One of the best!
I would compare it to other Broadway biographies I've read, Meryl Secrest's on Sondheim for instance, but it's looser and sharper and less reverent.
Jim's voice provides warmth and humor to an otherwise lurid tale.
The man behind the razzle dazzle
A must read for anyone thinking of going into the business...a cautionary tale.
Many of the reviews here caution readers that this book is quite expository, that it's something to get through to get to the rest of the series. I have not read the rest of the series, but I can say this book is great on its own. Stephenson really sets up an amazingly idiosyncratic worldview based, apparently, on a deep understanding of the underpinnings of the day's philosophical and scientific writings alongside military and political history. It is a pastiche and clearly does not stick to a forcefully propelled narrative, but does contain fascinating history and fiction interwoven.
Pollan writes a very convincing case for the locovore movement and speaks plain sense from personal experience without being preachy.
It takes a great deal to impress me with a book on American history. American Nations did that, both with its scope and accessibility. It truly provides an idiosyncratic take on the development of the United States (and to a lesser extent Canada and Mexico). The narration is also quite clear and engaging.
Really interesting science fiction, but the story around the science fiction is atrocious and paper thin. The four companions on the journey are so 2 dimensional to almost be laughable with the dashing older Earthman and his completely incompetent barely legal Earthwoman, an overly cautious Vulcan-esque being with less personality and a Klingon-esque Catman who wants to fight fight fight. They are all set up in very contrived dialogue that enables the author to use them as mouthpieces for his thought experiments in sci-fi. All that said, the thought experiment is compelling and worthwhile. Just prepare yourself to read the material that Douglas Adams lampooned so brilliantly in Hitchiker's.
I might give it a shot, but not for a while
salesman, authoritative, disinterested
YES because they would have to update it out of necessity. The science fiction is still good, but the story could use a good going over.
Yes because I've gotten this far and I need to finish the thing.
The end was ALMOST worth the whole trial and travail.
He really declined after the 3rd book...I would, but with reservations.
Listen to some non-fiction for a change.
George RR Martin needs an editor and Roy Dotrice needs to redo books 4 and 5 with better voicings.
I read the prequel to this series and was pretty impressed with the alternate history, very creative and inventive and yet still grounded in possibility. It seems, though, as Turtledove moves out from where his alternative history breaks with history, that there's less and less connection and it all sort of falls apart. I lost interest and started asking myself why I didn't just read pure history or pure science fiction because this blend lacks the best of either genre.
There is so much fun information in this book, and it delivered in a delightful way by Bryson, but at several points throughout the book, I would stop and think to myself "what does this have to do with the central thesis of the book." Then I would ask myself what the central thesis of the book is, realize that I don't have a clue, and just continue to enjoy Bill Bryson's writing.
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