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Kenneth

LEESBURG, VA, United States
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  • Fear

  • Trump in the White House
  • By: Bob Woodward
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,615
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,338
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,274

With authoritative reporting honed through eight presidencies from Nixon to Obama, author Bob Woodward reveals in unprecedented detail the harrowing life inside President Donald Trump’s White House and precisely how he makes decisions on major foreign and domestic policies. Woodward draws from hundreds of hours of interviews with firsthand sources, meeting notes, personal diaries, files, and documents. The focus is on the explosive debates and the decision-making in the Oval Office, the Situation Room, Air Force One, and the White House residence.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Extremely Depressing...

  • By Sena on 09-11-18

Simultaneously “Pro”-Trump, Anti-Trump, and Deep

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-20-18

About a third of the way through the book I had an epiphany; Woodward is defending some aspects of the Trump presidency. Well sort of. He is not quite that explicit. He employs an artifice that is the symmetric opposite of the backhanded compliment. For example, Instead of saying something like Trump is in good physical condition, for a man who is almost 80 and eats like a 12-year-old boy, he does something like telling a disgusting story about Trump’s diet and perhaps another about his age, before offering an antidote that nearly proves that Trump’s physical condition is not that bad, in some objective since.

It’s subtle, but unmistakable. As someone who disagrees with Trump’s politics and dislikes the man, I found it jarring both because it was challenging to my “world” view and because it became apparent that I’d consumed quite a bit of media coverage of this book that misrepresented or misunderstood the book. Apparently, the pattern where a talking head only skims the book for a few hours before going live on national TV is quite common, perhaps the norm.

The arc of the argument seems to be: Trump is abjectly dysfunctional as a middle manager or a government bureaucrat. It is so bad that he probably would be fired as the manager of a local Pizza Hut. In addition, he’s intellectually unimpressive. The book contains snippets that suggest that this is a failure to modernize, snippets that suggest a touch of dementia, and snippets that suggest this is a side effect of acute narcissism. Nevertheless, he has a vision, often an easy to understand vision, yet his own people are undermining most attempts to implement his vision. This is because they don’t believe in his vision, because they struggle to separate the vision from the noise, and because they don’t trust Trump. Woodward’s organization of the stories seems to suggest that he believes that despite all of this the only truly fatal flaw is that Trump is a pathological liar. All the other problems either stem from this root problem or represent annoying, often disgusting, irrelevancies.

If the man could simply bring himself to believe that the truth actually exists, his presidency might, even at this point, be saved. But by now we all know that’s never going to happen.

This book is about people and their interactions, not about policy. But the reporting of internal policy discussions led me to suspect that Woodward is not as antagonistic towards Trump’s vision as is widely implied by the press coverage. For example, the senior White House officials (almost to a man) believe that trade deficits represent only the cross-border flow of inflation, not the flow of wealth. This is the simple form of modern economic theory. But this perspective seems to be a small signal approximation; deficits probably do matter in a variety of limiting cases, like when they become too large to be absorbed by normal financial processes. Of course, Trump’s believes that trade deficits are first order concerns. He is probably wrong, but he could be right in some situations, and more to the point this idea is his mandate. It’s a simple vision and he was elected to implement it. The proximal issue is that Trump’s articulation of his vision is like that of a 5th grader. So “they” refuse to follow his lead.

But who hasn’t had a boss that was less smart than themselves? Isn’t being smarter than your boss (at least at your job) the norm? What’s all the fuss about?

Woodward seems to be implying (but not saying) that the root issues (i.e., the real issues) are: 1) Washington has too much trouble supporting anyone who isn’t a competent bureaucrat or who can’t write like a McKinsey consultant and 2) being a pathological liar precludes leadership, even in Washington.

Postscript: It’s a tough read. Not a summer fun book. The last chapter is the best. And the last sentence brings into focus much of the author’s unstated implications. But I almost never got there.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Crack in Creation

  • Gene Editing and the Unthinkable Power to Control Evolution
  • By: Jennifer A. Doudna, Samuel H. Sternberg
  • Narrated by: Erin Bennett
  • Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 545
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 488
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 484

Not since the atomic bomb has a technology so alarmed its inventors that they warned the world about its use. Not, that is, until the spring of 2015, when biologist Jennifer Doudna called for a worldwide moratorium on the use of the new gene-editing tool CRISPR - a revolutionary new technology that she helped create - to make heritable changes in human embryos.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An easily digestible intro to the future...

