In listening to this famous book, I found myself longing for a Reader's Digest condensed version. Scenes and conversations go on far too long and retrace the same path--many times I rolled my eyes and said 'for god's sake let's move on!' The writing is awkward and self-indulgent, the philosophy espoused by the characters--often at great length--is complete gibberish. The characters themselves are maddeningly self-defeating and unfathomable. It's hard to identify with Prewitt, who seems incapable of making a single correct decision. The men are all misogynistic and in the alternate reality of this book, women don't really enjoy sex, they just do it so the men will talk to them. For all that, I must admit it did conjure up old Hawaii before the war very well, and it held my interest. I guess any character you get to know is interesting, but there are better writers out there than James Jones.
Note to the actor who read this: Adjutant is not pronounced ad-JOO-tent. M/Sgt is spoken as master sergeant, not m-sergeant. Others have commented on your Hawaiian name mangling and I concur. Your funny little voices were annoying, especially that of Stark. Less is more in that regard.
This book resonates long after it's finished because it is about excellence, and the cost of pursuing it. In telling the story of Steve Jobs and Apple, the author describes an obsessive personality who wouldn't rest until everything was exactly the way he wanted it, and in contrast describes other executives who bumbled critical decisions for Apple and Sony. Was Jobs crazy? Probably. His bizarre diets and tantrums worked against his self-interest. But what he achieved for the computer industry, and the music industry, and animated films left an amazing legacy. His death was a great loss because he was the only visionary in Silicon Valley who could imagine something simple, elegant and easy to use--in a world dominated by engineers who are satisfied with complicated patched-together crap. Walter Issacson has written a fast moving, novel-like narrative that's difficult to put down. Every chapter is a new revelation. Beautifully rendered by the reader, Dylan Baker. Highly recommended.
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