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Shane

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Thorough History

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-06-2016

This book was a really fantastic look at a topic not known by most of the historically literate west. The author does a fantastic job at explaining this usually new material in a way that, while detailed, is easy to follow. Although there were times when the amount of names got confusing, the narrative was so centered around the important characters, that confusion was kept to a minimum.

This book did not propose any groundbreaking insights or controversial theories, but rather it told a long, detailed story well. It is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible to date.

8 people found this helpful

Fascinating Topic Well Told

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-05-2016

This book was phenomenal. It did a really good job of telling the story though the eyes of a reporter who was there, constantly weaving in personal anecdotes with societal events. The protagonist (the author) clearly has a few bones to pick with the USSR government (as he should) but still manages to be remarkably objective given that this was written so close to the historical events it describes.

Very complicated

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-05-2016

I really like what this book is trying to do, and I respect it far more than the two stars indicate. However, the book was very dense and it is easy to get lost in the endless sea of names. Generally, I can just listen to the book multiple times, but with 1177 I still can't quite get into it. What I do complement the book on is for not oversimplifying, what is clearly a complex story. I would far rather not understand a convoluted book than understand completely a false one.

1 person found this helpful

Good Biography

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-05-2016

I'm not usually a fan of biographies but this one was exceptionally good. I think it is far more comprehensible to write a biography in someone who lived in pre-industrial times because you can tell a cohesive story without being completely superficial. Catherine was thus a great choice of topic and the execution of this book was spot on.

Detailed but Unsurprisingly Biased

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

It all but explicitly says it in the title, but this book is not exactly designed to be an objective look at American history. It probably could have been called "An Early 21st Century Conservative's History of The United States". That being said the book did a good job at what it wanted to do, which is to provide a counterpoint to many more left-leaning histories of the United States. I'm very glad I read it.

Strange but Well Done

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

The format of this book was really unique. It is continuously read almost as a news cast with no analysis or input from the author besides what was actually happening. I'm really glad I read it even if I'd probably prefer a more conventionally written book most times.

Good but Superficial

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

This book gave a pretty good overview of not only Simon Bolivar's life but the period he lived in. It was well written and there wasn't any overt ideological bias that makes some biographies unreadable. The only thing the book lacked was a really critical analysis of the decisions that he made.

A Work of Our Times

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

This book is one of the best I've ever listened to. It is relentlessly data driven and proposes a positive but nuanced thesis: violence has declined. It does a lot to combat the emotional nostalgia that tricks many of us into believing that the world is falling apart today. While Pinker rightly identifies several troubling concerns about the modern world, this work dispels the myth that we have somehow fallen from a lost paradise.

The Best

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

This was the first book I ever listened to on audible and I am still trying to match it. There are not many new ideas put forward in this book, no interesting innovations, or controversial opinions. Just a well spoken, well written, nuanced look at one of the most interesting events in European history.

3 people found this helpful

Near Perfect Book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-2016

This book did a better job than I could have expected at going over the history of modern science in a compelling fashion. It was witty, entertaining and most importantly (from what I could tell) accurate.