I listened to the whole book, simply because the narrator was awesome and gave a fantastic performance.
Surprisingly, I laughed only a few times. The book is full of wit and sarcasm and fantastic twists on historical events, cultural beliefs, and even word roots. That kept me going, but I had been hoping for some laughs.
There was a lot of sex, often it was unnecessary and cheapened the story. There were too many dirty words. And, if I were a deeply religious Christian, I would find many parts of the story and biblical or historical interpretation to be blasphemous. Or, small-minded.
I wondered if this book was written to be controversial and hopefully attract attention.
I had previously read the author's first book, Practical Demonkeeping, and that was funny, made me laugh, and was good humor. There were light sexual references, but the book was fairly clean. I had intended on going through all this author's other books based on how funny the first one was, but the sexuality in this book is juvenile and if another book is as heavy on sex as this one is, it'll be the last.
I enjoyed reading most of Patrick McManus' books, and also recently discovered Jim Bernheimer's books, and they were able to provide laughs, good stories, and keep it clean. A good author should be able to get laughs, tell a good story, and not have to use sex or curse words.
While listening to this book, I got the feeling that the author (or someone) did a lot of research first, and then wrote the story, ticking off a list of all the references and twists to be included. The middle of the story really lagged, and the humor didn't return till near the end, but even then it was feeble.
The narrator was awesome, and I continued listening just to hear his outstanding rendition of voices and accents.
This conversation between Tami Simon and Ken Wilber is an interesting listen. There were a few chatty moments that didn't add to the discussion, but overall, this was laden with useful information.
I really enjoyed those portions that discussed the various methods or organizations that seek to evolve Consciousness through meditation - like TM, Zen Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, the machines, etc. I haven't found enough sources that discuss and compare, usually books are written by people who have picked and are promoting one way.
This Integral model is complex, yet, by discussing how it works, the meaning of the various parts, a deeply interesting look at humanity, individuals, nations, ideas and Consciousness unfolded and stretched my mind. I've come away from this book with a framework that I can use to "measure" things that are usually intangible. Like motives or self evolution.
The narration as a light-hearted conversation was delightful, although there was less focus that way, thus there was probably an extra hour of chattiness that added to the time, but perhaps also lessened any eye-glazing mind-numbness too since this kind of topic can be a lot to wade through at times.
Not every book in a series is going to be as good as the others. This one was lacking and I kept waiting for it to shape up, but . . . nada.
I'll probably get Book 4 later, but will try another author for now . . .
35 minutes into this book. Hoped to get used to the strange mechanical, sing-song, pretentious intonation with syllables raised in the strangest places. I give up.
This strange narration is distracting from what would be interesting information.
This book is from 1955, and the UFO research done back then is presented differently than that of today, so is of interest.
Natural speech is always more effective than weirdness. I don't know if someone used some mechanical filtering on this, but even that wouldn't account for the strange inflection of syllables. Narration shouldn't take away from the actual book.
This is a book I'll have to go back and listen to again. Not for any lack on the part of the author, but because I always have a tough time with physics.
I'm really interested in metaphysical explanations and seek a greater understanding of consciousness. But it seems the authors of books that explain these things like to start with a lot of physics and some philosophy before getting to consciousness or metaphysics.
Of course, any good teacher will start with the basics, so apparently an understanding of consciousness means learning about space-time, the speed of light as a constant, protons, neutrons or galaxies, the double-slit experiment and its implications, dimensions, the senses, perception . . .
The explanations in this book come from another angle, and I appreciate that very much since I struggle so much physics. I grasped only about 50 percent of this book, so I'll go back again as I do return to these books to get a better understanding the next go round.
The narration is excellent, and if I want to be nit-picky there a few moments that a good editor would have cut out as the reader stopped, and re-read a sentence, probably with the expectation that it would have been edited.
History is often too boring. Dates, places, and facts . . . perhaps a little skewed to favor a point of view.
I love the way Timothy Egan wrote this book through the experiences and recollections and stories of the people. Each person is a thread and each thread is masterfully woven together.
This is the most exciting non-fiction book I've ever read. Who would have thought that forestry, politics, north-western regional history, immigrants, drunks, whores, settlers, loggers, miners, millionaire industrialists, railroads, Buffalo soldiers, and the largest fire in American history could combine to make for a gripping yet informative tale.
