When I first started this book I didn't think I would like it. Kurlansky can be a little long winded. But it gets better and better as it goes along and I really loved it.
I not only found the history of the man and frozen foods to be very interesting, but also motivational. Birdseye really dug in and made his ideas a reality.
There's a great lesson for us all. Ideas are great but action makes things happen.
Great story, well read, fun and motivational.
Get it all right here!
Chris Reich, TeachU
I wasn't impressed with this lecture series but wonder if the method of delivery might have something to do with it.
My Great Courses library contains over 25 DVD courses and they are mostly in the 90% percentile for excellence. To date I have purchased three courses on the audio format and have not been impressed with any of them. I'm not sure if it is because the audio format fails against the full video courses or if I have simply chosen courses that do not come across well in audio alone.
For example, Greenberg's Wagner course is awful. He is constantly detracting from the material with sophomoric jokes. Without the silliness, the course would be excellent. Can't blame audio for that. I also purchased the Divine Comedy course. It's like a radio program with two panelists supporting each others position. That's right Bob, Dante based his work on the Bible! Sure Dave, and he used the style of the time.
I find it a bit annoying but haven't passed judgement yet.
This course didn't appeal to me at all. I do like professor Wolfson and greatly enjoy the video series, "Physics in You Life". In this course, he speaks way too fast. I had hoped to gain some scientific insight into climate change but there really is not any new material here. Essentially it amounts to telling us the earth is getting warmer, the warming is caused by carbon and man is at the heart of the problem.
If you already understand that, save the credit.
I wanted to understand the arguments that go like this: The earth has been warmer in the past, well before man, why? How did it cool? Why was the temperature so much higher 200 million years ago? Yes, there was a mini ice age 400 years ago, why? I know these questions do not have definitive answers but I had hoped for some science on those questions.
Also, I believe Wolfson is too definite on his outlook for the future. Carbon content goes up, temperature will rise by this range. He mentions that the earth my have trigger points which could cause climate to change in an opposite direction and then dismisses that in a sentence. I'm not so sure.
The earth is a lot more complex than Venus which is always used for comparison. I don't think we can say with certainty that a temperature increase here will not cause a reaction leading to a decrease in temperature there. For example, if warming causes the heat conveyor of the Atlantic to stop delivering warmth to England, then Europe could plunge into a deep cold period. It is not clear if this is possible but the oceans distribute heat---altering currents can change climate.
Okay, this isn't about my theories. The course is rather basic and might be better in video format.
If you are completely new to the subject, give it a go. If you already have some background, you can probably skip this without missing anything.
Too fast. Too shallow.
I confess, I did not not like this book. I wanted to like it but never got there. This has a lot to do with the awful narration. Every male character sounds like an airline pilot on sleeping pills. The victim, rather, central character seems a wreck of a person who I just couldn't find any empathy for.
The story had potential but the past and present stories only fit together by a thread of irony. The "three years ago" stuff really wasn't a good vehicle to support or move the plot---it was ironic but not necessary. Think about it.
Stripping out the whole Issac thing would have cut this down to a decent read.
No, I barely could stay interested and was sorry at the end that our hero wasn't hauled off to prison for making me endure this story.
I wouldn't recommend it. But you might like it. It ain't literature folks. Taste in stories vary. You may like it. Many do.
I have purchased other courses presented by Herr Professor Greenberg and enjoyed them very much. Years ago I actually became very interested in opera through his course on opera appreciation. Having become particularly interested in Wagner's operas I was thrilled to see this course appear in Audible. Disappointment followed.
In his basic introduction to opera course, Greenberg makes periodic corny jokes but they do not detract from the content. This course, however, could be sold by the bushel for the amount of corn. Does he want us to take the subject seriously? Then why the juvenile jokes every 90 seconds? The music excerpts are a pleasant break from Greenberg's stand-up comedy.
Okay, Wagner is a big, tough subject and a little levity can break things up. Agreed. But this constant wisecracking really detracts from the depth of the subject. The girls singing while they spin in a scene from The Flying Dutchman reminds Greenberg of a Nike sweatshop? Please.
A little study of Wagner will lead you to a very complex man and a great artist. His themes are not cut and dry. Pure love doesn't always trump lust. Greed isn't always defeated by altruism. Even the gods are flawed in Wagner's great Ring Cycle. Wagner goes beyond what we would call the predictable plots of today. Bad guy gets killed, Good guy dies by some ironic error. No, Wagner twists around the plots with deep complexity---his characters are torn between choices of heaven and hell with neither choice being clear.
It's a shame to dilute this great art with silly jokes.
2 stars because there is a lot of content of value if you can ignore the childish cracks.
Finally, every one of these stand-up sessions begins and ends with canned applause. Why? If there is a "live" audience, why aren't they laughing at every joke? Maybe they didn't find it funny either? Why not add a laugh track? If we are to yuck it up for 19 hours, give us a laugh track.
