This is a wonderful story perfectly read. I would say no more but would fail to meet the Audible review requirements!
There is some real history here---read also The Ten Cent Plague---wrapped around the stories of two cousins. The stories are tragic but not overly depressing. The author somewhat gets us to a happy place by the end---not a perfect story book ending but that would demean some of the serious points this book makes. I love books that build compassion for people.
I have around 1500 audio books in my library. When I finish something really, really good, it can be insanely difficult to start, or rather get into, a new book. If you find yourself in that position, here you go! I had to listen to the first half hour a couple of times and then I was completely hooked.
This book is not for adults. It's a book for kids who are looking for a rather soap opera style "me and my gay angst" book.
This about the third book I've fallen into based on reviews of originality and great story lines that simply aren't there. There is little in an audio book I dislike more than launching into an anticipated listen only to discover it's some hack teen pap that lies about 10 notches below Dog with a Blog.
Oh me, I'm kissing a boy! Yahoo. Whoopeeee. Deep stuff.
If you are over 14 years old this will be below your maturity level. Skip it.
Since I'm on a nasty tear I might as well slam the narrator. MacLeod Andrews can turn an 18 year old boy/man into a whiny 11 year old. He has a gift. I've not heard such sappy narration in a book read by anyone else. No 17, 18, 19 year old would sound as deserving of a kick in the butt with an admonition to grow up as the characters Andrews portrays.
Am I angry? Probably. I wasn't paying attention and stepped in this mess right after cleaning my shoes of "Jumper", an equally awful book.
So, 12-13 year olds can ignore this if your standards are relatively low. 14 - 18 year olds? I'm sorry for you if you think is worth your time. If you are over 18? Well, stay away from playgrounds please.
Audible: PLEASE MARK CHILDREN'S BOOK AS SUCH.
Final Note. Am I just anti teen? NO. Read Skippy Dies. It's BRILLIANT. Read the Virgin Suicides. BRILLIANT. It can be done.
You have to give this book a chance. It's a little rough to get started but once you catch all the implications, it's a funny and brilliant look at academia and humanity.
I laughed out loud at a few lines and then I felt this rather sad pathos start to come over me. It's just a spoof, right? A brilliant spoof, but the book is merely satire and so we shouldn't be disturbed by it. But it is disturbing and it runs a lot deeper than spoof.
The feeling you'll experience are real.
Even the title...
Give it a chance. Buy a hard copy. Try. It's certainly one of the finest assembly of words ever.
I hate to write a trite review about a great book so I won't. I won't recap the story.
I will say that if you are male and have 40+ years under your belt, you will enjoy and be deeply touched by this incredible book. All others? You probably like it, maybe a lot.
This, I believe, is a book men need to read. And women? You'll get the inside scoop on the male psyche.
Don't miss this masterpiece.
This is the same stuff that I have been teaching in my presentation training classes for years. Steve Jobs didn't invent this technique, he learned it. How? He took the time to study.
Still, the book has a ton of great material---I really liked it until I hit the Joel Olsteen stuff. I personally don't care for or feel trust in the Olsteen machine.
So yes, if you are new to presenting, this will your first exposure to much of this material. If you're a seasoned speaker, stick with your own style.
After a very disappointing Wagner course followed by a stupendous Shostakovich course, I decided to put Greenberg in the lineup once again. This course started rather pleasantly with solid biographical background and excellent musical analysis of Stravinsky's early life and works. There's the typical Greenberg train wreck at about mid way through. He launches into a sort of "whose on first" dialogue about Stravinsky and another artist discussing a new piece.
Again, the jokes. This time we get a full routine smack in the middle of a serious discussion about World War 1 and the Russian Revolution. From there out, we get the usual corny Greenberg humor but not in as strong an application as usual. Perhaps his seemingly endless parody satisfied the frustrated comedian long enough to limp through the remaining lectures without need to ham it up?
I did learn from the course and enjoyed it for the most part. I am, however, weary of Greenberg's jokes which detract much from the subject matter. If you want to learn a bit about Stravinsky and get some insight into the technical aspects of his music, buy the course knowing you'll have to endure some bad humor.
The Great Courses should consider adding a couple of other music experts to their stable. It would be wonderful to have some variety in this category.
While not a home run, the course is a hit that will get you to first base of Stravinsky understanding. It's got some solid content and Greenberg obviously knows his stuff. Scale way back on the sophomoric humor and this would be a much better course.
No, this isn't an adult book disguised as a pre-teen book. It's a kids book at best. The writing is horrible---aimed at a grade 6 level---maybe. The reading is childish---"LYBERRY" for liBRaRy?
The reviewers who claim this is really a grownup book are misleading...
That said, kid's fantasy, escape books may be your favorite read. If so, you might enjoy this. When I was 12, I read the Heart is a Lonely Hunter and liked it. I also liked 1984 and Animal Farm. So I think even kids will find this pretty boring stuff.
But, I'm not the boss of you. It's your credit.
There might be a decent story hidden in there but this narrator is awful. I can't tell half the time if I'm replaying something I've already heard---it seems to just ramble around senselessly.
This is some of the worst reading I've heard on Audible. Very disappointed as I was looking forward to a saga that wasn't loaded with old English.
This book lays bare the mythology we have bought for years about our glorious nation under god. Turns out there's a reason we believe we're special---part of the trappings of power. I agree.
Every American should read this book and learn. Learn that neither party has the honesty market cornered. Nope, you can't even say that one party is a little better than the other party. The lies both parties have told us have cost thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars in treasure. From Johnson to Obama, we haven't had a truly honest man in the White House.
We're not talking about little lies either. Big stuff.
Please give this book a listen. Then buy a few copies of the print version and give them as gifts---or curses. It's pretty rough to face the myths we believe in.
This book made my annual Bloomsday read of Ulysses even more meaningful. I gained new insight into Joyce and the struggle to get the greatest novel written published.
This book gives a lot more detail about the struggle with health that Joyce went through. Most biographies somewhat gloss over the health problems and especially the root cause of his eye problems: syphilis. The book makes me wonder about his daughter's madness. Certainly Joyce's wife contracted the disease and likely passed it to the children since both were born prior to the development of antibiotics. Was Lucia's madness a result of syphilis?
This is well presented though the pronunciation at times seems dicey. I swear the reader mispronounces the name of the very book, Ulysses, for the first 2/3rds of the book. Then, almost as though someone catches it, he starts pronouncing it correctly.
What do you think? Am I hearing it wrong?
Anyway, I highly recommend this book if you're a Joyce fan.
While there are a few interesting things in this book and it is well read; it's pretty dull. I love science and particularly the science of household things, common stuff. But this is just too much kitchen chemistry. I believe this is a second volume? It feels like a lot of left over material or an attempt to find some more material after writing a successful book.
I just didn't like it. That doesn't mean you won't. It is, as stated above, well read. That goes a long way with audio books.
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