Beautifully written, accessible and lively account of the underlying factors that have governed human development, the factors that seek to undermine it and why we have cause for optimism about our future.
This is a wide-ranging book which uses economic, historical and biological evidence to cast doubt on the perpetual doom-mongers that dominate popular discourse.
A fundamental strength of this book is that it explains the mechanism underpinning growth, innovation and prosperity. Few people have a grasp of this mechanism and, so he argues, they underestimate its ability to improve our well-being and argue for policies which harm or undermine its operation.
This is not a simplistic ideological book of the Right. In fact, he is critical of some aspects of capitalism and envisions a future world that follows Marx's principle of 'from each according to their ability, to each according to their need'. An enlightening and thought-provoking book.
The only disappointment was the narration. There were some shockingly bad mis-pronouncations which seemed to suggest that the narrator knew nothing or cared little about what he was reading.
I normally spread my listening of a book out over a few weeks but the honest, detailed and shocking story that is told meant that I got through it in less than two days.
The book gives an exceptionally good sense of how riding and doping at the professional level worked. The detail about the relationship between riders, doctors and the UCI provides a compelling story about what made professional cycling tick.
For fun I'd suggest you listen to Armstrong's It's Not About The Bike and then listen to this book. The image Lance portrays of himself in the former and the picture painted of him by Tyler could not be more different.
The author of last year's Audible.com's Best Mystery or Thriller strikes again, only this book is even better. There is an enormous degree of sublety and sophistication in this book, both in the plot and the vivid atmosphere created of 1980s Northern Ireland. McKinty always treats the reader as intelligent in his unwillingness to paint a black and white picture of the 'troubles'. He also builds a drum-tight plot which weaves fictional and true characters together. There's a lot of tounge in cheek humor at the expense of some of these character's bloated egos, too.All of these features make this a brilliant book, but the superb narration by Doyle works to make something sublime.
Stuart Neville's The Ghosts of Belfast. Detail, sophistication and grittiness
Be in no doubt, this writer has talent. Like his other books, 50G is beautifully written. There's mountains of wit, intelligence and world-weary knowledge in this book. The intricate and entralling plot builds to a crescendo which left me stunned. Easily the best book I've listened to this year.
My symapthy for him faded fast when it became clear that he had been reckless in taking few provisions and failing to tell anyone where he was going. I then became increasingly irritated I listened to his rather vacuous 'deep thoughts' while he stood there with his arm trapped. It was glaringly obvious what he needed to do all along and I got fed up waiting for the inevitable. I came to the conclusion that Aron is not a very bright man. If you want real suffering, listen to 'The Worst Journey'.
Perhaps I was expecting too much after listening to wonderful books like 'The Worst Journey in the World' and 'Into Thin Air' but it all felt rather superficial. Partly this is due to the fact that the book is quite short and the descriptions are inevitably brief. I really found it difficult to get a sense of the trauma they must have gone through since the book is too busy describing events rather than building a sense of what they were enduring. All of this, however, pales into insignificance against the unbearably annoying music and sound effects. What was the point?
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