This is an "original audio adaptation" of the book. I saw the title, saw the "Unabridged" tag, assumed it was the book that I had been recommended, and purchased the recording. Very disappointed and annoyed with Audible for not making it clear that this isn't the book. Don't purchase this if you were expecting to get the book. It's a 2.5-hour commercial.
I read some of the Audible listener reviews before listening to this title and I have to agree with the sentiment that the author has a conservative agenda behind his statements. There are a couple of direct attacks against liberal bastions like the Washington Post and the scorn for any kind of government-sponsored social welfare is rife within the book, but it's overwhelmed by scorn about government intervention in general. The book is packed full of the cold, black and white thinking I've come to expect from economist writers. The author isn't interested in exploring the potential merits of any side other than the one he's taken. Everything is presented as fact and it's up to the reader to question legitimacy. Much of what is presented, however, makes perfect sense and it's tempting to take the author at his word.
I read the first volume in this series in paperback and enjoyed it, so I downloaded books 2 and 3 when I saw they were on Audible. This was a mistake. I'm not sure how much I would've enjoyed the trite, one-dimensional characters and meandering plot if I'd read the book myself, but the audio performance was so artless that it compounded the issue. I was rooting for the recording to end. I was rooting for protagonists to die. I was rooting for physical harm to befall Mr. Keyes. I will not be burning time by reading Book 3 and wish I hadn't wasted a credit on it.
Did Dean ever tell you about the time he ran to the South Pole in gym shoes, flew back in time for his kid's birthday, then banged his hot wife before saving an infant from liver failure? No? Well sit back, dude, 'cause James Yaegashi's gonna wheedle his nasally way through this self-congratulatory autobiographical marketing piece from America's best known fourteenth-place ultramarathoner.
There's a great story in here, somewhere, and I'm definitely in awe of the man's willpower. I just wish he'd written about more of those things. He builds up his first Western States Ultramarathon run, drags you through every mile of it - introducing some fascinating characters along the way - and chucks the whole thing over his shoulder once he's crossed the finish line.
Who was the guy with the Humvee and the huge rifle? Who was the military guy who told him he wanted to see him with a sub-24 hour finisher's buckle? Did the Army Rangers ever finish the race? Was the indian chief real or just a hallucination?
If your question is any of the above, prepare for disappointment. Those people aren't Dean, so you don't get to hear about them once they've stopped influencing Dean's run. You will get to hear about how much junk food he eats on runs and his amazingly ripped physique...several times.
I'm baffled by the hype. I found the novel cumbersome and boring and don't understand how it has achieved its overwhelming popularity. Simon Vance's narration is excellent.
I made it about halfway through this book before giving up due to lack of interest. There may be a fascinating story in there somewhere, but I was not motivated to find it. The audio production is very good.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable listen. The format of the book - with historical anecdotes about each of the elements - makes it easy to listen to in bits and pieces while the skillful writing stitches all the stories together if you prefer to read it straight through. Sean Runnette's narration is excellent.
The narration is jarring. Kevin Scullin has a pleasant voice, but it seemed like he was reading the material for the first time, in one take. His cadence is choppy and it makes the material difficult to listen to. Dr. Plait's book is being done a disservice in this format.
Phenomenal novel (and series...though it'd be nice if Martin would, you know, keep writing it). I'd read the books several times before downloading the audio and found all kinds of new emphasis and insight in the performance. I've seen criticism of Dotrice's reading in other reviews, but think it's fantastic. I'm looking for other books read by him now.
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