An exciting fast-paced book, you really root for the good guy in this one. Some good plot twists with some very good background information on why the Avenger IS the Avenger. Some good espionage to boot.
What an introduction I received to a great, witty and insightful author. This book blends incredible humor with true suspense and has you so rooting for the hapless hero that you won't want to pull your ear-buds out. With pervasive supernatural goings on, the main character must learn and adapt to his new "dirty job" with consequences for the entire world. Great characters both good and evil, and a fast paced story deliver the goods.
By an incredible coincidence of timing, the author was given access to the inner workings of a corporate giant during a time when corporate leadership was unravelling. This is a great text for anyone interested in the evolution and tranformation of Disney, OR, the workings of leadership vs power between a CEO and a company's board, OR a great treatise on why governance rules and regulations have had to change in the last 5 years above and beyond the exploits of Enron. If ALL THREE interest you, this book is a grand slam. This book is almost a novelization of the corporate history of Disney and specifically Eisner, and reads more like a story than a business text. But the lessons are there for all to learn from, if nothing else as a shareholder to consider when making votes in an annual proxy. Good reading.
The story opens up intriguingly, building a nice atmosphere of suspicion that things are not quite right. Some wonderfully colorful characters are introduced and you're on the verge of getting hooked. And bang, enter Shakespeare, the fairies and extremely handy answers and excuses based on "things that are normal in fairy land". Nothing really clever or thought provoking happens after the half-way point, with a total reliance on magic, and not much in the way of writer ingenuity. I'm never disappointed having read a book, but I sometimes feel taken advantage of; this would be a case in point. Be prepared to be swallowed whole by a "giant slug" in his "slug-like" mouth!
This book gave some great background on the evolution of evesdropping, why its done, who does it, how its done, and how it has been changing over time. That having been said, the book is also sprinkled with many tangents which tend to distract from the main points, but if you enjoy texts about the intelligence community, you'll enjoy this. It is fairly well written, not overly techy and/or dry. Are you listening to me?
I'm not a Sheldon fan, but this book had enough elements of mystery and intrigue to keep your attention. All of the seemingly unrelated events which begin the book, take shape and bring focus to the two main characters. I was interested in how they would get through their ordeal, although I felt at the end, that some questions were still left unanswered. The setup is absolutely better than the rest of the book because you want to know what's going on. When you find out, the pace and the mystery seem to bog down.
I think that this book was darker than The Da Vinci Code, but just as intriguing, fast-paced and thought provoking. The characters continued to be ones you cared about, and the religious intrigue and suspense made this a real page turner. Consipracy theory abounds, death and destruction are all around us and, of course, a characteristic Dan Brown puzzle exists which the main characters have to solve in time to avoid dire consequences. This book stands on its own and does not require one to have read Da Vinci and vice versa.
One can consider that this is a book that rambles a great deal: from the beginning of time, no less. But that rambling has a point and a continuity, and truly traces the development of the scientific thinking surrounding the creation of the universe and a great deal more. The book is sprinkled with great factoids, anecdotes and metaphors, which make the scientific journey memorable and interesting. I read the abridged version, so take that into account. I am not a natural history buff, but do enjoy sci-fi, and this had a nice feel to it which made it read like a novel and not like a college text-book.
If you are/were a fan of the previous 2001 sequals, you'll enjoy the clever continuity (1000 years later and at least one of the characters is still alive and kicking) and the continuing vision of the future. There are some good side themes, including how someone who missed the last 1000 years of tech innovation adapts to living in a new society. It's been done before, but it's also done well here. The most dissappointing aspect of the story is the true meaning of the monolith and the story line's resolution. Perhaps my expectations were higher and I expected something more "monumental", but in the end, I was glad to have read this book, because I do feel the author brought things to a close.
I enjoyed reading about some of the scientific basic for decision making and how the sub-concious is trained to make snap decisions. The biggest disappointment is that the book meanders a great deal and discusses intertwined and ancillary concepts to try and prove a point. I would conclude that the book could have been a great deal shorter and the author padded the content to make it a book, rather than an article in a journal.
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