Pickering, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007
There are just a few books that are so amazing to me that I dread trying to review them. This book was so rewarding for me( as you might gleam from my understated headline) that I really lack the verbiage and surly the subtlety ( lol) to do it justice.
The love story between Adams and his amazing wife is in itself more than enough for a great book..Adams personal and professional struggles and sacrifices for his warily conceived country is in itself more than enough for a great book. And his torturous friendship and correspondence with Jefferson is in itself more than enough for a great book, and naturally great books have been written on each of these areas, but here in this one book, they are all here together in one wondrously researched and written story.
John Adams was my first David McCullough book. I found his writing style so refreshingly clear, humanistic, scrupiosly researched and uniquely readable that I wasted no time purchasing all the rest of his works from Audible. While I enjoyed everything else he wrote,and have reread them all, The great bridge is a stand out that I would recommend be your next McCullough read, if you haven't read it already.
For me, Kings writing is escapism from my usual fare of science,history,classics and assorted other non fiction. I first read 11.22.63 because of an interview i heard with king. The main selling point for me was the time travel aspect. I really enjoyed the book and my pre conceived opinion of his work was changed for the better. Next I read under the dome and found it too to be very entertaining. As I worked my way through 8 or so of his books, I became disappointed and frustrated by his inconsistency. A good number of his books were obviously formulaic quick knock offs. Part of me would understand that kind of production writing earlier in his carear for money or a contracts sake but at this juncture he surly must be free to write what he wants.
After writing 11.22.63 and under the dome I thought a new chapter in his writing was being written. Then he wrote Joyland which for some other writer would be fine but for me it seemed like a cop out and a throw back to his quick formulaic novels. It was very disappointing for me that he wasnt even close to tapping his full potential.
Its because I can see his phenomenal potential that books like this one fall far short. If he continues to be a one trick pony and not push his boundaries it will be a sad thing. He surly can afford to take a chance god knows how many millions he has.
There is nothing new here in Mr Mercedes, Its the same formula so his fans will be pleased. Hell I enjoyed it and I'm sure Ill buy his next book, Its just too bad he doesn't challenge himself.
One reviewer titled his review mcguiver goes to mars and that's a very good summation of this novel. As a life-long do it yourself er,designer and woodworker, with huge interests in all the sciences this purchase was a given, especially with the added fact that it has an exceptionally high rating. The problem with this title is it has no depth.
If the author Had added more than the one facet to the story, it could have really been something very special. Instead it seems to me like a squandered great idea,for all we have for the most part is an entire book of mcguiver style D.I.Y problem solving. Considering the fact that there are few people more entertained by this sort of thing than me and I find it too much- it would seem it must be so. Sure it was really interesting how he got out of trouble over and over and over and over again,but for me there should have been more to it. Its written to a large degree as a light hearted romp, The humorist tone does add allot- but I think it would have benefited by adding more realism on the emotion front.
The protagonist never seems to suffer from the reality of his unique situation. Had the lonely, claustrophobic, hungry, panic stricken, soul searching aspects of his situation been added to offset the humor, the story would not just be more believable, it would have given it real substance!
The story has such a great premise that regardless of the lost potential of the story it has garnered a very high rating. Its a worthy read but its very far from what an amazing story this could have been. I would say that if the description sounds like your bag then get it. Even if it isn't what it could have been its still worthy and entertaining.
This is hard to rate for me because there are both great and not so great aspects to this story. Kings descriptive powers of the scary elements in this story are amazing and its easy to see how this tale became such a success when it came out. The problem is with the structure and pace- it needs to be tightened up. If he was to edit this book now with his present skills, it would really be something. Im used to his present high level of writing skill so this early attempt shows its weak points and I found it distracting and disappointing. Altogether a 3 star king read
Lowe's first autobiography was such an unusual and remarkable sensation. It seems that most people like myself bought that first book due to all the over the top reviews, many of which started with lines like - "I never buy books like this but...." or I dont even like or even know who Rob Lowe is but....." Many listeners like myself belong in both of these camps and others like- I never read things related to Hollywood, movie stars or anything else even related to the entertainment industry BUT....
So essentially this auto-biography escaped its inherent narrow target market of "fans" and stood on its own two feet as an enjoyable, interesting, and worthy read/listen. For me it was a very effective break from my usual heavy fare of History,Science, Classics and major biography's,of historical figures.
. obviously this kind of success will make a sequel a given- even if the first book was an autobiography. I have to admit I was looking forward to another book from lowe and having grabbed it on 1st day of release was looking forward to another effective mental vacation from my usual stuff.
So is the book worthy?? Obviously once you've written your autobiography, especially if it was just a few years before, you've used your best bits and story's and are left primarily with what has transpired recently combined with the left over bits from your previous best bio effort.
Like most sequels, it has the same flavor but the high notes and originality are kind of used up. I would say if you haven't read the first book don't bother reading this one- but if you did read and really liked the first book you will enjoy this one but not as much as his first effort.
I blew through the book so fast that its left me feeling like I just read an article but I enjoyed it while it lasted. As lowe is just 53 (my age) another biography will surly be coming at some point and yes- ill probably get that one too.
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
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