Any review on this book should preface it by saying that it is truly an opinion piece, based on history - not a historical document. This took me by surprise at first. There's no doubt that the initial chapters of the book, focusing on early Zionism and the founding of Israel focuses heavily on the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israeli conflicts. It focused so heavily on these issues, I initially felt the book ignored the many other components contributing to Israel's creation and the success of the Jewish state. However, this gradually subsided with later chapters, as the author focused more on why the state is successful economically, culturally, and (less so) politically.
There's no doubt the author would be considered left-centre in political affiliation in Israel, and is staunchly anti-settlement and pro-peace. However, he does present a balanced view in the context of the history of the Jews, Arabs, and Palestinians. There's true insight here from someone who deeply cares about Israel as a Jewish state, and has clearly studied it in detail for years.
While I was expecting history, I got a very interesting, and insightful opinion. I would recommend this book!
Regarding the narration, I also was annoyed by the fake Israeli accent put on by the narrator. Having grown up with Israeli teachers, it was clearly not a truly Israeli accent. However, you do get used to it, and the narrator is otherwise very skilled and interesting.
I like most of John Scalzi's books, and this was no different. The concept is very funny, and the execution is good. The characters are interesting, but we never completely get a full feel for their qualities. For example, why was Tom's grandmother thrown in there, other than to move the plot forward? We never got a sense that his grandmother was important to him.
Overall, the book is entertaining and typically (for Scalzi) very funny. But, it was a very light read, and not quite as interesting as Red Shirts or Androids Dream.
Wil Wheaton's narration is brilliant as usual - he's rapidly becoming one of my favourite narrators!
I'm a Walking Dead fan - I've read the comics in trades, watch the show, and thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series. This was seemed superfluous, however. While it fills in some of the holes from the comics (it is set in the comic world, not in the TV show world), there was a lot of overlap. I felt this really made the book less compelling and interesting. It's worth a read, but I'm not sure I can highly recommend it if you've already read the first 50 issues of the comic.
This is a fun little book with a great concept. I would highly advise the audio book, read by John Hodgeman - his narration really adds to the humour and absurdity. Overall, it was very satisfying and fun.
This book is like a prequel to 1984, if Big Brother was Google (aka The Circle). It's an interesting-enough concept, but the book simply isn't fantastic. It hits you over the head with its message (which is very alarmist), and it's predictable (who DIDN'T know who her love interest was?). It's exciting at times, and repetitive at others. It's worth reading, but it's just not an outstanding book.
The narration was fine, but I felt distracted by the male voice to the female protagonist. Many main characters were female, so I felt as though perhaps the narrator should have been female.
I got about halfway through this book. It's just not funny. At all. I stopped.
This was one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's literally science-fiction. This is not laser battles and spaceships science fiction. This is science fiction based on science which could happen in the near (next 50-75 years) future. Multiple people have called this Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. There's a healthy amount of McGuyver mixed in here.
The lead character is extremely compelling, smart, and funny - which is good, because much of the book takes place with him stranded alone on Mars. The description of how he survives is very detailed and obviously well-researched. It's very scientific, but never gets boring. The book builds in excitement, and I was on the edge of my seat for much of the last 1/4 of the story.
The writing is exciting and fast-paced, yet never dumbs things down. The narration is fantastic as well - exciting, crisp and funny. I would highly recommend this book!
The theme of this book is very unique and interesting - aliens who arrive to Earth believe in God, and try to convince us that God exists (with scientific evidence). I enjoyed the characters in the book (at least the human ones) and how they interacted with the aliens. The ended was particularly strong and really developed the protagonist's character.
However I found the writing distracting. The author refers extensively to Toronto and Canadian politics, which (as someone who grew up in Toronto) distracted at times and felt unnecessary. In addition, I found the book got preachy at times, and descended into long diatribes about religion and god. This took me out of the story (which is fundamentally fiction, but with a strong argument).
While there were times when this book provided interesting insight into the life of Jesus, the majority really drew heavily from the New Testament, and what was already printed in those pages. As a non-Christian, I was certainly unaware of some aspects of the story, but I wonder how much extra was gained beyond what has already been written. Interesting, and worth reading, but not earth-shattering.
Amazing story of an amazing company. It's hard to believe this type of drama happens at successful companies, but this book is so meticulously researched and the stories are so detailed that it's completely believable. And, completely addictive and engaging. If you are interested in tech and Silicon Valley, this is a must-read!
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