The first couple hours are very difficult to get through due to the first narrator's viewpoint. I recommend consulting an online summary of the book before you start listening, otherwise you could be lost, like I was. As the book shifts to the perspective of the other three narrators it gets better, and enjoyable, even though I found Jason's narration despicable because of his pettiness and meanness. The reader did an excellent job with the dialects and accents.
There are some really good stories in this collection. However, numerous passages are repeated. The first time, I thought, "Oh, that was strange." But after numerous times, it is annoying.
Although I am a recreational rower, I had never heard of this team, and their role in the 1936 Olympics. Myself and my 20 yo son listened to this on a long car trip and didn't want to get out of the car. Fabulously written. It reminded me of both Seabiscuit and Unbreakable in the quality of the writing. Highly recommend it.
I loved this book!! My 20 yo son and I listened to it on a camping trip, and he loved it as well. What an amazing and frightening look at a totally disfunctional society. The only downside is that two of the narrators were poor. One, who was doing the chapters involving the North Korean news announcements, sounded like a person with a Brooklyn accent trying to do a Korean accent and doing a poor job. The other doing the interrogator character sounded like a female, but the character was male. Regardless, this was only distracting to a minor degree. I wish they had simply had the main narrator do the entire book. In any event, aside from that, I highly recommend it and so does my son!!!
The war on drugs is a plot to incarcerate a generation of black men? This is as incredible (or unbelieveable) a conspiracy theory as those who think President Obama isn't a U.S. citizen. As a professional in the criminal justice system, I find this book to be offensive. I have never taken part in a racially motivated prosecution nor have I ever observed one happening, and would have expressed my opposition if I had. I recognize that the war on drugs is a failure and has incarcerated a huge number of black men. However, that was not the intended outcome. The intended outcome was to eradicate drugs of abuse, which were having a devastating effect on the black community. Unfortunately, black men are incarcerated more often because they are, again unfortunately, involved in crime more often, proportionally, than whites. That is the incovenient truth, as Al Gore would say. But there are societal reasons for this that are going unaddressed. I personally believe a large part of the problem is the breakdown of the family in the black community, leaving so many young black men with no positive male roll models in their lives, so they turn to other negative roll models. However, the criminal justice system is not to blame for incarcerating those who break the laws. But nothing is being done to correct the social ills that lead young black men to do so: non-existent families, awful education systems in urban neighborhoods, and no job opportunites. Blaming the criminal justice system blames a symptom of the problem, not a cause of the problem. Its a convenient target, but is like blaming a law mower for causing the lawn to grow.
I missed this book somehow in high school and college and thought I would finally get around to reading it (I always read and listen alternatingly). Anyway, I suppose that when I was younger I might have been more taken by the philosophical aspects of the book. As a middle aged professional, I frequently found it rather tiresome. When one speaker or another goes off on a lecture, I sped it up to 3X normal speed just to get through the lecture and back to the story. Overall, I don't see why so many think this is such a great novel. Perhaps I'm not deep enough to understand the greatness, but I'd not repeat the experience. At least I now know who is John Galt.
I listened to this book after All the King's Men by RPW. I wanted to know something about the real model for Willie Stark. I found that truth was stranger than fiction! What an amazing (and dangerous) character. Excellent writing and performance I thought.
I listened to this book while alternating with reading it. For a non-medical person I found the detail to be overwhelming. The names seemed to all get jumbled up after a while. I found it very difficult to follow. I believe this was written for those who already have some knowledge of the history of cancer research because otherwise it is just too much to swallow. I found my mind wandering frequently and it was an effort and a relief to get through it.
I somehow missed reading Uncle Tom's Cabin in my education. I now think it should be required reading for all high school students. This recording is well read by the narrator, but the quality of the sound is awful. Nevertheless, I highly recommend the recording. Shortly into the recording I forgot about the bad sound and couldn't wait to pick it up again where I left off. As someone else mentioned, in today's light, the book is patronizing of blacks, but as a portrait of the times, admittedly from and abolitionist point of view, it was wonderful. I now know how despicable Simon Legree was, and what a powerful person Uncle Tom was. Enjoy!
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