I'll try to be quick. The book is worth a listen, but only if you can get it cheaply. The author goes all over the place rather than keeping on topic. His examples start strong but then become increasingly weak and tangential at best. I've heard all of the stories presented here in various other works, all of which presented them much better. The one thing that connected the stories was the concept of the "tipping point", however, the author gets confused in telling us the definition of a tipping point versus its causes versus how to create one. In the end the book just didn't seem cohesive. Sad really, as I think it could be written well by another author perhaps.
Niel Tyson is a great story teller. Most of this book was very interesting and well delivered. There were a couple of stories though that made me more or less fall asleep, so unfortunately I can only go with three stars here. I recognize that the book is more or less a compendium of magazine articles, however, this is also the other reason I'm going with three stars - many of the stories repeat a bit and I found that to be a bit clunky.
FANTASTIC. There's not much else to say. In my opinion this is the best book of the entire series to date. I cannot wait for the next. I love how the author blends in an alien society and makes us think about how human society interacts with each other versus how aliens might. The concept of water filled ships was just plain awesome. The interactions between the characters has been depened here more than I thought possible. Yes, I'm rambling now but I encourage everyone to read this book. It really is one of his best.
I enjoyed the fact that the author did not dumb down the science and rather enjoyed some of the postulations on where we are going with our discoveries and how very little we really do know. However, this author reminds me of a senile old professor I once had in college. Each lecture he would go off on a completely random tangent but yet somehow bring it back to the topic of the day right before the end of the period and we all sat in stunned amazement. The following semester, not so much. The last semester, not at all; then he retired. That's how I felt when I read this book. I really don't care who the author knows nor do I care to learn about his lunch dates nor his travels. PLEASE just stick to the science. I know that stories make things memorable and entertaining, but NOT YOUR stories. Tell us about science, not your life.
I've listened to a few books by Dawkins and feel that this is the weakest of them so far. I particularly enjoyed the Selfish Gene, however I didn't really learn anything "new" in this book and found it to drag on. I started listening at 2x speed just to get through it. Nonetheless, there were a few points where I stopped, slowed down and listened intently and very much enjoyed those segments. There just were not enough of them for me to give the book more than a two star rating. Others may well enjoy the book, especially if they have not read any other works by Dawkins.
BUT - I don't think it's a good book for someone who is already there.
The book has a lot of good examples and strategies and websites for helping you avoid mistakes, but doesn't do enough in my opinion for those who have already made the mistakes. My credit has gone through a roller coaster over the last few years and is fortunately about where I would like it to be and I can see that the book would have been helpful for me about two or three years ago. However I have many friends who are currently struggling and I didn't see much in the book that they could use in any practical manner. In some regards one could say it's all common sense; but if this was true then more people wouldn't be in the mess they are in today. I particularly like the websites that the book uses and think these are very good references to have - but again, all that information is already out there.
In summary - if you think you are in danger of going into bad credit - READ THIS BOOK! If you're already there, consider this book as it does have some useful references, but don't expect it to fix your situation.
I absolutely LOVED this book. That was truly surprising to me based on the title, but the book was recommend to me by a friend. I in turn have recommended it to everyone I know! Each day I was retelling one of the stories to my colleagues and even to my own kids. Very detailed narrative that really makes you feel like the author knew these people. The audio narrative was also quite good. Do yourself a favor, download this book. You will not regret it!
If you've not read anything by Dawkins or not a listner to NPR's Radio Lab, and haven't read books like "The Drunkard's Walk", or "Blink", or "The Disappearing Spoon", then this book might be alright for you. It's really nothing original, just citing many other stories from other very good authors. I would recommend this book to someone who has just started embarking on a journey of skeptical view points. But I would also HIGHLY recommend that they read each of the stories in the books mentioned by the author as the condensed versions do leave out quite a bit.
For me it was mostly a rehash of things I've already read. As there was no new material I really can't give this book more than two stars.
There were times when the book was fully captivating, and many, many times when I fell asleep while trying desperately to stay involved with the story. There are times when there is a true air of mystery and you want them to solve that mystery. They set off to solve the mystery and then the book just sort of ends without really ending. I actually was waiting for the little voice to say, "You've reached the end of a part, but not the end of the book"... unfortunately the end credits then played. I'd like to give the book more than two stars, but I just really can't. It is VERY good at times, down right fantastic even and just God awful slow at others and without an ending, it really only gets two stars.
My family listened to books 1 - 10 during a long cross country road trip over Christmas and my kids really got into the stories. Last weekend we did a trip to Yosemite National Park and we were happy to learn that book 11 just came out. WOW - WHAT A MAJOR LET DOWN! My kids HATED this book... to the point that they asked to just turn it off and listen to music. I must say that I didn't like it at all either. It was basically just prequel info for the next set of books that could have gone into one of the "bonus" materials after all the other stories. I mean, this book was really just plain JUNK. Save yourself the money - skip this one you wont miss anything. The entire book can be summed up as: "there is a ring" - End of story. Following the ring through time was just not entertaining. Again - bonus material sure - a whole book - absolutely not.
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