If you want to learn about Wagner, get the operas on DVD and enjoy them. Pick up a biography and read it. For a much lighter experience, grab a six pack and settle in to this audio series. Greenberg will bring the corn. I cannot recommend it.
This book is perfectly written and masterfully executed audibly. The story is very deep and not a sweet love story or simple tome about family. The readers seem to get it. The professional reviews don't.
This is a book about the impact that fathers, present, unknown and absentee have on their off-spring. The reviewers seemed to have missed this entirely. The book is very profound in its treatment of the subject.
Arthur has a weight and self-esteem problem. Kel suffers from guilt about his mother and confusion about his own identity. Yolonda is bringing a baby into the world without a father. Even the satellite characters have fathers of great importance to the story as Kel reaches to the fathers of his friends for help.
The story is excellent and will hold your interest. The point is important and very profound. The delivery is excellent by both readers. This audio book has it all.
Don't miss this one.
This is indeed an interesting and well-written piece of fiction. However, even the most cursory dip into the available information on the real "Typhoid Mary" and you'll be shocked at how little of this book is based or even near the actual story. In fact, it's so far from Mary's story that I must drop stars because it pretends to be historical fiction.
Reading the other reviews really gave me a chill in that people believe they are reading history. The author borrowed a name and used a story as a backdrop to create a piece of fiction. It's disappointing. She could have called this Gonorrhea Sally and it would have been equally accurate.
So yes, the author can write an engaging story. It's a novel. But when a story is so far from reality I think it is inappropriate to use actual names. There is just too much distortion. The story would have been as good under a totally different name and then would not be guilty of gross manipulation of history.
By the way, the real story is better.
Read the book and enjoy it but don't think you're reading an historical novel. Even the language is wrong for the time.
The book is built around a clever idea and the author is certainly able to string words together. The book however is so heavily weighted with erotica that it tips into the porn category and fails to deliver much in the way of story.
I regret this book as my first experience with Nicholson Baker. His talent is obvious in that he does give some laugh out loud moments and as mentioned above, the premise is amusing. Baker skips over the difficulties of dealing with the idea of suspending time and that's just cheating in my book. He gets close to something interesting when he writes about what might happen if our "hero" stops time while driving on the freeway. Will his car stop? If so, what happens when he re-starts time for the rest of us? He fails to address this. Then the story again drops to the level of pornography. It's dull.
Can't blame the narrator. The book is well read.
Martin Amis handles adult situations far more maturely.
Not sure I'll try another Nicholson Baker book. Surely can't recommend this one.
There are so many books today following the same themes of vampires, sex and/or murder.
It is a great day when you discover something different, deeper and better.
Here's that book. A very interesting book indeed. Get some insight into the culture of India and enjoy a very engrossing story.
This is a 5 star book. Highly recommend! Perfectly presented too.
Chris Reich, TeachU
In business, I often remind managers that they really do not know where people are coming from or what is happening at a given moment in a given life. Is he waiting for test results from the doctor? Lost a relative? Facing bankruptcy?
Well, this book is a stinging look-back at what we miss.
I have some early chapters in my own life that cause me to squirm upon review.
This book hits this subject so beautifully I lack the words.
Now here's the caveat. If you are under 30 or maybe even 40, you may not really understand this book. Not yet anyway. So don't judge too harshly until you've gone a few miles...
Recommend this book?
To whom? Everyone though the younger one is, the less it might be understood.
Chris Reich, TeachU
First, I am staunchly anti Communist China. I don't like doing business China. I don't like supporting a military that will one day dominate us. I refuse to help a Chinese business in my work as a business consultant and will retire long before the day that will be necessary to make a living.
Get it? I do not like China.
But, I liked this book so much, it changed me.
The book softened me on my feelings about the people of China who want and care about many of the same things we do---we are just competing for limited resources.
I'm still very anti China but I have a lot more empathy for the people as a result of this book.
Of all the books about modern China, this one gives a totally different look than any of the others. It's not political. It's just a really nice look at what life is like in China.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes culture and wants to understand the world.
it might even change you!
Chris Reich, TeachU
Indeed we are becoming a country of idiots and this book points out many of the really stupid things people in this country believe.
I personally do not care if people believe that the earth is 6,000 years old. Everyone, myself included, has at least one totally irrational belief in their baggage.
My objection to the beliefs of others is inflamed when nutty beliefs are taught in schools or guide important political policies. No, a 6,000 year old earth is not a different point of view deserving equal time with evolution; it's nutty. I hate to see kids taught that nonsense by their parents but hey, it's a free country. And that, sadly, is the point.
So, like me, you'll read this to reinforce what you already believe. Or you will spit nails over your right to believe these nutty things and see it as yet another attack on god-fearing people.
If you're not in the nut wing, you'll get a few really good laughs and in the end, you'll feel a little sad.
Go for it. I highly recommend this book.
Chris Reich, TeachU
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