I should note - This would probably be a 3 or 4 star review if I hadn't listened to the audio book. This is one of those rare cases where I think theI should note - This would probably be a 3 or 4 star review if I hadn't listened to the audio book. This is one of those rare cases where I think the audio book format heightens the experience and makes it much BETTER. When simply reading it you can get distracted with pronunciations, looking up words, and the like. I believe that this story is best consumed peripherally with the narrator (Alex) talking to you in his strange dialect. Do yourself a favor and give it a listen and just let it flow! Only through listening do I feel you get a complete grasp of where Anthony Burgess is going with this. Even MORE removed from this experience is the movie, which I feel is a gross misrepresentation of the story and feel of the book.
And of course make sure your copy has the last chapter and is NOT the Kubrikian version. I listened to the version narrated by Phil Daniels....more
This book is a must read for anyone who is interested in technology and where the internet is taking us as a society. In many ways it is Google that iThis book is a must read for anyone who is interested in technology and where the internet is taking us as a society. In many ways it is Google that is driving us there. Levy provides a surprisingly detailed perspective on the inside of Google which helps demystify the company a lot. It's great to see what is true about the company and what isn't. I was also surprised how balanced the book was. I assumed since Google allowed him to be an embedded reporter that the book would be skewed a bit and let Google off the hook for certain things. I was happy to discover my assumption was wrong. The author still comes off a bit as a Google fan, but he does not shy away from the big issues that face the company.
The most mind-blowing aspect of this book is coming to understand how insanely ambitious Google's co-founders are and how intensely they value data. They find like minded people to welcome to the fold and their unified fanaticism takes on a nearly religious tone. I have no doubt that these people at Google will continue to change our world in very dramatic ways (perhaps for good, perhaps for worse). Changes like self-aware computing, assisted human cognition, these advancements are surely coming, this book just convinced me that it will most likely be Google taking us there.
It's really hard to know get a grasp on what kinda book this is from the outside. I was completely wrong in judging the overall tone of the book, evenIt's really hard to know get a grasp on what kinda book this is from the outside. I was completely wrong in judging the overall tone of the book, even after I read some reviews. As mentioned in other reviews, the book captures a mothers love for her child amazingly, and provides a strange juxtaposition between being tender and innocent yet haunting at times. But do not be deceived by the synopsis and reviews. It's easy to assume this book is a teary eyed sad sack story about some abused kid, with the author over-using a child's plight as a cheap device to make you feel extreme emotions.
One thing that I am not seeing people mention about this book is that it really feels like a thriller or scary story to me - or at least the first half of the book. I have never felt so anxious about what will happen next in a story as I was when reading this book. It doesn't start out this way - instead it's a nice pleasant story that slowly builds in intensity until you are extremely invested in the outcome. It was like a pot of cool water on the stove that slowly started boiling until it violently begins overflowing. Interestingly the second half of the book changes the tone from being nerve racking and scary to a completely different, yet still gripping tone. Overall it's a great ride and a very thought provoking tender story that will give you a lot to appreciate about your life especially if you have kids.
This book stands to be one of the most important I have ever read. It is a masterpiece in moderate thinking and is able to do what most other books abThis book stands to be one of the most important I have ever read. It is a masterpiece in moderate thinking and is able to do what most other books about food, diet, and health cannot do: sit squarely on the fence between the camps for and against vegetarianism. Because of this fence sitting the author is in an elevated position and can paint a more complete (albeit less polarized and dramatic) picture of the realities of the food world we live in and how to navigate it.
Unlike most books about diet and food health, this book will not uncover some deep conspiracy theory, isolate ONE particular evil in our diet, or promote a specific secret to dietary health. What it WILL do is give you a very believable and comprehensive birds eye view of where we are in the food chain, how the western industrialized diet has become so problematic, and how to avoid the pitfalls that plague our western sensibilities. This book will inspire you to ENJOY food, seek quality over quantity, and to be involved in the process of gathering cooking and eating food with your family. It will give you the fortitude to trust hundreds of years of food tradition over modern scientific food trends, and give you ACTUAL believable common-sense reasons why processed foods are not great choices - something I always felt confused about, but now deeply understand.
My only small gripe, which isn't enough to effect my rating really - The author tends to repeat himself a bit too much, and has a slight tendency to dramatize language (something I dislike with Malcom Gladwell as well), especially when talking about nutritional science. It was only when discussing this topic did he seem to be a bit too biased and polarized in his view for my liking. That being said, he does have some very justifiable reasons for vilifying industrialized food and nutritional scientists - this just felt like the only part of the book that was a bit too overly dramatized (and conveniently so, because it creates a villain and builds reader interest.)
The strongest features of this story are the duality of the rest home story vs the depression era story and the dirty and gritty underbelly of the cirThe strongest features of this story are the duality of the rest home story vs the depression era story and the dirty and gritty underbelly of the circus, giving the reader a fascinating insider view the way a good documentary would. For those things alone, this book is a great read. The love story is decent, but I really don't think it was intended to be the main focus of the story, or at least it wasn't for me. The meat of this book covers two separate stories: a young man, and a very old man, navigating through some sticky situations, and the love story is simply part of that theme.
Too bad nursing home narratives and a gritty circus underbelly aren't marketable. Hollywood will remove everything that makes this book original (or as much as possible of these things) and leave just the love story, effectively turning it into a forgettable Notebook knockoff. From here on out it will be flowers, rainbows, and a perfectly romantic circus setting. Uuughh. The trailer made me cringe. Hope I am wrong....more