I put this on my "to read" list a long time ago, but only now got around to actually reading it when I heard that Mr. Feinberg has been put in charge...moreI put this on my "to read" list a long time ago, but only now got around to actually reading it when I heard that Mr. Feinberg has been put in charge of administering the One Boston fund.
It's an interesting dilemma: how to distribute financial compensation to people when no amount of money can heal their pain and make them whole again. Especially when, as was the case with the 9/11 fund, there are no rules about who gets the money or how much they should get. It was up to Feinberg to invent the rules as he went along, and there was no precedent to lean on, which makes it interesting to learn how he approached the problem and determined the rules that were eventually put in place. All this, despite the fact that, ultimately, there is no definitive answer to the question posed in the book's title.
I'm glad I read this book, but it wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I think part of it was that I thought he might go into more specifics about particular cases and that I would learn more about the 9/11 victims, but he didn't. In retrospect that makes perfect sense because there is a genuine need to protect the privacy of the fund beneficiaries, but still, when you're expecting one thing and you get something else, it can be a little disappointing.
I also thought that it was going to be more of a narrative, a story with a plot arc and character development and all of that. It's not. It's really more of a "how to" manual for future reference should the need ever arise.
But there was also another issue that kept me from loving this book: throughout most of it I felt that there was an undertone of defensiveness, as though he wrote this book in order to respond to (or preempt) his critics, which I found a little off-putting. I don't know, maybe I'm misinterpreting this element. It could be that he was just trying to create a definitive record of what he did and why, and what I'm interpreting as "defensiveness" was intended as "justification" and an attempt to explain why he made the decisions he made "for the record".
In any case, I'm glad I read this book because it was thought provoking and informative, but I think the questions and ideas behind the book are better than the actual book itself.(less)
Interesting and entertaining - a good summer read. Definitely an eye opener if you have never worked in the restaurant industry or known someone who d...moreInteresting and entertaining - a good summer read. Definitely an eye opener if you have never worked in the restaurant industry or known someone who did.(less)
I enjoyed this collection of offbeat fantasy stories more than I expected. The overall tone is fairly dark, but in a good way - sort of Twilight Zone-...moreI enjoyed this collection of offbeat fantasy stories more than I expected. The overall tone is fairly dark, but in a good way - sort of Twilight Zone-ish. Some of the stories are just plain strange, and many of them don't really make a ton of sense if you take them literally, but they start to make a lot of sense if you focus more on the tone and the emotional content of the story instead the plotline. Technically, this is Young Adult fiction, but the writing is strong enough that I think almost anyone would enjoy it as long as you're willing to "go with the flow" and play along. As with any story collection, some are better than others, but the good ones were really good.(less)
Just re-read this for the third or fourth time, and it's still as good as I remember. What was surprising to me was how much of the story I'd forgotte...moreJust re-read this for the third or fourth time, and it's still as good as I remember. What was surprising to me was how much of the story I'd forgotten - it was almost like I was reading it for the first time.(less)