I didn't like this book much. I kept going, somewhat slowly, even though I was tempted to stop nearly the entire way. The writing style annoyed me theI didn't like this book much. I kept going, somewhat slowly, even though I was tempted to stop nearly the entire way. The writing style annoyed me the most. There were details, but not the right kind. For an example, in one scene we're told that the family was happy they found parking near the back on the way into a science fair. So? Why do we care where they parked? Is this to add atmosphere, to make the book more realistic? I don't know, but what it did for me is think, why is this important? Is it going to come back up later where they need to quickly get into the car, but since they parked so far away it made things worse? No, that never came back up, it was unimportant. It was useless detail. Certainly you need specifics, but the right ones, and this book was off through the entire thing, filled with useless detail and not filled with detail you want.
Some of the story line was interesting, about genetics and specifically engineering children that are super smart. But it wasn't explored very thoroughly, only cursorily. Since a medical doctor wrote the book you would expect more specifics here, but that was missing.
Part of the backbone of the story was about the Basques and the ETA, a Basque separatist terrorist group. That was a unique story line for me, so it kept up some of my interest. I kept hoping for more information about Basques, but didn’t get much. In fact the author never mentioned that there are Basques in France, just Spain so it made me wonder if the author really understood Basque heritage.
Anyway, there’s a whole lot more I could say about why I didn’t like the book, but I won’t. I’ll just say that you can easily skip this book. Since this was book seven in a series that increased my disappointment. I certainly won't be looking for any more in the series, nor anything by the writer.
One note on the narrator, Joe Hempel, he was superb. It was probably what ultimately kept me listening. For full disclosure, I did receive a free audio copy of this book generously given by the narrator, but in no way did it influence anything in my review. ...more
I was surprised by this book. It is not anything like what I consider a typical read for me, so I did have low expectations. Most likely I got this foI was surprised by this book. It is not anything like what I consider a typical read for me, so I did have low expectations. Most likely I got this for free. There's many different things going on in the book, but it's ultimately a thriller, mystery book.
Something I didn't expect -- magicians. The main character is a master escape artist, good at sleight of hand and creating illusions. Turns out these skills are useful for being a detective.
There's also quantum entanglement, placebo effect, and cutting edge medical research into life extension. Oh, and voodoo and telepathy... Well there is quite a lot in this book, and it's deemed Christian Fiction for good reason. Overall well researched and engaging.
This was much funnier than I expected, well I didn't expect any humor. It wasn't sustained well throughout. Very interesting story of this guy livingThis was much funnier than I expected, well I didn't expect any humor. It wasn't sustained well throughout. Very interesting story of this guy living with his illness, trying not to make his life about his illness. He names it Misty (maybe spelled wrong, since I listened to the audio book). He also confronts his belief, or not, in the Mormon church. There's lots of funny parts when he talks about trying to date.
Each chapter starts with a Dewey Decimal number and that subject classification. It gives you the title for the chapter. Then you have a little story about his job working in the public library. Then it get into his own personal story, his life growing up, dating, trying to have a child, dealing with his illness, and ways to stop all the ticks. One way is guitar, but what seemed to help him more was weightlifting. Not to give even more of his story away, but he does end up buying a kilt and joining in on the Scottish Highland games! That warmed my heart even more.
I skimmed this book, did not read it very thoroughly but did go through nearly every page. The reason being is the book would make my blood pressure rI skimmed this book, did not read it very thoroughly but did go through nearly every page. The reason being is the book would make my blood pressure rise too much if I read it deeply. It's a good book, but I get quite angry hearing about companies that are so calculating, misleading and obscure important information, all in order to improve profits. People's health should not be disregarded so callously for a better bottom line.
The book is a very important book, extremely well researched and noted. The author knows what he writes. It's also a scary book, because of the truth, exposing the history of what has happened. The book tells us how science, and what sounds like science, is used to manipulate in order to avoid doing what’s right, and ultimately hurting or killing people. We see this happen time and time again.
It opens with the warning label we now have on aspirin bottle about Reyes Syndrome. Sadly many children, too many children, had to die before the label was adopted. While the drug manufacturers were debating and denying their product was the cause, more children died. The entire book is like this, sad tales where people are in harm’s way but the organizations deny the harm their product does. And why, well, we know, to ensure their balance sheets look healthy.
There are many cases of worker's health clearly being damaged, one example covered is about the butter on popcorn in a factory that was causing lung issues for the workers, and yet the company does nothing, then denies it until it is irrefutable. Until more workers become sick. The book covers, Big Tobacco, which seems easy to pick on, as well as some chemical companies. There is also a chapter on why children's IQ has gone up about 20 points recently, because finally lead has been taken out of paint and other products.
The book discusses how people demand healthy living, and we see public outcries after specific events or when a book is published, such as Silent Spring but there is a lot of push back. Companies manipulate OSHA, FDA, and other oversight regulatory agencies, who typically do not get enough funding from congress. (It isn’t in the book but money from companies or industries contributing to campaign funds and messing with the political process certainly has an effect.) Then when cases do go before the courts, poor rulings are made, often due to the manipulation continuing to go on by the companies. It is truly sad how data is used to show inconclusive results when it is clear there are health ramifications.
The book is not entirely negative, and I may go back and read the last two chapters in depth. These two are positives, how to improve the system titled: Four Ways to Make the Courts Count & Sarbanes-Oaxley for Science: A Dozen Ways to Improve Our Regulatory System.
Another chapter I probably should also read more thoroughly is about how drug companies in developing their pills manipulate their data. And there are many ways they can do this, but in the end it's all about getting approval quickly even before really knowing how safe the drug may be. After gaining FDA approval if it proves to have problems, they can pull it back, but that is also difficult with more stalling on the part of the drug manufacture.
This is a vital book. I hope people will read it. It's not easy. I couldn't do it. But I'm happy it's out there, it is a necessary book that hopefully will help to change things like The Jungle and Silent Spring did. We can do better.
Slightly interesting storyline, but somewhat dated particularly with smoking in the hospital. The sexism wasn’t too fun to read either….as if a womanSlightly interesting storyline, but somewhat dated particularly with smoking in the hospital. The sexism wasn’t too fun to read either….as if a woman couldn’t be a surgeon. Hah!
Interesting note: includes an annotated bibliography at the end, for further reading. Perhaps to make the fiction seem more real?...more