This book is undoubtedly engaging tale of tragedy and seems to be historically accurate. However, this audio book is proof if there ever was that authors should not read their own books for distribution. I truly wanted to get through this book, its documentation of the history of moutain climbing alone was most interesting, but I was put to sleep by the author's dull monotone, expressionless voice. Fortunately, the iPod Nano has a fast speed setting for situations like this, I thought. But even on fast play, the reading was just plain boring to death, despite the interesting material. Perhaps with a talented actor reading it I would have been able to enjoy the book. I marvel that others were able to listen to it and rate it so highly. If there were a 1.5 star selection thats as high as I would have rated it because of the dull reading.
The author says be believes this second book in the trilogy is the best of the three. I just downloaded the third book so we will see. I will say that Watch was better than Wake because there was more intrigue involved when governments start hunting for the source of internet autonomous intelligence. It is a well used theme in ScFi for governments to see everything they don't understand as a threat, the fun part is that in this case its a benevolent intelligence and that surely would raise the suspicions of any government don't you think? There is no doubt in my mind that these books are well worth the reading, they are light but just thought provoking enough to hold my interest and for me as a retired network engineer, not a bad basic primer on the fundamental workings of the internet. Fun, entertaining and a bit thought provoking - good SciFi to me.
Buddhism isn't really a religion nor is it the "pop cult' that began around 1960 in the USA. Ponlop's basic message is the need to strip the cultural trappings and the "Kung Fu" image away from most of the Buddhism practices and dogma currently passing for Buddhism. He makes the best case I've seen so far, for Americanizing (Westernizing) the practice of the Historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gottima's, teachings. He spells out the steps needed in a logical and, for me, compelling way for individual practices. He offers direction for the growth of Buddhism by showing that having an Asian face is not required to be a wise and effective teacher. He shows that Buddhism has always been adapted to the culture of the area in which it practiced. There are different cultural traditions in different regions none of which are essential to the practice of what Buddha taught, but many of which help its adherents understand and relate to Buddha's teachings. Essentially Buddhism is an education system teaching wisdom, ultimate wisdom. It needs to reach its students through the culture they understand and relate to. Thus I think what Dzogchen Ponlop's "Rebel Buddha" means by "The Road to Freedom" is the releasing of people from following cultural trappings in order for them to see the real teachings of the Buddha.
Its an easy book to read, interesting and thought provoking for me and hits the mark for what I have learned from the Monk who is my guide and teacher - so much so that I recommended the book to him as well. For those who find this book interesting and want to know more I recommend another book, unfortunately not available as an Audio Book, "The Collected Works of Venerable Master Chin Kung" subtitled "The Awakening of Lovingkindness." Its a free book published by The Corporate Body of the Buddha Educational Foundation, in Taiwan. You may find it in your public library.
From Gandhi's lips to my ears! Gandhi wrote this account in a manner that revealed some of his short comings and most of his accomplishments. I enjoyed the book but was at times a little lost regarding some of the events because Gandhi recounted them as if the reader were already familiar with them. He has always been one of my heros but here he reveals aspects of himself that were disappointing to me. In the final analysis he, like all heros, had his flaws and short comings as any human being does. He manages to show himself as conflicted at times, yet able to prevail in spite of that. Sometimes he shows himself to be stubborn and arrogant, yet at other times flexible and tollerant - If you have always admired Gandhi, be prepared to see him in the raw at times. Having said that, there were times when I had the feeling he was glossing over or slanting things in his favor. He was far more complex a person than I had imagined and this book shows it. Well worth the listen and a good historical account of the times.
