You are taken through the full life of John Quincy Adams. The strength and weakness is that if feels like it is strictly from his point of view. The author often states that information is drawn from Mr. Adams private journal. As such, there is no great perspective on the former President's actions and achievements. That being said, it is well written and tells a great story. It is a great way to learn about a distinguished gentleman that lived an amazing life, but does not suffice as the definitive summary.
Much of the book was interesting, but it was overly long. This is one that I would recommend reading so you can skim very quickly. Aside from having way too much detail in some places, it was hard to get a feel for Jobs. Clearly, he was not a particularly nice person, but he had some very loyal friends even after he screwed them. He was described as having a great deal of charisma, but that primarily came across as words as opposed to feeling it. The style of the book was to intermix chronological with details of certain aspects of his life such as his illness. The transitions seemed located to build excitement rather than for the ease of understanding the narrative. Finally, the tone of the book changed when Jobs returned to Apple. Before that, very few of the stories gave me a positive feel for him. After the return, much more of the story was in a positive light. It felt like a switch was flipped for a rebirth and growth as a human. It was not until the last couple of chapters that I felt drawn into the feelings of the people in the book.
I am not opposed to long books, such as a recently completed 50 hour history, but this one dragged. The author clearly needed a better editor. As noted, there is a lot of interesting material, but it could have been much tighter.
In the Ender and Shadow world, I have found that 1/2 or 2/3 of the books are good and the rest adequate and entertaining. This falls in the latter category. It started slow, but picked up steam in the middle and I was listening to it in all my spare moments. The audio contains an afterward by the author that mentions an additional book soon. Hopefully, this comparatively weak fare is setting up something stronger.
I am often not a fan of true comedy novels, but Lamb seldom goes too far over the top. It even seems to intersperse real historical research and knowledge and an overall plausible implausibility. Fisher Stevens is the perfect narrator for this story. If you do not mind jokes about sex and religion, give it a try.
By just the title, I had envisioned a business book. However, this was more pop science and history. This is great if you are interested in learning about Darwin's exploits, but probably less so if you want a self help book.
The first half was pretty good, but the second half tended to drift from the home to society. Way too much time was spent describing disease, hygiene and sewage relative to the other topics.
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