I don't always agree with PZ but I do respect and enjoy his work. This book is no exception.
I really prefer books that are read by the author. But if PZ wasn't going to read it, you couldn't do any better than Aaron Ra.
I have seen this book compared to "The Prince." I suppose that is a fair comparison in some ways. But, this is basically a short "letter," and without the depth of "The Prince." But, I enjoyed the opportunity of a glimpse into the daily lives of the ancient Roman.
I often enjoy these old, dated stories. But I found that I could not in this case. In general its not a bad story for its genre. In fact the story seemed to me in some ways better than many that came along to copy it decades later, but the characters are so much the stereotypical arrogant British colonials and the superstitious, humbled, grovelling, childish African "natives" that I could not get through the entire book. If you can tolerate these stereotypes, by all means give the book a chance.
I often wonder when I read some of these “must read classics” if it’s just me? This book struck me as the literary equivalent of Warhol’s soup can. You’re supposed to praise it because it’s “great” art. But, reality is, it’s just a ten cent can of soup. Maybe a “classic” but I found it was uninteresting, empty characters, stumbling along through a story that doesn’t have a story; a hodgepodge of the antics of characters living on the fringes of the social order. I could get all that from modern “reality tv,” but you wouldn’t call it classic. I am terribly disappointed that I could find nothing of value to me in this book. Even in the worst of books you can generally take away something, but not this time.
Facts presented in this book may not be "exactly" accurate, but its from "Cracked" so what did you expect. You won't find anything new and extraordinary that you have not heard before. But, it IS an entertaining presentation that the narrator delivers like a stand up routine.
Many of the old stories from the early 1900's are too dated even for fans revisiting an old book. This story was not like that. Of course, it is over 80 years since it was published I think. It is dated, simplistic and predictable like any of those old westerns, but not to the point that you can not enjoy it still.
No glaring errors in historical space, time, physics or gun lore.
The narrator succeeded in making the story painful to listen to. Way over the top dramatization that had more the flavor of an actor reading for a part in a play rather than a narrator reading a book.
I picked this up on the daily deal or some other sale and decided it was worth the risk of a couple of dollars. I think any book has to be worth a couple of dollars, but even at that, this one was pretty borderline. The author provides a lot of general hints and everyday "common sense" but mostly unrealistic suggestions about things like buy bulk grain and store your bulk grain so that rodents can't get to it. Be careful with guns and sharp objects, and try not to get hurt. I had hoped for some tidbits of interesting information about water or power systems or something, but there seemed to be little of that in this book. If you just won the powerball and want to use your new found millions to buy a retreat and become the new Howard Hughes then this book might be for you. Otherwise, unless you really do not know where corn and wheat and eggs come from or that its a good idea to have as much Red Cross training as possible for emergencies, I don't think most people are going to get much of interest out of it. I just did not get a lot of real information/content out of this book.
This book is a good place to start if you are interested in an overview of the topic. If you are already familiar with the historical setting surrounding the rise of the Judeo-Christian-Muslim movements you might want to jump straight over to someone like Bart Ehrman for a more detailed, more scholarly experience. One thing i did not like about this book was that in several places the author gives historical timelines to give the reader historical context, but he mixes historical and legendary persons and events without giving the reader any disclaimers, and making no effort to differentiate between fact and fiction. All in all the author seems to bend over backwards to not offend believers, and has produced a book about a potentially "hot" topic that believers, non-believers, and interested bystanders can all read without becoming either offended or intellectually insulted. But, this book is definitely a primer, not for the reader already well versed in the subject unless you're looking for a convenient review.
The author submits some interesting ideas that give you lots of things to ponder. I'll read it again some time just to see if I missed anything.
No one "memorable" moment. The book was a good consistent read from front o back.
I don't really pay attention to who the readers are. I prefer books that are read by the authors themselves.
The concept of thinking of North America in more logical terms rather than the rather random political borders.
Toward the end of the book, I thought the author's arguments did not keep up with a changing world. To me the author's "regions" make more sense in a 19th century context than in the 21st century.
If I had heroes Mr. Hitchens would be one of them. This is one of my favorite books, and I have read and re-read it. I buy copies of this book and give them to friends, family and acquaintances.
Mr. Hitchens will say what others think but are afraid to say, or are not capable of saying, or are to "polite" to say. He pulls no punches and does not pander to the "you must respect my beliefs just because" crowd. No "get out of jail free" faith cards allowed here.
Reading this book was the first time I realized that it was not necessary to shut up when people said stupid things just because they were "religious" stupid things. People who have irrational, crazy ideas and air them publicly should be subject to being "called" on it, especially when we live in a world where theocracy seems to have been welcomed back into the political realm, especially where those kinds of beliefs could now endanger the entire planet rather than isolated peoples or nations.
For most of human existence, most humans lived under the power of one theocracy or another. They endured torture, burning, murder, mayhem, crusades and genocide of all kinds. Mr. Hitchens book reminds us of the dangers of history repeating itself. To me this book was a wake up call that made me realize that "live and let live" was not appropriate at this time, because the theocrats do not intend to live side by side, but to enforce their beliefs on the rest of us.
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