Much different than the movie North Country which is partially based on this book. I liked the movie, as a movie it's very good but you cannot say it...moreMuch different than the movie North Country which is partially based on this book. I liked the movie, as a movie it's very good but you cannot say it is a direct translation of the book or what really happened. The problem with reality is that it sometimes gets a bit dull. The middle section of the book detailing the endless trials these women go through was a bit much for me. If you're a student or lover of all things latigious you'll probably really enjoy the book.
What the women in the mines in Eveleth went through was horrible but I think the trials they went through were even more horrible. That's the American justice system for you.(less)
Very dated but there's some relevant information here. A lot of what is talked about was rare back then and commonplace today. For instance, news medi...moreVery dated but there's some relevant information here. A lot of what is talked about was rare back then and commonplace today. For instance, news media using clips from Hollywood movies to emphasize a story. I just saw a report on shark attacks that used a scene from "Jaws". A lot of the media reports on things that the mother corporation owns. I remember CNN doing a whole series of segments about Harry Potter, the movie and the books. At the end of the report they'd have to include the fact that Warner Brothers produced the Harry Potter movies.
This book doesn't even conceive of something like FOX News, a cable news outlet with a clear ideology. Unthinkable at the time but a sad reality today. Infotainment is also common today and was just emerging at the time.
Worth a look but I wish Postman would create an updated edition of this book. It's an issue that doesn't get a lot of press. Gee, I wonder why.(less)
Pretty good adventure book about a couple crossing the Atlantic (from Spain to Costa Rica) in a rowboat. I'm a fan of survival books, the type where t...morePretty good adventure book about a couple crossing the Atlantic (from Spain to Costa Rica) in a rowboat. I'm a fan of survival books, the type where the survivor doesn't put themselves in the situation. Think Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea by Steven Callahan. In this book however, the adventurers put themselves in a survival situation, they aim to cross the Atlantic in a rowboat. After a while, I was convinced, okay they go through two hurricanes, a tropical storm, they are true adventurists and survivors.
Their luck, or lack of it, meant that they had many stories to tell from their journey from Spain to Costa Rica. This is a good non-fiction book for people who aren't big fans of non-fiction. I'll say it again though --- non fiction can be much more interesting than a lot of fiction. More people should definitely take a look at non-fiction adventure/survival stories. (less)
Read it while on vacation in Mexico. This is a very interesting read. There are some pretty disturbing passages in this book. It's a well constructed...moreRead it while on vacation in Mexico. This is a very interesting read. There are some pretty disturbing passages in this book. It's a well constructed essay on the problems of the US-Mexico border.(less)
This is another book about urban exploration (sort of). Beneath the Neon is about the flood tunnels built under Las Vegas early in the 2000s when the...moreThis is another book about urban exploration (sort of). Beneath the Neon is about the flood tunnels built under Las Vegas early in the 2000s when the city had dealt with the severe problem of flash flooding. I think O'Brien wanted this book to be about the tunnels them...selves and how spooky they are and what artifacts he finds. This is usually the thread which comes from books about urban exploration but turns out the book is about the people who live in the tunnels. This of course makes a whole lot more sense. There is a human element to the story.
O'Brien never really has a political opinion. He just reiterates what happened when he went in the tunnels and the stories of the people who live there. This is fine and fair. He does frequently paint the portrait of how the homeless drug addicts beneath the city are mere meters away from rich tourists who are dropping tens of thousands of dollars on pokers games. It's an unusual juxtaposition.
Most of the people he meets are grateful to talk to him and although they prefer to be anonymous they do want their story to be heard. The tunnels it turns out draw the homeless because Vegas, like Ottawa has a draconian government which wants to protect its tourist image. It spends a lot of money to protect its image. The casinos spend a lot of money to protect their image. Being homeless above ground is uncomfortable enough that the homeless would rather sleep in tunnels which occasionally flood and drown them. They are aware of the risk and some of them even protect themselves by keeping track of the weather reports.
It's a pretty fascinating read. It goes well with the documentary "Dark Days" about the homeless squatters living underground in New York City. The difference here is that no one really cares about the homeless in the tunnels of Vegas. The city claims it can barely afford to look for homeless people who need assistance let alone those underground. So no one really goes into the tunnels except for urban explorers and rescue teams who pull out the bodies at the end of the culvert. Rescue teams occasionally also pull live men out when the flash floods are occurring. O'Brien does form relationships in the end with these alienated people. A lot of them are people who came to Vegas to make it big and ended up on the wrong side of the pavement.(less)