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Phil Keeling

Savannah, GA United States
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Great book, better audiobook.

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

Reviewed: 06-23-19

I’ve listened to this before, but on my second listen, I was immediately reminded why I love it so much. Lenny Henry’s narration is flawless: possibly the best of any audiobook I’ve ever heard. Gaiman’s story is wonderful, much more light hearted than American Gods. The book and narration combine beautifully.

Dull, dull, dull.

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

Reviewed: 05-02-18

Imagine you die, and then find your mind centuries later trapped inside a sentient robot with the task of saving all of humanity on your shoulders.

Pretty heavy stuff, right? Well, not according to We Are Legion (We Are Bob).

Like a teenager who sort of wants to learn the guitar, Legion begins with some big ideas, but sort of fizzles out when it seems to realize how much work actually goes into it. The idea of “is sentient life really life?”, it turns out, is more than just learning the basic chords to Wonderwall.

When these ideas are addressed (do I violate the prime directive? Am I a real person? Oh my god everyone I’ve ever known and loved is dead!), Bob gets over it with very little struggle or conflict. Everything seems to work out just fine, from beginning to end. Instead of introspection and existential questions, we’re treated to pop culture references.

But the biggest sin We Are Legion commits is that it is mind numbingly dull. This book is a perfect example of why writers are asked to “show, not tell”.

Bob creates replicas of himself, and is surprised to find that, while they share many aspects of himself, they tend to have their own personalities and quirks. Cool idea! Will one of them become megalomaniacal and evil? Will they argue for hours on end on how to handle a situation?

Nope. They’re just quirky. One of them takes after Homer Simpson, you guys!

Bob tells us everything, and shows almost nothing. We have tons of information explained to us, so there aren’t really any surprises: no drama, no conflict that isn’t overcome in no time flat. What few antagonists we have are incredibly two dimensional, and you really don’t feel any fear that they’ll somehow defeat Bob or spoil his plans. When characters are lost, it’s a footnote, and you rarely know them well enough to care, anyhow.

It’s a real shame. The ideas put forward in this book could have been fascinating and unique, but instead we get the sci-fI equivalent of easy listening. No drama: no fear. Just the same safe note played over and over again.

14 of 20 people found this review helpful

Boss Fight Books are great.

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

Reviewed: 04-10-18

BFB is a wonderful series, and for their first audiobook, they started with my favorite. Amazing combination of memoir and history: fantastic.

Perhaps a radio drama isn't the proper medium for the Alien universe

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

Reviewed: 06-07-16

Decent performances offset by a pretty terrible script. What started as a promising continuation of Alien canon (this takes place between the films Alien and Aliens) turns into a cliche-riddled story with bizarre character choices and insulting plot devices.

Let's put it this way: they solve a fairly massive plot hole with amnesia.

Amnesia.

More of the same.

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

Reviewed: 07-20-14

What disappointed you about You are a Badass?

You Are A Bad Ass is the same pseudo-spiritual bunk you hear time and time again from self-help gurus all over the world. It was disappointing, the "sameness" that I got from it. In the end, all that I felt I received was a sweet-faced pep talk from a well-meaning but naïve friend.

I suppose I went into it hoping that this had a new, more practical take on helping one feel good about oneself in the face of hardship. But in the end, there was just the same "you get what you put out" anecdotal nonsense that has kept the self-help industry in its happy place for decades, with a few four letter words thrown in to trick people into believing that this book is edgy and thought-provoking.

It's not.

You Are A Badass feels like a guidance counselor trying to "connect" with their high school students by sitting down for a "rap session" and telling them "I know how square you must think adults are--but I know how lame life can get some times! Can you dig it? High five!"

If you're like me, you're looking for some practical, useful rumination on dealing with self-loathing and acceptance. This is another false lead.

I don't care that your friend's business finally took off after he connected with the spiritual universe. "Putting yourself out there" and "sending out positive energy" is not advice and it doesn't help, no matter how many of your buddies do it. You can't ask me to "go out on a limb" with the spiritual world any better than you can ask me to remove and reattach my leg.

This "one size fits all" mentality to positive thinking for a better life isn't enough--I'm just deeply disappointed that I was hoodwinked by more of the same with this book.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jen Sincero again?

No thank you.

What aspect of Jen Sincero’s performance would you have changed?

Sincero is a fine speaker, and clearly has enthusiasm for her work.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As her surname seems to suggest, Sincero is... sincere. She seems to genuinely believe in what she's saying. That doesn't change the fact that her methods paint with an awfully vague, spiritual brush.

2 of 4 people found this review helpful