Fremont, NE, United States | Member Since 2004
Yikes! This one may cause you to lose some sleep. As one reviewer said, it's like a horror novel - but true.
I had no idea that the epidemic actually had an impact on World War I! Also, the reason why it killed predominantly younger, healthier individuals was quite surprising.
Wrapped in the horrifying story is the interesting history of medical research in the United States. While I was a bit put off by the anti-religious slant of some of this history, it still was very interesting.
It was also interesting to learn why some sicknesses (especially the flu) can seem to come upon you so quickly. The book does a great job of explaining this phenomenon.
There is also a lot of background material on Woodrow Wilson that I did not know.
All in all - this is a must read! Having read well over 100 audiobooks (and reviewed almost 60), I would rank this in the top 10% of all I have listened to. Highly recommended!
I had run into this story by accident when renting the newer version of the movie (with Bill Murray). I liked it so well that I rented the earlier version (with Tyrone Powers?) and loved it just as much, even thought the two are somewhat different.
Definitely a thought-provoking book, no matter what your position on matters of theology. In one sense, the book is summed up by a statement Larry (the main character) makes partway through the book. He says he is searching to find out if there really is a God, because everything else in life depends on the answer to that question (my paraphrase).
While you may or may not agree with Larry's final conclusion about God and morality, the search he goes through, and his commitment to REALLY search for the truth make for a great read. The characters around him, who are on a much different journey - seeking position, power and wealth - really contrast the "examined" and the "unexamined" life.
It is also an interesting literary device to have the author actually appear as a character in the story - something I don't think I've seen before.
If you've seen the movies, the book is much truer to the black and white adapatation.
Regardless of my differences in theology with the book, it was a great read and really makes you think!
Having been a fan of John for years, he mentioned this new book the last time we saw him in concert. If you've never seen John live, he's not only a killer guitar player and wonderful singer - he's also a great entertainer with a hysterical sense of humor.
All of this comes through in the book. Lots of stories of growing up and learning to play the guitar while jazz greats stopped by the house to see his dad or to sample his mom's cooking. Generally very chronological in nature. Lots of interesting stories of life on the road, not being paid for gigs, putting up with an outrageous Broadway diva during John's stint in a Broadway production.... the list goes on and on.
They definitely did the right thing by having John read the book! Even if the book stunk (and it doesn't) it's fun just listening to John's voice and his delivery. Very funny guy.
There are a few small errors in the audio book, where John starts a sentence and then goes back and starts again (an editing error by someone), but it's not a big deal.
If you're a fan of jazz guitar or the New York jazz scene, you'll probably enjoy this book. If you've never seen him live, make sure to get tickets if he comes to town - you won't regret it!
I had put off buying this audiobook for over 2 years due to the reviews and comments about the narration and pronounciation. Very sorry I did.
This was a fantastic book! The stories behind each of the 5 films were VERY interesting. By the time I finished the book, I had seen all 5 of the movies (I had seen 3 of them previously).
Other than the obvious discussion of the 5 movies, other highlights of this book:
1. The story of the censorship code that quickly collapsed after a few exceptions were made. Two movies in particular were responsible for the change, one regarding nudity and one regarding language - both have interesting stories.
2. The behind-the-scenes mayhem with "Dr. Doolittle". Had been a big Rex Harrison fan (due to My Fair Lady) until I read this book. Changed my mind after reading this.
3. Interesting to see how "Best Picture" votes were 'bought' by the studios as early as 1967. Explains a number of puzzling things I've seen over the years in the Oscars. Must still be going on...
4. The treatment of Sidney Poitier during the filiming of one portion of "In the Heat of the Night" was quite shocking.
5. I was surprised to learn the general practice that caused pictures to be made in black and white even after color was available for decades. Very interesting.
If you aren't a Hollywood buff, you may not notice the pronounciation errors (I noticed a few, but not all those that are mentioned). Please note that these errors DO NOT get in the way of a fantastic book.
Don't make the same mistake I did and overlook this book for years due to the reveiws. It's a great book. As with all books of this length, a bit slow in spots, but definitely worth the time invested.
They don't get much better than this book! WOW! What a book!
I was a little too young to remember the Munich Massacre, so after this book, I also rented a documentary of the event.
There is so much good stuff in here, it's hard to know where to start.
The details of the hostage taking and the unbelievable response of the German Special forces were not only fascinating, but very troubling as well.
