First of all let me admit 2 things. First I am not a believer in VonDaniken's theories but I do like to listen to them in the same way I like listening to SciFi. Second I couldn't finish this book; I only made it half way before I could take no more.
Before I get to a summary let me tell you why this book was terrible.
1.The discussion of aliens is sparse and almost nonexistent. The book spends most of its time detailing archeological mysteries that the author finds interesting but apparently no conventional archeologist has any interest.
2.VonDaniken likes to scoff at others beliefs and laugh at what he thinks is faulty science.
3.The book has no real thesis that it is trying to prove or defend – especially one that ties in with the title in any way. He drifts around from idea to idea and it was painfully hard to try to figure out what all these ideas had in common.
It was perhaps the 2nd item that made me stop reading this book. I mean really - If you are writing a book that is based on the premise that aliens visited the earth and did all these crazy things and then left you should be a little more tolerant of other people’s ideas. Maybe I stopped reading before he could conclude everything but I had seen enough.
In the first part of the book VonDaniken tries to reason why there were so many animals mummified and why were they considered sacred. He also wanted to reason why there are so many animal hybrids depicted in Egyptian art and literature. Here is his theory summarized in my words.
Aliens were riding around the universe and ran out of gas. They stopped at earth to replenish all their supplies and fuel. They were here for a long time and got bored so they created genetic labs on earth to study replicating and creating hybrid animals for fun. Earthlings killed the first of these and really made the aliens mad so they started marking their animals with things like horns on their head or a special birthmarks. As a result humans could tell the animals “of the gods” and so treated them with respect even after the aliens left.
Seriously!? This is your theory and you scoff at people that believe in life after death….I bought this book deeply discounted on sale and it still wasn’t worth it to me. Maybe he just rubbed me the wrong way here. I did like is first book much more. Maybe the second half gets much more exciting and reveals secret truths about the world. Its a mystery I can live with.
I wanted to hear the back story of Edward Snowden. I wanted to hear about his life before, during, and after his disclosures. Snowden is discussed in the 1st quarter of the book but even this is superficial. The rest of the book discusses privacy and the NSA documents. I found this repetitive and boring. I also felt that Glenn Greenwald painted himself very favorably and so, to me, this book rang a little self serving and preachy.
The story follows mostly Libby and her quest for the truth of her family's murder. A lot of this story was told in flashback, and I loved how the tension slowly ratcheted up as the characters hurdled towards their fate. This isn't an action thriller or a mystery as such. I felt like it was more of a personal transformation story with elements of thriller and mystery woven into it. I liked it. True, the story is gory and gruesome at times, but I doubt you'll put this book down. The author is very skilled at pulling the reader in and taking them to dark places.
This is a story about the spiritual awakening of a fussy guy (Otto) with everything going for him. Circumstances align for Otto to take a cross country trip with a guru, and we follow Otto's transformation over the course of the trip.
I like the premise, and I like the idea of presenting spiritual lessons in story form. However, I found everything too easy for Otto - he had nothing at risk. The biggest challenge that Otto faced during the trip was a yoga session, which was so much for Otto that afterwards he immediately scheduled a massage session....you get the idea. By the end of the story Otto started to get on my nerves. That being said, I liked the guru's lessons. I suspect everyone will like the guru's lessons since they are pretty universal and don't offer anything too difficult to consider.
Gone Girl is the BEST mystery/thriller I have ever read! Wow. Wow! WOW! This book held me firmly in its grips from cover to cover and now still haunts me!
Great Book! Best book I've listened to in a while!
In ways it reminded me of Hitchcock's "Rear Window" and also the film "Memento."
Three narrators kept things from becoming too confusing - though at first it was still a little confusing.
It was hard to put this book down!
Tim Conway is about the luckiest guy in the world and he knows it. "What's so Funny" is comprised of vignettes of Conway's life woven together to form a life story.
The stories were all very positive and overall had such strong tones of irrepressible optimism that at times this book felt more like a performance and less like honest sharing. Tim Conway is not shy with the praise of others and at times this too seemed heavy handed.
In total, this is a fairly tepid memoir that will offend absolutely nobody. This can be good or bad depending on what you are looking for. I found this book to be "laugh out loud" once but mostly it just mildly amused me.
I am a little too young to have appreciated most of the characters and the stories here. I would say that this book would be most loved by folks that were middle aged in the 60s and 70s.
This is a wonderful book. 1776 was an amazing year and the author captures the events and action with so much detail that its like he was there. I learned a lot about the revolutionary war - things I would have never learned in school. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how there were so many coincidences leading to wins or gains for the continental army. It was amazing how many times things looked like they were just about done for Washington's army only to see them turn around (sometimes overnight). I think that 1776 surprised everyone - including Washington himself. It was a great lesson in never giving up! Great read and I highly recommend for anyone - not just history buffs.
Seems like people love the Dave Robicheaux mysteries but I don't see it.
This book had all the get-up-and-go of a Mississippi barge during a drought. Sure, there was action but it all seemed gratuitous. To me the mystery almost seemed secondary to this story. I didn't feel like there was a plot force driving all the characters towards a conclusion. It was just Dave and his pal Clete meandering around and beating up bad guys. Speaking of "bad", the class-hate (rich=bad) is so cliche these days that it often drives all mystery right out of mysteries.
I did like the descriptions of Louisiana and the people. I also loved the narration. Having said this, the novel was too long for me and not much fun. I only recommend it to Robicheaux fans. For me...it was my first and last of Monsieur Robicheaux. To you sir, I must say adieu.
Gorky Park is a detective novel set in the former Soviet Union. It is a dense book with many characters and a plot that seems to plod along - never boring but also never truly exciting. What made this story good, however, was the author's imagery. So many times I thought, "Wow that is a great description!" Also, the author's knowledge and understanding of the Soviet Union seemed very deep. I only hope that the bleakness described has been been lifted since the story was written. It was a fascinating novel if for no other reason than to get a glimpse of this.
The low part of this book, which lead to the title of this review, was the narration. The narrator was more a reader and less a performer. He needed better timing, better intonation, and better character voices for this story to work as an audio book. I felt lost sometimes in scene transitions and in dialogue.
This is a clever book in so many ways and it attempts to confront so many social and philosophical questions - questions all the way up to the meaning of life.
I read this story in high school and remember it being pretty good, so I decided to read it again. What I found was a much different book. Now I know why there were rumors about it being provocative. I must have read the cleaned up version, with none of the main character's sexual hang-ups. This book is tragic, sad, and thought provoking. I recommend it for a book club.
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