Pickering, Ontario, Canada | Member Since 2007
Lovers of Mcculloughs work were thrown an unexpected curve ball on this one. Firstly the topic of this book isn't as strong and defined as his other work and I think that that hurt his biggest fans expectations. The quality of the writing was also not quite up to par compared to his other work, which was a disappointment and surprising, because all his other books were so consistent in their greatness.
Having said all this, Mccullough's second best is still better than most others best. I to, was somewhat bewildered and disappointed as I made my way through the book but at some point my impression changed and I began to appreciate the underlying message of the stories related and by the the time I got to the end, those stories had a profound effect on me. I was elated by the examples of lives lived with such a beautiful balance. lives with art, music,and intellectual endeavors and friendships ingrained so deeply it was a heartwarming and exciting example of what life could be. Where a simple walk in a park could be a cherished memory for life. Where the values of/ in yourself and those around you were so wonderfully tuned enabling far greater depths in your relationships with friendship and family.
These are the things I got out of the book in the end and I suspect these are the things in the end that Mccullough was hoping to convey. Its this valuable revelation that elevates this book to 4 stars.
This book was a real surprise, I mean- what can you really expect from this title? Well how about a superbly written, warm, articulate, intelligent, insightful, memorable experience. In other words, Non-fiction at its best. Though its been years since I listened to this-I can still hear the narration in my head, partly because I relistened to parts of it repeatedly-sure, but mostly because the book and narration worked so well together and told a surprisingly great story, obviously one memorable enough for me to go back years later and still be able to remember how good it was.and want to review it.
Old teddy and I go way back now, I've read Mornings on Horseback and River of Doubt among others and my forknolege of his storied biography can't help but deflate all the interesting stories since I've heard them all- or most- before. This happens all the time when you read non-fiction. Would I have given this 5 stars had this not been the case? I don't think so, While the writing was very good it wasn't awe inspiring and I try to reserve 5 stars for those that are. I have got a few hours into the second book of this trilogy and there is a distinct improvement over this first books already fine writing. I think the Pulitzer he got for the first book put a skip and a song into the writing of the second because there is a distinctly unabashed, won't you smell the roses uplifting lilt-call it a confidence- in Theodore Rex and it works. Wonderful, fully alive, perhaps 5 star rating for book 2 if he keeps it up. Don't let this deter you from reading this one though, especially if the material is new to you. Oh and the narration is perfect !! He has teds voice down perfectly.
Ive always thought that there should be more books like this one on bar culture. For those who have never had the experience of being a regular at a pub or bar, this book does a pretty good job of relating that unique,fascinating and very misunderstood world. Bar culture is probably not at all what you think it is and this book will change the pre-conceived notions of what you imagine that world is all about.
If you consider yourself a people person or a serious investigative people watcher (an amateur sociologist) like myself then you owe it to yourself to peruse bars of all kinds. There is of course the great stigma that only alcoholics or singles looking for love or lust hang out in bars but thats not true. Most Bars are a place for those of a community to meet and socialize. Just like people, -bars come with their own very distinct personality that is created by the owners,patrons,location and theme of the bar,lounge or pub. Obviously if you live in a major city or a university town there will be a much greater diversity in the pubs or bars available....OPPS I think I just started to write a book instead of a review lol.
This book is an autobiography of the author and her integral relationships with various bars and their patrons over the years. I found the book fairly well written, narrated and interesting. I highly recommend this book to those who have not had this experience. Who knows once your pre-conceived notions are crushed, you may find yourself enmeshed in the social center that is your local pub.
Despite reading this in spurts over a long period of time, I enjoyed it immensely. For me it was a wonderful great multifaceted intellectual adventure. I not only enjoyed a great story, I learned a great deal about books, facets of history and how art and knowledge have been lost and found over the ages- resulting in major impacts on thought, politics etc. I found the whole thing utterly fascinating and surely deserving of a very attentive second read. There is so much to love and go on and on about in this rare gem. On reflection I think that this may be one of the most profound books Ive ever read- but strangely it actualy manages to be profound in so many differing areas and that is rare indeed!!
