Best: the history of the building of the railroad, the history of photography and specifically the history as it related to California and Yosemite. The least: the entire beginning and set up. Contrived.
It needs an illustrated version. Cries out for not only Muybridge's photographs but also the paintings mentioned and the other photographers
This is a great, profoundly readable memoir. I am not the first to say that life is stranger than fiction but how rare it is, particularly when a story is so complex--covering intimately so many almost incomprehensible disciplines over so many parts of the world—that a memoir written so brilliantly, so accessibly makes the unbelievable, believable and rivetingly readable. An ovation is what Bill Browder deserves.
Perhaps, if I were an insider – a financial trader, a Russian oligarch, a British spy, an American politician running the foreign relations committee, I wouldn’t be so surprised or stunned.
But, this rollercoaster of a memoir is a blockbuster beyond blockbusters because it is not only a page-turner, it actually matters. Bill Browder matures, over twenty-five years, from young capitalist to major human rights activist. He has every opportunity to take the money and run but he stands instead against corruption, torture and murder. Not only does he stand but goes wildly beyond the call of any version of duty in his response. He takes everyone on. He never steps back. Could this be a global, financially brilliant Jack Reacher? Reality is, this time, more exhilarating than a crime novel.
This book is a financial and political thriller taking you into the underbelly of Russian justice, UK justice and American justice where you absorb endless lessons about modern Russia and the brutality that governs it; the emerging financial markets of the early 1990’s well into the 21st century; American and British politics until finally, you are stopped dead in your tracks as the horrific personal consequences—not just fear and flight across borders in the darkness of night, not just the cost of body guards or even torture but the reality of murder– clarify the mission.
The stunning beauty of this book is that you are lucky enough to be in the passenger seat of this racecar, wishing to be him, to rise, as he does, to every battle, not always successfully but always with his own real intelligence, tenacity, morality and heart. He does not know and nor do you that his desire to be a successful trader (and he succeeds beyond his wildest dreams) will lead him to circumstances where life and decency come to matter more than anything.
I think Adam Grupper did brilliantly as well. Bill Browder is the main character but Grupper did the Brits, the Russians, the Americans -- all beautifully.
A true story of high finance, politics, murder and one man's fight for justice.
I have rarely read a memoir so informative, so riveting and so powerful. I want to go to work for this man. He is brave. He has morality and he's one hell of a storyteller.
A protagonist that you understood. Nothing about her life explained her utter lack of feeling for anything or anyone. Even the supposed commitment she had to her Dreamers -- the chimpanzees she cared for in Liberia -- were described and never felt. The only upside was learning a bit of 20th century Liberian history although nothing could undo the unexplainably pathological leading protagonist whose actions suited the novelist and the history he wanted to impart but whose actions never grew organically from the character he described.
No, his inability to get inside of this woman is a downfall. His endless distractions which keep you, as a reader, from moving forward are equally frustrating rather than enlightening.
A warmer reader might have mitigated the coldness of Hannah Musgrave.
I would have cut everything in America except what she fled from and then would have concentrated, from her earliest days in Liberia, on the chimps and what she endured, and they endured, during her time there.
He should never, never think for a moment that he understands a woman although no man comes alive in this book, either. Everyone is playing a role in servitude of his version (probably correct) of this period in Liberia.
The idea of different countries having different cultural identities each bringing them to the same catastrophic place from different roads. Everyone is an addict but some have food compulsions, others heroin. Loved particularly how 11 million Greeks with no interest in paying taxes and little interest in fiscal responsibility, seduced Germany into loaning them so much money that they have the power to bring down the European Common Market.
The understanding that California's political system is making it impossible to recover. How will our inability to overcome our pension commitments play out across America. It doesn't look good for us.
He is clear and focused.
You have to both laugh and cry. The situation is horrendous and by no means over but, truly, if you don't laugh, you are in big trouble.
Lewis is brilliant but this book is rushed. Like a puzzle with a number of pieces on the board but many more to go. How will China play a role? What happens when the US moves to shore up Europe but is without its own resources? Lewis needs to write a new chapter every month and Audible needs to offer it. Everyone would buy a subscription, I promise.
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