Usually I hate books where the author chooses to be narrator, rather than hiring a professional narrator. But in this instance, the author narrates well; probably because she is also a public speaker.
The book sets forth a persuasive case for atheism by using logic and reason and does so without being inflammatory or contentious. It is a book that teaches.
Great Courses uses "time stretch" software to speed the narration so that their audio courses can be compressed into shorter time. It makes for uncomfortable listening because nobody talks that fast in real life.
As a consequence, I have to purchase my own "time stretch" software to revert Great Courses to a more natural tempo, so that speech is slow enough that I can listen without discomfort. That is not always possible, however, because Audible.com uses its own proprietary audio format to prevent unauthorized copying. That restriction is a major nuisance because sometimes a person, like me, as a legitimate need to copy and to modify an audio book. It is for the reason that I just explained.
I have listened to numerous audio books, manufactured by Great Courses - i.e. The Teaching Company. In nearly every instance, they all suffer the same problem. The narrator talks too fast for a listener's comfort.
The first few chapters are good, where he enlightens us to social issues about sex from a gay man's perspective. But in later chapters, he diverges to unrelated topics where his highly-opinionated rants would annoy anybody who doesn't totally agree with him. On the topic of euthanasia, he bored me with endless details about his mother's death. Just because his mother's death was important to him doesn't make it important to strangers like me who never knew his mother. At times, the author rambles on with nonessential discussion, as if he has nothing to say but needs to write more, anyway, so as to have enough to complete a book.
Of all the self-help books on depression that I have read, this is by far the best. It identifies proven steps an individual can take to elevate their mood, and the author speaks with authority because he is an expert.
Too much anecdotal content of a personal nature that makes the narrative twice as long as it needs to be. The author's subjective, personal feelings are also irrelevant to the topic. For example, I couldn't care less about how the author grieved, when his grandmother died; and yet, he discusses it at length.
Too much emphasis on the Christian bible without reference to non-Christian sources. Would prefer a more scholarly discussion of Hell from the perspective of how the subject might be taught by a college professor. This author, instead, sounds too much like a preacher in a pulpit, relying solely upon the Christian bible as his authority.
If a Christian sermon is what you want, then you will love it. But if a scholarly discussion is what you expected, then you will want a refund.
The only bad reviews that I have read about this book are from expert psychologists, who say that its author discusses nothing original but instead rehashes other researcher's ideas.
But so what? I enjoy the audio book, anyway. It is easy listening that entertains while providing an overview of cognitive psychology. It sustained my interest for enough hours that I got my money's worth.
This book is suppose to be about the "believing brain", but less than half the book has anything to do with such topic. Perhaps that is because publishers force authors to use catchy titles, so the book will sell.
For example, the author delves into the Big Bang theory of the universe and multiverses; and he rambles on and on about other irrelevant topics, as if to ensure his text is long enough to be a book. Otherwise, had the author only discussed "believing brain", the audio book could have been one hour instead of several hours.
Audio books also sound better when read professionally, instead of being read by their author. This is another one of those that is read by the author. One annoyances is its inappropriate use of music at the beginning and end of each chapter. It makes spoken words difficult to understand for a few minutes, until the music stops.
Narrator rambles in a conversational style, interjecting laughs and sometimes mumbling as if he were stoned. Narrator repeats and rephrases everything he says for emphasis, as if we didn't hear him the first time. Probably because he really has nothing of substance to say. Very annoying.
The book's title and introduction are unrelated to the book's content, which itself is just a rehash of biographical and historical facts about cosmology as a science. Except for the book's title and introduction, the question of "a universe from nothing" or "something from nothing" is a question that is not even addressed, much less answered.
Call if fraud because fraud is what it is, whenever the title and introduction of any book intentionally use marketing deception to induce a person to buy a book that they would otherwise find useless.
Book fails into deliver what it promises. Period. Author boasts about his pickup skills with beautiful women, promising to teach his methods in the book's introduction. But then, he quickly diverges into a variety of random topics that are unrelated to his stated topic; and he never refocuses. He just rambles on and on. I wish I could get a refund. I feel cheated. The irrelevance of the book's content to the book's title constitute consumer fraud.
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