I'm feeling torn about my response to this book. The rescue of the 33 Chilean miners made for a gripping story that caught the world's attention as itI'm feeling torn about my response to this book. The rescue of the 33 Chilean miners made for a gripping story that caught the world's attention as it unfolded. I remember watching the news 17 days after the cave-in. A drill with a camera attached finally broke through to the area where the miners were believed to be trapped. We were braced to witness a tragedy - video of 33 dying or crushed men. When the camera finally returned to surface that expectation was turned into riotous, joyous celebration after a note was found attached with the words "All 33 are fine in the refuge".
The world continued to watch as the Chilean government mobilized specialists (even NASA) from all over the world to develop a plan to get the men out. 69 days later the first man was lifted out of a hole the size of car tire. All 33 made it safely to the surface, back to their families and instant worldwide celebrity. It was hailed as both a miracle and a triumph of the human spirit.
The book tears down the triumphant mythos that surrounds "The 33." The author's description of the lack of safety compliance at the mine and the subsequent cave-in are horrific. I raged when the miners discovered just after the accident that the ladders that were supposed to help them climb out through escape tunnels built just for this purpose were never installed. Or when the emergency food supply that was supposed to feed a large amount of men for a period long enough to get them rescued consisted only of a few packs of cookies and some cans of spoiled milk and tuna.
This is where things get wonky. From here on out Tobar begins to focus on the personality defects of each miner, the mistakes they've made and the petty bickering they devolve into after being trapped together for so long. He diminishes the monumental effort by the rescuers' (who worked around the clock, many refusing to leave their posts) as grandstanding by a self-centered politician who simply wanted to boost his political capital. By the end of the book everyone is unlikable and without merit. I put it down feeling sad and disappointed.
I would skip this book and simply go on to YouTube and do a google search for "the 33 miners." Your heart will thank you for it ...more
I listened to this as an audiobook and loved it. It's much more hard science-fiction than you'd expect any story that has Neil Gaiman's name attachedI listened to this as an audiobook and loved it. It's much more hard science-fiction than you'd expect any story that has Neil Gaiman's name attached to it would be, so you're in for a shock if you don't know that ahead of time.
All of Gaiman's usual magical elements are there, though and blend beautifully with the sci-fi. The two authors manage to pull off a complicated and unusual plot without losing the heart and soul of the characters. I listened to it with my nine-year-old son and we were both riveted. He sat and listened to all 5 hours, begging me to put in the next cd as soon as one would end. We were both sad when it ended.
There are a few tiresome and clumsy passages when the authors try to explain the science of why the worlds work. This is a minor blip and can easily be skipped over. This is a great read/listen and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel....more
I listened to this as an audiobook and was floored by how good it was. At times it reads like a Tom Clancy thriller - complete with (corporate) espionI listened to this as an audiobook and was floored by how good it was. At times it reads like a Tom Clancy thriller - complete with (corporate) espionage, epic betrayals, and one man - Bill Ford -determined to keep his family's legacy in tact no matter what.
Intended to be a biography of Alan Mulally, the man credited with saving Boeing after the 9-11 attacks crippled the airline industry and who would eventually go on to save Ford Motor Company despite the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, the scope reaches far beyond this one man. It's about Henry Ford, the Ford family, Detroit and it's famous male-dominated Glass Castle, wars and friendships between the business world and the trade unions (presented here as a symbiotic if combative relationship), gender inequality, corporate espionage, income disparity, financial regulation and what exactly it takes to lead the third largest car company back from the brink of utter ruin.
At a few points I was on the edge of my seat. Like during Ford's manipulation to woo Mulally away from Boeing, or when Bill Ford risked everything and used the famous blue Ford oval logo as collateral during the massive last-ditch we've-reached-our-only-option loan the company needed to survive.
The book does drag on a little when Mulally is forced to decide whether or not to accept the government bail-out offered to GM and Chrysler, but it's a minor complaint compared to the rest of the book. Truly worthwhile....more
Legion was such a light, fun and quick read that the sleight-of-hand required to pull off what could be a difficult, clunky story-line (the main charaLegion was such a light, fun and quick read that the sleight-of-hand required to pull off what could be a difficult, clunky story-line (the main character has a condition where he hallucinates people, each very real to him with their own unique quirks and personalities) goes completely unnoticed. Only a master wordsmith could do it this elegantly.
I can't wait to read the next book in the series....more
I agree with most of the other reviews. The recipes are beautifully presented and fun to look at. They're also fairly useless for school-age childrenI agree with most of the other reviews. The recipes are beautifully presented and fun to look at. They're also fairly useless for school-age children unless your child is not at all picky and is willing to be a culinary adventurer. Many of the food combinations are a bit on the sophisticated side for young palates.
The recipes also err on the side of pricey and would be very expensive to make on a daily basis. I enjoyed the book and will be trying a few of the recipes out, but as a useful guide for quick, everyday school lunches it falls short of the mark....more
I heard this described on NPR as "The greatest, most important short story ever written." Not being familiar with Joyce's life and the social structurI heard this described on NPR as "The greatest, most important short story ever written." Not being familiar with Joyce's life and the social structure and societal pressures of Dublin (especially concerning the Irish Famine)during the period the story was written most of its finer points were lost on me. As a short story alone it was certainly enjoyable. His characters leap off the page and you feel intimately acquainted with them by the end. I think "The Dead" would best be enjoyed as part of a classical literature college class....more
I've been on the fence about the series since the last few books. Rachel is one of the emotionally strongest and likeable characters in the genre. AtI've been on the fence about the series since the last few books. Rachel is one of the emotionally strongest and likeable characters in the genre. At least she was until the introduction of the Trent-crush storyline, a-billionaire-bad-boy-with-his-own-agenda-but-of-course-he-has-a heart-of-gold-and-a-desire-to-be-just-another-regular-Joe. He's so perfect he irritates and bores the hell out of me. I found Rachels non-stop cringing, hand-wringing and whining over him exhausting.
This book would have been so much better if Harrison had focused more on Trent's battle with the enclave and his fight to retain his status as Cincinnati's most powerful citizen. I was dying to know more about the elf hierarchy and felt let-down when the thread was dropped. Hopefully now that Rachel and Trent have done the deed Rachel can get back to being the ass-kicking demon runner we all know and love....more
Comprehensive and engaging, but the edition I read had so many grammatical errors it was almost illegible at times. The photo captions read like theyComprehensive and engaging, but the edition I read had so many grammatical errors it was almost illegible at times. The photo captions read like they were written by an English-as-a-third-language-student, "Japanese-Americans could still smile in California internment camp, even pinup MacArthur on wall. "
A proofread, properly edited version of this book would be worthy of a solid five stars....more