Most of the reviews I've read make this book sound outright life-changing. It didn't leave that kind of impression on me, however. It's worth readingMost of the reviews I've read make this book sound outright life-changing. It didn't leave that kind of impression on me, however. It's worth reading but also fairly repetitive, which is surprising for such a short work. I think most of the people fawning over this book do so because all the literary allusions make them feel smart. Out of the three books I've read by Hedges, my recommendation goes to The World As It Is....more
I didn't expect to like this so no real surprise that it was, indeed, garbage. I guess if you wanna live like an asshole, this is your literary anthemI didn't expect to like this so no real surprise that it was, indeed, garbage. I guess if you wanna live like an asshole, this is your literary anthem. And by all means, have at it; you certainly have the freedom to do so (that is until those of us who believe in sharing and kindness come along and enslave you muahahaha!!!!). Ask yourself, though, has there ever been a mass murdering, genocidal king/tyrant/dictator/chancellor/khan/emperor/president/whatever that wasn't channeling an enormous fucking ego. All fears of an over-reaching state aside, surely one can concede that there isn't anything healthy about an attitude that happily, selfishly, emphatically asserts, "It's all about me!"
Oh wait, we've built an economic system around that very principle and it's working out great. Never mind me.
Just to be clear, I only read this because it was assigned to my daughter for English and, as I've never actually read any of Ayn Rand's works, I wanted to see for myself just what exactly she was going to be absorbing....more
So, first off, I feel I'm being a little generous with the 3 star rating but 2 stars seems overly harsh.
For sure this book had its fair share of probSo, first off, I feel I'm being a little generous with the 3 star rating but 2 stars seems overly harsh.
For sure this book had its fair share of problems. Namely Johann Hari's persistent need to inject himself into the story at every possible moment. When authors constantly bring themselves up, for me, it is distracting. At times I just wanted to be given this information in a more matter-of-fact style. I don't need to know how conflicted you were or are feeling. I don't need to know about your ex or your friends. I don't need to know how concerned you are about your nephews and niece. I don't need to know about it every time you see someone drying their underwear on a clothesline. I don't need flowery prose describing the inner thoughts and feelings of your interviewees. Just let me absorb the information I came for without the theatrics.
Also, this isn't a TED talk so I'm not sure why Hari feels the need to treat his reader to some kind of quasi-dialectical experience. Maybe that's not the best way to describe whatever approach this is but there were certainly times when the text gave off an activity book vibe, especially when asked a direct question by the author and then asked to record my answer in the margins. Don't get me wrong, this was only on one occasion but on the whole it felt as if, for Hari, this book was some kind of conversation. Maybe I'm just not accustomed to that but for whatever reason, I found it off-putting.
Oddly enough Hari even addresses his particular brand of writing with "A Note on Narrative Techniques" at the back of the book. Despite his justifications, however, I just don't see the need for any kind of dramatization of the material. Perhaps it's the journalist in him but regardless, I grew tired of the way he told this story very early on.
Otherwise, I appreciate the effort that went into collating all this information concerning the war on drugs and presenting all that information to make, in my opinion, a fairly strong argument for legalization or, at the very least, decriminalization....more