This is the 3rd book by Brian Freeman and I have read the previous two as well. Each one of them is a terrific listen. Freeman not only spins a great mystery with lots of action and a thrill a minute but also has a great way with words. Its like he carefully considers each word's impact before using it in his story. He has plenty of twists and turns, surprises and convolutions to keep me not only interested but on the edge of my seat. I have had his last two books for 5 days and have listened to them both hardly laying down my player for a moment. I love his main characters, their humor,interaction, friendship and their "lives" are fascinating in themselves. If you like fast action, detective stories, with plenty of action, sex and drama you can do no better than this author and his books. Do not hesitate to get them and listen to them you will not be sorry. My wife who isn't into audio books turned me on to Freeman after she read his first novel and now has read all three of them too and loves them! Whatcha waiting for?
Additionally, Joe Barrett, who narrates these books makes the character and story come to life in a big way. He has distinguishing voices and tones even regional accents for each character. The main character Lt. Stride, was born and raised in Minnesota - he has the "Norwegian flavored" accent down pat for him. The books are made ten times better by this actor! Barrett has assumed the mantel of my favorite narrator from Guidall whom I love very much.
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I loved this book. It explained a lot and cleared up many questions I had wondered about. But it was very challenging to follow not because of the way it was written but because of the complexity of the subject matter. I occasionally had to fight the urge to Fast Forward to avoid being lost in the details. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in science and the cosmos. Just be prepared to work hard at listening and absorb as much as you can. I probably will have to listen to this at least one more time just to get what I missed the first time. An excellent book.
I enjoyed the story and the intrigue. It kept me going and guessing and expecting a surprise end that would leave me breathless. But alas the protagonist's (Mark Stoner) final swan song sounded like a High School Valedictorian's speech. "We must make the world a better place for all mankind, we all must work together" was a bit too corny for me. However, I really liked it that author avoided the perpetual SF theme of governments hiding the existence of aliens from the population. I always felt that such an action was as stupid and it was implausible, in spite of the public reaction Orson Wells's famous radio broadcast. Over all it was a fun listen.
I have just finished reading the third of the first three books in the Outlander series and I found all three books, (Outlander, Dragon Fly in Amber and Voyager) to be extremely excellent and entertaining. I loved the adventures and as a dyed in the wool romantic, I enjoyed the romance as well. I know these stories are probably considered in the same vein as "Chick Flicks", but I found them exciting as well as informative. Diana Gabaldon's exhaustive and accurate research of Scottish history provides an entertaining as well as an excellent view of and insight into the history of the Highland Scots. They are filled with intrigue, deception, action, and adventure that are unforgettable. They truly unfold an epic saga I would strongly recommend that these books only be read in the order they were published. I can't wait for more of the series to be released in the Unabridged form as I would hate to miss even the smallest details in the lives and further adventures of the characters.
Undoubtedly the most heart warming story I have read in years. I admittedly am a romantic and love stories that end "and they all lived happily ever after." This novel comes close to that ending and so wins my favor automatically; however, the story itself was so moving - especially Jacob at 90 (or is it 93)and his observations of nursing home living. I relate to it so very much as I spend every day with my mother who is in a nursing home. Jacob tells it like it is and his reactions are certainly typical in every way - I grew to love him deeply as his story unfolds. I empathized with him and his circumstances every step of the way. I also loved Jacob at 23 and the unfolding story of his true love with all the surprises that it holds. His story too brings the romantic out in me even more. DO NOT PASS this book by -- read it and you will enjoy it, I guarantee.
I love history - especially the 19th and 20th century history. This is the first book I have read written by Jeff Shaara. He has done a supreme job telling the story of the beginnings of WWII through the eyes of real characters. The events and campaigns of the Africa and Italian campaigns were depicted through the eyes of not only Heads of State, and Generals, but Colonels, Captains, Sargent's, and the little men made the history come alive for me! The reader, Larry Pine, was great, his Churchill,Montgomery,and Patton impressions were PERFECT! This is a great listen especially for history buffs! The only reason I did not give it 5 Stars is that nothing beats Robert Kurson's "Shadow Divers" for real life drama and fascinating adventure! I highly recommend "The Rising Tide" as a truly great audio book.
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