We (3 of our family of 4) enjoy books that address non-fiction topics and this book did not disappoint. It is the first Michael Pollan book I have read, but if it had not been designated as one of my book club reads, I would have avoided it due to the narrator. I dislike Scott Brick and, unfortunately, he is a prolific narrator. However, on this book, I found that I could overlook Mr. Brick's whiney nasal tone because of the quality of the writing. Michael Pollan presents the idea that plants, he uses 4 examples, have evolved desirable traits especially for humans for the purpose of increasing the plants chances of survival. Though I was not convinced that plants are in control of us, I did earn some great historical facts. As a gardener myself, I found the author's personal gardening experiences especial appealing.
This book really disturbed me.
First, if the parents had responded sooner to the boy's illness, he would not have had the hallucinations about heaven. Second, no matter how often the father claimed that he was guiltless in leading the boy to describe "heaven", I can not agree and feel the child was manipulated. Last, when is war, violence and discrimination going to end if not in "heaven"?
I gritted my teeth and listened to this book because it was the choice for my book club for April.
This was the worse narrator for any new or, for that matter, old book in our library. Imagine a - dash - between - each - word and that is how the narrator came across to me. What in the world was the director thinking to allow this? Certainly, people during that time period did not pause in between each word they spoke!
The story was well done and I strongly suggest that this book be read the old-fashioned way.
In anticipation of the HBO production and the release of this book, I re-listened to the first 4 books. Books 1, 2 & 3 were such a pleasure, thanks to Roy Dotrice and the life he brought to the characters. I gritted my teeth through book 4 (had read the paper version the first time) telling myself I could stand it because Dotrice was to be the narrator for book 5. Well, what a huge let down that turned out to be. I echo what so many others have already commented on. Why in the world did Dotrice change the voices for so many critical characters? Argh! Also, though the world R.R. Martin has created is a cruel one, up to now he managed to convey this to the reader without unnecessary crudeness. I think book 5 was crass and, in some cases, offensive. With more of the story to come, I just hope Book 6 is better.
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