Flagstaff, AZ, United States | Member Since 2003
The author presents the scientific, brain-based view of lack of empathy as the source for various personality disorders, some of which are associated with cruelty and mistreatment of others. He differentiates positive and negative types of zero empathy. This helped put a realistic view on the concept of "evil", away from a religious definition, which is nebulous at best.
His polemic at the end was unnecessary and detracted from the scientific basis for the book.
Denial actually IS a river in Egypt - at least if you listen to this book. Full of ego, euphemisms (social engineering = scamming) and lack of remorse, Mitnick portrays himself as a genius who was made miserable by laws and a government who just didn't understand him. The only reason I made it all the way through the book was to see if he would finally take responsibility and realize that every bit of what happened to him was due to his hacking addiction. Alas, no. He sets himself above the law because he claims he never made any money off his hacking skills. If you trust a guy who revels in his con artistry, maybe that's true. He still earned every bit of the jail time he served.
I've read or listened to many Stephen King books. This is one of his best stories. The characters, the well-researched history, the vehicle of the "rabbit hole" were all expertly wound together in a way that wouldn't let me stop listening. I don't often choose a book this long for listening, but time went by too fast and I found myself wishing for more. I only finished the story a short while ago, and already I miss Jake and Sadie. I am still pondering the lessons learned about the possibilities of time travel.
The narrator was superb. His varied voices helped the story along in just the right way, never interfering with or upstaging the action. Mr. Wasson is a very talented man.
Well done, Mr. King!
Thank you for sharing your story, your courage, your honest examination of a stolen life. I applaud the strength you convey in taking back your life and reconnecting with your true family. I hope that writing this book is helpful to your healing. You are an inspiration to all.
I disagree with the previous reviewer. The book begins with the author's own story, but only to help us understand the motivation behind her later work for the women in the DRC. Her travels through Congo, her efforts to help women who have suffered unspeakable tragedies are framed in the context of one American woman's attempts to offer help when so much more is needed that she cannot hope to give.
The atrocities described in this book are heart-stopping, yet so commonplace in Congo that they come across as mundane. The stories of heroism and courage are striking. It's a tough book to get through, but you have the option of taking action. I've been a Women for Women International sponsor for many years. This book gave me a perspective on how my small donation every month helps.
There is no mystery to this book - the idea of it winning a mystery award astounds me. Lots of killing, maiming, and guilt is what you'll find here. The main character tries to redeem himself - perhaps the mystery is whether he succeeds. I found my mind wandering, and when it returned to the story, it was only to hear another bout of torture. I found myself wishing to learn more about the characters' motivations, but just when I thought that was coming, you guessed it-more killing.
I love history and the opportunity to hear it from a different/funny perspective enthralled me. I was greatly disappointed with this book. It seems as if the writers were on a stream of consciousness kick. There was no logic to how the material was presented - no ongoing theme, nothing chronological, no mental paradigm to guide the reader. Once in awhile a funny point emerged which left me thinking, "Is that it?" Don't bother with this one.
If you've read enough in the thriller genre, this book will come across as interesting in parts, but not really one you look forward to getting back to. It's easy to figure out what will happen. The twist really isn't.
At least one thing that the author of this book says is true - there truly is no overall theme of this book. He tries to exhort the reader to give up on conventional wisdom, yet proceeds to substitute his own, with little sound research. He purports to present "data" for each of his conclusions, yet we hear little about each study upon which his conclusions are based. One can find a study to support just about anything one wants to believe. He contradicts his own conclusions several times throughout the book. This book did leave me thinking - but my thought was, "Why did I waste my time?"
This isn't a page-turner. It tells its story by way of each character thinking out loud, so we know a great deal about their perspective on the storyline. However, I never really felt like I believed Vincent or his reasons for changing. The author had some insights spread throughout the book, but it wasn't riveting, engaging, or one that I was sad to see end. The whole book felt flat to me.
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