This is more of a revelation than a book- for what stunning discoveries it conveys makes its medium or presentation moot ( at least to me). If you're interested in brain science-brace yourself!
in fact If you have interests regarding anything in human biology this is a must read!
Imagine .......In all these years of brain research they have missed half the brain! That is basically what has in fact happened. The gliel cells which make up a very large portion of the cells in the brain have till now been thought of as little more than a glue or some kind of .Innocuous support material -when in fact they are essential heavy lifters or V.I.C's (very important cells) in the aw inspiring workings of the human brain. This is a HUGE revelation!!
As for the book itself- I found it well written and exciting BUT make no mistake, when things get technical this book will require ALL of your eye squinting attention. If you have in fact done your part in giving the teck parts your undivided attention, you will be rewarded with enough facinating jaw dropping explanations to send all facets of your gray matter into contorted orgasm. Ive yet to see the print edition so I dont know what it has in terms of illustration but if a book ever needed illustration its this one. In my excitement I naturaly hit utube and google to see what I could "see" I found that The author did do some kind of ted related presentation but it was an excersise in utter frustration! The video guy missed most of the animations/illustrations on the screen. Im frankly surprised and dissapointed that such a poor presentation would make it onto ted-talks.
Well the future of brain research has certainly and suddenly just lurched forward with a monty python sized step and the cures for many of our worst physical and mental maladies seem much closer to eradication.
On a personal note this is of great importance to myself as I suffer from chronic pain and as mentioned in the book, this is one of the maladies that can be directly attributed to gliel cells and this very research
The first 2 instalments of this trilogy-were, for me 2 of the most beloved books I have ever read/listened to. The writing was an utter revelation for me and that level of stunning art has been achieved by perhaps 5 or so other books out of the 1100 titles I've listened to over the last 5+ years of audible books AND all the other books I have read in book form. Robert Caro's works come to mind as those that are at least equal in brilliance.
Like so many other frothing fans of these first 2 books, I learned that Manchester had died leaving the 3rd books research and start to paul reid to finish. I like so many other fans followed any sign we could find ( for years) that would indicate when our Manchester "fix" would be released. When the time finally arrived for the audible release I noticed that there was no sign audible was aware of it. I called audible and they thanked me for the heads up and released it. I've just bored you with this blurb so you might understand my emotional involvement.
When I started the book I was horrified. I have NEVER EVER heard worse narration. This was someone who was not only reading the text without being prepared, this was like listening to a 8yr old read. Luckily Reid was responsible for just reading the lengthy "preamble" Clive Chafer's narration of the rest of the book was for me annoying because his intonations were exactly like a BBC news anchor or reporter. Despite all this I listened carefully to every word.
Before I get into my review of the writing of the book itself, I must first make it understood that I think, feel and want to acknowledge that poor Mr. Reid had a hurculean task in writing this book as we can imagine after reading his introduction which explains the huge piles of disorganized research and indecipherable piles of notes he had to contend with.And of course he was put in the position of trying to write in a style that at least compliments the first 2 books- and that style is one of very high standing. Imagine you had to write the 3rd book of lord of the rings for instance (for lack of a better analogy) All of this being said ,we still have to judge the book on its merits alone.
I think by now you can infer that Im not enthralled with the book but if you hang in there you may find it interesting why.
The task laid before Reids feet was to finish a BIOGRAPHY of Churchill and what has been written is a history of ww2. Ironically if you want a better version of this book with more about Churchill read Churchill's amazing 6 vol THE SECOND WORLD WAR. As I have read his ww2 there was nothing at all new for me, So I thought well at least I'll get his biography post ww2. I was astounded to find that his last 10 yrs were given just 17 pages out of 1053! and titled "postscript" in the book form. This would have been fine if the intended purpose of the book was a ww2 history but its NOT- its supposed to be a biography. His last ten yrs should not be BESIDE the point- THEY ARE THE POINT.
Beyond this huge flaw, this isn't even very well written and certainly doesn't come even close to Manchesters standard. I wondered how the New York Times rated it so I looked it up and was heartened to find they found this book just as I did. Of course You can check for yourself. I thank those that hung in to the end of this very long review and hope you got something out of it.
