I gave this book a five rating because I injected my assessment of it with a healthy dose of subjectivity. In this instance, I liked the book, I connected with it. I mean that it really resonated with me. Otherwise I would have given it 4.5 stars. But here's something objective. Whilst Lawrence is usually remembered or known for his mooning and swooning excerpts, these sorts of narrations really only comprised 2-5% of Sons and Lovers. The rest of the book was a very strong narrative, very well detailed and compelling, much in the vein of Tolstoy and later Hardy. Lawrence wrote wonderful narrative. Another startling and objective fact about the book was in the way it was read by Simon Vance. Simon gave the story a dimension I wouldn't have thought of, and it was a powerful and deserving dimension. Till now I had interpreted Paul Morel as being a 'moony' overly sensitive mother's boy. And he is such in many ways. But Simon brought a manliness to the character that gave the character and the story real street cred. I quite connected with this story. I found similarities with it in my own formative years, mostly around the town community, the industrialized nature of the town, the opportunities that were available for succeeding generations, being Paul's and his siblings, which history doesn't always make available, contrary to our beliefs in a progressive society ever present, and, yes, even in the relationship Paul shared with his mother. There came a point in the story when I felt like telling Paul to get a hold of himself. But until that point I felt like Lawrence was exploring something universal in a vast proportion of mother son relationships. A good story, in the sense of a good yarn, in places a little like a memoir, and dimensional in terms of the characters and the themes explored in poignant but not over weening sections of the narrative.
This book, true to its title, keeps it whole where nutritional details around foods and people who should eat whole foods is concerned. The author is up front: eat whole foods.
Much of the book is about the way in which industry sells us foods that make us sick and about medicines that purport to make us better but in all actuality also make us pretty sick.
Compared with the alternative: whole foods.
In this, the book is habit changing for those who want to change their habits. It also serves as a case study explaining how life in modern times works.
In this latter regard the author is no less than heroic. He has explored the global terrain that often dumbfounds mortals like me and returned with a light switch.
Here I am going to be ageist, but in a nice way.
If ever there was a case to be made for the argument that human beings, as opposed to other mammals, live longer lives solely so that the old can impart wisdom to the young - as an evolutionary edge - this book is it. The author has spent many years in established scientific realms to reach a point in his life where he can shed light on hallowed halls that would otherwise 'exile' younger men or women who derive their pay checks from the masters of those hallowed halls. In this regard the author is not so much a whistle blower in the ordinary sense. He is a wise man who knows his stuff, because of the sheer amount of years he has spent working in his area of expertise, and also knows that there's no one who can do a thing to stop him from telling it like it is.
Now for the book's big moment, which is found in its sheer explanatory power of modern human society. I will not compare this work with anything written by Marx, Freud, Pilger or Chomsky. Not in terms of content. Yet Whole is simply profound in its ability to explain the dizzying white noise buzzing around us and swallowing us in daily confusion and answer seeking. It explains how institutions - as in the big institutions - operate at the level of individual ego and innocent ignorance. This book unwraps paradigms in the way that Plato taught us that most of us turn our backs to reality in order to watch shadows dance across cave walls. It tackles these enormous issues with such reasonableness. Not a pitch fork or mob in sight. As such, this book brings you around the camp fire for a yarn about the way in which the world works and then goes further in explaining the way in which we can make the world, and out tummies, a happier place.
In this regard, to my mind, Whole is more than the sum of its parts, and more than "Whole" itself.
Tom Hagan did not only read this book. He was a part of my wonderful audible experience.
What can I say! The writer reads his own work and the event is delightful. Much to be gained from this talking book experience.
Of course it's a great book. And the reader is very clear and he brings some drama to the reading. But his intonation drives me crazy. He lifts his tone at the end of each phrase and sentence so that he gives an air of superciliousness. And even though this habit is not monotonous in itself, it is so idiosyncratic in - dare I say - an annoying way that I can't help but register it every time he does it, which is all the time.
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