Very well done! I was quite taken by this story during the time of the events and the book, an incredible mining tale of survival and rescue. Tobar diVery well done! I was quite taken by this story during the time of the events and the book, an incredible mining tale of survival and rescue. Tobar did an excellent job in writing the miner's story. Tears came to my eyes when the rescuers finally broke into the mine and got confirmation that all 33 men were alive. I knew they were going to be rescued, I knew the story but still I was very much in the tale of the book. It was gripping, and well written.
I wish the best for these men in their future. It was a horrible ordeal to overcome. Then they were thrown into celebrity-hood and the aftermath of that on these very average men of Chile has also been a challenge for them. The book gave a little on the men's lives a year or so after the rescue.
There are many good reviews of this book. I just wanted to note to my future self (in case of memory lapse) how unexpected the book was, how I enjoyed reading this book. When I first looked at it I thought it wasn't something I'd get through quickly and perhaps an audio book would be the better approach. I'm sure either method is fine. But once I started reading, I had a hard time putting the book down. Now I can't wait for the movie.
One small quote from page 153:
"Their faces and arms have lost the cinnamon and bronze of the South American sun. Instead, they are the hue of mushrooms, of watery ash.
The mushroom men avert their eyes from one another..."
The book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The storThe book has a very personal feel to the narrative as it revolves around the family grocery store that has been in Mountain City for decades. The store provides a view to all of the residents, but it ultimately sticks with his family, grandparents, cousin, aunt & uncle, who all work in the store. The book has sorrow attached to it, as the town is the diminishing, the aging residents, and it leaves you asking what will happen to this very small town (and others like it throughout rural Nevada) over the next few decades. ...more
I enjoyed reading this book, a fascinating tale about Percy Fawcett who was called the last of the Victorian explorers. He led several Amazon expeditiI enjoyed reading this book, a fascinating tale about Percy Fawcett who was called the last of the Victorian explorers. He led several Amazon expeditions, mainly of just exploration, but also helped map the boundaries between Bolivia and Brazil. The more time he spent in the Amazonian region the more intrigued Fawcett becomes about the fabled ancient civilization of El Dorado, which he calls simply Z. Fawcett becomes obsessed until he can finally make another expedition into the jungle to search for this Z. He is secretive about where exactly he is going, trusting no one, which leads him to take only two others with him, his son Jack, and Jack’s best friend Raleigh Rimell. Fawcett also believes the smaller the party the best chance of surviving the terrible jungle and hostile Indians. His secrecy has also made it more difficult in finding what happened to him.
The mystery of El Dorado now has the mystery of what happened to these three in 1925. Hundreds of people have gone in searching for the small party, but none have succeeded in finding a definitive answer. David Grann with his deep research and exploring the area in the Amazon where Fawcett went may have found the answer to the mystery. The author had access to family papers and other materials many others haven’t seen before. The book is riveting at points, and gruesome when describing some of the horrendous diseases one can easily get while trudging through the jungle. Definitely not a place I want to visit, except through books. Definitely could recommend reading this book! ...more
Near the end, chapter 7 Winchester explores why so many people helped out with the making of the OED when their only reward was perhaps footnotes in the dictionary. Since he wrote this book in recent times this should not have been such a surprise. Think of Wikipedia! How many people spend hours upon hours contributing to their favorite site, Wiki's abound for all sort of things: music bands, fan fiction, movies, etc. And these people usually don't even get a footnote, let alone contribute to the world's best authoritative book on the English language. It seems obvious to me why people would contribute with nothing to gain, Winchester should have been able to answer his own question. Instead he repeated it too often.
There were some interesting parts, particularity in the beginning. Enough to redeem itself to a middle rating. Final note: an interesting tidbit was to find that J.R.R. Tolkien worked on a small part....more