This is one of the wittiest books I've read in a long time. I am not an insider to the world the author describes, but it didn't prevent me from feeling like I knew the various characters, and thinking the whole thing was terrifically funny. Except for a few spots, it wasn't burst out loud funny; it was more all of the little interjections from the author and the perfect little plot twists that made it so enjoyable. The various characters are perfect: they weren't too over the top, as they sometimes are in parody. I know there was a start, middle and end to the book, but I admit I was so caught up in the character portrayals that the plot seemed secondary. I may listen to this again, because the wit comes at you fast and furious, and I probably missed some good stuff. The narrator's voice was absolutely drenched with highbrow sentiment, and he was great. It was almost like he was the one who wrote this book.
I think people who gravitate to this genre will like this one. I'm more on the periphery, but even so, there was enough suspense to keep me listening. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, but I did want to learn what was causing the strange sightings, and what it had to do with the little boy. Sometimes the writing was a little heavy handed, with lots of comparisons to blood, ghosts, etc. (I think there was one where the teeth were like tombstones?) But then, it's all part of the fun, and the ending was very good. I always enjoy Bronson Pinchot. For some reason, he sounded about the same when I played my iPod at 2x, so that's how I listened to this one.
Dozens and dozens of daily rituals. I listened to most of them; some I skimmed over. And, I listened over a number of weeks. I think that is probably the best way to read this book, otherwise it could get monotonous. (But don't skip over Buckminster Fuller.) It was fun to come upon famous people who have working habits similar to your own, and I would think most of us have a twin somewhere in this book, habits-wise. Personally, I found it very helpful to have so many distinct working habtts laid out, because it made me see that these daily rituals are probably hard-wired, and that it's probably better to work with them rather than against them. I found some new insights, too.
A collection of stories, some long and some short, and all worth a listen. To sum up, very clever and very funny. The longer ones are especially good, and I've found myself thinking back to some of the lines, because they're so funny. The humor is observational, and is both dark and whimsical. None of it is mean-spirited, though, and in fact, the stories are sentimental at times. Simon Rich was a good person to narrate, and listening to him is a little like listening to the funny kid in class, or the witty guy down the hall you wish you'd run into more often.
Good book! I liked the idea of the traveling entertainers in a bleak, primitive world. They were a bright spot in post apocalypse times, and on the whole, Station Eleven wasn't that depressing. You expect a certain bleakness when you pick up a book like this, and on the dismal scale, the author didn't get overly carried away. The plot moves along pretty well, and the back and forth in time was effective. There were a few times when it seemed the book was about to evolve into a full fledged what is the meaning of life kind of a book, but I'm happy to say that it didn't. The story carried the day, leaving the reader to ponder such esoteric things without feeling forced into it.
(This review is for both Volumes 1 and 2.) This is a stellar work. McPherson starts the story many years before the war, and in fact most of the first volume covers events that precede the Civil War. This book is an even-handed account, but it is also an unsparing one that avoids sentimental attitudes. There is a lot here about the attitudes of the people of the time, which helped me to better understand my own fore-bearers, who lived in different parts of the country. The battles are presented in some detail, but not intricate detail, which was fine with me. I imagine the written book supplied maps, and since there are none in this format, I sometimes pulled maps up from the internet. It was hard to put this one down.
These stories were more fun than seriously creepy. They were probably pretty creepy in their time, though. The characters and situations are all pretty stock by present day standards.
As someone who has spent a lot of time around the Great Lakes, I found Loreen Niewenhuis's trek interesting. She was strongest when she spoke about ecology and environmental issues. I say this not to raise the flag for this important cause, but as someone who has always been curious about what I was seeing out there. This book filled in some blanks for me. All in all, this book has a pleasant, friendly tone, especially since it's read by the author. And while this was a hearty trek, it's not fraught with the kind of peril encountered on the Appalachian Trail. So, not a lot of drama.
For my tastes, there could have been more description of the many moods of the lakes, and of the scenery. Sometimes I wasn't even sure how close she was to the lake. But I'm glad she did it, and it's a little crazy that we don't have more of a hiking path for people who want to do the same.
This book is set in Alaska, and the author does a terrific job in bringing the land to life. I'm not always able to see the surroundings in other books as well as I did in this one. The characters and the story did not pull me in quite as much, although the book did start out strong. It's about primal, animal natures (in humans and wolves), and the author takes this very interesting underside of the human condition in a direction that may not please everybody. What is primal to some may seem senseless to others. I wished some of the characters had their beliefs challenged more - not to change them, but just to make it more interesting. At the end, there could be more resolution, so if that bothers you, you might not like this one.
A good collection of stories of everyday life, but naturally, with a macabre bent. Stephen King knows how to take middle class/upper-middle class problems - almost boring by definition - and give them the twist that will fill you with unease. Things are not what the seem. None of the stories were gory, but all of them messed with your mind. The sheer volume of blood spilled in horror stories usually keeps me away, but this one wasn't so bad. The stories all had a long buildups, but mostly, I was only aware of the mounting tension, and of an intense desire to know the outcome.
I found this book inspiring, and never boring. I don't want to make a big thing of it, but like other commenters, I sometimes wanted to know more about what was going on inside of his head. It's quite a feat walking the entire trail like he did, and I couldn't help but be very curious about his mind-set. But still, he is forthcoming enough, and in general, he seems to know what the reader would want to hear about. The narrator didn't seem quite right (a tad stodgy?), but it didn't get in my way.
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