately, there are many excursions into philosophy, politics, and history which bog the story down. Sometimes, these little side trips occur in the midst of otherwise tense scenes, which I found jarring. The commentary adds nice color to the story, but takes the swash out of the buckle. A word on the narrator: He reads feelingly, but in a way that makes every sentence sound like a profound pronouncement.
I cannot say I agreed with all (or even most) of the author's positions. And I found some of them rather disengenuous. But it was well worth reading! Not only were the ideas clearly and interestingly presented, but this book made me think about some things I never considered before and made me want to learn more. What more, really, can you ask of a commentary?
I was somewhat disappointed with this book, but probably for the very reason that most people would find it enjoyable: Too much back story about the people and not enough about the making of the dictionary. The story is well written (and narrated), but I got tired of hearing about the foibles of the madman instead of more about compilation of the OED.
Most of the stories were worthwhile and interesting. It was also interesting to hear some of Bradbury's comments about the stories, looking back several decades after writing them. But I did not at all enjoy his narrative style. Blasphemous though it may be to say so, I think this would have been a much better audiobook with a different, perhaps more professional narrator.
I was disappointed in this title. I'd heard very good things about the book, so I suspect the real problem is with the recording being abridged. What's there is good, but it jumps from topic to topic somewhat randomly and doesn't go into anything with any depth. It has scared me off from purchasing The Discoverers as an audiobook; I'll probably try the print version instead.
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