I really liked this book! Menand provides a compelling narrative that connects history, philosophy and notions of culture and society together in a way that I found fascinating. I was particularly interested in his treatment of Wendel Holmes; his ability to weave together biography and history create a picture of the profound effect this dynamic figure had on American culture. My only criticism of this book is the choice of narrator Henry Leyva. He is the worst narrator of any book i have ever listened to. His bizarre inflections make me cringe. I would give the book 6 stars and his narration one star, but if this is a period of time that you are interested in, the book is a must read (or listen?).
I think Chris Hedges is an incredible writer and thinker and I recommend all his books.
He is NOT a good narrator though, I think I would rather have a computer read it because then the pace would be consistent. It actually breaks my heart to say this but want to save others from trying to listen to this book rather than reading it occularly. I wish he hadn't narrated his other books so I could listen to them but I can't stand it.
The first half of this book is fantastic, I learned so much about american medical/scientific history that I had no idea about. It was really fascinating, well written and I found it riveting and suprising. He weaves a seamless connection between the history of the US medical establishment, the United States in WWI and the science of infectious diseases.
Unfortunately the second half is just way too long, he should have stopped writing and called it good. I am still recommending it, but when you start getting bored with the endless descriptions of the search for the disease, you can just skip to the last chapter and wrap it up.
This is a fantastic book! I have read and enjoyed several of Winchester's books and find them all fascinating and well written. He weaves geology and history together in unanticipated ways. Since reading the Map That Changed the World, I have a new found respect/interest in the effects that geology shapes culture, and this book brings this notion to a new level, providing insights that are fundamental to my understaning of both the physical evolution of the planet and human history. I highly recommend this book if you are interested in either understanding how culture/society are shaped and changed and the emergence of the concept of a global village or in the history of our understanding of the earths geology. Also I highly recommend the Map That Changed the Wold as well as (not by Winchester) A History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. These three books together will gave me a profound respect/understanding of the link between earth history and human history.
I have enjoyed several of Aczel's books, and this one is especially interesting. He constructs a compelling narrative and explains complicated concepts in a way that I (not a mathemetician) could easily understand. The only downside to this book is that the narrator drives me crazy. I wish audible would stop using him as a narrator. If you can get past his irritating voice and bizarre inflections (he emphasizes words that can detract from the power of a sentence) then you will enjoy this book. I am currently listening to Entanglement, again by Aczel and narrated by the same guy (Leyva) and can't believe i didn't check to see who narrated it. Anyway, this book is really good and I would give it 6 stars if it weren't for Leyva's insane reading style.
This is an excellent book, and very well performed. If you are interested in this amazing journey, or just looking for an adventure, look no more!
I just finished listening to A Cold Heart and liked it for the most part. It was well read, and the voices for the characters were consistent and the pacing was good. The writing is a bit confusing at first, switching between first person and third person, but once you get used to it, it is ok. I haven't read any of Kellermans and after listening to this one, I am not going to download any more. That being said, it was an interesting serial killer, and a good basic detective story.
If you love Tom Robbins, then you will like this book. The narration is fantastic, and the story is compelling. The classic problem is that it is difficult to wrap up so many stories at the end, so he uses an epilogue to finish the book, which was a little bit of a let down. That being said, it has some great characters, storylines and made me laugh out loud.
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