What "Elephant" lacks in promised originality, it makes up for in unexpected-- and unwelcome-- sexual content and profanity. If you buy this one, do NOT listen to it with children in the vicinity. But it's really not worth it: stories that go nowhere can be okay, so long as they paint an engaging picture. Murakami fails to deliver with almost every story. Most of the readers sound like they're trying to muster unfelt enthusiasm as well. This is not the first modern Japanese I've "read" in translation, so I am not biased against Japanese.
John McWhorter has assembled a great series of expositions on the English language, using a largely random organizing principle (the alphabet) to both entertain and educate. He covers quite the gamut, from etymology to pronunciation to grammar and gives just enough information to intrigue without becoming pedantic. He throws in plenty of theory, but is always careful to point out where he is going out on a limb academically, so to speak. He also keeps it entertaining without being trivial or forced. And to top it off, he's a great reader! I gave "story" only 4 stars only because there really isn't one, but even then, Mr. McWhorter does a good job of linking lectures when possible.
"F" bombs throughout. Would've liked to finish listening, but couldn't stand the lack of original and intelligent word choices.
After the second "f" bomb in almost as many minutes, I must admit I gave up. I don't buy foul language as the key to critical thinking skills-- and I certainly don't need my kids thinking massive amounts of swearing will make them problem-solvers and critical thinkers. I had high hopes for this book for myself and the kids. Sad denouement.
"Emperor Mollusk" is a typical A. Lee Martinez lighthearted comedy performed brilliantly. I understand this was Scott Aiello's rookie outing on Audible. And he made the book for me-- and I'm a tough critic of faux British accents (as much as an American who grew up listening to Monty Python and lived in England can claim to be). He nailed it.
I liked the science and I liked most of the characters. I also liked yeoman reader John Lee; his pacing and voice inflections (though a bit clipped) were easy to follow. But I wouldn't recommend "Pushing Ice." The main problem was that the author just couldn't resist tossing ideas and plot developments out like candy at a Mardi Gras parade. So often, I caught a shell of an idea or a thread of character development only to find that the story moved on without me. The secondary problem (for me at least) was that the decades-long implacable hatred of the character Svetlana for her former best friend Bella Lind seemed unrealistic. Overall, if you like big ideas and don't mind a paucity of development, you'll love this book. Me, I'm afraid I'm going to give Mr. Reynolds a pass in the future.
Perhaps this is a good book, but after being hit with four shots of swearing just 15 minutes into the book, I had to abandon ship. I wish Audible provided a language warning in descriptions, so I wouldn't waste a credit. If you don't like audiobooks swearing into your ears (or into your car or kitchen or family room), stay away!
I loved the idea behind this time travel/alt-history story, but I disliked the hero's overheated narrative style. I wish I could quote some of the language, but it was pretty thick to the point of being funny without intending to be.
Mr. Brooks starts well but seems to be stretching for some of his "13 Things." I was particularly thrown off by his flat assertion that men do not have "free will" because a couple studies showed that humans are not fully aware of all aspects of their volitional decisionmaking (at least I think that's what he's saying). This assertion seems patently ridiculous; I don't completely understand how an internal combustion engine transfers power to my automobile wheels yet I would be a fool to assert I am not driving the vehicle when I turn the key and move forward.
"Killing Rommel" presents a straightforward personal account of one limited-scale special operations campaign in North Africa during WWII, written in the style of a memoir. Mr. Pressfield presents the unassuming courage and emotional conflicts of one man in a way that enlightens without seeming overbearing. He also portrays perfectly the true randomness of armed conflict. The pacing was just right and the Kiwi, British and German characters were believable. This is a great listen if you are looking for inspiration in the face of trying circumstances.
Perhaps I should have listened to the afterword first. In it, Alan Weisman clearly states that his purpose in writing was to convince humans of just how bad we are for the earth. In the afterword, he seems to advocate a voluntary version of China's "one child per couple" policy, not stopping even to consider that a family with brothers and sisters brings value into the world and into individual lives. Admittedly, the research is thorough, and wide-ranging. Often, in the details, it is fascinating. But a morality of hopelessness pervades. "Surely," Mr. Weisman seems to say, "mankind's greed and lust are inevitable, so we must withdraw into ourselves, stretch out with a cup of (nonproductive for humanity) coffee and a bottle of (nonproductive for humanity) booze in front of our (nonproductive for humanity) big screen HDTV and just die." Inarguably, mankind must radically revise its assumptions about how to live well as stewards of this wonderful planet, but to assume that it's not even worth trying-- that the world would be simply better off without us (or at least without so many children) I found teeth-grindingly depressing.
Report Inappropriate Content