I’ve read a lot of books about the near death experience, reincarnation, consciousness, and the greater reality - some written by people who have graduate physics training but also appear to be mystics. Each book adds to a big picture as I’m seeking to understand what is reality, what is the purpose of life, is there something beyond death.
What I like about Dr. Eben Alexander’s book is that he has read a lot of the classic or relevant “hard books” and has thought about how they relate to his and others’ consciousness-stretching experiences.
I know that I too should read Plato, Socrates, Emanuel Swedenborg, and the other authors’ works that Dr. Alexander read and referenced. But I probably won’t, so I do appreciate Dr. Alexander’s distillation of the essential points he found in these books with regard to consciousness and the human experience of life and beyond.
There is a long introduction to this book, and then it starts with classic philosophy lines of thought, so I was worried that I was going to be bored. Nope. Dr. Alexander reads his own work, with a voice that is easy to listen to and I loved hearing out loud words I’ve often read, but never heard pronounced. That was a bonus!
Classic writings throughout history and expert opinions on consciousness are the bones of this book, giving those who are scientifically-minded food for thought and places to start reading. Throughout the book are letters people sent to Dr. Alexander after having read his first book, sharing their own experiences. Such letters, with their common points, add to the validity of the existence of a greater reality and flesh out the narrative.
The logical thought process of Dr. Eben Alexander has helped me to clarify and organize the ideas and experiences read from other books related to the continuation of Consciousness and the existence of a greater reality. This book is a clean and clear introduction and review at the same time. Pleasant and interesting too.
This story is told so elegantly that I just plunged into this other world everytime the iPod was turned on. The descriptive details are elegantly and subtly woven into the action and conversation. Of course, an intricate and well-planned plot are much appreciated in any story, but the humor throughout makes this fun. Some laugh out loud moments, but mostly the kind of humor that makes for a smile or grin.
Brandon Sanderson is a new author to me, and reviews were good. I downloaded this huge audiobook and wondered what was in store. The beginning was a little rough for me - like being thrown into the deep end of a pool. The author doesn't coddle the reader and we are plunged directly into another world with new words that aren't defined and meanings are discerned by the conversation, actions, or later on in the story.
That was an interesting experience for me, and I could either have chosen to be annoyed at having to work a bit or intrigued by having to discover meanings on my own. By about the 4th hour of the audiobook things started to settle into place - the world, the people, the new words, the culture and characters.
Well, in four hours some authors are starting to wrap up their book, but Brandon Sanderson was just getting warmed up. The plot is deliciously intricate and it takes time to weave happenings together and it's so fun to watch the individual characters develop and then anticipate the moment various storylines come together.
The imaginative details are impressive . . . I always wonder how people can think up these physical details.
A great experience. On to Book 2 of the series . . .
The one chapter that interviewed the Weaver family and looked back at what is known as the Ruby Ridge incident had a great impact on me. It was painful to hear about, but educational as well - I had not read behind-the-scenes information and the history changed for me.
The other chapters, where the various heads of political or activist or anti-this or anti-that groups, and their members, were interesting and at times amusing. In the end, all the people featured seemed to be of a similar personality type and maybe they got into their respective groups or ideas simply because of where they were born or who they were around.
The book started out strong and ended quietly. Jon Ronson is an excellent investigative journalist and I learned a lot, but because he can see the humor in life and people, the stories were easier to listen to.
People who don't read miss out. I almost missed out on this one due to the slow start of the story, but thankfully the book gained momentum after about half an hour or so, picking up more with each chapter.
Peals of laughter from deep in my chest, lumps in my throat, sometimes tears in my eyes that were left from laughter or some emotion that was brought forth from the writing.
In the movie Avatar, there is saying "I see you" and this is something that the author brought forth in this book again and again. We see humanity, with faults and gifts, angry, kind, childish, witty, mean, or compassionate. We see humanity through the various people described, observed, or met in this road trip, and especially in the unfolding of one character and the evolution of the other.
I started out knowing this was a fictional book, but midway couldn't help doing an internet search just to make sure. Because I hoped it was not. But, it is.
I hope the sequel will be put on Audible too. A book to bring forth the best in the reader as we are given moments to contemplate, be thoughtful, and maybe come out at the end of this book a little better for the experience.
The funny parts were really funny too. I love it when an author can make me laugh.
Excellent and perfect narration.
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