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.
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.
This was more a humor book than edge-of-the-seat thriller. I loved the mix of characters, and how keyed in the book was to contemporary life and all the inherent tensions. I'm not sure if it was the author's intention, but the three main characters all screamed out "Mellennials!" to me. Prototypes of a generation or not, they seemed to have grand-ish expectations that were fated to run smack dab into cold reality, which was part of the humor of the book. It also helped that the narrator was totally on board with the tenor of the book. Things move along at a good pace, which is surprising because there isn't that much going on in terms of thriller intrigue.
One thing, though - I was expecting more of a focus on the struggle between the bad guy Committee people and the good guy Dear Diary people. As it turned out, there is a long build up to it, and even then, things are not entirely resolved. Will this book be part of a series?
This was a fascinating book, and answered a number of questions I'd always had about Kim Philby. For one thing, just how does that work, exactly, going to MI6 everyday and pulling a lie of that magnitude over everybody's eyes, day after day? This book lays it out as well as any I have read about real-life spies, and it goes a long way to connecting the dots of character and action. It read like a spy novel, although it was unexpectedly depressing in parts, because unfortunately, this is all real.
Ben Macintyre did a good job keeping an objective tone throughout. He challenged some of Philby's beliefs and assumptions, but when he did, it came across as reasonable inquiry.
I usually try to stay away from stories billed as "heart-warming," and worse, "feel-good," but there is no resisting this one. The author does a great job showing the world through the protagonist's eyes (who has Asperger's, we are all but straight out told), while at the same time, giving the reader a pretty good idea of how things surely must look to everybody else. I laughed out loud in parts, and got choked up in others. It's a funny, light book, but I never found it silly; I would have stopped reading it if I had. Also, it doesn't treat Asperger's as a completely negative condition, and we are invited to look at the other side of that coin, as entertaining a lesson as I've ever had. Good narrator, with an ear for the subtleties that are moving the story.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.