Pickering, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007
Books of this sort are always a risk but this was done with great professionalism and well written as well.
Its a fascinating group of stories, including the lengthy story of how he finally got to do this dicey research in the first place
I'm fascinated by what this recent explosion of research into various psychedelia, (including ayawaska) are finding.
I find it all enormously fascinating .I would bet that this is the Best book of its kind on the subject.. Fine narration and credit worthy.
What you must know from the start is the historic nature of this book. When jfk was killed -Jackie and the Kennedy clan hand picked William Manchester to write the full official account of the assassination from their end for posterity. Manchester was picked for 2 reasons-firstly he was a friend of jfk and secondly he was a very respected writer/ historian.
This is a remarkable account of EVERYTHING that was thought, done and said in the timeframe of the assassination and funeral. It would be hard to imagine a fuller accounting of that week. Every detail pulled me in tighter and tighter till I felt entirely part of the scene. I couldn't put it down! Though I was so wound -up and upset that I had to listen to something else in bed so I could sleep. I feel so emotionally drained by the experience that I too feel like I am in mourning for this president, despite the fact that I'm Canadian and was just 2yrs old when all this happened. Why am I so affected by something so removed and distant? Why were people around the world so intensely effected? It reminded me of when princess DI died, there was the same world-wide eruption of grief out of all proportion. I've meditated on this question- it seems important to learn why this is so. Was it their relative youth,their class, charisma? Those things are factors
but I think that We hang our dreams consciously or unconsciously on those that embody those rare characteristics of goodness and kindness. Those rare "heroes" of good give us hope for good in a relentlessly dark world. That's my conclusion there's one thing that this book makes all too clear and that is that Jackie was as astounding as the president in this regard-this book makes that all too clear
This is an important book that lays bare not just the tragedy but also the triumph of Jackie whose stoic example remains a testament for the ages. A BOOK NOT TO BE MISSED.
A note on the narration- I thought it was perfect.
While I very much wish an unabridged version was available, this is perhaps one case where an abridged version of a book is a good Idea for some. While I'm not suffering a terrible level of depression now, I certainly have- and know how difficult it would be to listen to a 30hr version of this, or any book for that matter while being depressed. Hopefully the abridgement was a good one and an uncut version of this multiple award winning book is in the works.
Before this book I read/ listened to the author's other non-fiction masterpiece FAR FROM THE TREE. That book blew me away and my review of it is in these reviews. Andrew Solomons writing is just incredible!
Solomon uses his own life experiences in this book as he did in Far from the tree. Having battled severe depression himself he's able to write from the vantage point of a fellow sufferer. Solomon is remarkably forthcoming with all the intimate details of his story and others who have suffered terribly. There is much more here than biography though, All treatments I've ever heard of and then some are explained in detail, along with all the other related aspects of this disease. What sets this book apart is Solomons remarkable writing. His honesty, empathy, intellect, erudition and magnitude of research provide a uniquely readable and helpful tool to help those who need help or those who want to understand and help others deal with this dreadful all too common illness. Regardless of severity, this book covers it all. If you are depressed or want to help someone who is depressed I would encourage you to get the book format after listening to this.This is a heavy abridgement, the full book is over 500 pages and by sheer volume must contain important points left out here. Beyond that this is the kind of book to keep as a reference I don't have the book yet but a relative that has fought depression her whole life tells me that her copy is worn to bits and has been her source of solace for years.
Some people don't like Solomons narration but I think he does a great job. If you're impressed with his writing I strongly recommend FAR FROM THE TREE. Considering the prevalence of depression and the severity of damage inflicted by it I Highly recommended this book for everyone
This is the kind of book I search for. This book is TRULY remarkable. This book not only stretched my humanity, it opened a whole new vista. The biggest mistake you can make is to think that this book isn't for you, this book is for everyone and anyone who wants to enrich their experience of being alive.
The authors ability to articulate these stories ( including his own) with such honesty, depth and sensitivity are one thing. His stunning prowess really comes through when he extrapolates the wisdom within them and conveys these multifaceted insights with such remarkable clarity - It took my breath away! Wow this guy can write!
It's often a mistake for authors to narrate their own work- but not here. I think he did a really fine job of it and considering the intimacy of the work and the way he bares his soul, it seems almost necessary that he should do the narration.
