This book starts slowly and is ponderously written throughout, but it is the exceedingly dull narration that ultimately does it in.
I've read/listened to almost all of Mary Roach's other books and enjoy her sense of humor. But this book has an absurd number of footnotes filled with irrelevant anecdotes, many of which aren't particularly entertaining. If you were reading the book you could skip them, but in the audiobook they constantly interrupt the flow of the narrative with "Note ---- Endnote."
Perhaps it because I am not American (or because I started listening to this book on my own rather than studying it with a wise prof in university), I found this book didn't live up to its billing. Modern Library has ranked it as the best nonfiction book of all time. No doubt it is historically important, but the best of all time?
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