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Interesting and well told, but.

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

Reviewed: 2019-12-07

As usual, Malcolm Gladwell delivers a phenomenal audiobook. I'd just read Talking to Strangers right before starting, and I was really excited.

But. Gladwell's story suffers from two things; one is spaghetti storytelling, as some stories struggle to corroborate one another and near the 2/3rds, you feel the pace suffer because the story you're being told with great detail doesn't match with the theory behind it. The case of the police shooting, for example, had little to do with "mind reading", nor to autism, not really. However all three are presented as illustrating the same phenomenon when they clearly don't, and you just kind of sit there listening, wondering when he'll change course.

The second, maybe worse, is scientific myopia. In other words, he often presents evidence in a somewhat biased and "pop psychology" way to support what he's saying, and it made me cringe once or twice. Doubly worse when he contradicts his points made in his other work!

I wouldn't trust what he's presenting, and that hurts the book a lot. Despite that, though, damn good book.

3 people found this helpful

Melodramatic, tragic, beautiful, inspiring

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

Reviewed: 2019-07-21

Brought me back to my highschool years, the loneliness and the cringeworthy moments of trying way too hard not to feel something. This book does have a tendency to jerk off it's own intellectual, melancholic, angsty apricock, it takes itself way too seriously. Still, I enjoyed it the more I tried to open myself up to it without criticism or defense. Overall, pretty good stuff!

Goddamn what a good book.

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

Reviewed: 2019-07-18

It's witty, it's clever, it's insightful, and it's interesting, through and through. And did I mention how hilarious this book is? Honestly, Dan Gilbert is a national treasure. Five minutes into this book and I was already convinced of it. Can't wait to re-read this one with a notepad and a yellow highlighter.

It's pretty OK

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

Reviewed: 2019-07-18

Bought this after listening to Very Bad Wizards, and I was really excited to read it!
But I really didn't like the style of this book. Desteno basically finds and explains a ton of interesting studies, but only in a superfluous way. Sometimes, it's pretty obvious that there's some nuance missing, some "unambiguous results" that were found in correlational studies. In other words, he's showing clear bias towards his results; his book is written to push specific ideas and agendas, instead of simply presenting what we know and what we may want to investigate concerning emotions and positive psychology.

Are they interesting ideas? Sure. The problem is that it comes off as...well, kinda dishonest. We're never presented to the author nor his own opinions, each result that Desteno derives from studies is presented as factual and uncontroversial, despite there being a lot of interesting nuance and ambiguity there. Desteno also takes a fairly odd perspective concerning emotions, evoking concepts like morality and self-control where they either don't quite tie in neatly, aren't explained properly, are explained post hoc with evolution, or just plain seem jammed in to make a call back to a previous point.

It makes for a somewhat monotone read; you're never presented with opposing thoughts or ideas, we don't get much exploration or discovery since everything presenting correlates the same way. Studies stop becoming intriguing pretty quickly due to this, and the book becomes kind of bloated for it as the pace is somewhat irregular (nitpicky criticism I know). I don't know if I'd recommend this one, but it can be pretty interesting if you don't know much about positive psychology yet, or if you're looking for studies in the field, I guess. For comparaison's sake, it doesn't come close to holding up to something like "Authentic Happiness", but I still finished the book. Presented in a different style or direction, it could've been a fantastic read, so I'm hopeful for the author to keep writing on the subject.

My favourite book, basically ever

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

Reviewed: 2019-07-16

I re-read this one from time to time. Not once has it failed to warm my heart or clear my mind. I'm no psychotherapist, but a patient. The process Dr. Rogers describes provoked me to reevaluate my trajectory and embrace authenticity beyond merely the performance of it. I'll sound a little corny here, but I'm 100% serious when I say that reading "On Becoming a Person" led me to *being*, to existing within myself and living my own life in a meaningful way. I'm probably overselling this thing, but seriously, if you're reading this review, buy the damn book.

2 people found this helpful

Classic!

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

Reviewed: 2019-06-26

Ahh, gay romance in the 19th century. Misery, loss, alienation, evasive attachments, a perfectionnistic performance of identity, the inability to love and/or to be loved, topped off with a severly morose atmosphere. This book was both throrougly gay and throroughly depressing. Loved it. I will never read it again.

Fantastic! ...but not as an audiobook.

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

Reviewed: 2019-06-26

If you're serious about reading this book, and you're certain you want to listen to it instead of read it, I highly recommend a pen, notebook, descriptive page on Markov Chains, and an iron will. I might be dumb, but this book is just plain hard to keep up with, especially when many complex ideas are vomitted at you one after another without you ever having a chance at visualizing and/or digesting them. God forbid you try to multitask with this book, or set it as your morning alarm. The chapter on the biology of speech nearly killed me.

Beautiful follow-up

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-22

I'm in love with this series, but GOD, the voice actors really are something. Wait till you guys meet Yalb the "french" sailor. Just wait. You'll see.
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***SPOILER ALERT***: Very little payoff to tension, it's like an adult Disney movie. It's not inherently bad, but it does cheapen the action and left me annoyed. There was some of that in Way of Kings, but in that case, most of the relief was earned. I don't think I'll read the third book, but I can say that I've enjoyed the ride.
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If Name of the Wind and Dune had a baby

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

Reviewed: 2019-05-17

I started out the book lukewarm about it. I thought there was just too much lore, too much fluff, that things were contrived. However, it only took reading to the end of the chapter to proof myself wrong! Great read.

The biggest gripe I have with is narration; both the male and female narrators left me wanting at first and were a huge part as to why I didn't like the book at first. I thought the guy spoke with a very monotone voice, no inflection or emotion. I thought the woman was an ok voice actor, maybe. Something annoying that you can't unnotice is how she always ends a sentence or thought in the same lilting note. Everytime.

However, I think I was wrong there too. Both breathe life into the world and characters, and sometimes you can almost see a character speaking before you. Other times, not so good, but I found myself happy to see that they narrated all three books! I say, give them a chance and you probably won't regret it.

Make sure you have at least a week of more or less free time before starting this book, you'll have a lot of difficulty putting it down.

Interesting Jungian Guide

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

Reviewed: 2019-04-17

Far from being scientific or deeply researched, but the book provides a great many ideas that I had to pause to contemplate. Beautiful theory and philosophy, with a helpful guide to dream interpretation, all of which culminates to a handy doorway to your subconscious. I don't know if I agree with everything in here, but hey, I don't think that's what's expected here.