Quite an investment in time, but worth the effort in my judgement. I downloaded this book Jan 30th and didn't finish until June 8th! 53 hours and 38 mins later, I'm still a little confused on some of the plotlines. Nevertheless, the concepts I did understand are brilliant and the character names are like Dickens on steroids. Pynchon has a knack for presenting ideas or observations in a couple of pages that other authors would use to fill an entire book. The wit is very smart, all sorts of sly allusions to history and pop culture abound. Worth the effort for me but, as the WSJ and NYT said in their reviews, this book isn't for everyone. There were times when I thought it might not be for me either, but I persevered and am glad I did. The narrator was excellent, it's got to be quite a challenge to deal with this many characters, the sheer size and all of the mathematical terms, scientific jargon and strange locales.
I knew little about N. Korea prior to reading this book, just the usual inch deep news coverage and an occasional 60 Minutes or 20/20 story that went a little deeper. Those stories usually include pictures of giant celebrations for Kim Jong Il put on by brainwashed citizens. They almost make you pity the gullible N. Koreans. This book, on the other hand, tells the human stories behind the propaganda and the untold truth and knowledge that is known to all of those supposedly brainwashed people. I found myself quickly fascinated by the lives of the families chronicled. The book takes place mostly after Kim Il Sung's death and relays the impact of the rapid spiral downward the country takes after the fall of communism. While tragic at times, the book doesn't focus on tragedy to be exploitative, it just tells the stories as they happened from the mouths of the survivors. It humanizes the people behind the evil regime and what happens to them once they leave N. Korea into modern society. Fascinating, well written and informative, I highly recommend this book. The author reminds me a little of Jon Krakauer in the way she's able to craft non-fiction into a compelling narrative.
I read the reviews and was a little hesitant. I went in thinking I'd get a good '70's Irwin Allen style disaster story. It's that but better, more philosophical that I thought it would be. For those decrying the dated references to telegrams and the like, get over it! It does nothing to the story and I found it interesting and quaint. And once the comet hits, the dated technology is no longer relevant. It reminded me a little of "One Second After", which I also enjoyed. Check out the newly released on Audible "Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse" if you like this genre.
This is a tough call - the writing is beautiful and I really got into the characters. Highly recommended for dog lovers. The author has a knack for descriptions and I actually liked the way he tells the story from different perspectives, even the dogs, which is unique. It's definitely not predictable, I was guessing all the way. The ending is a shocker, doesn't seem to match up to the measured, careful setup throughout the rest of the book. Maybe it's over my head, but I really can't figure out why he's end it that way. Still recommended ...
Thoroughly enjoyed this one, one of my favorites on Audible so far. The paranoia of Stalin era USSR is well conveyed and the story is good to boot. Leo is a complex and interesting protagonist and the book sets up a sequel and series quite nicely. Can't wait for the next one, call me a Tom Rob Smith fan!
Loved it, would have been 5 stars if unabridged, I left wanting more. Really enjoyed the listen, it takes you from the insanity of the dead rising to the day-to-day logistics and reality of what would happen if they did. Very realistic and believable, would make an excellent series.
After listening to this first rate analysis of the assassination and various conspiracies you'll be hard pressed not to laugh in anyone's face that thinks Oswald didn't do it alone. Some say Bugliosi is too smarmy in his deflections, but honestly, after the nonsense has persisted for this long, I don't blame him. Great listen, download it now and put this case to rest for good.
Definitely one of the best audiobooks I've heard on Audible. The story is compelling, lots of twists, turns and schemes. The characters are well drawn and the villians are especially malevolent. Gives you a good feel for life in the 12th century and how the two powers (church and monarchy) rule the lives of ordinary people. The narrator is first rate too, I can't wait to hear the sequel!
First rate adventure, I especially appreciated the extended epilogue with the author and main players. Prichard is solid as always.
I really enjoyed this one, got thru it much faster than usual. Found myself extending my drives and walks to hear more. Wright has obviously done his homework here, as evidenced by the Pulitzer. It's extremely well researched and thought-provoking. The book focuses primarily on the backgrounds and actions of Bin Laden, Zawahiri and John O'Neill and really gets you into the minds of these men. It's sad to hear how stymied the FBI agents were by "The Wall" and CIA in-fighting. Everyone knows how it ends of course, but the journey there was fascinating for me.
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