Sarasota, FL, United States | Member Since 2007
This book will tell you everything you wanted to know about prohibition, plus everything you didn't want to know. Too bad a good editor didn't tell the author to cut ruthlessly! Too many details left me overwhelmed, and the writer's style is workmanlike but not memorable. More beer than champagne.
I probably will avoid Daniel Okrent in future.
The reader, like the writer, is workmanlike but not especially enthralling or seductive.
Could be a TV documentary, in fact I think there is one, but it would have to be sharply condensed and livened up.
The musical intros are hokey and predictable. The era deserves better than this.
Here we go again! The disaffected daughters write their wrongs. If William Styron were not the powerful writer he was, and did not suffer the incredible pain of his mental illness and his alcoholism, his daughter probably would not have a publisher. The story is predictable--he went from difficult to impossible--but engaging because of who he was, and his talent; she seems to be riding on his name and reputation. Nevertheless, worth the listen because of him and the story, although predictable, of what it's like to grow up with a mentally ill genius.
Cynthia Ozick might just be the greatest living American writer. This story is so perfect, so brilliantly written, it should not be missed by anyone.
I found nothing in this book that I didn't already know, but appreciated the authors' heartfelt attempts to be consoling and practical. Written on an eighth-grade reading level, it will contain cognitive therapy insights only for the unsophisticated, and not much for the unspeakable agony of an educated survivor. Such folk should stick with Joyce Carol Oates and Joan Didion. The performance leaves something to be desired, too, because the reader mispronounces words repeatedly, such as "et cetera," not a real challenge, as "ek cetera." Some of the quoted authors have their names mispronounced as well.
But the worst aspect of this book is that gay survivors simply do not exist for these authors. The unique problems that beset us get not even a token mention. And we are likely to be among the most devastated, because of the lack of family and legal protections. If the authors do a third edition, perhaps they will give us the dignity of not being invisible in yet another way.
Sick and tired of today's world? Let Alison Weir take you on a fabulous time journey to 16th- century England, where heads roll, plots abound, virtue and vice live and die side by side. This is an absolutely delicious book, scholarly but highly accessible, romantic and exciting but educational, with a remarkable heroine both admirable and tragic. The readers are first-rate, great voices, classy accents, perfect renditions, just mesmerizing. The author knows her history and knows how to serve it up as a tasty confection for the mind.
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