I say a bridge too far, both in terms of the subject matter and the author. As for the subject matter, it's too much of a stretch to think that the depths or the character of the present economic crisis can be conveyed by a limited number of individuals, no matter how engaging or overdrawn. As for the author, Lewis has let the deserved success of Liar's Poker and The Big Short go to his head. What he has written this time is worthy of Vanity Fair, where the material first appeared, and not in our ears from Audible.
I won't want to hear the book again but I would like to skim the hard copy, particularly if there are any photographs of the various characters depicted.
Like the excellent "Hanns and Rudolph" book, this is an exploration of evil. Contrary to Hannah Arendt, I would say it is not so much banal as multifaceted.
The narrator has a very pleasant and precise delivery that serves to greatly enhance the pleasure of the book.
The book could be somewhat condensed but its pace and the narrator make the book a pleasure nonetheless.
I very much enjoy and find perceptive John Feinstein when talking sports in a 5-minute segment on NPR. However, a book full of his interactions--often as not with obscure sports figures I've never heard of--does not make for compelling reading or listening. Also, given that much of the book is about John, himself, I think the book would have more of a positive impact if John had read it himself.
This is not the most tightly conceived, scholarly, or even original treatment of the period but it's a great listen and wonderfully read (except for the mispronounciation of KEYNES, as in John Maynard). For anyone interested looking as much for entertainment as enlightenment, I say you can't go wrong.
This is a terrific book by any measure. The characters, the history, the medicine and the richness of the Ethiopian, Indian, and Bronx settings are riveting and authentic. Most important for the listener, the reader plays every accent perfectly and gives each character his or her own personality. I almost would say it was better to listen to than to read, the ultimate compliment!
I won't attempt to review the substance of this absolutely outstanding book--for that you can find many worthy examplars at amazon.com. What I will say is that, contrary to what is stated by audible, the book is not narrated by the author (whom I have heard speak) but by someone sounding entirely different. That person, it must be said, does a fabulous job. He has a deep, authoritative, and very pleasing voice. That and the cadence and diction are just right, notwithstanding the very occasional and probably inevitable mispronounciations (as, for example, calling the Massachusetts town "STOUT-AN" and not "STOW-TON.") I simply can't recommend this audible book too highly!
I have the highest regard for Malcolm Gladwell from what I have read of him in the New Yorker. However, I found this audiobook nowhere near as interesting or wide-ranging as Freakanomics, which also tries to explain observed sociological phenomena. Both, for example, consider the marked drop in the homicide rate in the early 1990's in New York. Freakanomics uses extensive data to persuade the listener that it was part of a national trend precipitated by the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legaled abortion. This is far more persuasive than Gladwell's view that it was just consequence of a decision by a few New York gangleaders which then spread among the rest. Freakanomics is also superior because of the authors' humor and the more expressive way in which the book is read.
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