I finally couldn't finish listening to this because it presents a very disturbing vision of humanity. The stories, one after another, are unrelentingly about people who are sad, lonely, gruesome, cruel, predatory, perverted, victimized, and on and on without amusement at their eccentricities or fondness for their foibles. I finally couldn't get through to the end to find out if there is some kind of redemption. Maybe it's that the main character gets back his will to write? So he wrote this mess.
This is what happens when materialist medical scientists try to co-opt traditional medicine. Ann Marie Chiasson talks about an aspect of ancient, traditional, cross-cultural spiritual healing as "energy" that can be prescribed and bottled. She's got the most annoying exercise where she talks over some intrusive music telling you to bang your big toes together. This lecture is supposed to be about self-healing with "energy," which to her is a big chuck of something that makes a clunky sound when it snaps into place inside your physical body. Also, as a near-death survivor of chemotherapy, I would definitely not consult her about cancer treatment.
The voices in this book are so clear and the characters so vivid -- and the narration brings them to life so brilliantly, and compellingly, I was drawn in inescapably and propelled through this story, feeling what the characters felt, seeing what they saw. This is a devastating exploration of the merciless cruelty of which humans are capable by an amazing writer.
I loved The Alchemyst and liked The Magician but found The Sorceress rather weak, just battle after battle between not particularly imaginative creatures and the main characters, who seemed to be more carefully drawn in book 1. There are a couple of inconsistencies in the details signifying that perhaps the author wasn't totally paying attention. The narration is somewhat flat and not always true to the text. To write a series requires a commitment this author hasn't really made.
This is engaging writing. It's complex, full of amusing references all kinds of literary and pop culture allusions and clever metaphors. I didn't find the plot or the characters predictable. But, after feeling so involved in the story, I found the ending unsatisfying, like a helium balloon the day after.
I didn't know this was abridged until I got to the end and it was announced; somehow I missed that in the book description -- still can't find it stated anywhere. This book didn't quite hold my interest throughout. It's sort of precious and bland and I kept on with it but often wished I hadn't started.
This is the best yet. Smith's writing is as spare and simple as the day to day activities of the characters, yet deeply moving, really brings the landscape - and the love Mma Ramotswe feels for it - to life. Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi have a warm place in my heart. And Lisette LeCat is one of the very best narrators in all of audiobook land! I can't wait for no. 8.
While I generally believe details to a large degree build the realism and believability of a story, this one got to be tediously detailed at times. And the depiction of the vampire, which started out scary finally became so hokey it was laughable. So I give it a three. But its non-linear construction is engaging and the characters are compelling and sympathetic. I would recommend it as an interesting, though flawed, literary work.
Sarah MacDonald is truly a gifted writer. Holy Cow! is a skillfully structured story of her coming of age in India as she investigates, describes, and beings to embody with (sometimes profound) insight and humor a wide variety of India's religions, saints, and spiritual practices and communities. The book is a vibrant comparative religion text. And the narrator's talent is awesome.
Anne Lamott is a rarity in these times: a Progressive Feminist Christian!
As a writer she is extraordinarily generous, sharing how she moved through very dark times into recovery. She doesn't posture or pretend. She speaks for and inspires people who are deeply distressed by our country's class warfare, people who are struggling to forgive destructive parents, or who are struggling not to be destructive parents themselves, people who are into their 50s, trying to gather up whatever hard won wisdom they hope they've gained. She's a quirky, poetic writer. Plan B is an insightful memoir.
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