  • By DC Mike on 09-01-17

My Pick, Best Book of the Middle Half of the 2010s

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-10-17

This is a mass market book about a new disruptive technology, including a significant description of it’s history, written by a future Nobel Laureate.

The technology is CRISPR, a new gene editing technology that is cheap and much more precise than any previous method. At present it’s still mostly in the laboratory, although home CRISPR kits exist from a popular crowd funding site. But it seems like within a decade (or so) this will lead to the counterpart of 3d printing for the bio-geneticist (software and big data are most of what is missing).

I’d known about CRISPR for a year or two, but mostly just from short news style articles in science oriented sites. This book quickly enabled a medium level of understanding. For most readers this is probably the primary value of the book; if you don’t know about CRISPR or only know a little bit, this is one of those topics where it’s worth reading a book to bring yourself up to speed early in the revolution.

To be clear about the perspective there is a chance that this will be less disruptive than the Internet, perhaps because it will be highly regulated like controlled substances, but it seems a little more likely that this will be much more disruptive than the Internet.

The author talks about her life as a scientist and about the history of the invention as well as many of the follow-on inventions. Some of the chapters about why CRISPR works are a bit too dense for audio absorption while driving. I found myself using the button on my car to jog the audio back a few tracks quite a often.

There is also a section on the moral and ethical implications of the use of the technology. I found this section uncomfortable, because in my life time so often when scientist have attempted to inform public policy about big issues they have added to the confusion rather than adding to the clarity. But I admire her earnestness. And to be fair CRISPR is a very dangerous technology. I will go out on a limb and predict that someone will weaponize it for aqueous delivery within the next 12 years. But the scarier prospect is the ability to modify human genetics in a heritable way (i.e., modify the germ line).

A section of the book talks about the possibility of accidentally introducing catastrophic mutations. I think this is a misplaced fear. Evolution must be robust with respect to almost any isolated mutation (I recommend the book Arrival of the Fittest on this point). But the ability to affect large scale genetic changes in a single generation seems nearly certain to lead to an unstable system. I don’t mean a departure from quiescence, rather I mean instability in the sense of feedback and control theory. That is, where each correction leads to an ever-larger overshoot until the system becomes resource constrained or destroys itself. Imagine generations of humans alternating between producing too many males and too many females an attempt to correct the imbalance of the previous generation. Now imagine similar instabilities involving 100s of different traits.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How Great Generals Win

  • By: Bevin Alexander
  • Narrated by: James Slattery
  • Length: 10 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81

Throughout history great generals have done what their enemies have least expected. Instead of direct, predictable attack, they have deceived, encircled, outflanked, out-thought, and triumphed over often superior armies commanded by conventional thinkers.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Problem with Case-Study-Centric Analysis

  • By Kenneth on 03-30-14

The Problem with Case-Study-Centric Analysis

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-30-14

The book presents 11 case studies of brilliant generals. For each general it presents a short history of key battles that illustrate the general’s particular brand of greatness and then provides a set of lessons that could be applied more broadly to military style command. The first time through this book I thought it was great. It’s well written, historically informative, and provided an emotional touchstone for a lot of things I already believed, including a lot that was consistent with my beliefs about strategy. I was inclined to give it 5 stars.

The problem started a few weeks after I read this book when I was telling a Chinese friend about the inclusion of Mao Zedong in the list of great generals. The friend somewhat patronizingly claimed that that the key battle narratives in this book were not historical; rather they were a retelling of fictional propaganda created long after the fact. I didn’t believe my fried. But there was something about the particular interaction that started an extended investigation. I needed to know if Mao was a great general; the answer seemed to affect too many other aspects of my world view.

After 2 years of part time armature research, I came to believe that Mao was in fact a great general, but that the accounts of his greatness in this book are completely fictionalized.

IMHO Mao’s greatness as a general was in his use of what Sun Tzu called “dead spies”. This is best illustrated by the Manchurian Campaign, in which prepositioned assets (i.e., sleepers) played a decisive role. The trouble is that the author, I, and most of western culture view this use of dead spies as expletive, immoral, and evil or at least as unmanly. The repulsiveness of the implied lessons, inclines us to believe other versions of history. On the other hand the fictional propaganda was designed to fit with what we want to believe … The deeper trouble is that the facts matter but are only approximately knowable, and at least in this case even small progress in uncovering the facts requires excessive effort.

