This book is so good in so many ways it is hard to know where to start. The reader who is also the author gives a sterling performance.
The character development (which is so often lacking in so many of today's works) is fantastic. The viewpoint of rural versus urban is also fantastic. I know, I was born rural and moved to the city. The culture shock is quite shocking. Now the reverse is happening, urban or suburban raised going to the country and watching that has been very interesting! Anyways I absolutely love Barbara Kingsolver and read every word she writes. I think she is one of the urban to rural people with the ability to understand and adequately show to all of us the difference in life experiences and knowledge. From this book I get the feeling that she understands the rural poor, especially those who get stuck in 18th century thought and stay there. I meet them weekly in my trips to the local feed store. These denizens hang on to their Fox News with all their might in the hopes that all is well.
The part which is a phenomenal accomplishment is the part where the author through her main characters explain climate change to others. It is the best rebuttal to all the naysayers I have read and Ms. Kingsolver should be the voice for that type of education in all media and everywhere. She gave many acknowledgements in her book to many different people, including Bill McKibben, but her clear explanation of climate change and its proofs left me awed and I had read Bill McKibben.
At an emotional level, the death of a species is another horrible theme of the book and maybe even a little hope is there for overnight or at least one or two generation evolution. Lyall Watson has written a book on quick evolution and proved it. There is the same hope here.
This past year, a single monarch feasted on a sunflower plant in my yard. I live north of the fire ant invasion now in Texas and in a much earlier year I happened outside just as the large monarch butterfly population was heading towards Mexico via the Texas Hill Country 30 miles north of San Antonio and 150 miles south of where I now live seeing the single monarch. That vision near San Antonio of the delicate filtering of millions of these beautiful butterflies I count as one of the premiere memories I have. The other was when about 20 whooping cranes passed overhead on the way to the Texas coast also near San Antonio, Texas.
I ordered milkweed seeds from the group that advocates planting them via the net and I didn't get them in the ground. I will this year though before I plant anything else come spring. Since non-green government took over the State of Texas, they are spraying herbicides on the freeways and roadsides again, but for a while no spraying was done and no mowing was done where a field of flowers lived. Ignorance and stupidity keeps washing back into politics. We are all monarch butterflies because of it. This summer was mostly over 100 degrees with very little rain. I grow my own, but the only garden plant that survived were the weeds. I have learned to love weed salad!
I am of the generation alive when the movie came out of which this novel is concerning. I knew the author was Edna Ferber but until I listened to some of her audiobooks I had no idea what a truly wonderful writer she is or should we say "was," though once a wonderful writer always a wonderful writer even after dead. Now I am angry at having to read what was alleged to be women's literature in my high school and college classes. Researching now I find so many more worthy women writers in the past than those given out as good, Edna Ferber being the first on the list. Hollywood trivialized her and academia ignored her.
I have to find out who Edward Ifkovic is and what factual basis there is, if any, in this interesting book. I will start by reading any other reviews here. A great performance and a "feminist" viewpoint that could well be that of Edna Ferber. I recommend more Edna Ferber audiobooks, although so many are now in the public domain. "Gigolo" is free in a Kindle edition.
This is really a very hard book to follow because the listener never knows when the reader, Mr. Pinchot, is quoting in the text another author and when he is back to reading the author, Mr. Pierce. Other readers pause or use other verbal cues to indicate the end of a quote, but this reader fails us in that respect.
Additionally being from the rural South I really disliked Mr. Pierce's putdown of rural people and their lack of intelligence in one way or another throughout. Even his political views were confused--sometimes he sounded more like a rabid conservative than a person who might question dominant fairy tales like 911 the result of some men in a plane where overwhelming scientific minds of highly reputable repute have differed. It is almost like he wants us to believe he is an original thinker and not an idiot where most of his views indicate otherwise.
In his beliefs on Kennedy, he does not state whether the lone nut job is true or not to his mind, but he says if as indicated most Americans believe it is not a lone nut job, then he states, Americans should do something about it! The overwhelming power that government now has over its people and had even in the 1960s and 1970s (the shootings at Kent State being evidence of that) means that Americans can't do anything about anything government does, short of a 100% sitdown strike, which really doesn't happen at any time in history until the masses face starvation or rebellion. Being shot in the head in a strike or dying from starvation, the shot in the head is probably the best way to go. As long as government somehow manages to convince a few of the "stupid" rural people that Pierce runs on about to grow corn or potatoes, there will be enough empty calories of one sort or another to ward off stomach pains and therefore desperation.
I am not a great fan of science fiction, but this was fascinating and funny. The narrator was very professional and believable, except perhaps for his cat meow!
What is wonderful is that felines are once again back in the world at the end! A must-read or listen for all cat lovers! And dog lovers!
As a listener/reader the same age as the author's parents and part of the mindset to "return to the land," but not successful either as her parents weren't, I could relate to the author's background. However, I would have loved to see my offspring grow up to be her. I loved every minute and every word of this book. I will probably listen to it numerous times. She makes no mention of the impending food crisis in our nation as farmers who try to live by farming all die off with no replacements, except for a few stalwarts like the author of this book. And, with the impending loss of cheap transport fuels, urban farms will be the only option for a viable food production system in the future.
This book should encourage more and more urban farms, including the raising of a pig. Modern research has shown that humans evolved our big brains from meat protein and cooking.
And, once you taste, "natural" meats and vegies, you won't go back to the shipped stuff unless you are indeed starving!
This was the most tedious, boring book I have ever listened to. However, it seems the author in her viewpoint is as confused as Beck. Beck sees danger in our future. The author sees none. No mention of the perils of our times by this author. The author seems to think all is well with the things that are. No mention of oil depletion, worldwide climate change, loss of civil rights, the loss of arable land and decreased ground water to feed and alleviate the thirst of increasing numbers of humans, the loss of nutrition from foods grown in depleted soil, or the undue influence of rich, profit-minded corporations in all of our legislative bodies. So who is the clown?
Being female and observing females of many species, I have found that female equates to interest in food and male equates to interest in something else, need I say? Cooking backburnered as unimportant even to the point of it being required female activity is appraised in a whole new light and well proved up in this awesome book. Hey it is cooking that got us big brains, you know that lowly female activity? It makes me laugh! I think the genius author of this book will probably be excommunicated from the male religion of male supremacy. I also thought his points about why women CHOSE to be mated is also very important as well. Anyone who cannot see the importance and genius of this book and the importance of every thought in it, well, needs more cooked food and non-processed cooked food.
On a personal note, I tried a raw food diet and gave it up and now I know why and I don't have to feel guilty that I do not serve up my dogs a raw food diet instead of opening a can.
This should be required reading punishable by imprisonment in prison in Guantanamo if not read by all Fox News watchers and Sarah Palin supporters.
The "cuteness" of the character just got rather silly after a while.
This is one of the most amazing historical books I have ever read. It should be required reading for all high school students. It shows how quickly humankind can negatively affect the whole nation with just one part eschewing wiser land users. It brings to mind those who deny climate change as a thing impossible for mankind's choices to so affect nature. In a very short time, black clouds of dirt covered the east coast. This done in far fewer years than we have been putting too much CO2 in the atmosphere.
It also shows how important Roosevelt was to the recovery efforts in the Plains as well as federally supported and funded soil conservation.
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