Simply put, if you read and like The Mote in God's Eye, you'll want to read this. If you haven't read Mote in God's Eye, you need to read that first. This is a fair follow-on to the original story, not as original (it would be difficult to be), but a good what-would-come-next type of story.
My only. Complaint. Is that the writing style... is more fragmented, than that of Mote. Clearly one author had a larger part in the first book, and the other this one. I preferred the style of Mote, as this one had a lot of choppy scenes and sentence, enough to become mildly distracting. But the quality of the story is excellent enough and does more than compensate for that weakness.
The reading of this book is excellent. The portrayal of all characters works, but that of the father is extremely well done. The overall book is decent, cute, but it's not great. It's somewhat of a history of the author's relationships, presumably embellished for humor's sake, but it's really the relationship with the father that makes the book (not surprising from the writer of "Sh*t my dad says"). It's not bad reading, it's humorous at times, it's short and quick to get through. I don't feel like I wasted my time reading it, but I can't think of anything about it that would cause me to recommend it to anyone.
This is a fascinating true story, and I'd recommend reading about the events to anyone. For this particular telling, I have two complaints: 1) there's a fair amount of intro material about the various cities and state of the diamond industry and such at the time; it's not bad, but it's not directly necessary for the story; on the other hand, it's probably useful if one (like me) has no background or knowledge of that area at all; 2) it's lacking some answers at the end - now, it's a true story, and the world at large doesn't know what happened, so they couldn't have added it, but given how much was learned, it's somewhat disappointing not to get the whole story at the end. It seems they've given everything that's known, though. And the lack of that material is probably why there's more up-front material. Overall worth reading.
This book has a lot of interesting material, although much of it I've seen or heard in other stories and articles. It's got a lot of mathematical concepts (which is fine) that the author attempts to explain just enough to convey a point, but it struggles with whether this is a math book (explaining random number theories) or a psychology book (why we make poor choices associated with randomness) or a history book (the mathematicians who developed the solutions). Given all of that it ends up not focusing on one aspect of it and thus ends up with a lot more words than are really necessary to make his point. That all being said it's interesting, and I'm glad I read it. I would recommend it someone interested in, but without background, in the concepts, but not to a general audience.
The story is fantastic, but the reading is somewhat lacking, in my opinion. Overall it's OK, but it's the voice of Don Diego that's lacking. The character is supposed to be lazy and disinterred, not whiny and weak. There's a difference. Unfortunately the reading of the character comes across as the latter, and it's the wrong sentiment for him. Other than that it was fine, but it's significant enough that I would recommend looking for another narrator if available.
I read this book because it sounded like something different, which it definitely was.
The story is essentially a parable and advocacy for religion. It's certainly not giving anything away to say that, as the importance of religion (any religion) is highlighted right from the start.
The reading is well done, in two voices, and the story is captivating.
I have a problem with only one section towards the end, where the story goes from the possible to the impossible. But that's part of the point of the story, to force the reader to think about what they're willing to accept and why, and the value of accepting what is clearly consistent with reality and what may not be entirely so. One's attitude towards religion will clearly affect your reception to both this section and to the story overall.
While the book has a clearly religious bent, it's also just an interesting story; the story is captivating and the presentation is among the best to which I've listened.
I was recommended to this book by friends, and I've thanked them for the recommendation. This book is extremely long, but worth every minute of the time invested in it. The author spent many years in Germany leading up to WWII, and he combines personal observation and many of the records from the post-war documents that were recovered to provide terrific insight into the events that led to WWII, it's conduct, and it's conclusion. Time is roughly spent equally per year and the book is actually very light on the war years themselves, focusing instead (as advertised) on the events leading to Nazi rise to power, entering the war, and concluding it.
Overall the book remains focused on its purpose (having a journalist as author probably helps) and references many other books for additional details on particular aspects of Nazi Germany and the war. The author throws in an occasional stray section, and one stray chapter, but these are very minor and don't at all detract from the overall quality of this book.
There are excerpts from the diaries of several of the political and military leaders of Nazi Germany, and the book focuses to some extent on Hitler and his own personal rise to power, decisions, successes, and ultimate failures. While certainly biased overall against the Nazi regime and Hitler, the author is not presenting his own opinions, but rather lets historical events and documents speak for themselves and provide a position.
I could say many good things about this book and have absolutely nothing negative I'd report. I can simply recommend this to anyone with any interest at all in history and assure you that you won't be disappointed.
Pretty-much anything by Dickens is going to be good. This is no exception. This is simply a terrific book from start to finish, a great story. It is, ultimately, a love story (as many books are, though this more so than Dickens' others). As with most Dickens, many storylines are woven together at the end for a wonderful conclusion. If you have any liking for classics, this is most definitely worth reading.
There was a lot good, and a lot not so good, about this book. To summarize my main complaint with it, it's written like a bunch of college lectures from a semester or two that were thrown together. Each chapter is individually viable, but there's little that holds everything together, other than very loosely, and no really good or insightful conclusions or conjectures put forth from the other material in here.
That being said, some of the material, background research, and case studies are very good. It looks at the less-well-known side of various concepts (mainly the standard narrative of male/female monogamous relationships) and less often cited studies. So if you're looking for different perspectives on relationship and marriage and monogamy, there's a lot of good background material here.
So it has interesting material; it just doesn't hold well together as a cohesive writing. If you accept that going in, it's certainly not a bad read, and will make you think.
I read this book simply because it's a classic and I'm a fan of classics, and it's often referenced/well-known, so I thought I'd try it. Do I regret reading it? No. Do I feel like that time could easily have been better spent: absolutely.
The book is nothing more than a bunch of women who want to get married and to marry as richly as they possibly can. And that's pretty-much all that matters. The only girl marries the worst character in the book, and she's thrilled about it, because her ultimate goal in life was simply to get married. If that's your goal in life for yourself or your children, well, then, you might enjoy this book. If you want anything more out of life than to marry rich (or marry a gold-digger of a wife), then skip this book.
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