Not as an audiobook. "Neutron Star" and "At the Core" are good, solid, classic SF stories, and it was incredibly enjoyable listening to them again, but the rest of the collection is very disappointing.
"Neutron Star," in particular, has the kind of twist ending based on hard science that appeals to so many of us SF fans. The character of Beowulf has certainly gone down in SF lore; whether that character would ever be considered literary is doubtful, but the characterization certainly appeals strongly to this genre.
The narrator's voice was okay, but there were clearly many areas where the studio dubbed and spliced the narration, which was very jarring.
No, what Niven and the publisher *need* to do is re-release the original "Neutron Star" collection both in print and as an audiobook.
Thorough, Unambiguous, Fascinating
This was nonfiction, there are no characters.
Yes, and he is incomparable. If I could afford it I'd buy every audiobook he's narrated, whether I like the subject matter or not.
It's a tad long for that.
If you want "just the facts" about the JFK assassination, then this is the book for you. It is thoroughly detailed, unambiguous, and simply states what happened, without hyperbole or a conspiracy-driven agenda.
I'd remove the second half.
Yes... he's very detail oriented. It was really cool to hear about how and why the Pilgrims got here in the first place. The bummer is that the Indian wars described in the second half of the book are very difficult to follow in audio.
Edward Hermann is the best audio voice I've ever heard. If I could afford it I'd buy everything he's narrated, whether I like it or not.
To learn more about how the Pilgrims survived once they were onshore. This part seemed glossed over. Where'd they get food and water? How did they build their houses? What were their schools like?
The best thing is that it's a "kitchen sink" collection of every political scandal from 1959 to 1974. If you want to know who stuffed a ballot box or hired a prostitute then this book is a decent info dump.But, like many others, I found many of Stone's "facts" to be circumstantial claims and speculation.
It is interesting how many of the players in the Bay of Pigs wound up involved in Watergate.The least interesting part is Stone's lack of a convincing argument. Since this is an audiobook I could not check sources, obviously, while driving, but I've read about a lot of these claims, and most ring hollow.
I did not have one.
No, not really. However, none of my criticism is directed at the narrator, who did an excellent job.
I kinda wish I had my money back.
Yes. It asks many of the important questions of our age, including why scientists (I'm one myself) have developed a siege mentality when it comes to discussing the possibility that the universe was designed by an intelligence 13 billion years ago. The answer, of course, is that the ongoing war on science by the rightwing has created an "us versus them" mentality in both groups, which makes this a fairly important novel: It asks questions that neither the science community nor the religious community are willing to publically address.
Tom Jericho, because of his struggle with cancer. I have to admit, this part of his character was unbelievably frightening to me. Who isn't scared of the notion of finding out you have a terminal disease with nine months to live?
Probably Jericho, as well. The narration of the rednecks was particularly poor, however.
The way Sawyer wrote about the protagonist's cancer really was frightening to me. I guess that kind of thing is subjective for each reader, but it really did *get to me.* Otherwise, no, I did not have an extreme reaction. The book, via its characters, asks lots of questions, some deep, some shallow, all important.
It is a true shame that the Hugo Award was denied to this novel. It is Sawyer's masterpiece. I believe it lost to one of Rowling's Harry Potter novels. I have no issue with her work, but it isn't nearly the quality of this novel.
Yes, because Niven has a knack for storytelling. And make no mistake, it is a great story. Is it great literature? No. There is no significant character arc. Louis Wu may be iconic, but he does not really change. And that's a shame.
The interplay among Wu, the Puppeteer and the Kzin. And, of course, Ringworld itself is an amazing setting to immerse yourself in.
Stout is addressing a very unnerving topic, one which many of us who are not mental health professionals may not have a good grasp of. However dire her observations may be -- and this is not a lighthearted book -- it is still worth your time. I will note that, like others, I was put off by Stout's decision to create composite characters instead of using real case studies. I believe this decision seriously detracts from the main theme: Showing us how we deal with sociopaths on a day-to-day basis.
However, the book is still well worth a read, or a listen. It may not have clinical perfection, but that's okay. If this were an academic/professional publication it'd probably be unreadable (unlistenable?).
