This book was okay. I did appreciate all the personal anecdotes Ben-Shahar included, but would have preferred more prescriptive or actionable recommendations. He spends a lot of time expounding on the theory behind perfectionism and how it plays out in real life, but doesn't cite much evidence (at least in audiobook format) to suggest whether this is a) real findings or b) his interpretation. The book made me feel bad about myself for being a perfectionist, but was either too vague or possibly too easy to tune out for me to walk away with any clear notion of what I should do to STOP being a perfectionist. "Yes, I should be an optimalist! ....how again?" It may be simply that this one works better on paper. I might listen to it again someday, but probably not any time soon.
This definitely isn't one of my favorites, but I can't not like Vimes. On the downside, it's pretty dark, Fred Colon is remarkably unlikable, and like Vimes, I don't especially enjoy the countryside. On the plus side, Vimes is kickass, Wilikins finally gets rounded out as a character, and young Sam is surprisingly entertaining. Wish we could see him grow up more.
I'm not a big fan of Pratchett's other series, and the demons of hell definitely call that style to mind more than anything else in the Discworld. I'm glad he never revisits the place. There's also not much of familiar characters to enjoy, apart from Rincewind. That said, the overall story's not bad, and the first two wishes are really quite fun set pieces.
I'd say this entry is better than average. Not as epic as the Emersons' first visit, but definitely better written, with better pacing and more memorable characters. I don't particularly care for Ramses' activities during this one, but I suppose you have to let a character make some mistakes.
Apart from being the King Tut episode, there's not much else that sticks out about this one. It definitely hits on all the major tropes of the series (young lovers, a delightful impersonation by Sethos, comical humiliation of Emerson's enemies). I guess I'm just bummed that the Emersons don't get to triumph in the end, though it would have been quite a departure from history.
This episode plays an important role in setting up why Howard Carter gets to trump Emerson in the future, but more importantly, it proves why you can't help but adore Daoud.
While a fitting end to the series, it's a little too over-the-top in some places. It's hard to believe Sweden is such a boring place that the events described would be so *insanely* scandalous. It's hard to take the characters seriously when the author is so blatantly trying to make the reader care about events by having the characters talk about how important they are. I think I gave up at "won the picture of the year award." What picture of the year award? Reinforces the need for better editing.
Certainly the most action-packed of the series, albeit still with long, dull interludes. These bother me more in audiobook format than paperback because in audiobook, it's harder to skim and skip ahead to the action. It's also a little too neat in plotting; both protagonists figure things out at the same time through unrelated methods? That said, still enjoyable.
I enjoy the Salander series, but wish Stieg Larsson had a better editor. JK Rowling can write a 16 hour book if she wants, but detailed descriptions of characters' humdrum activities (how many Billy's Pan Pizzas must one sit through?) get aggravating after a while. Like Charles Dickens, you get the sense Larsson was being paid by the word.
Although I can't say Molly's character bears any resemblance to her former incarnation, this is still one of the more memorable installments. The post-climax conclusion feels very short (I don't think it's more than five minutes), but the ramp up to the climax is pretty fun. On the whole, solidly enjoyable.
In some ways, this is two novels; the first and third acts are one, and the second act is a wholly unrelated interlude. I like acts one and three much better than act two, which feels like a distraction more than anything else.
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