While quite a heavy (and thought-provoking) topic, Brown never ceases to amaze me with the depth and richness of his history lessons. I typically findWhile quite a heavy (and thought-provoking) topic, Brown never ceases to amaze me with the depth and richness of his history lessons. I typically find history books dry and boring but Brown makes it both inspiring and exciting. If I get a chance to visit Florence or Istanbul, I might forgo a Fodors in favor of Inferno!
As for the Robert Langdon series, while probably the weakest of the four, I still really enjoyed it. I was pleasantly surprised by the final turn of events, though am also curious if Brown plans to write another Langdon book and how he'll incorporate the ending of this into the new state of the world. While convincingly a "humane" way of dealing with overpopulation, the emotional fall out could be just as destructive as any plague. Consider Dr Sinskey's own personal tragedy and how she's always felt like it represents a black hole in her life. How will 1/3 of the population feel about that?
I hope he writes another one; they're always a great read!...more
I don't think I've ever rated the second book in a series below the first, yet there are always exceptions to every rule. I guess this book is the excI don't think I've ever rated the second book in a series below the first, yet there are always exceptions to every rule. I guess this book is the exception. I didn't hate it, but I most certainly didn't love it, either. The story meandered in a way that I found less than satisfying. There were moments when I thought the story would get really good, but they always managed to go right around the land of "greatness" and plow straight through humdrum mediocrity. Nearly every story line lacked substance and the much anticipated character development again left much to be desired. Then, there's the whole Deena story line...could that be any more annoying? I understand that he was a young, inexperienced boy in the first book (and perhaps for most of the second). But now that he's been with Felurian (of which I don't even address - that also annoyed me endlessly), he really doesn't have to balls to close the deal with Deena? I don't even know what to make of it all.
I also pose a question to the fans - do we think Bast is Kvothe's son? The guy did spend what he estimates to be about a year with Felurian, essentially living in a hedonistic world of food, sleep, and sex. I find it hard to believe that fae and man couldn't conceive a child, or that time doesn't quite align across the Fae world and Kvothe's. And on that note, the story about the wanderer who sought to capture the moon, then put part of her name in a box seems to resonate with the lockless box that the Maer's new wife showed Kvothe at the end. Don't get me wrong - I see how Rothfuss is setting up the next book with some clever little sign posts. I just wish I didn't have to spend 900+ pages to get to there. ...more
Did I miss something here? The series is called "The Kingkiller Chronicles," yet no King was killed in the book. Further, the book's description toutsDid I miss something here? The series is called "The Kingkiller Chronicles," yet no King was killed in the book. Further, the book's description touts Kvothe as "the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen" yet I found that the set up only hinted at his greatness; it hardly reveled in it at all.
I was generally frustrated with the book despite dutifully staying the course and continuing to read. While I think the set up of recounting Kvothe's rise to notoriety through Chronicler's...chronicling... was clever, there was so much left to be desired. The townsfolk come into the tavern/inn to discuss these creepy demon spiders, but they're hardly referred to again until the end. Even then, there was absolutely no resolution as to why they're here except when Kvothe comments to Bast that its all his fault. They introduced Kote as Bast's master but gave no other information to round out the relationship (or really develop Bast's character, despite the "revelation" that he's not human). The list of grievances goes on and on; in the end, the story simply didn't capture my imagination or interest quite like many other series that I've read.
I think part of the problem is that many other series either firmly set the character in his early teens (sometimes younger) and thus you know to expect a company of age story, or they firmly set him beyond those years and you know that you'll get to see his (or her) mettle tested throughout the story. I think the author was trying to do a little of both. However, you can't really compare a boy who is coming of age to a man who's lost his way. They aren't even apples to oranges (since those are at least both fruits); they're like comparing an eggplant to a slab of steak. The comparison simply doesn't compute!
