I was hoping to love this book and it does give an interesting inside look at many aspects of the Mercury and Apollo missions, but what made Gene Kranz a great Nasa mission controller does not make him an engaging author.
The stories are full of interesting facts, but there is little-to-no drama in the writing, even when recounting the most dramatic of events, such as the Apollo 13 mission. All NASA folk seem to be well trained in handling the media. Everything is upbeat, succinct and politically correct. This is very important to NASA's success, but this mind-set has carried in to this book. So it is rather unemotional and dry.
Worth a listen for NASA fans, but certainly not enthralling.
By the way it is clear that Gene Kranz was a vital player in the space program's success and I think we should all be grateful to him.
Ray Porter is my favorite narrator and his reading can make an average book feel great. I think this might be why this book gets such good reviews. Either that, or die-hard Nintendo fans love hearing lists of the gazillions of variations on all the Mario games.
What I got from this book was that Nintendo found a formula that worked and were careful to not change things too much and milk that baby for all they could get out of it.
Don't get me wrong - I like Nintendo. I like that their devices and games are usually high quality, family friendly and I especially liked the Wii with its introduction of less sedentary gaming.
But after the first hour the book, it became less of a personal story and entrepreneurial success story and more like a high level chronology of a corporation's product rollouts.
Still, Ray Porter can make the ingredients list on a packet of peach rings sound enthralling :-)
Firstly, pitch perfect narration by Robert Fass.
As for the book itself, perhaps not as exciting as "Game Change", but only because the 2012 election was in itself less exciting. Rather than an explosive new candidate in a no-incumbent election (2008), this book is about the re-election of a struggling president vs. the election of a previously failed presidential candidate we were all pretty familiar with.
That said, the writing is thoroughly engaging and I devoured it!
It probably helps that I followed both elections fairly closely. Getting the inside perspective on moments that from the outside seemed unbelievable, had me rolling around in hysterics - think Clint Eastwood and the chair - hilarious!
One gripe was the cheesy overuse of the title (and tagline) Double Down, but just being picky.
This book was written from the perspective of laying out all possible evidence from Oppenheimer's earliest days to his final ones to answer the questions regarding his associations with Communism. Obviously this issue would eventually become what he was famous for and it needed to be addressed, but every aspect of his life, even the production of the A-bomb was seen through this lens - who he met with, what he is recorded to have said to this person, what the FBI were investigating etc.
I was hoping the book would include a narrative of his life, perhaps an exciting one. A narrative that perhaps would include the inside story of the manhattan project or other scientific discoveries.
But it was a rather dry, but seemingly thoroughly researched book that addressed only readers who wanted to know that answer to the questions of his political motivations and associations. Again, whilst an important part of a biography of the man, it should only have been part, rather than the hole focus.
First off, the book is quite a bit different from the Netflix show. It is much less sexual and less comedic (although there are funny bits).
It was well written and engaging and it was a worthwhile inside look at life in a Federal women's prison.
This is a high quality performance of Othello that I found worked well as an Audiobook. It would probably help to read up a little bit on the overall plot before listening.
Well worth the purchase.
As a metaphor on the nature of the creative struggle I found it illuminating.
But it wanders off in to magical thinking and ideas such as suggesting the stifling of passions being the possible cause of cancer....
Well I don't think Steve Jobs stifled his passions and alas he is no longer with us.
The author proposes that many of the cultural rifts in modern America (, Mexico and Canada) can be traced back to the collective mindsets of the original European settlers.
I was pretty much convinced by his arguments - in that there is at least a historical influence along the lines of what he describes.
It is at the very least a substantial book with much food for thought.
Walter Dixon's narration is very clear, but a bit dry for my tastes. I understand that the material is academic, but having seen the author speak I think he might have added a bit more color if he had narrated it himself.
For anyone remotely interested in adventure, hiking, the Appalachian Trail or escaping the 9-5, this is an insightful and well-written account of one man's journey.
First off, if I could give 6 stars for Ray Porter's performance I would. He is by far my favorite narrator - his reading of "Ghost in the Wires" was also excellent.
So, is this book a lefty attack on Wall Street and the Well-To-Do and a bleeding heart account of how the Poor are mistreated in this country? You bet yer hind-quarters it is!
But it is NOT just a rehash of political rhetoric and talking points. I found it to be a very valuable juxtaposing of two irreconcilable realities.
The lack of criminal prosecutions for white-collar crimes versus the over prosecution of harmless and sometimes unheard of crimes (holding up pedestrian traffic anyone?).
A purely political book would not call out the Clinton and Obama administrations for poor policy decisions and hyper-politically-sensistive decision making.
A purely political book would not examine arguments from the opposing perspective - perhaps not to the same degree, but counterpoints are raised and generally fairly addressed.
But even if you were to surgically remove the anecdotes that favor the author's positions. Even if you were to toss out the grey areas that are open to debate.
Even then you cannot read/listen to this book and not have to acknowledge that the divide exists, that it is growing, and that to fair minded people it is just plain wrong.
A window in to the Navajo lifestyle and culture at the time. An epic story of a marine in combat during the pacific theater of the second world war. An inside look at the cultural difficulties of a man respected and accepted during his time in the military, but not so on his return to the America he served.
It is certainly an important story and America should be very grateful to these Navajo men who chose to serve their country even as She treated them poorly.
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