Anyone who likes Heinlein's work should enjoy this story. It's not one of my favorites, but it _is_ Heinlein and that is always worth a read/listen.
This tale deals with throwing off the myths and stories of youth and taking healthy skepticism in appropriate directions.
I'm familiar with the reader from his work on The Dice Tower podcast but this was my first encounter with his professional life. I was very pleased with the variety of voices he used. He captured the flavor of Heinlein's work very successfully, making the story flow effortlessly.
I've always enjoyed subscribing to the paper version of Science News, but end up letting it slide because I don't have time to read it. The audio format is perfect for me as it takes less than one day's commute to listen to an issue. In fact, I usually end up listening to it while doing chores over the weekend, so the commuting time is left for other periodicals, books and podcasts.
The only downside for Science News is the reader. It seems like he's reading it cold and his emphasis on sentences and understanding of the rhythm of punctuation throws me off over and over. Sometimes it's hard to tell that he's started a new article, even when he says he's doing it, since there's no perceivable gap at a period. I've had to rewind on a number of occasions to make sure I understood a sentence or paragraph because his reading slurs parts of it together. Longer articles do seem to be better and I wonder if he previews them before reading. In any case, I'd like to subscribe to Scientific American but with the same reader I'm reluctant to do so. With so many great readers in the audio community, it's unfortunate that Science News isn't up to snuff.
The reading isn't a deal killer, but every week there are times I'm inclined to let this subscription expire, too. That would be a real shame because Science News continues to provide an excellent resource for keeping up with the world of scientific research.
Wilson's book is an accessible presentation of current thinking in sociobiology. He presents his views on the state of the science clearly, fairly representing varying viewpoints, though, of course, his own ideas prevail in this book. It is an interesting review of the evolution of his own thinking as various hypotheses and theories have risen and themselves evolved over the past half century. It is a wonderful explication of the process of science at the same time that it describes one aspect of science.
I particularly appreciated Wilson's hope that the sciences, humanities and social sciences will find more mutual understanding as they all seek to describe and improve the human condition.
Hogan does a masterful job of presenting Wilson's work. I suspect that if I heard Wilson speak, I would be surprised that he didn't sound like Hogan.
Promoters of creationism make me crazy and Coyne's book is a wonderful antidote to their misrepresentations of modern biological science. I will be listening to this one again soon.
I first read this book over 40 years ago and it left a strong impression. Nonetheless, I was pleased to discover that it still tells a powerful story of the insanity that was Nazi Germany. So many details had slipped away over the years, that listening was a very fresh experience.
The author's on-site presence for many of the early events in the narrative provided a unique view of the rise of the Nazi's and his access to many of the main players and their records, so soon after the war, provide an historical view that holds up surprisingly well 50 years after it was written. It is definitely a book of its time and the politically correct will find fault with the author's views on a couple of sensitive issues.
The narration is excellent, entirely appropriate to the subject and easy to listen to for the many, many hours it takes.
I've enjoyed reading Caesar's works for decades. This let me revisit it while on the road and puttering at various tasks around the house. It is a story I'll return to.
The obvious example is the Gallic War by Caesar. It is also a well told story written by a major participant. Like this one, it's entertaining to look for Caesar's self aggrandizement, though he hides it well.
I chose this version of Caesar because of Robin Field's reading. Once again he makes me feel that I'm listening to the author. I'll be looking for more of his work.
Caesar's generosity to his opponents, particularly to the legionaries, but also to their commanders, is a stark contrast to the massacres of his followers by those same opponents. Undoubtedly there's some exaggeration on his part, but his popularity with the common Roman soldier and man in the street is more understandable from seeing his approach to the conflict.
I bought this on a whim from one of the sales and was delightfully surprised. The story is hilarious as it marvelously twists from one crisis to another. The denouement did catch me by surprise.
The reader gave a great rendering of the story adding to its already obvious charms.
Emperor Mollusk is a great character and his author does him justice in this tale.
I picked up this book after watching the movie and was pleased to recognize the story and characters. The author gives a convincing portrayal of mid-teens caught in a horrible situation, all reacting in different ways. The characterization helps us to understand the individuals reactions even with the large cast. I did feel that I knew most of the characters at least a little by the time they died.
The author also does an excellent job of set the stage for his tale. There is enough background to understand the society in which the events take place and he delivers it at appropriate times during the story. There is a bit of repetition in a few places, usually as we move from one chapter to another which could have used some editorial trimming, but the narrative moves along so quickly that it's soon forgotten.
The map and list of characters to print out was helpful. Like the students I was keeping track of the forbidden zones and the casualties. The Japanese names weren't an issue for me, but there were so many to keep track of!
There were a few technical issues with the recording with small skips but they were only minor annoyances. Likewise, the translation had a few odd moments and the reader, who did very well with the Japanese names, flubs coop (i.e., co-op) consistently. Again, minor issues with an otherwise excellent reading.
After watching the film and listening to the book, I doubt I'll bother with The Hunger Games.
The writing and reading went together seamlessly. It felt as if I was listening to Grant tell his own story.
I haven't listened to other performances by Field, but I will be!
With a story as grand and terrible as that of a civil war it's hard to choose one moment. Grant's dismay at the loss of life at Cold Harbor is particularly poignant as he recognized its futility and his responsibility for it.
To get the full picture of Grant's story, be sure to listen to the Appendix. These official reports offer insight into his decision making process that is sometimes missing from the narrative in the Memoirs proper.
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