This is another excerpt from one of Eckhart Tolles talks, where he speaks extemporaneously to a group, rather than reading a book. If you've listened to other talks he's given (most notably Realizing The Power of Now), you know that he is usually in no hurry to share his insights. His speech is often remarkable in that there are often VERY long pauses between his words, so long that you occasionally begin to wonder if your MP3 player ran out of batteries. (I'm not criticizing this - after all, one of his main teachings is to listen to the silence between words - he just gives you lots of opportunity!)
This talk is very different. He comes across as animated, enthusiastic, and funny. He pokes fun of the mind on many occasions, so accurately it feels almost like he can tell what you are thinking. I laughed out loud several times in this delightful 2 hours. The topics he covered extended past those he brought up in the Power of Now, to include what common tricks the mind uses to pull us back out of the present, and how and why it is so important for us always to be right and others to be wrong. This talk seemed to have more immediate practical manifestations in my life than others that he has given. The topics he brought up here reminded me very much of a course I've taken called The Landmark Forum.
The Power of Now itself was the single most life-changing book I have ever read. This talk is a wonderful extension and expansion of the philosophy, but for those unfamiliar with Eckhart Tolle I wouldn't recommend starting with this before listening to The Power of Now.
I felt compelled to write a review opposing this book's high rating, because I rely heavily on reader ratings to choose my audiobooks, and the average rating on this book really mislead me this time.
I am a big fan of John Barnes, and for those who aren't familiar wtih his solo work I would strongly recommend his novels, especially "Mother of Storms" and "Candle". When I saw that he had collaberated with Buzz Aldrin, I thought that this book could be a real winner, combining Aldrin's familiarity with real space exploration and Barnes' imagination and style.
Unfortunately, this book is a mess. I would call the book one giant cliche. The plot is unoriginal and predictable. Conflicts are only sketchily created and resolved without any tension or suspense. The characters that you suspect turn out to be the villians, all right. The entire first half of the book revolves around a lawsuit, and the whole plot involves the characters' legal plotting, PR maneuvers, and spin manipulation. It was mind numbing! If I wanted that, I would just get a book about the OJ trial. When some action *FINALLY* begins (only after about 5 hours), it apparently has nothing to do with the events of the first part of the book and it gives the feeling of two separate plots. They are woven together eventually, but in a cursory "wrap up" manner that is just too pat. At the end of the book, the image I had in my mind was that of the villain at the end of the Scooby Doo cartoons saying "the world could have been mine if it weren't for you meddling kids!"
Then there is the dialogue. It uses every trite phrase I can think of, and reminds me of the way people write when they send out letters in their holiday cards. I started to laugh trying to count them.
I couldn't help thinking that this book was written by a complete novice to wordcraft(Aldrin) and minimally "cleaned up" by Barnes. If you ever read Barnes on his own, you will see what I mean.
This is a book about a man having to come to terms with his beloved wife's death when courting a new sweetheart. The beginning of the book is as charming as Mr. Sparks' other novels, with realistic, interesting characters and settings. The exposition of the romance is slow and very predictable, but it is done with a tenderness and vulnerability that, as much as you've seen it over and over, is hard not to like.
The second part of the novel deals with some conflict and crisis that, without divulging the details, I found very tedious. The conflict was entirely self-created by the main character who acted so closed minded, petty and frankly stupid that it was difficult to find any empathy or even common ground with him. If you have a great deal of trouble with forgiveness of even small silly actions, and if you like to jump to ridiculous conclusions based on minimal facts, then you may find this plot sympatico. I found myself just wanting to shake some minimal sense into him. It was like watching teenagers whose lives need to be full of drama. With middle aged characters, I just felt sorry for them that they hadn't learned any more of life growing up. A Walk to Remember was a vastly better book by this author.
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