It's really too bad. This could have been a GREAT book if the author had just stuck to being a neutral observer instead of a Castro lover. The history of the mob and their involvement with Cuba is very interesting. However, there is a constant irritation throughout the book, caused by the author's obvious bias in favor of Castro. A simple reading of the facts in his book (filtering out his biased comments and loaded adjectives) will tell you that Batista was an authoritarian and Castro was a totalitarian. Both were bad for the people but Castro was a magnitude worse. However, this apologist for Castro consistently gets it totally the opposite. He also compares gangsters to American industrialists - he can't figure out the difference between legal business competition and murdering your competitors. He thinks that mobsters gaining favors from the government is "capitalism". When he sticks to just the facts, it's a fascinating story. But he was so intent on interjecting his left wing interpretation into every area of the book that it really made it difficult to make it all the way through. And I'm sorry for that because he could have written a classic on Cuba. He had the facts and skill to do so but chose to write a historical propaganda piece instead.
I can't say this book was enjoyable. It was incredibly informative and gave me the understanding to get over a very dark period in my life. I don't think the average person has any understanding of how a sociopath thinks and operates. I had just broken up with the woman I had thought was the love of my life after discovering her double life, and all the lies she had been telling me. I was totally crushed and confused. For some reason. I "read" this book, and immediately listened to it again. I discovered that all the hallmarks were there - this person was definitely a sociopath and I can't begin to tell you how much relief I gained from this. I realized that there was nothing I could have done except what I did do - distance myself from her. And I certainly recognized a couple of other people I've known in the past as being the same way. It certainly explained a lot. I recommend this book for everyone. It is a total eye opener for the average person and something that everyone needs to be aware of. Thank you Ms. Stout for a great service to the public.
I love the story. It's well worth reading the actual book. But I cannot recommend the narrator for this one. And I was especially disappointed because the same narrator did such a GREAT job reading The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. But for this book he had a very flat, unemotional voice. And he kept hesitating and pausing in the middle of reading when it was obviously uncalled for. It was almost like he was unsure of himself and kept pausing to figure out how to read the next part. It was very annoying. Read the book - it's full of great ideas. But don't listen to this one.
I was initially surprised by the use of the Russian accent for the narrator but it works and works well. I'll never read the book again without hearing that accent. And his other "voices" for the main characters - especially "Mike", was right on. This was a very well done reading of a must read classic.
Loved the "production" of this book. It was created like a well done stage play and listening to Card discuss it at the end, that was his intent. Highly recommend to everyone.
This is not just a reading. It is a production. And a very well done production at that. It is almost like listening to an excellent dramatization on the BBC. Except it is the whole book! Highly recommend this one.
Anyone who likes Bradbury's books will enjoy this even more. The author reads the stories (and who better to tell how he intended it to sound than him?) and gives a bit of a synopsis of what lead to writing it or other tidbits of info on each one. I highly recommend this one.
I first read this book in the 60's. I still think it's a great book but I did not like the way it was read. The reader's different falsetto voices for the female characters was so forced, it was distracting. As was the totally unexpected southern accent given to one of the main characters. I was mostly able to tune it out but it was distressing. Read the actual book. It's worth it for the ideas. You won't get the same value from listening to this one.
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