So … what lesson do I draw from the meta-case study of the Mao Case Study. For starters I do NOT find that the meta-case study leads me to something a kin to epistemological relativism. That would be too much like embracing one case study (or meta-case study) as absolute proof that all cases studies are wrong. But these kinds of case studies feel much deeper much more insightful than they are. It’s a kind of vividness bias. Stories are manipulative; in case studies the story takes pursuance over the facts.

On the other hand, thinking in stories seems to be necessary in order to explore less superficial truths, i.e., truths involving extended chains of cause and effect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Confront and Conceal

  • Obama's Secret Wars and Surprising Use of American Power
  • By: David E. Sanger
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 15 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 176
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 152

Three and a half years ago, David Sanger’s book The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and the Challenges to American Power described how a new American president came to office with the world on fire. Now, just as the 2012 presidential election battle begins, Sanger follows up with an eye-opening, news-packed account of how Obama has dealt with those challenges, relying on innovative weapons and reconfigured tools of American power to try to manage a series of new threats.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the President

  • By Bradford C Rowland on 09-03-12

Excellent Apologetics of Amateurism

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-14-13

This book systematically reviews Obama’s foreign policy. The author is an impressive journalist; and the quality of the research is excellent; WikiLeaks is uses somewhat heavy in combination with many other protected sources. Perhaps books are the new outlet for serious journalism.

The book somewhat strongly refutes the idea that Obama’s foreign policy is wimpy. For me it also reinforced the idea that his administration is more amateurish than professional. Finally, it somewhat strongly argued that Obama’s administration has learned on the job far better than most and has adapted somewhat aggressively, once it finally figures things out.

As a disenfranchised republican I was compelled to vote for Hillary. I tended to view Obama as a Jimmy Carter like character (i.e., well-meaning but perhaps in over his head). In some regards this book reinforced these pre-existing beliefs. The surprising thing, however, is that the book convinced me that Obama somewhat consistently gets to a good outcome in the end, after first pushing several bad strategies. For me this was a new insight.

It is said that Obama is an advocate of Lincoln’s idea of a Team of Rivals (see book by that name). If true this book reveals the strengths and weaknesses of this approach. First of all, the team of rivals approach requires a very powerful leader (and Obama is no Lincoln). Secondly it’s a pretty ugly process (even Lincoln’s presidency reveals that). But in the end this approach maybe more robust than it appears, i.e., eventually getting to a good outcome most of the time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mao

  • The Unknown Story
  • By: Jung Chang, Jon Halliday
  • Narrated by: Robertson Dean
  • Length: 29 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 614
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 450
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 451

Based on a decade of research and on interviews with many of Mao's close circle in China who have never talked before, and with virtually everyone outside China who had significant dealings with him, this is the most authoritative biography of Mao ever written.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fills many gaps! Very good..but!

  • By Jene on 08-07-06

The Missing Manual for China and Chinese

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-17-13

In 1998 I started reading 2 books on Chinese History or Chinese Cultural per year. For a long time the only affect seemed to be that I usually knew more Chinese history than almost all Chinese under about 55 (and quite a bit less than many over about 65). It didn’t even endeared me to Chinese; it was much more likely to lead to arguments about revisionism, often devolving towards the absurd.

About 3 years ago I had my first significant breakthrough in this implicit quest when I read, Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World. Mao: The Unknown Story completes the Genghis Khan book. The Khan dynasty and the Mao indulgency are the Yang and the Yin of the hard to see thing that differentiates China, Chinese Culture, and most modern Chinese from the rest of the world. Americans for example are incapable of this degree of dichotomy with respect to anything, but especially with respect to our leaders. (The only plausible expectation is dichotomy with respect to ourselves (individualism seems to facility a greater capacity for dichotomy with respect to ourselves)).

If you read both books back to back and then try to fuse the insights you’ll understand most of Chinese history, a lot of Chinese Culture, and a great deal more than you did about modern Chinese.

