I love the writing of Bill Bryson. I can't quite find words to explain why, but every book I read is just full of interesting tidbits. This one is hisI love the writing of Bill Bryson. I can't quite find words to explain why, but every book I read is just full of interesting tidbits. This one is his memoir of growing up in Des Moines, Iowa. He tells some interesting tales of growing up in the 1950's a particularly favorite decade of mine (but before my time). I laughed a lot and was always annoyingly jumping up to read parts aloud to my wife. Great read. I will definitely be choosing another books of his soon....more
Hugely disappointed! I enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy, but this one was horrible. I can usually put up with Follett's total lack of writiHugely disappointed! I enjoyed the first two books of this trilogy, but this one was horrible. I can usually put up with Follett's total lack of writing skills because I loved learning the history in which the stories were played out. Reading this one makes me doubt everything I "learned" in his other books. I lived through most of this book and can now see that he has an incredibly biased point of view--so biased as to be nearly unrecognizable. Now I am certain that I will never read anything of his again. ...more
I am beyond stunned that this book averages a four-star rating; I can't believe that there are intelligent people who love this stuff. I can only hopeI am beyond stunned that this book averages a four-star rating; I can't believe that there are intelligent people who love this stuff. I can only hope that Thor becomes a better writer in the subsequent books, but I will not be sticking around to find out.
Much of this book was stunningly awful. I only had five chapters of the 83 left to read and it took me two weeks to finally polish it off. If I wasn't in a public place when I finally killed it, I would have screamed with exasperation at how horrible it was. I gave it a two rather than a one because it provided some light and entertaining escapism for half of its five hundred pages, but even as I say that, I think I am being too nice.
The main problem is with the entire second half of the book when the main character is on the run. I was just a never-ending series of overly-long, laughably-implausible chase and fight scenes where the hero somehow always prevails in spite of the amazing amount of physical punishment that he somehow always manages to shake off. Imagine a James Bond movie that instead of the signature mega-chase and battle scene mixed into the story, THE ENTIRE STORY is one of those scenes one after the other. Absolutely horrible.
Even in the "good" parts, however, it was pretty lame. I couldn't stand the attitude of all the characters. Even the good guys were constantly bickering and interacting in a way that did not at all ring true. Sure you don't always get along with people you work with or people on your team, but you act like you get along with them. Most all of the dialogue was silly and forced. There wasn't a good line in the entire book.
Anyway, this was not a good book, but it was OK long enough for me to be forced to finish it. It is a shame that this was so bad: I like this genre of books (Robert Ludlum stuff was always fun) and there are a lot of them. I was really hoping I had found an author who I could read their entire catalog. I was wrong....more