Her keys to identifying those among us who do not have conscience is worth the price of admission alone. I know I've met and worked with at least one person who has sociopathy, and now that I have listened to Stout's book, I can say that with increased confidence. The identifiers she cites (especially the need for pity) provide us with very useful guidelines as we try to live our lives and minimize the hurt we experience at the hands of others.
Again, it's a layman's book, and should be taken as such. But within its niche it is a solid introduction to a very creepy side of humanity.
The narrator does an outstanding job; she has a very pleasing voice.
I would give the story 3.5 stars if Audible.com were set up that way, but because of certain weaknesses in the narrative I chose to round down instead of up.
I find myself almost scared to write this review for fear that Kevin Mitnick will hack into my life and -- using some contorted interpretation of ethics -- make my life a living hell.
I do not care for his brand of nerdy selfishness, which sets its own rules at the emotional expense of others. While true that Mitnick may not have stolen material possessions from the people whose privacy he intruded on, I must say that I really feel bad for his victims, and the turmoil that resulted (I especially feel bad for his family, "Ann" at the SSA, et al, and the others he manipulated over and over again).
The story is one of a kid who becomes a hacker back in the pre-Internet days of dial-up telephones, old-school modems, and mainframe computer systems, although his primary means of law-breaking was through manipulation of people's trust (his social engineering practices). At first I found his story entertaining because it had sentimental quality, and a childlike innocence that, perhaps, could've been forgiven. But as the story wore on I found myself hoping he would get busted.
He did, eventually get busted, but Mitnick seems to lack a sense of self-reflection necessary to make his plight sympathetic; in fact, just the opposite is the case here: He is arrogant, self-righteous and condescending. He seems to seek sympathy and understanding for being treated unfairly while failing to realize that trust has to be earned. During the course of this memoir he did not earn my trust. The book consists of far too much whining, not enough contrition.
Would I recommend it? In a way, yes, because it is a solid warning to others not to venture down the road of the hacker and, much more importantly, a cautionary tale about the fact that our actions really and truly can hurt others even if we do not gain wealth from those actions.
The narrator, by the way, is outstanding. His reading of this biography made it a worthwhile purchase.
This biography was like hearing about myself, except that Steve Jobs could be a very cruel person. So, if you are in love the myth of Steve Jobs, then you should brace yourself for a reality check. The man could fly-off-the-handle, both in anger and heartlessness.
Basically, his mental switch for empathy just didn't seem to work quite right, as if there were a short circuit in his wiring.
But that aspect of his life notwithstanding, Jobs' personality -- with his left-brain-right-brain balance -- should give hope to all of us who live in that Twilight Zone between technology and art.
Not only is this biography a fascinating retreat into the history of the personal computer, it also provides well-crafted insight into the thought-process behind Apple's famous (or infamous) computer ecosystem.
And Jobs' conflict with Bill Gates gives this biography an antagonist that you don't often find in this type of book.
Isaacson is able to capture a very complete story of Jobs' life -- warts and all -- and make him seem like a guy who lives in the house next door. In fact, you get to know Steve Jobs so well that it is a shock when Isaacson follows an anecdote with a description of the way one of his decisions affected Wall Street.
Prior to purchasing this, I had heard mixed reviews on the narration.
And the narrator does tend to use the wrong inflection at times, but that did not detract from the overall quality of the book.
I really wish more boards of directors would listen and learn when someone draws a simple quad chart on a white board; if they did, they could change the future the way Steve Jobs' did.
Here's hoping we none of us has an "on/off switch" :-)
The narration of this audio book is, as others have said, abysmal.
The mispronunciations are so bad it's almost comical.
Far worse, though, are the varying verb tenses, inconsistent points of view (or lack thereof), flashforwards, flashbacks, and flashes-sideways. The author needs to understand the critical importance of "reading history forward".
Having said all that, it is still a fascinating historical event.
The timeline format -- counting down day-by-day until the fateful day -- is compelling. There were many facts presented in this book that are worth researching, e.g., the monetary transactions between the Canadian company and Secretary of War Stanton.
But it’s been my experience that Bill O'Reilly and facts are often strangers.
So, while I do recommend this book (especially if you can get it for cheap), I would definitely recommend doing your own research after listening to this.
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