Notes:
1) IMHO this book is better than Wild Swans.
2) I have trouble recommending this book to others as strongly as its actual impact, because it’s such a painful reed.
3) Both Genghis Khan and Mao conflated history and propaganda to an extent that most of the rest of the world cannot. Although Genghis Khan may have believed in secret non-propaganda histories for their strategic value.
4) I think the first step in understanding these two books is to embrace the More is Different principle. All peoples, cultures, and governments have their moments and their dark sides, but orders of magnitude simply matter. Some numeracy with respect to scale is required to even start to understand.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • We Are Anonymous

  • Inside the Hacker World of LulzSec, Anonymous, and the Global Cyber Insurgency
  • By: Parmy Olson
  • Narrated by: Abby Craden
  • Length: 14 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 981
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 871
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 876

In late 2010, thousands of hacktivists joined a mass digital assault by Anonymous on the websites of VISA, MasterCard, and PayPal to protest their treatment of WikiLeaks. Splinter groups then infiltrated the networks of totalitarian governments in Libya and Tunisia, and an elite team of six people calling themselves LulzSec attacked the FBI, CIA, and Sony. They were flippant and taunting, grabbed headlines, and amassed more than a quarter of a million Twitter followers.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting book, AWFUL narration

  • By Jen on 11-11-14

Armatures proving that Pros aren’t even Trying

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-31-13

Obviously when dealing with shadowy organizations (or anti-organizations) there are some limits to knowledge. The act of looking intently may change the situation, or acquiring deep insights of murky situations may take so long that the situation changes during the process, only becoming clear in retrospect. However, this book is about as accurate and as informative as is possible for a book about Anonymous. This is the primary reason to read it. It’s a good introduction; a reasonably balanced, reasonable acute reporting.

The important takeaways from this book seem to be: 1) that as a cyber-army Anonymous is shockingly low tech and 2) the corollary that as a society we are shockingly vulnerable to low tech attacks.

Anonymous is mostly a large group of board rowdy teenagers with nothing better to do, who meet up on sexually explicit and gore oriented bulletin boards, like 4chan or B, and from time to tie sally forth to experience a bit of mayhem. Sure they are a few elite security exports who may (or may not) be leading them (the whole question of leadership is controversial). But even the elite hackers within Anonymous are rather underwhelming, compared to other cyber-war or cybercrime groups, like author of the Conficker Worm, which was a team of world class professionals.

If you’re a believer in Anonymous as a cause this is probably reassuring (these are pretty ordinary people), if you’re not a believer this is the doubling unsettling. It reveals the extent to which IT professionals at your work, at companies you buy from, in the government, and behind the medical, financial, personal and computer services you must use in modern life, are not really trying to deal with computer security. It seems that they are not striving to fix the problems, but merely striving to put on a good show in the hopes of deflecting blame for the problem. That is, their goal is not security, but rather security theater. And the police are so out classed (with a few exceptions) that it’s like hiring a bunch of 12 year old girls as bouncers at a Megadeath concert (if you’re lucky they might avoid becoming victims themselves).

As a society we don’t seem to yet ready to do anything about this situation. Sure Anonymous terrorizes some innocent people, but they are mostly terrorizing each other, and they do some good. The problems seem tolerable. But history suggest that this unstable. Over time either someone will figure how to use Anonymous (or similar organizations) as their personal armies. This is roughly the way nearly all of history’s most evil megalomaniacs rose to power. Or Anonymous will gradually become more and more evil, corrupted from within by its own power.

The situation today is troubling, but far from dire. The scary bit is the trajectory; and it’s very dire.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Hot Zone

  • A Terrifying True Story
  • By: Richard Preston
  • Narrated by: Richard M. Davidson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,619
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,442
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,447

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days, 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If you love viruses and gore and non-fiction...

  • By aaron on 01-05-12

Like Big Foot Hunting for the Science Set

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-21-13

Something is out there. Something mysterious and elusive. Something we don’t understand. But it’s corporal enough so there is no reasonable doubt that’s its real.

I’ve been fascinated by inter-species viruses for about 15 years: AIDS, Hantavirus, Ebola, Flu, and others. I find myself reading most of the armature literature on this topics. I have some sort of need to search for insights into the important but elusive things that are “out there”. But the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, Alien Abduction, and the like are a little too speculative to hold my interest. The scientists in me demands a bit more proof, actually quite a bit more proof.

If you relate to what I’m saying, “The Hot Zone” could well be your top summer fun read.

