Member Since 2004
This is among the top three (of several hundred).
The talking drums stuck with me. I have told that story over and over.
The story of several families, over decades, told by various members points of view.
I liked how an ancillary character introduced in one chapter would become a narrator in subsequent chapters. I liked figuring out who was talking, their age, location and circumstances.
In "Kite Runner" Dr. Hosseini managed to interest me in a story of his homeland. In "A Thousand Splendid Suns," he impressed me with his ability to write convincing female characters. In this novel I RELISHED the variety of narrator voices, the intricacy of the story, and the profiles of humanity.
Perhaps. I read it BECAUSE Doris Kearns Goodwin had written it. I've seen her on PBS, and I've always liked her work.
Sadly, Mr. Runger, I will be avoiding your narrations in the future.
Ms. Goodwin's thorough research.
1. He has a melodromatic style. Remember Gary Owens, the announcer on "Laugh In" who "over did" his narration. Mr. Runger has that style. Sadly, I fear he is not trying to be ironic or comedic as Mr. Owens certainly was.
2. His women, especially Elanor (Elanor Franklin for goodness sake) were thin, wispy, vapid.
3. I finished the whole book. I did not enjoy it, I ENDURED it. The reading was very, very difficult to abide.
No, it is far too long.
This is my candidate for the best book of the decade. It has a challenging premise that is fully documented with facts and data. I could not believe that a book of such detail, and scientific data could be so gripping in the audio format. I have quoted from the book over and over. I bought a print copy so I could get the charts and footnotes. I loved it!
I find it distracting when words are pronounced wrong.
Here are two:
1. Synapses - I've never heard it pronounced "sigh-naps-es" except in this book.
2. Kluge - I understand that a few folks say Kl-UH-dge, but the cognoscenti I know say kl-oo-ge. Less distracting because if appears less frequently.
I've been an avid listener to Friedman's earlier works. Part of the interest in his work has been the passionate way he developed his theses and the personal touches of his stories. This book has a different reader, and frankly it falls flat with this performance. The material is good, the points are well made, the illustrative stories are memorable, all typical fodder that I've come to expect from Friedman; however, the reader here is trying too hard to put the emPHasis on the right sylLABles, and the performance comes off as contrived and melodramatic in some places, tepid and bland in others. I was truly disappointed by that aspect of the audio book. A colleague who also listened to it gave up less than 1/3 of the way through because he was so put off by the reader. This book is a disappointment.
I have listened to this entire series, some several times. I can't agree more with the reviewer who says that Patrick Tull's naration is far and away much, much better. He breaths life, emotion and individuality into each of the charcters that this rather dryer reading does not. Four stars for a good book, but only four becuase the reading is not up to Tull's quality.
Excellent! I have been trying to learn more about the Middle East and the tensions related to the region, especially since 9/11. THIS BOOK has uniquely explained many unique insights that were not available in most of the "histories of the Middle East" I could find. Friedman's insignts and analyses (culturally, economically, and politically) are crisp and accessible.
I'm recommending this book to everyone I know!
Thanks Mr. Friedman for your work!
Keep it up!
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