While the manga style is engaging and adds a contemporary take on a oft-told story, it boils down the storytelling elements a little too much, and reaWhile the manga style is engaging and adds a contemporary take on a oft-told story, it boils down the storytelling elements a little too much, and reads less like a heartfelt story than a sequence of important events. Like a bouillon cube leached of most of its natural goodness. A bit preachy at the end. A noble effort....more
A sweet story written by a non-writer, layering her story of loneliness and recovery over the much more fascinating story (in my opinion) of the rescuA sweet story written by a non-writer, layering her story of loneliness and recovery over the much more fascinating story (in my opinion) of the rescued library cat. Skipped some parts....more
The book group voted this title in the rotation, so I read it--with reservations, as I am not a deep political thinker and presumed this book would beThe book group voted this title in the rotation, so I read it--with reservations, as I am not a deep political thinker and presumed this book would be heavy on theory and such. To the contrary, the author writes an unflinching but loving memoir about her life in as an ardent Somali Islamist, and her transformation into womanhood. True womanhood, which to her, meant being free from the bonds of Islam.
Her prose is exacting, and there is not a wasted sentence in this narrative. With compelling detail and supreme compassion, the author tells a story of poverty, religious rule of law, and a family that did not know how to repair its damaged relationships. Her characters are complex and her love for them obvious.
This book captures the transition from Islam into Europe better than Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis novels because our protagonist has more motive to live. It's a survivor's tale. I identified deeply with Hirsi Ali's devotion to her books, her longing for spiritual truth, and ultimate renunciation of outmoded family models in favor of the individual.
Politically, she is unapologetic in her views, and it shows in this book. There are very few points of nostalgia and sentimentality. Because this is an autobiography written in the middle of her life, it finishes with no promises. No happy endings. She's found a place in America that welcomes her. But there is so much more work to be done. ...more
Nice intro to some of the pioneering, reformist women who helped shape Vermont. Organized chronologically and reads quickly. Source notes in the backNice intro to some of the pioneering, reformist women who helped shape Vermont. Organized chronologically and reads quickly. Source notes in the back are a plus, for those looking for more info on these ladies....more
Finishing this book took much longer than other books I’d been reading recently, which is a testament to the density of material presented here. ThougFinishing this book took much longer than other books I’d been reading recently, which is a testament to the density of material presented here. Though Thomas Hauser is listed as the author of this book, I’d argue that it’s co-written by everyone interviewed for this massive tome.
Hauser presents his narrative Studs Terkel style, often with lengthy monologues on his subject. The story is presented chronologically, with chapter titles such as “Origins” and “The Birth of Ali”. I enjoyed getting to know characters such as Don King, Bundini Brown and Howard Bingham, scurrilous, outrageous, steadfast. The spectrum of people that Ali surrounded himself with was Technicolor. But what this book offers most of and does best for the leisurely reader is a fuller portrait of a man coming of age in his times.
We’re presented with a man who entered the public spectrum as a boxer, a gold medal Olympian, someone who has grown into a myth, an icon, an important historical figure. The narrative is thorough in filling in the details left out of this mythic story, such as the politics behind the stripping of his world championship title after his draft dodging conviction and what he did in the three year interim. Who knew that he traveled the college lecture circuit and that he surrounded himself with mooches that took advantage of him every chance they got? I had no idea how deep and true the rivalry between Joe Frazier and Ali was, nor how in financial strait’s the champ was, despite good-hearted and competent intervention.
To help tell this story, Hauser relies on extensive testimony from a strange variety of sources: Angelo Dundee (Ali’s trainer) to James Michener (who met him once), Arthur Ashe (a fellow African-American sports figure paving the way) to Ted Kennedy. There are personalities that have nothing to do with boxing, and who are not part of Ali’s inner circle (Bryant Gumble, for example) who talk at length about Ali’s influence and persona. When reading these, I often think they got put in the book because they were black.
Which highlights the point that Hauser is a white journalist even more. Though I haven’t read his previous books (which include Black Lights, about boxing), I take it into consideration because a majority of this book is focused on race, the Black Muslim movement and many of its key players are of a different race than the author. How does this play out? The chapter on Ali’s conversion into the Nation of Islam (“The Birth of Ali”) is awfully unedited, going into length about the belief system. Both Malcolm X and Elijah Muhammad are quoted for pages on end. Jeremiah Shabazz gets four-plus pages, uninterrupted. If Hauser had been more familiar with the subject matter, he would have been able to edit it into a more readable primer. It was the only part I skimmed over. Why not write it with the same cursory hand that wrote Frazier’s backstory?
The strategy is echoed once more later on in the book, in exploring Ali’s current diagnosis of Parkinsonism. The medical records are very detailed and unnecessary. Again, it feels as if the author erred on the side of TMI. This bit of info the modern reader is more likely to know about anyway.
Often times Hauser over indulges in his adulation, but I suppose one can’t help it. Even though there are the Joe Fraziers in the world, who will always have quarrel with Ali (and who could blame him?), by the final pages, the reader is left to think that Muhammad Ali is one of the best loved personalities on the face of this planet.
