Pickering, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007
I'm sure there are many great reviews on this book, after all it was the great reviews that convinced me to get this in the first place.
When something is so highly rated it is often detrimental to your experience because you start out with very high expectations. When a book still blows you away after starting it with such high expectations, that's a true 5 star read!
The premise for a true adventure story doesn't get much better. A large finely picked group of men headed by 2 great men picked by the president to intensively explore the great unknown, with dangers severe enough to doubt their survival.- It was kind of like the moon shot of its time.
There are an awful lot of history writers but only a handful of great ones. Stephen Ambrose's performance with this book put him in the highest eshilon of historical writing excellence.
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION-- GREAT NARRATION- NOT TO BE MISSED
This could have been one of kings very best, whats ruined it completely is the total lack of editing. Scenes that should be a page are stretched out to chapter size- and this is a crippling fault that runs from the beginning to the end of this book. Ive read between 8-10 king novels and for the most part I have enjoyed them immensely, but there are a few that don't stand up well and this is one of them. There was another king novel that had the same problem and that was bag of bones. I've learnt that king fans cant stand any of their idols work to be criticized so I know that this wont be an appreciated post. Its feels tragic that one of kings best story concepts has been squandered. There is a great story in there somewhere it just needs to be sieved out. I feel like editing it just for fun. It would be interesting to check out kings drinking/drug intake during the period when these 2 books where written, I'm willing to bet they play a major factor. As for the narration, hermann consistently gives a great performance but Im not sure he was the best fit for this story- that is a very minor thing in the context of the books problems. If your a big king fan- try it on, my negative view of this book is certainly a minority opinion.I cant help repeating this- It frustrates me that such a great story has been screwed up.
This is a great read but it will scare the shyt out of you. Nuclear weapons + human error = utter catastrophe. I dont know about you but I always assumed things as dangerous as nuclear weapons were handled with enormous over cautious care. To learn that the people in charge of policy and those that actually handle them are no better than those in your life that you dread lending your car to is a crap your pants revelation.
This is a very well written book that you will prefer to remember as fiction but is of course non fiction. Scott Brick is an utterly perfect match as narrator making this medicine taste great. The revelatory nature of these facts should put this book front and center of our news media and zeitgeist, but thats not going to happen because were all kept amused with bread and circus and no news media will touch it. If your nerves are already at their limit with the state of things and your plate is overflowing, you may want to pass on the revelations contained here. If you can take it- its a drop jaw fascinating listen
This is undoubtedly one of the best books ever written! Best advice for young and old in a perfectly straightforward manner. The most remarkable treatise on how to live ones life, whether it be on your actions or responding to the actions of others. One of the most remarkable books that Ive ever read- hands down. This is the best audible version of it as well. AN ABSOLUTE MUST READ.
This 11 vol. World history is without peer- and is one of the greatest works by any measure In history - and on history. I had asked audible to get it when I saw it became available and it wasn't anywhere on their radar. I assumed they (the one who just released the first book-recorded books I think) would either use the one that was around on tape - that had already been done by the incomparable Grover Gardener or at least use someone else of his caliber and suitability for the material as well as being appropriate for such a stunningly important work. What we got was a huge disappointment. The narrator was not suited to the material-at all, and I should know seeing as( very roughly) 300 of my 900 books are history.
Ive been after this series in audible format for 5yrs and while I sincerely thank audible for their efforts in bringing these titles on board It has been a huge let down. Its not audibles fault though.
Audible has really been great, not just for getting this(despite it being a disaster) but also other things Ive requested like the 2 missing books from Robert Caro's years of lyndon johnson biography which by the way was done marvelously by them. If you havnt read that multi-volume biography your life is incompleate!
Audible if your listening-this 11 vol masterpiece is out there on tape by grover gardiner(though he uses anouther name- Alex Alexander or something like that) Just waiting for you to pick it up re-master it and put it out there. Tongues are hanging out in anticipation of someone doing this!
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.
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