This book examines the phenomenon of religious fundamentalism or extremism by examining the Mormon Church and its fundamentalist factions. I understand that these groups are not part of the official Mormon Church, but Krakauer attempts to identify how the religion allows a social space for these cults to form. It was entertaining and seemed well researched, giving one perspective of the history of Mormonism. I bought this book because I really wanted to read it and only had the time during a recent driving trip. I can't help but feel a little cheated because it was abridged. There were several times when events were recapped repeatedly in close proximity. These summaries were perhaps essential in the original version, when you might need a reminder of what happen 5 chapters earlier. However, the frequent recaps in the abridged version felt redundant. Overall, I am glad I bought it; I just wish it was available unabridged.
I just finished Blink and I am back at Audible to purchase The Tipping Point. Although this book is rather light reading, I am familiar with enough of the science to know it is solid. He makes the work of some brilliant, cutting-edge scientists accessible to a range of readers. I found the book provocative and would recommended it for anyone who is in a position to make important snap decisions (firefighters, police, nurses, paramedics, etc.). Contemplating the situations described in this book has changed my perspective of the world and how I interact with it. For example, as a college professor, I paid special attention to the first few minutes of class while introducing myself to new students, planning how I projected my persona. I created the image I wanted the students to have.
My only criticism is that it seemed rather repetitive after a while and could have been much shorter. Yet, I could understand that he was recapping and clustering points he made in the text. I would imagine that this technique enables those for whom this information is new to fully digest it.
The title is a bit of a misnomer, unless you see science and math as "everything." I thought it was a rather dry amble through major developments in scientific thought. There was absolutely no critical analysis or commentary. Yes, the great scientific thinkers were amazing, but how has history and thought been influenced by science? And visa versa? I love Bryson and I don't write him off because I wasn't fond of this book. It is hard to tell how much was lost in the abridged version.
The success of an audiobook depends upon both the writing and the narration. Both are excellent in this production. The narrator interprets this wonderful story skillfully. He brings Pi alive and transports us into his world so that I was lured into believing the unbelievable.
I got this book because I really enjoyed the movie "Fight Club." I was a little unnerved by the extensive and raw description of what goes on in the mind of a sex addict. Though this was disturbing, I found the book compelling. In the end I felt that the author's narration set the perfect tone. I enjoyed my little journey in someone else's mind--a reminder that the world is composed of all kinds.
I generally like sci-fi, and this book was entertaining enough that I enjoyed my listen. However, I found the story in-credible and the concept wholly exploitative of the child characters. I think this book satisfies a adolescent male fantasy for beneficient power and dominance. The thought of saving all of humanity without realizing what you are doing did nothing for me. The fact that Ender, as he matured, attempted to amend any wrongs he may have committed was commendable and made him a somewhat sympathetic character. I am surprized to see so many raving reviews of this book.
These stories are best read aloud by the author. I would warn against listening to this while driving. I never knew when I was going to be incapacitated by fits of laughter. Sedaris has a way of making the mundane absurd, of looking holding a mirror up to himself and interpreting what he sees. Peeking at his life makes it easier for me to take myself less seriously.
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