The narrative was lush and the anecdotes enthralling. The information dense style requires multiple listening for full absorption. I had trouble with the time lines as the narrative whipsawed across centuries, leaving me with no full understanding of what happened when. The author switches between saying for example "in the sixteen hundreds" to saying " in the seventeenth century" which is saying the same thing but requires a mental switch on my part in order to follow. The mongol conquest of the fourteenth century was not covered at all. This is more than a minor omission. I now feel the need to go get another book that covers this topic. This book in totality is very informative if a little clumsy. It has the feel of an exceedingly smart author, unaccustomed to dealing with lay people. The treatment of the topic was very well balanced and has no hint of partisanship, nationalism or religious bent. The author is blunt without bludgeoning.
Not for the faint of heart. This book is like ice cold water pored into your warm morning bed. Like smelling salt to the nose. The inhumanity is so palpable it's like watching a holocaust film. You can only feel so deep then you go into the realm of the numb. The shameless irony of the North Korean regime feels like a kind of insanity. Like an insane class is running the country. If this were fiction it wouldn't be worth reading as it would be too fantastical. I have to recover from the first listening before listening again but listen again I must. Get a box of Kleenex and keep handy. Ironically, this may be the antidote for personal depression.
What a great story. The author leaves nothing unanswered. I feel like I took a trip to China with a friend that knows his way around. Anyone who plans to be alive in the next few decades should read this. This book is not just for those planning to do business in China but for anyone who use manufactured goods at all. I can't wait for a part two.
You may love the narrating style but I hated it. The reader changes his voice to mimic the actual speaker. For example, Woody Allen actually has his vocal affect and so on. But the story is another story. The author had a hard time being neutral to his characters. He seemed to dislike the main contributor. The story alternates between unbearable fluff and dense esoterica. To be fair, there are passages that even I could understand. I hoped there would be more focus on the issue of genetic errors over time and what approach science would take to address this. Additionally, the role of telomeres in aging was not addressed to any satisfactory level. On the overall this book left me on the edge of my seat. I am exited to see the breakthroughs that's coming down the pike. We will have to completely re access what it means to be human. These advances will inevitably ask more questions that the questions they answer.
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