The author maintains his neutrality well. He portrayal of the German Special Forces is balanced with the story of the operatives who killed the wrong person (and went to jail for it). Hard to believe that some of this stuff really happened.
The one story that sticks with me is the one that really got the Israelis in trouble in France, when they took out a terrorist (while being very careful not to kill his wife and child) in a rather unorthodox way - something I didn't realize was possible at that time.
Another highlight is the "Chocolate" story - how the Israelis got to one of the terrorists living in Iraq.
VERY GOOD BOOK! I've probably listed to over 100 audiobooks, and this is one of my favorites! Highly recommend!
While there is both some good examples of the need for checklists and the benefits derived, this book could EASILY have been half as long and still been effective. Felt like the author trying to make a short story into a novel.
You'll learn some good things here, but will take more time than necessary to do it.
As a musician and former teacher who has heard the term "natural talent" thrown around quite a bit, this book challenged a lot of my beliefs about "inherent abilities". I'm not sure that the author changed my mind 100%, but it really made me think about things.
A few highlights:
1. The study on the violinists in German Universities who became either concert violinists or teachers was VERY interesting.
2. The story about Jerry Rice and his "natural talent" was something I had never heard, but found fascinating.
3. The estimation of how many hours it takes to master a skill seems to fit my experiences in the area of music.
4. The suggestions for companies as to how best train employees may be a VERY good reason to read this book. Working in the corporate world as well, the authors suggestions ring true.
Very well done - really makes you think about your presuppositions. Regardless of what your opinion is, this will give you a lot of food for thought AND can help make you more effective at the same time.
First a few thoughts: (1) This is a textbook, and unless you are interested in the subject matter, you will probably not enjoy the book, (2) Don't think about listening to the book without the attached PDF Files - you'll be very lost (3) This is a book that probably needs some amount of review as you move along.
I enjoyed the book, but I do agree it was very dry at times. When I first bought the book, Audible did not have the PDF's available. I tried to listen to it then and was unable to get very far into the book without being lost. I was also probably at an advantage, as I have read books on espionage and was familiar with some basic "encryption" techniques.
After Audible posted the content, I started again, and things made more sense.
I would recommend this book, but ONLY if you have a pretty good working knowledge of computers and are willing to put more time into it that reading an average book.
Really liked this book, although there are parts that will make you cringe.... I remember eating breakfast in my car while listening and having to set my breakfast sandwich down for a few minutes until the author moved on.
The history of surgery before anesthesia was probably most gruesome (as was the history of Lobotomies....yikes!), however I thought the author did an admirable job of condensing a vast sea of information into a small package. When a book calls itself "A BRIEF History of Medicine", it is my expectation that some things will be minimized or overlooked in the interest of brevity. Realize also, that I am NOT in the field of medicine, so what was new information to me may be common knowledge to others.
All in all, I was pleased with this choice.
While I wouldn't agree fully with some of more negative reviews, I do agree that the flow of the book was not totally linear in its organization. This may be because of so many "overlapping" areas discussed in the book, so I'll give the author the benefit of the doubt on that one.
Recommended for those who want to see the big picture of the development of medicine.
This book has some real positives - I learned a lot about the "subconscious" things that we can't control, or can only control to a degree. Many of the stories of interrogations were very interesting as well.
However, the author stated over and over that these things are only just PART of the whole picture, and that people can do many of these "tell-tale" things and really be telling you the truth. And to some degree, I thought there was a small to moderate degree of filler - primarily repeating things said before, or taking longer to say things than was necessary.
I would recommend having the PDF with you, or at least accessible, while you listen to this book. This book IS interesting and has a lot of good stuff....I just didn't think it was a great read.
What a fantastic book! Had this in my audible library and finally got around to reading it.
First of all, it was hard to believe that you could physically transform a white man to a black man, but I've seen the before and after pictures online and it was amazing.
Secondly, the various situations he encountered were almost unbelievable. From a man who picked him up while he was hitchiking, primarily to ask him about his genitalia, to the shoe shine man who didn't realize he was the same guy before and after, the stories in this book are simply astounding!
Third, it is also curious as to how dangerous an undertaking this actually was. Can't believe he came out physically unscathed, although there are some close calls in the book. (However, after the book was published, he and his family had to flee to Mexico due to death threats).
Like "Uncle Tom's Cabin", this is a must-read and really points out how it feels to be on the "other side". Highly recommend!!!!
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