The Collapse of Western Civilization – Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway

The Collapse of Western Civilization – Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway
Quite a different  read. This book is based from the point of view of an historian living in 2393 looking back on the 20th-21st centuries  and the lead up to some drastic  climate changes.
The authors do a good job of using hindsight to highlight how greedy capitalism is and how stupid the nay Sayers are for saying climate change isn’t happening even when its right in your face.
I have always felt that the naysayers are like a frog in boiling water. Put a frog in hot water and it jumps out. But put a frog in cold water and slowly heat it the frog boils to death. And the nay sayers are those frogs
An interesting  point in the book is how it essentially  has the historian as Chinese person as they are one of the only nations that were  minimally  affected and reacted best to the changes.  Authors even postulate that it was a result of its government type – communism that it survived the drastic changes
Good read that gives some food for thought and makes you reflect on your views on the topic

Clive Cussler – ghost Ship

Clive Cussler – ghost Ship

This latest adventure from one of my favourite authors is written with another author and i’m never 100% sure on what this means. Does it mean two people sat and discussed plot and brainstormed to get this story or was it one person told the other an outline of a story and plot and the other wrote it. Either way the author takes our heroes Kurt and Joe from Madagascar to North Korea. So it has some interesting locations. The plot starts with Kurt attempting to rescue some people from a sinking yacht, he believes he sees an old flame of his. Yet he is knocked out and the yacht sinks. Soon it becomes clear that his memory of the whole situation is a bit hazy and so he is determined to find out what happened. This takes him into the world of cyber crime

i have mixed feelings about this one, the antagonist is just out to cyber attack banks. Like serious who likes banks damn greedy corporations and the fact that he wants to rob them doesn’t really concern me. Then we later find out about brain implants that cause specific amnesia and i find it hard to hold on to the realism

Don’t get me wrong the action sequencing is great, the relationship and rapport between main characters is great as always buy just this plot was a bit far fetched and fantasy

and this brings me to another point i’m yet to find a good cyber-crime story. I always feel these stories seem to lack a certain level of emotion as the antagonist doesn’t normally meet people but are in an office or compound doing the work from afar

i think this lack of contact with people and interaction really hurts a story. So yeah this probably isn’t one of his best novels in my opinion

Hopefully he redeems himself with the next one but at this point there is no news on him writing another one.

Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes

Oh man what a read this was. Some people get so touchy on this subject but damn it was a funny read. Hitler wakes up in a field in Germany in 2011, still in his uniform with no recollection of his last moments in the bunker in 1945.

What then follows is Hitler’s discovery of the modern Germany and surprise surprise he doesn’t like it and starts on his usual rhetoric. However this time instead of flat out blaming the Jews he targets more modern enemies. Soon people start to take notice but here’s the kicker instead of taking him seriously they think he is a satirical comedian and praise him as such. Soon he has his own TV show and YouTube channel.

Sometimes the topic of Hitler can be taboo as some people quite naturally are very sensitive to this topic but i find that its the Germans who crack the best Hitler jokes and this book is right up there. So many funny fish out of water moments, like Hitler discovering the joys of Wikipedia and the internet to him struggling  to decide a ring tone  for his phone.

What adds realism to this story is the author has done his research quite thoroughly the names, places and events Hitler talks about are real and factual. There is even a section in the back of the book that lists all the Nazis Hitler refers to in this book and describes them and when/if the were trialed at Nuremberg.

To be honest there are people who will be offended by this book in fact the author inserts one of these people into the story. But sometimes peoples hate blinds them so much from the truth. The truth is The author isn’t glamorizing Hitler. He isn’t saying he was good or asking us to forget the past.  He is simply putting an historical person in modern day times and letting the madness ensue

Great unique read. in fact i just couldn’t put it down. Dont read this if you don’t have a sense of humour

Rebel – Amy Tintera

Rebel – Amy Tintera

I may not of been a huge fan of the author and her requirement that all of her stories feature a prominent  love story. But  i did like the plot and the originality of the story so naturally  i wanted to follow it to its conclusion.

My opinion of this author hasn’t changed for better or for worse. This book like its predecessor is packed  full of a love story between two characters which towards the end kinda overshadows the events around it and i think that some what diminishes  it to the point that it is actually  a sub plot

This opinion was further cemented by the fact the actual  conclusion of the now relegated sub plot of them fighting for their freedom gets wrapt up in just 3 pages.While this high school like love story gets concluded over 8 pages.

Truth be told i actually liked the main character  when reading the first book but over the course of this one i began to dislike her and started to route for the antagonists Regardless of the fact the author did a great job of creating this world, I’m glad the story is now over so i can continue on my quest for a female author who doesn’t require  a love story be a plot.

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer

Not sure what drew me to this book,  I think i may of picked it up after reading a fictional story about an Everest disaster. Needless to say the real life story while less detail is there (hard to get details about what happened from a dead person) the story feels a bit more real as you read the mental anguish the survivor goes through. The book details the author’s presence at Mount Everest during the 1996 disaster, when eight climbers were killed and several others were stranded by a “rogue storm”. there were several groups trying to summit on the same day

Our story starts with a description of this mans life and the events that led him to be sent to chronicle a summit attempt for the magazine he writes for.Much like every other attempt at Everest it isn’t just get to base camp and then climb to the top. There are a series of acclimatization climbs to several of the lower camps to get everyone’s body used to lower atmospheric pressure. Already we the reader discover just how difficult a climb is as that at these lower camps we already read about climbers getting struck down with illness due to oxygen deprivation, over  exposure to UV and numerous other ails.

After numerous acclimatization runs, finally they are working their way to the top and have a good spout of weather but now we discover some of the events that lead to so many deaths. Several groups climbing at once lead to some bottle necks, Guides going off ahead of their group, In the planning stages of the climbs a turn back time is set up. On summit day once an agreed upon time is reached everyone turns back no matter where they are to ensure they make it back safely. This time came and went and was ignored by some. Then the nasty weather rolls in.

Oxygen deprivation can make it hard for the person to think and so the next few hours there is a lot of uncertainty. The author acknowledges that  there a several moments when his actions inadvertently led to the deaths of others. For starters he mistakenly identifies an individual in-front of him as another member of the party. So when they are doing a head count they mistaking agree that man is here when in fact he is still lost. Had they gone out looking they may of found him who knows. There is also the incident of the author discovering some fellow climbers in a real bad shape. Numerous documentaries about high altitude climbing always talk about making the call and leaving a man behind if they are too far gone and that’s all well and good in theory but i think in practice that must be a hard thing to deal with. The Author makes the call to leave a fellow climber where they were lying as to help them would result in his death. The climber left behind did in fact die

Events  like this take us the reader on a powerful journey through the mind of the climber especially as this one comes to terms with the events that happened up there. I guess what was made worse was another survivor in their own book made some comments that contradicted what was said in this book. The author does clarify and reject some of those point in the back half of the book. which just highlights how little is known for sure about the events up there.

The book also had some pictures in there as well, and while reading what was occurring anytime i’d read about the death or someone was lost id flick to the pictures and find one of them. kind of made it seem more real if that makes sense.

I’m not a huge fan of journalists or the media for that matter they always warp a story to what attracts readers and sometimes that alters the truth about events. but none the less this was a great read and surprisingly not too egotistical from a journalist