Written heavily from a parapsychology viewpoint and "psi" dependent. I found the writing style choppy and while I think I'm reasonably intelligent (an...moreWritten heavily from a parapsychology viewpoint and "psi" dependent. I found the writing style choppy and while I think I'm reasonably intelligent (and have read other paranormal non-fiction books), sometimes I was like "what?" It might have been better as a longer book - more space and time devoted to explaining all the concepts and their interactions.(less)
Yes, I get it. It's based on a meme, so I know what to expect (I read a LOL cat book a couple of years ago). But I guess I never got on the grumpy cat...moreYes, I get it. It's based on a meme, so I know what to expect (I read a LOL cat book a couple of years ago). But I guess I never got on the grumpy cat bandwagon. Not my cup of tea, but picked it up only because it was available through my library's ebook catalogue.(less)
Fun, quick read with bite-sized chapters written in the style of Ripley's. The cover art and lettering is strongly reminiscent of the old pulp fiction...moreFun, quick read with bite-sized chapters written in the style of Ripley's. The cover art and lettering is strongly reminiscent of the old pulp fiction, and just as fun as the inside.
While I am a somewhat ardent viewer of paranormal television (and reader of para non-fiction), I'm not necessarily a believer... but I like to keep an open mind. Just in case*. ;)
*Besides, it's a great place for writing ideas! (less)
When I initially read Steven Johnson's "Ghost map" a few years back, I was either young and impressionable or I skipped parts....more"Ghost Map" : Take Two
When I initially read Steven Johnson's "Ghost map" a few years back, I was either young and impressionable or I skipped parts.
I'm betting on the latter.
In looking for something while trying out my library's eAudio selections (their non-fiction is poor), I decided to reread "Ghost map." The first half (and some of the conclusion) was as interesting as I remembered (as interesting as you can get when talking about disease and death) and I would recommend it. As other reviewers have pointed out the author does have a slightly annoying habit of repeating himself - which during the first half I could forgive. The author also tends to meander between topics (before returning to the story of the outbreak) which personally I don't mind (and which I love when it's done well), but could be off-putting to others expecting a straight-forward account.
I would also recommend the book as opposed to the audio. I hated the narration. The reader spoke too fast and at times was monotone. But what drove me nuts was that he (as an apparent non-British speaker) would start a quote with a British accent, but halfway through the accent would disappear. There were also sections where a quote would end and the author begin, but it wasn't clearly delineated during the reading.
In my opinion, skip the conclusion and the epilogue. The latter was especially painful. Johnson only mentions the importance of the map (which I was ignorant of, being only an occasional popular science reader) during his conclusion. It would have been more helpful (and interesting) as a said layman reader, for him to have brought out the importance of the map (and hence the title of his book) earlier, or (better yet) earmarked an entire chapter to it's legacy.
Instead, the reader has to wade through a muddled theory of how city life is better for us and the environment, despite terrorists (the twin tower deaths were no big deal, btw)* and a super flu. Though I live in a fairly large city, and it's convenient and useful (and while I will probably remain in a city for the remainder of my life, I'm not particularly attached to city life), I find his constant "city is everything" methodology annoying (and cities without green space, really?)
*While that's not what Johnson said or meant, the way he phrased that section made it seem as if he were belittling (not in the sense of making light of, but more brushing aside) the loss of human life. This is my opinion of his writing - you may see it differently.(less)
Basic start-up info w/some interesting sites listed (but this type of book can get dated very quickly). Organized by record type with additions for sp...moreBasic start-up info w/some interesting sites listed (but this type of book can get dated very quickly). Organized by record type with additions for specialized research (jewish, african-american, dna). However, it was all academic - this book was written for American researchers (which I am not).(less)
An exposé of the worst of human nature in a place that can very much kill you for the slightest error. The two main stories (the author's and Dr. Nils...moreAn exposé of the worst of human nature in a place that can very much kill you for the slightest error. The two main stories (the author's and Dr. Nils Antezana) were interesting and (in the case of the doctor's) heartbreaking (the guide was a sociopath, but if Antezana had been having misgivings before climbing, he could have walked away - hindsight is 20/20, but just saying).
However, the formatting of the book was horribly disjointed and very much detracted from the stories the author was trying to tell. Each chapter started out with a date and a story, it then flipped to another story, then back to the past, then a short bio of a character, then back to the first story, etc. - all in one chapter. I had to keep flipping back to see where I was and with whom...very frustrating. And both of the main stories ended before the book, with the last chapter(s) floating away on other tangents.
The author does not touch on the subject of his subtitle ("The fate of Everest..."), but merely tells his (rather negative) stories. I'm not saying that the stories are not true, but a little addition of goodness and distance (on the author's part - he was too close to the subject matter - obviously, but still) would have infused the life of the book, instead of a bitter rant that it turns into.(less)
Being an armchair mountaineer (the closest thing to a mountain I climb is a ladder), you always hear about the climbers - the thrill, the close shave,...moreBeing an armchair mountaineer (the closest thing to a mountain I climb is a ladder), you always hear about the climbers - the thrill, the close shave, the impossible against all odds, and those that remain on the mountain. Maria Coffey presents the other side of the coin - the spouses, children, parents and friends left behind. She has presented a wide variety of perspectives, including her own as a girlfriend of a climber who didn't come home, showcasing the feelings and thoughts of those who decided to share (spouses or signifigant others), or were forced to share (parents and child), the decisions of a climb. At times heartbreaking, I found it was sometimes difficult to get through, but it was worth reading. None of the whys were answered (why climbers choose to climb, why significant others/spouses choose to stay, etc.), but that wasn't the point - the stories, the emotions were everything. A good read to balance out the adventure.(less)