Solomon wrote a book before this one on depression called THE NOONDAY DEMON-AN ATLAS OF DEPRESSION. it won the national book award in 2002 , Unfortunately its only available as abridged on audible at the moment -though I understand its 570pgs in its uncut form which may make its abridged form more accessible for some and not a bad option.
Im definitely going to be watching for more from Andrew Solomon, His combination of talents are rare and desperately needed in our time. HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION
While all the facts seam here and Ambrose is a great historian something is missing which would put this in 5 star company. Pickiness aside, this is a remarkable achievement which needs and deserves to be read by all. The mind boggling gargantuan scale and risk of this one shot offensive mission stretches both your imagination and your nerves. The number of men and tanks that went off the landing craft to certain death by drowning in deep water was one of the hardest things to read about. So many suffered and died with a courage that is unimaginable in our time. A fascinating read that redefines our world and all the things we take for granted.
Not only is this possibly kings scariest book, it is also one of his best written. You can feel how the king had a full head of steam , the gears were all oiled and his writing prowess was fully erect when the synaptic party in his head left the gate. And why wouldn't you have your "A" game with a story like this one knocking around in your head-what a great story line! Family takes care of a big old haunted hotel deep in the Rockies cut off by impassible depths of snow, cut off from everyone and everything for months!
Beyond the stuff that bumps and screams in the night, the sheer over-riding ever-present claustrophobia of this TOTALLY cut off place in the middle of nowhere was one of the scariest aspects of the story for me. Being prone to cabin fever, that, and the fact that there's no booze in the place made it scary enough for me already- never mind the rest of it.I could listen to this in bed but I had to switch to something totally comforting for the last half hour of consciousness. I found Something like wind in the willows had enough of the opposite forces to balance things out. Yes I do keep wind in the willows on my iPod despite the fact- or partly because of the fact Im over 50 and drastic comfort reads like this not only balance out Stephen King, they can also balance out reality which in my experience gets shyt loads scarier than anything King can come up with. With what's left of my dignity let me suggest you give it a try. Anywho, this is a great read/listen and fantastic in audible HIGHLY Recommended.
I can't believe how many positive reviews this book has. It's one thing for a book to drag.. but this was criminal! How can this get by an editor? All I could do is fantasize on having king in front of me listening as I read through the endless, interminable "top of the driveway segment- watching his face turn red with shame and embarrassment as the hours rolled by. I wonder what was going on with him when he was writing this, drugs?, booze?, I've read alot of king and enjoyed much of his stuff immensely, but this book makes me wary of blindly putting down time and credits for his work. Now kings writing scares the hell out of me for a different reason. He is a remarkably talented writer but he's inconsistent and I often wonder how much he really cares about the end product beyond sales. 11/22/63 was a revelation and I hoped it signaled a new matured era for his writing (not to imply he goes all falkonery) but it seems quantity over quality is still his focus. Joyland was a big disappointment for me. The same old (very old) done to death storyline- like something thrown out there to fulfill his contract... Doctor sleep on the other hand at least seemed to be a book he put his back into, even so I don't think he has yet to exercise all his powers/ talent and I know there are alot of readers like me who wait and wonder when or if he will ever really strive to write something that utilizes his untapped full potential.
Firstly.. I would recommend -Read the shining if you haven't yet because this is the sequel to it . I didn't know this and haven't read the shining but still enjoyed it very much. There are so many references to the characters and incidents in the shining that in hindsight I wish I had read it first- though he doesn't leave you hanging when these references come up- he gives you background but its not at all like having the first story in your head going in.
I was disappointed with kings last release-Joyland- but This one was great. I couldn't stop listening. It was almost like I was feeding on it or off it......and I was HUNGRY lol. It was inventive and pulled at all your emotions. The problem with a good king book is the crash you get after the book is done, damn.