On a personal note my wife is close with one of the top guys at USAMRAA and I moved into a building about a mile from the “Monkey House” features in the story about a year after the main incident. So I’d heard these events discussed at a distance for about 13 years, but I didn’t really understand until I read this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • How to Create a Mind

  • The Secret of Human Thought Revealed
  • By: Ray Kurzweil
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,103
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 955
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 948

Ray Kurzweil, the bold futurist and author of the New York Times best seller The Singularity Is Near, is arguably today’s most influential technological visionary. A pioneering inventor and theorist, he has explored for decades how artificial intelligence can enrich and expand human capabilities. Now, in his much-anticipated How to Create a Mind, he takes this exploration to the next step: reverse-engineering the brain to understand precisely how it works, then applying that knowledge to create vastly intelligent machines.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Read the Wikipedia article, don't bother with the book

  • By Liz on 09-24-15

Almost Brilliant, Almost Antiquated, Not Anything

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-13

I’m a fan of Kurtzweil. I find his book The Singularity is Near to be an essential part of any modern education. He is also the most financially successful Artificial Inelegance (AI) researcher to date. So he’s a great philosopher, a great researcher, and a great businessmen, but apparently he’s not infallible, because this book missed the mark.

In a nutshell his answer to the question, “How do you/we make a mind” is “The same way we’ve been trying for the last 30 years”. This answer is so close to brilliant it’s spooky. I think there have been profound changes in AI over the last 5 or 6 years. Big data is suddenly revealing (or at least strongly suggesting) that we in fact may have been making pretty good synthetic minds for decades and just didn’t know it. The problem has been that having made a good synthetic mind we don’t know how to educate it. At the same time (because of advances in AI) we may be on the cusp of discovering that we don’t know how to educate biological minds either (and have been making nearly the same mistakes as the AI community has been making). In this book Kurzweil presents much of the data in support of this argument, and then walks away from what to me seemed the logical conclusion.

To make matters worse his overview of 30 years of AI is quite narrow. One might get the impression that he believes that Multi-Layer Hidden Markov Models are all that is needed. Perhaps in some since any of a dozen AI methods are sufficient, in the same since that Truing Machines are sufficient, but the field of synthetic mind creation is much richness than presented here, as the author must have known.

22 of 23 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 1

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 20 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,891
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,880
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,900

First appearing in print in 1890, the character of Sherlock Holmes has now become synonymous worldwide with the concept of a super sleuth. His creator, Conan Doyle, imbued his detective hero with intellectual power, acute observational abilities, a penchant for deductive reasoning and a highly educated use of forensic skills. Indeed, Doyle created the first fictional private detective who used what we now recognize as modern scientific investigative techniques.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • mouth watering

  • By David on 03-30-10

Shockingly Modern

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-13

I’ve been sampling the “classics” more for a few years. I have mixed feelings about the classics, as a group. Both time and the “wisdom of the crowd” are a powerful filter, but sometimes the gap in world views is a problem. For example Aristotle’s word view was just too un-modern for me to glean much from his writings. In contrast Plato requires only a modest ability to explore a less modern paradigm and many of his gems are trivially transported to a modern context.

Sherlock Holmes felt like it was written today and merely set in the past. It was truly amazing. The only tell was slight aversion to gore (which I rather think is not such a bad thing).

It is targeted at the young reader, but very inter-generational. It’s the perfect book to read to your children or grandchildren.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2

  • By: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
  • Length: 29 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,841
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,389
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,410

Volume two in this series consists of one novel, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and two collections of short stories, which include "Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes" and "The Return of Sherlock Holmes" (a total of 23 stories). These creations by Doyle represent the finest work of his Holmes series, and certainly the most famous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a list of what you'll find in Volume 2

  • By T. on 04-24-12

Shockingly Modern

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-13

I’ve been sampling the “classics” more for a few years. I have mixed feelings about the classics, as a group. Both time and the “wisdom of the crowd” are a powerful filter, but sometimes the gap in world views is a problem. For example Aristotle’s word view was just too un-modern for me glean much from his writings. In contrast Plato requires only a modest ability to explore less modern paradigm and many of his gyms are trivially transported to a modern context.

Sherlock Holms felt like it was written today and merely set in the past. It was truly amazing. The only tell was slight aversion to gore (which I rather think is not such a bad thing).

It is targeted at the young reader, but very inter-generational. It’s the perfect book to read to your children or grandchildren.