I've read all of Malcolm Gladwell's books and loved everyone of them, but this one didn't work for me.
The beginning is good, with some interesting stories and analysis, but then it ventures into weird areas that read more like a history book. I often couldn't figure out how it had anything to do with the "David/Little Guy and Goliath/Big Guy" concept. It was just too abstract and obtuse.
I will give Gladwell credit for the ton of research he must have done on this book --- it's got some very interesting facts and stories that i can't imagine how he discovered. I'm sure he worked hard at it.
I also think he does a good job of reading the book -- his inflections and pace add a lot of emphasis to key areas.
But overall, I can not recommend it like his other books. I often thought about turning it off, but I forced myself to slog through it, hoping it would get better.
Be prepared to laugh, cry, and be inspired by exceptional people. This book is moving and touching. It's amazing how this enormous disabled dog and this little disabled boy have changed each other's lives. And the couple who care for them are truly the most selfish and remarkable people.
Listen to this book. You will love it.
This book has some really great content if you like books about reincarnation and life after death. But i would recommend reading it instead of listening to it. Why? Most of it's written in case study format, which i imagine looks like this (what i've written below is meant to be illustrative and not actual quotes):
Dr. N: "Tell me what you saw."
Patient X: "A bright white light and people."
Dr. N: "Did you recognize any of them?"
Patient X: "Yes. I saw my father and my uncle George."
And this goes on and on for each case study, of which there are well over 20.
While this format is fine for reading because your brain just sort of skims over the "Patient X" and "Dr N" parts, it is rather annoying to hear the narrator constantly say "Patient X: blah blah....Dr. N: blah blah....Patient X...blah blah" And so on.
The narrator does a fine job with what he's given, but it's just not good for an audible book.
I'm not even done with this book and I feel compelled to write about it. It's really great. My wife is listening to it, too, and she feels the same way..
First, this guy's voice is FANTASTIC. Because he wrote the book he tells it with his own personal inflections and emphasis, and he's a GREAT story teller. You feel like you're in the room with him.
And his stories are really moving and touching. I am so impressed that someone would dedicate years of their life to helping gang kids like this. I can only imagine how rewarding and uplifting it must be.
Want to be reminded of the goodness of the world? Want to have clear evidence there are incredible people who put others ahead of themselves? Want to see how one person can change so many others' lives? Want to just FEEL GOOD after listening to a book?
Listen to this one.
If you'd like to know what life is like inside what is considered to be the worst prison in the world, listen to this book.
The stories in it are truly remarkable. So disgusting and revolting there are sometimes hard to believe.
The author has an exceptional grasp of the English language. The writing is really creative and superb. Sometimes it's so good it's a bit over the top.
I didn't give it a 5 overall because the book is a series of stories, rather than one story. As such, it can feel a bit disjoint at times. For example, you won't find out why the author is in jail until the end of the book. I personally didn't like that.
This book will rivet you and keep you dying to hear the next minute. Although the thrust of the story is about Luttrell's incredible experience in the Afghanistan mountains after being separate from this SEAL brethren after a brutal shootout with the Taliban, it's also about the preparation he underwent to be there. It's truly hard to believe what SEALs go through to be a SEAL. You not only have to be a rare physical specimen, but you have to also be a little mentally crazy. That is not a disparaging remark. You have to be able to withstand an impossible amount of suffering and abuse. You'll understand when you listen to the book.
My only disappointment is with the narrator. He does a really good job, but at times he's just too *dramatic* in his verbalization. By the end of the book I grew a bit weary of his drama. But it's still really good and I highly recommend this book to anyone.
I'm sure we've all wondered what is was like to "be there." This book will help you understand -- as much as any of us can -- what it felt like to be in the middle of the chaos and carnage; a first-hand account of the worst terrorist attack on US soil.
Although the book isn't superbly written in the purest sense, it makes up for any linguistic deficiencies with its honesty and openness. The writer describes, in intimate detail, the personal downward spiral he experienced as the result of the 9/11 disaster he lived through. He is very honest about the impact such a trauma took on him and how it affected his behavior and relationships. It's both moving and gut-wrenching
I love books that are about real-life situations that are hard to believe, frightening, or otherwise amazing. This is one of those books. They story itself is enough to make you want to listen, but you can tell the author is a journalist because the writing is exceptional -- very tight, very descriptive. And the woman who read the book is perhaps the best I've ever heard (even with her attempt to imitate the accent of a middle eastern man!).
This may be the best book i've listened to all year. It is truly remarkable in every way: the story is gripping, horrifying, and illuminating; the writing is tight, to the point, and creative; and the narrator is one of the, if not the, best i've ever heard -- his timing and intonation is perfect.
Ever wondered what it's like in a prison? How about the worst one in the world? This guy describes the unbelievably inhuman living conditions and torture that the Thai prison system put him through. And he explains how it was not only hell to live through, but how it has scarred him for life.
I listened to this book during my commute and i actually looked forward to it every day (how often can you say that?). I was actually happy when there was a traffic jam or slowdown because i got to listen to more of the book. I was really disappointed when it was over.
Listen to this book -- you will be captivated from start to finish.
The story this book tells is truly "stranger than fiction." If it was a novel, you'd say it was too absurd to be true. But amazingly, and shockingly, it is.
From the very beginning, the story is well-paced and well-written. It contains enough details to send chills down your spine that such a sick, twisted man could ever exist. You will wonder how his victimized daughter ever survived and kept her sanity through numerous unthinkable acts: raped 3,000 times by her father, help captive for 24 YEARS, living in a dungeon that is only 5' 6" tall with no windows...it's truly unthinkable.
I listened to this book during my commute, and i was anxious to get into my car every day (how often does that happen to you?). In addition to the story being unbelievable, the narrator is perhaps the best i've ever heard. His voice is made for this kind of thing. It is truly one of the best books i've ever listened to.
My only word of caution: be prepared to be amazed, horrified, disgusted, and baffled.
You'll want to hug your children after you listen to this.
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