I've read alot of king so I rated this book against his other work. It's not quite up there with what I consider to be his pinnicle 4-5 reads but it is still very good and very worthy of your time and credit
Will Patton does a FANTASTIC job with the narration, though come to think of it.... I've found all Kings audible books superbly done and a damn amazing fit to audible format. It's when they make movies from his books that things have been known to fall apart. Shawshank Redemption and especially THE GREEN MILE are outstanding exceptions. If you haven't seen the green mile buy it now! Wow. I bought some special edition with tons of special features and what a great experience that was! Beyond the movie itself The interviews etc. are just super! Make sure you get a copy with copious special features. I just can't say enough about it. They pulled out ALL the stops to make that movie absolutely perfect. Its the best and truest -book to movie- Ive ever seen. Needless to say the book is a 5 star audible listen and ya best read it before seeing the movie. This rant may not belong here but I can't help it- I'm a passionate guy. Or maybe just excitable riding too much caffeine.
This was a very enjoyable popular science read, along the lines of Splended Solution or The Ghost Map. Admittedly I read it quite a while ago but I have-not forgotten the wow-cool factor that this book elicited.
Sometimes it's hard ( or even impossible) to imagine certain subjects or titles could possibly be a great read.Personaly I don't know anyone who wouldn't roll their eyes at being given or shown this book- they are the losers, for having an open mind always enables life's treasures to get through AND be understood and appreciated.
We certainly take drugs for granted and forget that not so long ago things as simple as a cut finger or a blister could quite possibly kill you if it got infected. Any infection was a possible death sentence before sulfa. This is the story of one of the greatest medical paradigm shifts in history,
Thomas Hagar does a great job of conveying these 2 separate worlds (and separate worlds is not an exaggeration), before sulfa and after. And he tells the fascinating tale of the "sulfa bridge" which changed the world. If you enjoy great science history writing then this really should be on your list P.S. The narrations great.
. The jaw dropping stories in this book mated to Sack`s insight, sensitivity, and remarkable articulation are a balm for the soul and candy for the mind. His humanity and his remarkable ability to communicate the experiences of his patients and his own insight make him unique and unforgetable.
The underlying premise for all these cases which sacks brings to light- is the unusual and unforeseen positive path the disabilities of these patients and disabilities in general can (after breaking through) engender.
I am similar to those stories enclosed-in a way. 10 yrs ago I stepped out of the shower heard a crack and have been in terrible crippling disabling pain ever since. I went from being a very fit,strong and super active father of 2 very small boys to being bedridden and writhing in pain.. Things are marginally better now,but the point is- I started using audible books at the start because I couldnt do anything else-including tv. Audible books not only helped me endure the isolation, pain and loss of a way of life-it replaced my physical world with a mental one (generalization)-one in which I'm now relatively happy. This totally unexpected and unforeseen journey from one state of being to another positive state, is part of what is explored in this book. It is no exaggeration to say that audible books saved my life.
I'm not sure just where this book fits into his bibliography, I've read them as I've come across them. and have pretty much enjoyed them all. The narrator (Jonathan Davis) who has done most if not all his books when sacks hasn't done the work himself is utterly perfect, getting the tone, timing and inflection just right.
This book enriched my mind and soul,altered my perspective and relieved the mind numbing effect of a shockingly dumbed down world- at least for a few hours. Now that's credit worthy!!
This book was a real departure from my usual fare- and having "whisperer" in the title was yet another hurdle in accepting this book into my ridiculously huge figurative pile of books that are on the go. The fact that once started I never diverted my attention until it was finished really says something for this book.
I have always had a fascination for elephants. Beyond their remarkable anatomy, their intelligence is legendary. After checking this book out on Goodreads and reading a few reviews I snapped it up and started reading it right away- being exhausted by my usual synapticly intensive reads. The narration was perfect which helped with an immediate immersion into the story. I thought it was well written, balanced and conveyed the atmosphere of this region and its people/culture very well. The story is a very emotional ride and I clung to the story right till the end.
While It's a great story that ( I think) can be shared by the whole family- It's not the least bit sucky or saccharine. While naming the book the elephant whisperer makes most everyone roll their eyes and plead for the "whispering" to end, it is fitting, and I can understand why this title won in the end, despite what damage this title may do to sales. Don't be put off though- it is a great story and a worthy read. No doubt it will be coming to a theater near you at some time in the not too distant future.
This may deserve 4 stars but I've learnt to be harder on my rating. For me- 4 stars is a really great book and 5 stars is for a totally outstanding-life changing,"cant stop talking about it" book. 3 stars is-a worthy read, and it is!
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