I've been looking for a place exactly like cannery row in all its simplistic beauty complete with all its character and characters since I was born.. so you can imagine my joy in finding all those elements in this book and its sequel sweet thursday.
a community of that time that's reasonably Simple,honest and, caring,excepting ,thoughtful and,un-poisoned by money, bureaucracy,greed,status and voracious land,development,
I love how that old boiler was fixed up twice as a place to live lol- and how the palace flophouse and the whorehouse where also excepted parts of the community.Its a time and place where People were judged by who they were rather than what they did for a living or how they dressed.
Needles to say the above is but 1 element of this story. Steinbeck knows how to write of this sphere because he lived it . I wish he had written more in this series,It seems to me it was his intention, because theres quite a gap in years.. There should have been a book between cannery row and sweet thursday, Wish there was!! maybe Ill write it lol .I wish I had that ability
.late last night I finished his last book-winter of our discontent-it put me into an immediate depression the instant I finished it. the shallow will think oh I wont read that, and the wise will know that a work that can move you so much is defiantly worth reading.
Ive been compelled to read all of steinbecks major works in a row, since my first steinbeck book, the stunning EAST OF EDEN.
When an author brings so much pain,pleasure and emotionally cutting fodder to the deepest part of you- for you to sort out and digest-and it also manages to bypasses your defenses to your soul, thats an artist still lives and is immortal.
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.
I just cant tell you how much I enjoyed this book. It conveys a time , place and feel that seems to come right out my dreams. This is the follow-up book to cannery row, and I would say that if you liked cannery row, you'll like sweet Thursday even more. God how I wish I lived in that beautifully simple time and place. I'm sure I did in a previous life cause I've dreamed about it my whole life. Early thirty`s america- poor, simple and happy Is what and where I was and Ive been trying to find it or the likes of it my whole life. cept the poor part, I couldn't handle poverty at my stage of age
This book jumps to the early post ww2 years but nothing has changed in terms of progression to cannery row. New characters appear and the opera continues. I dont think these 2 books are for everyone, there will be some who wont appreciate them but If your like me you'll eat them up and morn there ending. Damn why didnt he keep writing this series oh- well notin but spilt milk.... It seems like. I'm going through a steinbeck frenzy. Ive read grapes of wrath, East of Eden, travels in america, cannery row ,sweet thursday and am now on winter of our discontent.
East of eden is my favorite in the one extreme- its remarkably complex,deep and rewarding. while sweet Thursday is the yang- its fun,funny and warm. Both will be listened to again SUPERB NARRATION ON this whole series,! and the cover art is amazing in this penguin publishers collection!! They're hopper-like and stunning... least Im a thinkn so.
What a remarkably fun ride this little book is! Lordy did I ever misjudge him. Who would have thought Steven King would be so funny? Other reviews here will tell you what this books about. What I want to convey is how enjoyable a read this was, just look at the ratings
I had never read or intended to read any of kings books. That horror crap was the last thing I ever wanted to read . Then I read this book which completely changed my view of him as a writer and as a person, then I heard an interview with him on the radio when his new release called "11/22/63" was being discussed and that sounded like a book I might really like because it dealt with time travel, I LOVED IT. So I explored his books and found that not all of them where hard core horror. Remember the great movies SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and STAND BY ME? He wrote those as books!
Under the dome was the next king book I read and again I LOVED IT, and let me tell you.... it was amazing on audible..WOW.. While the dome book had more than its fair share of murder and blood, it was done very well. Since, I've read many of his other books including "it" , Duma Key, The Stand, Misery, and the Green Mile which (let me tell you) made an astounding movie, If you want to have a truly rare first rate emotional experience. First read the green mile, then watch the movie. You will never forget it!! I think Its the most effective adaptation I've ever seen, and the special features on the dvd are really, really good and add an awful lot to the experience.
So the bottom line is that we always need to challenge our pre-conceived notions.and stay "open" I've even read some of his horror stuff and to my amazement...I liked it. It just wasn't what I thought it was.
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