So in all, I learned a great deal more than ever possible, had Hauser done a straightforward narrative, especially about the people involved in Ali’s life. It’s a lot to read thought and halfway through, I was ready to put the book down--but I hadn’t even reached the Rumble in the Jungle, much less the Thrilla in Manila.
Researching Ali, picked up this book at the latest library sale. We used to carry it at the bookstore I worked at. Written by his daughter, who assumeResearching Ali, picked up this book at the latest library sale. We used to carry it at the bookstore I worked at. Written by his daughter, who assumes we know who Ali is, what boxing is (and how it differs from fighting in general) and why his life is so "inspiring".
This book is about as cardboard as the covers binding it. Illustrations, when modeled after photographs, are pale comparison, and when original are vague and half-hearted.
The most redeeming part of this book is the timeline at the end that detail Ali's life 1942-1975.
I would have loved a more personl story, including family photographs. Oh well.
This is one of those books I picked up in the last few hours of work at the bookstore, so I only got 1/2 way through it. And considering the books I'mThis is one of those books I picked up in the last few hours of work at the bookstore, so I only got 1/2 way through it. And considering the books I'm reading these days, I don't think I'll be finishing it any time soon.
Well written and researched. Full of pictures and first person interviews. This is a sad story of uneducated and desperate parents trying to do what they think is right, trusting the opinions of the specialists.
I hadn't made it to the part when the "boy" actually grows up.
As a kid, I never enjoyed the Mr. Rogers show. It moved too slowly and wasn't exciting enough--too goody-goody. Which is too bad, because as an adult,As a kid, I never enjoyed the Mr. Rogers show. It moved too slowly and wasn't exciting enough--too goody-goody. Which is too bad, because as an adult, I know how important it is for children to watch nourishing television more than mindless drivel (ditto for adults, too).
I found this at my neighborhood bookstore and was rapt within the first few paragraphs of the page I was reading, so wrought with emotion, I practically cried while standing there "browsing". I was little embarrassed by it and decided not to buy it then.
Well here I am, having read the book in a day. It's a pretty fast read. The voice is very casual and it seems almost as if I had been listening to a radio program instead of reading. It was that easy.
Tim Madigan chronicles his friendship with Fred Rogers from their initial conversation for a newpaper assignment through his death, and now with his Fred's legacy. It's a story of his profound and sustaining friendship with a man when relationships in general were falling apart around him. Ultimately, a story of the healing power of friendship and love. I know, sounds hokey. It is. But if you're a sucker for this sort of reading, as I am, make sure you have a full box of Kleenex with you.
I found that the author inserted a few too many of his personal letters to Mr. Rogers--because anyone picking up the book is interested in Mr. Rogers, adn his side of the story. Or so it was with me. Though in the end, I did really appreciate the honesty with which he wrote about his struggles and the coming apart and together of his family. It's probably pretty universal, those feelings.
He also included quite a few lengthy passages from some newspaper aricles, which were important to him at the time. By the end though, they started to feel like stuffing.
It reads like a very honest journal and I'll be passing it on, I think....more
Take a look at this book more for the art, which is wildly imaginative, detailed and dark than for the writing, which is stilted (because of the transTake a look at this book more for the art, which is wildly imaginative, detailed and dark than for the writing, which is stilted (because of the translation?) and verbose. Too many words where the pictures do better.
Epileptic grows up too fast and doesn't resolve in the end the way books can--neatly. But I understand the story is one of those that continues on until the characters die off in oblivion. Yech. ...more
Bob Harris isn't a writer, which is too bad. You'd think someone with his Jeopardy! trackrecord could pull off a book. But from what I gather here, heBob Harris isn't a writer, which is too bad. You'd think someone with his Jeopardy! trackrecord could pull off a book. But from what I gather here, he failed many times to qualify, and upon qualifying, he studied very, very hard to win what he did. Not that I ever thought that getting to play (much less winning,) was a cakewalk.
It's scattershot and should focus just on Jeopardy! But he rambles on, makes bad jokes and writes too much about his uninteresting lovelife. Blech. I couldn't finish it.
I loved Jeopardy! when I had cable, so I thought this would bring back all that love for trivia and mundacity. Wrong-o....more
After reading this book, I could see a lot of my parents in it. The way they unyieldingly through the years sent money back to their families, hopingAfter reading this book, I could see a lot of my parents in it. The way they unyieldingly through the years sent money back to their families, hoping that their success could transfer somehow to the rural lives of the individuals they'd left behind. I could see also my older brother in here--how he'd have a lifetime's worth of trauma and suffereing to make up for. And i realize that happiness is something one settles upon early in life. and I regeret sometimes that Me and my little borther had easy access to that, whereas my older brother had to live with those memories of soldiers guarding every road in and out of the villages.
It has always been hard for our family to talk about this part of our lives. but I read this while working at the bookstore. And I passed the book on to my little brother after finishing it,saying that I thought he might learn something from this. Of course, we haven't talked about it whatsoever. But I am grateful for SOMEONE's careful insistence on recording the story. If not for Adam Fifield, his brother's story (and many of ours) would have gone unrecorded. How sad....more