Another fun collection from Guys Read. A bit more of a three-star for me, as I must admit I am not a big sports person and perhaps didn't relate to asAnother fun collection from Guys Read. A bit more of a three-star for me, as I must admit I am not a big sports person and perhaps didn't relate to as well as others. Still, fun, for me insightful and I learned about the Mendoza Line !!!...more
Three stars because of the writing; not such a brilliant plot although it does fleshes out more background to George Smiley—which, when I reflect on wThree stars because of the writing; not such a brilliant plot although it does fleshes out more background to George Smiley—which, when I reflect on what I knew of him from Tinker, Tailor… and Smiley's People makes this a worthwhile read. ...more
A long time le Carré fan—his books Constant Gardner, and A Perfect Spy and the film renditions (both, I’ll admit) of Tinker, Tailor… aOMG as they say…
A long time le Carré fan—his books Constant Gardner, and A Perfect Spy and the film renditions (both, I’ll admit) of Tinker, Tailor… and Smiley’s People, I can’t believe I have waited this long to read what many have called his best book…
It is brilliant, and I also can see how it shook up the genre at the time it came out. This is a prime example of the twisting plots and enacted moral ambiguity that so characterizes the Smiley books that I am familiar with, but from a fabulous vantage point of Alec Leamas.
Loved it, loved it, and makes me want to just go back and read what Goodreads is labeling “George Smiley series” books 1 and 2… (having not made that connection prior to this). Note: I did listen to it as an audio book because at this point of the semester I have realized I will never get any pleasure ‘reading’ in otherwise. Recommend the narrator Michael Jayston as a very good reader....more
Well, saw this book laying around Alpha's bedroom, just before he headed off to college, and I thought, hmmm, looks interesting, and wow, he's readingWell, saw this book laying around Alpha's bedroom, just before he headed off to college, and I thought, hmmm, looks interesting, and wow, he's reading a book. ; )
But no, seriously, this book only enhanced my respect for the people who practice this sport. And I'm speaking as observer who already has deep awe for the difficulty and relentlessness of crew. And it made realize even more (if that is possible) that what Alpha did last year was pretty amazing.
[Warning: Parental bragging ahead. Skip this paragraph if you want.] Alpha started competitive rowing in Spring 2013, and through effort, discipline and focus, earned a seat in both an 8+ and light weight 4+ in our local club by Fall 2013—meaning he was going to US Rowing Nationals for high school students, which held in Sacramento in Spring 2014. Watching the kid get up and row every morning (and often every afternoon) in not rain and cold, but ridiculous Texas heat, the land training, the weigh-in concerns… I knew that what he was doing in this new sport was incredible, but it really hit me when I was watching the mens' lightweight 4+ races… and saw some of the strategies and beauty of some of these boats… and how intensely and beautifully they all rowed.
This book further nailed into my brain how hard this sport is. And how intense the bonding among the crew members can be. It helps me understand some deeply felt bittersweetness that Alpha and his mates must have been experiencing after the intensity of such work and the culminating final competition; and the inchoate sadness that they might have been feeling when, after they finally done, they realized they were all going off in different directions, heading to different colleges, schools in different states… and perhaps the reason why so many choose not to row at university as freshmen…
I also appreciated the history that was woven into this book, particularly the information that was included regarding boat building (yes, in my past, I have assisted wooden boat builders, sistering ribs, and steaming wood), and that was just great. Joe's personal story was also a good reminder of how tough life can be, and sometimes there is 'nothing to it but to do it.'
This was a pleasurable listening experience in terms of both the writing and the reader. Overall, recommended....more