I'm not one for giving up so easily, so I'll no doubt read the second book (and perhaps the third if the second redeems the series for me). In fact, his prose is beautiful so I'll likely keep going despite the thinness of the story. However, I'd take The Demon Cycle series or The Codex Alera over this book any day. ...more
You cannot help but love Zig as he tells you the anecdotes behind each close. Pretty inspiring and helpful when you're brand new to the world of selliYou cannot help but love Zig as he tells you the anecdotes behind each close. Pretty inspiring and helpful when you're brand new to the world of selling (or when you're "officially" a salesman). Highly recommended. ...more
The writing is definitely better than the previous 5 books (though now that I look at the timeline, it looks like the author didn't pick up this storyThe writing is definitely better than the previous 5 books (though now that I look at the timeline, it looks like the author didn't pick up this storyline until seven or eight years after concluding Corwin's adventures). The story started out interesting enough but I wasn't particularly satisfied with Zelazny's explanation for why April 30th had any real significance (besides a stupid vendetta from a different world with a different timeline) or the random characters who came and went throughout the story (the farm hand, the random chick Merlin slept with, Dan Martinez, etc). I'll finish the series eventually but I'm gonna take a break for a bit. Getting kinda stale. ...more
I don't know the author's background, how many books he's written, or what this series represented to him. However, it seems as though this series werI don't know the author's background, how many books he's written, or what this series represented to him. However, it seems as though this series were written by a novice. The writing itself was a bit simplistic and the author took liberties with his lack of ability for the simple fact that the story is set in the fantasy realm. What makes fantasy so fantastic is an author's ability to make the reader feel as if the fantasy is rooted in reality and therefore tangible (and perhaps somewhat possible). This was probably my biggest gripe with the series. On the other hand, Zelazny's style made this a quick read. When I don't have to commit weeks to completely a crappy fantasy book, I'm more inclined to find some joy and at least finish the story.
As Corwin's story progressed, I have to admit that I began to root for him. He has a strength and perseverance that I have to admire and a self awareness that inspired a few lines of text that I highlighted as I went along. While few lines made me stop in my tracks and think about its implications, I did like that the story came from the perspective of a character who didn't wind up "winning" it all. Instead, he offered enough complexity to keep things interesting and a peripheral view of the inner workings of Amber, Chaos, and everything in between. While the ending was a bit anticlimactic, I found myself flipping to the next book without missing a beat. One chapter in and I can already see the stark difference between Corwin's anthology and that of his son, Merlin. It's definitely not a 4 or 5 star series, but its entertaining enough to compel me through to the end. ...more
While I think Zelazny's writing style isn't particularly sophisticated, he does manage to create a world of compelling intrigue and characters. It tooWhile I think Zelazny's writing style isn't particularly sophisticated, he does manage to create a world of compelling intrigue and characters. It took until sometime into the second book for me to feel committed to seeing the story through but after completing book 3, I'm 100% in. ...more
While a thought-provoking read, I struggled to get through the book with my usual zeal. Remember that most of these "laws" (and their supportive storiWhile a thought-provoking read, I struggled to get through the book with my usual zeal. Remember that most of these "laws" (and their supportive stories) aren't modern-day examples. They can no doubt be adapted but they're too hard and fast to live by if you don't want everyone around you feeling like you're trying to manipulate them. Regardless of their extreme nature, a worthwhile read....more
Since I'm currently in an outside sales role, only about half of the book applied to my job directly. However, it gave me some great tips and ideas foSince I'm currently in an outside sales role, only about half of the book applied to my job directly. However, it gave me some great tips and ideas for communicating more effectively with my inside sales person, ways to coach them, and ideas for better scripting. I also gained some good tactics for dealing with the dreaded "no" and ideas for pushing back without alienating a prospect. Worth a read if you're new to sales. Might be less inspiring if this is not your first sales rodeo....more
A worthwhile read for getting a new perspective on relationships and seduction. Although a bit black and white on the "laws," it certainly offers someA worthwhile read for getting a new perspective on relationships and seduction. Although a bit black and white on the "laws," it certainly offers some thoughtful lenses for both business and pleasure. I like that Greene uses historical anecdotes to support his assertions, but they become a bit contrived when the stories of Casanova are used a few dozen times. He also interjects each chapter/story with lots of mythical quotes, thus losing some of its historically relevant qualities. 3.5 stars for the cadence, storytelling, and research required for such a book. Would have been 4 stars of Greene had found more modern-day examples....more