©2007 Christopher Hitchens; (P)2007 Hachette Audio
"The best of the recent rash of atheist manifestos." (Publishers Weekly)
"Effortlessly witty and entertaining as well as utterly rational." (Booklist)
While the book is interesting, informative and insightful the author's reading of it is so poor that it's difficult to understand the concepts -- not because they're complicated but because they're unintelligible. What I have been able to understand (and I don't mean comprehend) is excellent. I would give it 4 stars if the author would've spoken a bit slower, clearer and taken just a bit more care in his enunciation. It would have earned 5 stars if it was professionaly read.
This audio book is a classic example of why authors should hire pros to read their books instead of doing it themselves. Many passages were unclear, his voice tended to trail off at the end of sentences, and the strong English accent was a mild distraction.
The voice is fluctuating from sentence to sentence, and what is worse, the voice drops at the end of most sentences. I could not finish listening even I am interested in the book.
An excellent book that convincingly proves there is no god. More importantly it shows why religion is at the root of much of the world's problems.
It is a shame that the author chose to read the book. He does not hold his volume constant making it extremely difficult to hear many of the words, especially at the end of sentences.
I admit I am a huge fan of Christopher Hitchens and have enjoyed practically all his literary efforts immensely. He strikes me as extremely witty and intelligent and the points he makes (except for the justification of the Iraq war) are right on the money in my book.
HOWEVER, as a narrator, he falls flat. Literally. The narrative is monotone and devoid of any inflection whatsoever. Where in an interview he comes off as dry, here, reading his book, he is downright arid. The volume is low, the voice is expressionless and the ends of sentences are almost inaudible as his voice drops off. I could not listen to this in the car as it was putting me to sleep.
I had to go out and buy the book - and that was much easier to digest and enjoy.
While I found the book to be interesting and a worthwhile listen, I believe the author would have been prudent to have chosen someone else to read it. I found the author's speech patterns and modified British accent to be not only a distraction but a real hinderance to understanding what was being said. Too much "hissing" on the "esses" to suit me!
I can't even describe how frustrated I am by this author and his choice to read this himself. I'm lucky to understand 1 out of 4 words. The only way to understand this is to buy the book and read along with him.
Criminal defense Lawyer in Las Vegas, Nevada. Read mostly non-fiction.....history, science, military biography. My quirky side likes Zombie Books? Will also pick up a fiction bestseller once in a while. Favorite movie: Being There
First, this is one person's audiobook review and not a "for or against" religion tirade (which is commonly seen when "atheist" books are reviewed).
I thought Hitchens narration was good. What is lacking due to his not being a professional narrator is more than made up for by the fact that he is the author and seems to know the material (surprise!). He reads with flair and wit . . . and you get those classic Hitchens deadpan zingers in all the right places.
As for the substance. This was an entertaining listen with a lot of good ideas. Dawkins' (The God Delusion) is more scientific and Harris' (The End of Faith) is more comprehensive. Hitchens brings his ability to throw literary punches and intelligently rip into religion as the "product of close evolutionary cousins of the chimpanzee" This is a great book, whether you have Faith or not.
My suggestion is Sam Harris first, then Dawkins, then Hitch.
(Disclosure: I have been an atheist since I could think for myself and these new series of books on the subject are a godsend. How many times can you read Bertrand Russell and George Bernard Shaw?)
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